Hi everybody. Here is the next chapter. Thanks for all your reviews and even those that didn't leave one as I have seen how many read the last chapter. Happy reading.
Winning a Supporter
Harry lay on a surgery table in the MI6 headquarters. All around him stood the best medical experts and scientists the department had. Harry's eyes drooped when the anaesthesia began to work.
"Alright, he is ready. Hook him on the machines." Q ordered.
His orders were followed quickly. Harry's heartbeat was supervised as was his breathing. He got two more infusion lines into veins to make sure they could send drugs into any part of his body quickly.
"This has to be done with precision. What we attempt to do is an apparent death for three minutes. We'll also trigger a fast expulsion of the soul piece with a concoction that I have spent the last months developing. This will make the soul piece in his scar leave the body. As soon as the soul piece is out, we'll revive him. He will have to get back in form for some weeks as this will throw off his magical balance, but after that we can finally end the whole Voldemort episode." Q explained the procedure.
"Understood, sir." Were the answers from the assistants. Q had tested this method for four months and was finally sure enough to make it work for Harry.
"Well, first put five drops of the concoction on his scar, follow with infusing the second drug into his bloodstream, then start slowing his heart down." Q instructed, the assistant followed the orders and infused the drug that would have the intended effect into Harry's bloodstream.
Slowly Harry's heart rate decreased until it hit zero. Everybody around the surgery table was tense. This was the critical phase of the operation. Then a hissing was heard from Harry's forehead and the scar broke open.
"Shields!" Q ordered and they were brought up by semi-magical devices.
The soul piece was repelled by the shields and then disappeared shrieking.
"Hurry, hook him up on the antidote to the drug, we have got rid of the horcrux, now we need to pull Harry back into the land of the living." Q commanded.
Everybody did just that. The antidote was injected into Harry's bloodstream to neutralize the effects of the heart stopping drug. Q carefully took the time from the injection.
"Forty seconds are over. The drug is neutralized. Reanimation measures."
One assistant took over cardiac massage while another controlled the breathing machine.
Twenty four seconds later Harry's heart monitor began showing activity again.
From the observation room above cheers were heard when Q announced that the removal of the soul piece was a success and that Harry was still alive.
All the agents involved in the operation to get rid of Voldemort were present as well as M.
"Now all we have to do is get the last horcrux out of the Lestrange vault and kill the bastard. Then this dark episode of British history is over." He said satisfied.
"Very true. I'm really glad that we could prevent a war this time before it even started. Now we have to make sure to prevent another dark lord from rising in the near future." Sirius said.
"Yes, that will be Agent Potter's main duty for the next few years. He is the powerful public hero we need to influence things for a while. The magical government is about to elect the new Minister. Fudge is done for. We have enough dirt on the man to kill his political career thoroughly. We'll give that information in small doses to the Daily Prophet, Magic International and all the other important newspapers around the world. If Fudge has left a few brain cells he will withdraw from his candidature. If he does, we'll stop the influx of further damaging news. The good thing is that we don't need to pick up the structures after a war this time. It's a lot easier to take corruption down bit by bit than having to replace a whole government."
Sirius just nodded. He would wait until Harry awoke. He had already cleared with M that he would take three weeks off to go on vacation with Harry. Q had told them that Harry would be unable to attend any strenuous missions for four weeks. This included physical training. But he would be able to leave the hospital wing in one week.
Harry sat at the visitor balcony at the Wizengamot and watched the inauguration of Amelia Bones as Minister for Magic. Fudge had withdrawn from the election after the second negative article. Harry then had given some interviews at Diagon Alley and told them, when asked who he thought would make a good Minister, that he would like a candidate who had high moral standards and followed them personally. He had heard about briberies from rich wizards to high ranking Ministry officials and he thought that an incorruptible Minister would be invaluable. But he didn't want to name a person, because he didn't know them personally.
It had led to many discussions in the papers who would meet the characteristics Harry Potter thought important in a Minister. In the end only one Ministry official was found, that being Amelia Bones. She had been convinced by others to candidate, after all, how often had she complained about Fudge's mismanagement? More often than she cared to keep track of.
Harry had spent a wonderful vacation on the Azores with Sirius. As the only physical activity Harry was allowed by the doctors was swimming, Harry had taken a diving course at a local school and the two had explored the underwater world around the island they were staying at. He had got a new update for his languages so he had been able to communicate with the locals without problems. Tropical islands were just great in his opinion. And the barely clothed girls there were simply beautiful.
Now with his OWL year approaching, he had been really surprised to find out that Dumbledore had obviously taken his rant about the bigotry and problems with Potions to heart. The book lists had two new books for Potions on them, one of them about the basics for ingredient preparation, processes and so on. Harry was glad that finally something was done for the lack of proper instruction in the subject. He just hoped that Snape had given up teaching all together.
When Harry left his seat, he was intercepted by Professor Dumbledore.
"Ah hello, Harry, I was wondering if you would be here to see the inauguration of our new Minister." He said smiling.
"Hello, Professor Dumbledore. Well, I could hardly pass up on the chance to see history being written. From what I have found out about Madam Bones she seems to be perfect to clean the Ministry from the shady procedures that have gone on there for too long." Harry answered also smiling.
"Yes, I read the interview you gave at Diagon Alley some time ago. I was surprised that you spoke with reporters. You normally avoided them."
"It's hard to completely avoid them when I'm in public. Especially after I won the Triwizard Tournament. I found it easier to tell them some things so they don't bother me too much. Those reporters that asked me about the elections, I told they could ask me five questions that I'd answer as long as they weren't too personal. It worked well enough. I hope it will pass once the hype about me winning the Triwizard has ceased a bit. At least we don't have reporters at school." He said shaking his head.
"Yes, that is a positive thing. I wanted to ask you something, Harry." Dumbledore said.
Harry nodded to his headmaster to proceed.
"As you know we always have problems finding a new teacher for the defence post. This year we also had to find two other new teachers. After our meeting I took the time to inspect Severus third year class and I'm ashamed to admit that you were right. I spoke with him and he blandly told me that he just didn't have the patience to teach dunderheads the delicate art of brewing if they didn't put in the necessary effort. We came to an agreement and Severus left to research new potions.
"For this year I managed to get Professor Slughorn, an old colleague of mine, to take the post back. I just wanted to give you a, well warning is too hard a word, but a heads up. Horace is a collector. He doesn't collect cups or chocolate frog cards but famous students. He likes to be connected to those who are going to go far in the world. He is sure to try collecting you. So I thought it would be best to inform you beforehand."
Harry agreed with Dumbledore. He knew about Slughorn. The man was a competent teacher and a Slytherin to the core, cunning and ambitious, but not into the dark arts. He could be good to bring house Slytherin back into line.
"I have heard of him. He was teacher for Potions when my parents were at Hogwarts. I hope he can show the Slytherins that being bullies isn't the way to go far in life. I'm glad to hear you managed to find a better solution for Snape. Which other teachers did you find and which subject had to be found a teacher for except DADA?"
"History of Magic. I really took your advice to heart. I always wanted the students of Hogwarts to get the best possible education. That was the ambition I had when I took the post of headmaster. I love being a teacher. So I asked Cuthbert Binns to finally retire and if he didn't want to move on to take a place in the castle. He decided he wanted to move on. So now I managed to get a German witch, whose mother is British but emigrated to Germany in the war against Voldemort with her family, to take over the post.
"You'll get your Hogwarts letter soon, but I wanted to tell you that you have been chosen as Gryffindor prefect together with Miss Granger. The reason I tell you this now is that I have decided to give the prefects additional duties. I want to arrange for each prefect to tutor the lower years in their house in the different subjects. They will also lead the first years around the school for their first week of classes to make sure they find their way around without problem. As I still don't know who I could get for the defence post I had hoped that with this system we would be able to at least help them to get the basics down."
"I think the general idea is good, but from the second term of the year it will be hard for the prefects to do this as the fifth and seventh years have OWLs and NEWTs respectively to study for. I have an idea how to solve the DADA teacher problem. With Madam Bones being the new Minister we have the perfect person to help us there. She was head of the DMLE and has a big interest in properly educating potential future aurors. Why don't you ask her if we could get a graduate from the auror academy for a year? It could be a part of getting the graduate experience and we would have a proper instructor who knows about the difficulties of students learning defence as he or she wouldn't be out of school that long."
Dumbledore looked at Harry in wonder. The boy was a lot smarter than he had thought. Then he turned around as they were both called.
"Hello, Harry, Professor Dumbledore." Percy Weasley greeted them.
"Hello Percy; that was an impressive ceremony. I'm glad I could watch it." Harry said.
"Yes, it was. And Minister Bones has already called a meeting with all department heads. We are very busy at the moment as many people suddenly disappeared over the last months. We still don't know where they could have gone. Well, are you ready for the meeting you asked me for?" Percy asked.
"Yes, I am, Percy. Professor Dumbledore, thanks for the information but I fear I have to cut our conversation short here. I had arranged to meet with Percy after the ceremony to talk about some things." Harry said politely.
"That's not a problem, Harry. I wish you a nice remaining holiday. I'll see you at school. Good luck for your career at the Ministry, Mr Weasley." The old headmaster bid them farewell.
Harry turned to Percy.
"How long do you have time?" He asked.
"I'm finished for today. With the meeting surely taking until tonight all the employees of the Ministry have been given the day off as we'll get new instructions tomorrow. I believe massive changes will occur."
"Alright, please follow me." Harry said.
Harry led the older male to a deserted alley. He looked around and then handed Percy a handkerchief. Percy had been informed beforehand that they would take a portkey to get to the people Harry wanted him to meet. So he took one side of the handkerchief and waited for the portkey to activate, which it did with a tap from Harry's wand. They were both whisked away.
Harry and Percy landed in a bland room from which only one door led away.
"We have to wait for two minutes until they let us out of here. We'll be scanned for any weapons we might carry with us. Standard security protocols." Harry explained.
Percy nodded confused. He didn't really know why he was here, but Harry had convinced him that this was for the future of the wizarding world. After the scan was complete the door opened and two men came in.
"Mr Weasley, welcome to the headquarters of the MI6. We are the secret service of her Majesty, the Queen. Agent Potter recommended you to be one of our contacts for the betterment of our country. I'm M, the head of the department. This is Agent Black, one of our best agents. Please follow me; we have arranged for a meeting room, where we'll explain you what we want you to do for us."
Percy was stunned.
"Just follow us, Percy. I know this is a lot to take in, but I promise you'll understand everything when we have told you our information." Harry assured him.
Percy nodded and followed the three. He was led into a modern looking meeting room where tea and biscuits were waiting for them. They settled down and took some tea.
"Now, Mr Weasley, I'm sure you have many questions, the first surely being why you have been called here. Well the answer is simple. We need your help. As you probably know, the Minister of Magic always visits the Prime Minister once a new one is elected on either side. Minister Bones will soon visit Prime Minister Major to introduce herself to him. Our department has always known about magic and we employ several wizards and witches as agents for us.
"Most of them have been outstanding graduates but had difficulties to find appropriate jobs due to being 'of lower blood' as the traditional expression went. As I told you, we are in charge of the security of Great Britain. This includes the muggle world as you call it and the magical world. To be honest, the Ministry of Magic just didn't do its job properly in the past, so we decided that to protect the non-magical citizens of Britain we had to intervene. Your world was really close to have met the full force of the British military. Even Death Eaters are vulnerable to gun fire. Thankfully it never came to it as Voldemort fell to the sacrifice Lily Potter made to protect her son Harry.
"We have recruited Agent Potter the summer before his second year at Hogwarts School. He has been living with Agent Black since then, as Agent Black is his godfather. He was never properly tried and our investigations showed without a doubt that he didn't fire the curse that was responsible for the thirteen deaths that day. Peter Pettigrew was the one who fired the curse and killed those people. He had hidden himself well for twelve years until Agent Potter found him. You even know where he was, even if you didn't realize it. Pettigrew was an unregistered animagus. His form is a rat." M explained.
"Merlin, you mean Scabbers was?" Percy realized the implications made.
"Yes, I have a map of Hogwarts that shows me the true identity of all those being in the castle. Invisibility cloaks, disillusionment charms, polyjuice potion or animagi transformations don't fool the map. It was developed by my father, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew when they were at school. It's called the marauder's map. Sirius made new versions for us so we can use them to our advantage at the castle. I think Fred and George have found the original. It would explain their ability to get away with so much without being caught. We have also made maps of the important buildings in the muggle world. It's a convenient method of observation without invading people's privacy too much." Harry explained.
"Mr Weasley, we have invited you because you're one of the few pureblood wizards who made it into the Ministry by your own merit, not because your family is rich nor has a lot of political influence. We know that you're ambitious and want to go far there. We completely support your endeavour but we want to show you something you need to know. What would you say is the main problem the British wizarding society has?" M asked.
Percy pondered the question.
"We have too few highly qualified witches and wizards in core subjects. Potions is a major part and I know History of Magic is also only known to some students properly." Percy answered.
"While that is a big problem it's only a symptom of the true problem. We have prepared some charts for you. Are you familiar with projectors?" Sirius asked.
"I have heard of them, but I don't know much." Percy admitted.
"Well, think of it as charts enlarged through a device so it can be seen on the wall." Sirius explained. "As you know, the wizarding world in Europe has been through two major wars this century. The first was against the dark lord Grindelwald, the second against the dark lord Voldemort. Both have in common that they used muggles and muggleborns as scapegoats for problems in society. They were dead wrong. Your parents never believed in the pureblood superiority crap and encouraged you and your siblings to mingle with all wizards and witches and don't think of muggles as inferior. Your family is one of the few pureblood families that do.
"But there lies a problem. If the doctrine of disadvantaging muggleborn witches and wizards doesn't stop soon and the pureblood families continue to inbreed, we'll lose most of our magical population in a few generations. Three at most." Sirius said, showing Percy the first chart.
The overall numbers of wizards and witches in Great Britain at the beginning of the century were shown and the massive decrease since then. Percy was shocked at the total numbers. While he theoretically knew that most pureblood families only had one child, he had never really thought what consequences this had for the overall population until now. And the numerical losses of the two wars were higher than he had thought.
"The problem is twofold. On the one hand the pureblood supremacists refuse to marry outside of pureblood families. That limits the gene pool, the basics that determine a person's being. From eye colour, height, stature, gender and potential; all is determined by genes. The wizarding world doesn't really know this but some have noticed that in the pureblood families fewer children are born or that the numbers of squibs has increased. Of course nobody really talks about it. It's no coincidence that most families only have one child. But with them having only one child the population would be cut in half every generation, if they were the only ones having magical abilities. Muggleborns bring fresh genes or old genes that have been dormant for generations into the magical gene pool.
"On the other hand, Voldemort drastically increased the problem. With him killing off muggleborns, halfbloods and purebloods who opposed him, he destroyed much magical blood. And it was the second time that Europe was victim to that kind of loss. While Voldemort concentrated on Great Britain and Grindelwald on the continent, together they managed to eradicate over forty per cent of the magical population. Voldemort would have destroyed the wizarding world in his delusions of immortality and power."
Sirius highlighted the number of people who died in the first war against Voldemort and some names of families that went extinct thanks to Voldemort were listed.
"Whole bloodlines were lost forever in the war. You told us the Ministry is missing many members. Well, that is our fault. We arrested them when Lucius Malfoy and Barty Crouch jr. managed to revive Voldemort." Sirius admitted.
"What? But how? Why does nobody know this?" He protested.
"To prevent mass hysteria. Your people aren't prepared to deal with this problem, so we solved it before it could become a problem. We have known of the plans to resurrect Voldemort months before the ritual was done. He planned using Agent Potter's blood to strengthen him further instead of using any enemy he had. Well, we equipped Potter with acidic blood from a beast from the Amazon jungle. It weakened Voldemort.
"Twenty of our magical agents portkeyed to the cemetery where the ritual was held and overwhelmed them. We purposely waited until all the Death Eaters were there to strike. Agent Potter duelled Voldemort and managed to fight him to a standstill due to Voldemort's weakened condition and the fact that their wands are brothers. They have feathers from the same phoenix as their core. It led to an effect called priori incantatem, which, after Agent Potter's will was superior to Voldemort's, made Voldemort's wand to repeat all spells in reverse order. Meanwhile our other agents subdued all the Death Eaters.
"When Voldemort had lost and was bound, we sent Agent Potter back with Lucius Malfoy to tell parts of the story which was decided beforehand. All the public knows is that a Death Eater, who managed to bribe his way out of punishment, was caught red handed trying to bring his master back. The only ones who truly know that Voldemort was brought back are marked Death Eaters like Snape and Karkaroff and Professor Dumbledore who was told by Snape. But Dumbledore doesn't know that we took care of the problem. He just isn't suited to be a leader in war. He means well, but he doesn't have the mind set to make hard decisions. He believes that even those who willingly followed Voldemort and killed for fun could have been saved. That is an illusion." Sirius stated.
M took over.
"Voldemort is imprisoned in one of our magic proof cells and won't escape because he is too weak and in constant pain. We keep him alive until we manage to get our hands on the last device he made to cheat death, we know where it is and will get it soon, and then he will die. We can't allow a terrorist of his level to stay alive.
"Now as we told you that we took care of the Voldemort problem already, we need to solve the ideology problem. You're an upcoming member of the Ministry, Mr Weasley. We expect you to rise into the position of department head in the next five years or so. From what our spies at the Ministry told us, your father is probably about to be named undersecretary of the new Minister as he is one of the few honest members there. And that is deciding for Amelia Bones. She wants to bring about change but she needs to be able to rely on her subordinates completely. Your new head of department, Steven Carter, is one of our agents as well. He will make sure you're transferred to a department where you can show your abilities to rise through the ranks in a year, after you have learned from him how you truly work on International Cooperation. Your former head of department was an idiot in that regard.
"What we want you to do is support the new Minister in her job of freeing the Ministry of the corruption of the Bagnold and Fudge administrations. Amelia Bones wants to do the right things, but she can't be everywhere. She needs the right information and you, as somebody who can work through all the paperwork effortlessly, are the right person to give her the information in short summaries. Forget about following your superiors blindly. It will lead you into failure. But use your sharp mind to find the dark spots and bring them to the attention of those who can get rid of them. You have already escaped one real problem as nobody figured out that Barty Crouch was kept prisoner and was forced to write you instructions under the imperius curse. You would have been forced to take the full fall for that." M pointed out to Percy's chagrin, knowing that it was true.
He had got told off by Carter for his behaviour, but that had been all to that. Now he knew the reason if the muggle secret service wanted to recruit him.
"Propagate for competence in those who hold Ministry jobs. You're known for perfection, sometimes overly so, so it won't appear suspect if you call for the same skill in others. It will lead to open positions for those who earn them, regardless of blood status. We took out the worst extremists; the others will sooner or later run afoul Agent Potter, who has already got a reputation of killing political careers of bigots. He will continue being the public face for furthering change by openly supporting good changes instigated by Minister Bones.
"We know that she will only be Minister for a period of at most ten years. Probably less. She took the job out of a sense of duty but she would rather have stayed at the DMLE. If you do your job well enough and help us bringing the necessary change in the government and the general public opinion, we would support you if you wanted to run for the position of Minister in ten or so years. Any earlier and you would be regarded too young." M told the perplexed young man.
"You really think it would be possible to get to the top that fast?" Percy asked disbelieving.
"Percy, how did you become head boy?" Harry asked now.
"I always put my best effort into my studies and kept to the school rules." Percy answered.
"Did you ever think that some things at Hogwarts could have been improved? Just answer honestly."
"Well, yes. As I said not many students really took History serious but I liked being informed about things that happened in the past so I learned outside from Professor Binns' classes. I came upon old curricular of Hogwarts and found that some subjects had been dropped that I felt could have given students today assistance in getting better grades. As I said Potions are rarely known to a high level by students, this would also be due to Professor Snape's teaching style, which most of the students couldn't adept to.
"Also I thought muggleborn students could have had it easier to find into the magical world if we had mandatory introductory courses in traditions, laws, the government, things children born into wizarding families learn while growing up. And while I'm not as big a Quidditch enthusiast as my brothers and my sister, I like the sport and I think it's sad that the basics for getting on a team, learning to fly, is handicapped for children from non-magical families with the hardly functioning school brooms.
"I also think that outside of Ravenclaw house the younger students aren't supported enough. If we had mandatory study periods where older students helped them perhaps an hour or two a week, we could achieve better results for all the years, I'm sure of that."
"Well, let me tell you something I did at the end of last year. Professor Dumbledore called me into his office so I could tell him what really happened at the cemetery. Well, I more or less dodged his questions, but I made him realize the problems that were blatantly obvious at school. I told him about Snape playing favourites for Slytherin, bullies being given free reign, muggleborns being insulted without repercussions to the bullies, the substandard teaching methods of Snape, the joke the house point system had become and some more.
"I had taken the liberty to show them the errors of their ways in my personal, irresistible style, but things had to change fundamentally either way. It's just not right that I had to act on problems the teachers should have taken care of."
Percy looked gob smacked. He had been convinced his twin brothers had been the ones behind the pranks that put known bullies into their place. He would never have suspected that it had been Harry who did it. Harry just grinned.
"Professor Dumbledore has taken my complaints to heart. We have three new teachers this year. Two of them are already hired; one will be hired if he can find an agreement with Minister Bones to have a graduate from the auror academy teach DADA for one year after finishing their training. I think Minister Bones will gladly help us if it means the Ministry gets better educated auror applicants. Professor Slughorn, the Potions teacher before Snape, is returning and Professor Dumbledore has set a new book for the basic knowledge in potions on the booklist. I think there will be additional Potions classes this year for all the years.
"He also had the idea that the prefects should tutor the younger students, but I already told him that if he only puts this good idea on the shoulders of six people per house, it won't work. I know this because I'll be the male Gryffindor fifth year prefect this year.
"I know changing our world won't be easy, but we now have the best opportunity ever. From your ideas you have to better Hogwarts I'd suggest you aim for the Department of Magical Education. I also have one idea that could bring you a career boost. Propose to install a Ministry sponsored pre-Hogwarts education. Perhaps for children from the ages of eight to ten, they could learn about both worlds to fit in everywhere, the things you suggested with the introductory course, subjects that don't require a wand or active magic like Runes, Herbology and such. I'm sure you could write a draft and present it."
Percy thought about it. The idea had merit. And with the new Minister having promised to work intensely for the betterment of the magical world in Great Britain, which better way than to give children the best start possible? He could work out the details.
"We would need to find a way to include both muggleborns and children from wizarding families. Get them to mingle early on before any prejudices can really settle in. With the age you proposed it would also mean that they normally had their first accidental magic experiences and we could alleviate the fears of the muggle parents who don't understand what is happening with their child." Percy said.
"I'll think this through and come up with a plan for it. It's too good an idea to not try to start it up. We can easily set up a facility somewhere disguised as a normal school and connect it to the floo network or equip muggleborn students with portkeys. And we need to show the muggle parents what exactly their children learn. That has always bothered me a bit. Most of my muggleborn classmates wanted to show their families what they learned at Hogwarts but couldn't do it because the Underage Magic laws and the Statute of Secrecy prevented them from doing magic during the holidays. And muggles can't get to Hogwarts."
M and Sirius nodded contently. The young man would do his part. And just in case they had already put a spell onto him that prevented him talking about this meeting. Security precautions and all. They would lift it when they were sure that Percy wouldn't blab.
So that's this chapter. Hope you liked it.