This is a third year how it might have gone type of story that is centred more around the Marauders than Harry though he is part of it.
Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost
"You should have realized," said Lupin quietly, "if Voldemort did not kill you, we would. Good-bye, Peter." Hermione covered her face with her hands and turned to the wall. "NO!" Harry yelled. He ran forwards, placing himself in front of Pettigrew, facing the wands. "You can not kill him," he said breathlessly. "You can not." Black and Lupin looked staggered "Harry, this piece of vermin is the reason you have no parents," Black snarled. "This cringing bit of filth would have seen you die, too, without turning a hair. You heard him. His own stinking skin meant more to him than your whole family." Excerpt from page 275 of Prisoner of Azkaban
Hermione covered her face with her hands and turned to the wall.
"NO!" Harry yelled. He ran forwards, placing himself in front of Pettigrew, facing the wands. "You can not kill him," he said breathlessly. "You can not."
Black and Lupin looked staggered
"Harry, this piece of vermin is the reason you have no parents," Black snarled. "This cringing bit of filth would have seen you die, too, without turning a hair. You heard him. His own stinking skin meant more to him than your whole family." Excerpt from page 275 of Prisoner of Azkaban
"I know," Harry agreed, "but if you kill him, then there is no way to prove you are innocent. The only way to do that is to take him to the castle, force him to admit the truth to the Headmaster and the Ministry."
"He needs to be punished," Black growled keeping his wand pointed in Pettigrew's direction.
"And he will be, when he winds up in Azkaban," Harry pointed out.
Remus looked thoughtful for a moment, before putting his hand out and pushing Black's wand hand down.
"Moony," Black gave his former friend a look of disbelief.
"We will have justice," Remus assured him as a wolfish glint came to his eyes. "Remember the Oath?"
Black's head snapped back so he was looking once again at Peter. An almost evil grin appeared on Black's face as he hissed, "yesss."
"Oath?" Harry asked exchanging a baffled look with his friends as he continued to remain between the pair and Pettigrew.
"After what happened with Snape, the remaining Marauders were a bit leery of trusting Padfoot again, so to try and repair the damage, he suggested we swear a magically binding oath to deliberately not betray each other or any other member of our pack if we ever got married and had children." Remus explained.
"Excuse me, Professor Lupin, but surely such an oath would have already taken effect." Hermione pointed out.
"No," Black put in before Remus could say a word. "The traitor had to be called to account by one of the other Marauders."
"And since Professor Lupin thought Pettigrew was dead until recently…." Hermione's voice trailed off.
"Exactly." Black concluded for her.
"And I never activated the oath against Padfoot because I thought the Dementors were a far more fitting punishment. I was not sure that Magic would leave him alive and I wanted him to suffer for his betrayal." Remus put in with a grimace.
"I wonder what would have happened if you had tried? I mean I did inadvertently betray James and Lily, by suggesting they use this worthless sewer rat." Black commented with a puzzled note in his voice as he gestured toward their former friend.
"But that was not your intention." Remus reminded him then he asked. "Shall we do this together?"
Black nodded and placed his right hand over Mooney's left as he raised his wand.
When Harry did not move, Remus told him, "Harry, we promise we will not kill him. Magic will be the judge of his actions and then once Magic is done with him we will let the Ministry have what is left."
Harry stepped back out of the way but kept his wand out just in case. He was not sure what he could do, but he would not let them kill him. Aside from the fact that he did not want to lose his last connection with his parents, the man needed to face justice for what he had done.
"We call on Magic," Remus began with Sirius a half a beat behind him and then they were speaking in unison.
"To render judgment. This man, Peter Pettigrew also known as Wormtail, in violation of the oath he freely swore did deliberately allow harm to come to one of his pack known as the Marauders by revealing the secret of the Potter's location…"
A third voice joined in at this point causing the two men to pause and Peter to pale even further as he looked behind his former friends.
Harry also paled as he saw the ghostly image of his father standing behind Professor Lupin and Mr Black with one hand on each shoulder.
"…which, in addition to his breaking the oath he swore to his pack as a whole, violated his oath to take that secret to his grave." His father's slightly hollow voice went on and his friends joined him again. "Furthermore in the course of violating his pledge to the rest of the Marauders, his actions led to the death of members of the pack, and pain and suffering for a child of the pack for almost twelve years. He has violated oaths of friendship and kinship with those he called his brothers as if they were of no importance. Magic please hear our call and judge not only his actions but the reason behind his actions and let all see they judgement you decide to give."
As the three men finished speaking a buzzing sound filled the room and Pettigrew tried to make a break for it, but he had only taken two steps before he was engulfed in a swarm… that was the only word Harry could think of to call them, of little red spots. The rat-faced man flinched and cried as the red spots darted in to touch his bare skin and then vanish, leaving a splotch like a burn mark on his skin. When the last red spot disappeared, as those who were currently conscious in the room watched, pieces of Peter Pettigrew's body seemed to transform back and forth between human and rat. The transformation was apparently a lot different from a normal animagus transformation, because the man/rat shrieked in pain. It was several minutes before the bits and pieces of Pettigrew's body stopped changing and stayed in human form, quivering on the floor and it looked like the splotches had burned the word TRAITOR into the skin on his forehead.
A hooded figure appeared near Pettigrew and spoke in a hollow female voice. "The remainder of your punishment will take longer and be far more telling. By morning you will have no magic, though you will be able to enter the magical world. No one will see you. No one will be able to speak to you. You will be part of but totally separate from the magical world. You will not be able to open the door to any business or dwelling. You will not be able to touch them. To the people of the magical community you will no longer exist… you will be nothing!"
"No," Peter moaned, "that is not fair. I only wanted to live he was going to kill me."
"Well you will live as long as you stay out of the magical world, those who have no magic will be able to see you and respond to you." The hollow voice told him. "You will be less than nothing there as well, but at least you will have a chance for survival. It is more of a chance for you than you gave the Potter family whom you chose to betray."
"We need him to clear Mr. Black." Harry spoke up to the hooded figure. "If he can not speak to anyone here how is that to be done?"
"You have until morning for him to be presented and to give evidence." The hooded figure told him. "After that he pays and the one who would have used him to come back will have to find another way to do so."
"We need more time than that," Harry protested. "Those in charge of this part of the magical world like Minister Fudge tend to be... kind of slow. They think of themselves first and what is good for all second and then only if they can gain something from it. We are going to have to explain things to him and possibly others more than once or twice before they will admit that they were wrong. They are not going to be real willing to admit that Mr. Black is innocent and Peter is guilty and that they never gave him a trial will take more time than by daybreak."
The hollow sounding voice gave a strange sigh. "Oh yes I forgot that because of their insular nature a lot of witches and wizards are about as willing as a normal five year old to consider things outside their own immediate wants and needs. One of the major problems as a result of this is their unwillingness to deal with things that will not gain them anything, and Fudge the current leader of magical Britain's government is one of the worst of the lot. Sigh You have three days to resolve things with him and get him to listen to you."
Sirius coughed slightly causing the hooded figure to turn toward him and ask. "You disagree?"
"If Cornelius Fudge is as stubborn and out for himself as he was when he was at Hogwarts and when I knew him when he worked as a department subhead in the International Department of Magical Co-operation, then he will delay as long as possible so he does not have to admit any wrongdoing on the part of Ministry and by extension himself." Sirius told the hooded figure.
The hollow laugh that came from the hooded figure caused a shudder to run through everyone the room, even Snape who was still unconscious. "Tell Cornelius Oswald Fudge he has three days to do the right thing, or Magic will consider him in violation of the oath he swore when he took office as Minister and will collect the penalties due. And advise Albus Brian Percival Wulfric Dumbledore that he has the same three days to resolve this issue because it has gone on long enough. Tell him if he does not then Magic will consider him in violation of more than just his oath as Chief Warlock and he will not like the results."
Harry woke to the sound of voice saying, "Shocking business…. shocking…. miracle none of them died… never heard the like of it before…. It was lucky you were there, Snape… to drive off so many Dementors…"
"Thank you Minister," Snape's voice responded. "I merely did my duty."
Those words brought back the events with the Dementors in a rush to Harry's mind as he opened his eyes and realised he was in the Hospital wing. Harry wondered if the others were here as well
It had not been Snape who had driven off the Dementors, it had been him though he still did not know how he had managed to accomplish it. When the Dementors had them surrounded, he had thought they were going to all die then all of a sudden he felt an unexpected surge of energy. With the hope the energy surge had given him, Harry had been able to cast the patronus charm despite the despair he was feeling. It had taken the form of a stag and Harry had seen it drive off the Dementors just before he collapsed to the ground. He had also felt something nibbling at his hair as he sank into darkness.
"Nonsense, I will be putting you in for the Order of Merlin Second Class at least and First Class if I can wangle it." The Minister told Snape. "Do we know who the other man, who was out there with them, is?"
"Pettigrew." Harry announced from his bed. "The man who betrayed my parents."
Fudge gave Harry a sympathetic look before turning his attention back to Snape. "You were correct Severus. It is obvious that Black has cast a confundus charm on him. I have no doubt that Madame Pomfrey will have him back to normal soon and that he will be properly grateful for how you saved him and his friends."
Harry noticed the smirk on Snape's face at that thought and then looking around the hospital wing and only seeing Ron and Hermione in the other beds, asked. "Where are Black, and Pettigrew?"
Before the Minister or Snape could answer his question, Madame Pomfrey walked up to his bed from the other end of the ward and seeing he was awake, she put down the small boulder of chocolate she was carrying and broke off a piece of chocolate from it with a small hammer then handed it to Harry.
"How are Ron and Hermione?" Harry asked her.
"They will be fine." Madame Pomfrey told him. "I am not letting any of you three out of here until…Mr. Potter, what are you doing?"
Harry sat up and was trying to get out of bed. "I need to speak with the Headmaster or someone who will listen to me," he said glancing at Fudge and Snape. "I need to know where Black and Pettigrew are. We do not have much time."
Assuming that Potter was worrying about Black getting away and not recognising the name of the other man, Madame Pomfrey told him, "Mr. Potter, you do not have to worry. The Dementors have been summoned. They are going to administer the Kiss to Black tonight. He will no longer be a threat to you or anyone else."
"Kissed!" Harry gasped. "They can not Kiss him. He is innocent. It was Pettigrew."
"Nonsense my boy," Fudge said in the tone of voice he to reassure the voters that there will be no new taxes this year. "You will not have to worry about Black any more. Madame Pomfrey here will be able to reverse the confundus charm he put on you that has you believing that nonsense that he told you. Pettigrew was not a traitor he was a great war hero. He was awarded the Order of Merlin by me after all posthumously I am sorry to say but we do not give that award to traitors."
"No he was not," Harry countered trying to push his way past Madame Pomfrey to get to the door.
Hermione who had heard all the commotion came over to join her voice to Harry's. "Magic judged Pettigrew as a traitor."
"Magic!" Snape sneered at her. "You really expect us to believe that you third years were capable of doing something to get Magic's attention and having it answer you."
"We did not do it…" Hermione began.
"See Minister," Snape interrupted. "This just proves that they were confounded."
"And how would you know," Harry shot back. "You were unconscious most of the time."
Dumbledore chose that moment to come in and chastised, "Harry, he is one of your teachers, he should be treated with respect."
"I will when he does those he teaches," Harry countered, not really caring about Snape right now. He had to save his godfather. "Sir, you have to stop the Dementors. Sirius Black is innocent. That other man that was brought in with us is Pettigrew. He was my parents' real secret keeper."
"Surely Dumbledore, you are not going to believe this drivel," Fudge interrupted. "It is quite clear that the boy and his companions are still suffering from the effects of a confundus charm. I mean we have incontrovertible proof that Pettigrew was killed, when he confronted Black. We have his finger preserved in the Hall of Heroes."
"I am sorry Cornelius, but I looked in on the man and it is Peter Pettigrew." Dumbledore disagreed. "Though how he came to be here is somewhat puzzling."
"He was hiding as Ron's rat Scabbers," Hermione put in. "Sir we need to stop the Dementors from killing Mr. Black. He is not guilty of betraying Harry's parents. Magic judged him and found him guilty."
"Magic!" Dumbledore stared at her amazed. "And how was Magic involved?"
"According to what Professor Lupin said the Marauders swore a magical oath not to betray each other and he and Mr. Black, called on Magic to judge Pettigrew and she did. Magic also said that you and Minister Fudge have three days to do the right thing or she will consider you both in violation of your oaths." Hermione told them.
"That means that Magic expects Mr. Black to stay alive and receive the trial he never got," Harry added, "before her final judgement takes effect on Pettigrew and he can no longer be found by those in the magical world."
"I have never heard such a fairy tale in my life." Fudge protested. "Black received a fair trial just like all the other Deatheaters and was found guilty. Since Pettigrew is alive it is quite clear we need to interrogate him once Black has been dealt with to find out why he felt the need to hide for over twelve years."
"Except for those who managed to bribe their way to freedom, or had someone powerful who stood up for them, during their trial." Madame Pomfrey put in so quietly the only one who heard her was Harry and he could not help wondering who she was talking about. Who would stand up for a Deatheater and put their reputation on the line like that?
While Dumbledore did not want Sirius Black gaining custody of young Harry, he also could not afford the loss of his magic because he had knowingly violated a number of freely given oaths. "Cornelius, maybe we should at least wait until Pettigrew wakes and can be questioned…"
"Dumbledore, surely you are not choosing to believe these children who are obviously are still suffering from the effects of a confundus charm over your own Potions Master." The disbelief in the Minister's voice was very clear to hear.
"No, I am merely suggesting a delay since new factors have come to light that may change what we know to be true." Dumbledore told him placatingly. "Also if these children are not still suffering from the effects of a confundus charm and Magic did speak to them do you really want to see what punishment she might choose to inflict on you for ignoring her wishes?"
"I think we would be a little late to stop them, given that the Dementors were taken up to the room you placed Black in by McNair about ten minutes ago." Fudge pointed out now a little worried. He personally doubted that Magic had spoken to the children, but given that Dumbledore seemed to think it was possible it might be better not to take the risk, especially if it did come out later that Black was innocent.
"Those creatures should not have set foot in this school without my knowledge." Dumbledore growled. "There are still prefects patrolling. I should have been advised that you had brought them in early. You had better hope that none of them decided to wander off as they have been doing all year. If any of the children have been harmed because of their presence without my knowledge you will rue the day you decided to become Minister."
While Dumbledore was an old man he could move fast when there was a need for it and there was now. He raced toward the room in the West Tower where they were holding Black, and hot on his heels were Fudge, Snape, along with Harry and Hermione who Madame Pomfrey had not been able to stop from leaving the Hospital wing.
When they all arrived in the room that felt as cold as an artic blast, a surprise greeted their eyes.
The Dementor was standing about ten feet away from Black and no matter what McNair did, the Dementor refused to go any closer.
None of the adults with the possible exception of Sirius Black who had a slight smile on his face, could see any reason for its refusal to move closer to Black. Harry and Hermione on the other hand could see quite clearly the cloaked figure standing between the Dementor and Black wagging a finger at the Dementor as if saying, 'bad doggie.'
"McNair, why has the Dementor not Kissed him?" Fudge demanded.
"I do not know, Minister," McNair admitted. "It came in here eager to do its job and then stopped moving as if it had been frozen in place. Nothing I said would get it to move."
"Dumbledore, is this your doing?" Fudge inquired. "Did you use the Hogwarts wards to stop it?"
"No, the wards do not have that kind of power."
"Magic does." Harry said with a smile. "Magic is not going to let you kill someone it has judged innocent."
As the students got ready to leave Hogwarts, the Daily Prophet was running a special edition that loudly proclaimed the innocence of Sirius Black and that it had in fact been Peter Pettigrew who had been the Potter family's Secret Keeper and that he had been the one to betray them to He-Who-Must-Not-be-Named.
The last comment in the story about Pettigrew had been one by Minister Fudge when the Prophet reporter had asked if the real traitor had been given the punishment intended for Black. He had merely said that Magic had judged the traitor and given Pettigrew a far worse punishment than anyone in the Magical world could ever do.
The last paragraph of the story itself had indicated that Harry's guardianship had been transferred to his godfather as of that morning.
In a forest in Albania a snake with almost human like intelligence slithered along the ground searching for its prey. It could sense something human nearby and it was hungry. All of a sudden it began writhing in agony as a grey mist rose from it only to be captured by the flashing blade of a scythe.
A moment later a cloaked figure joined the one with the scythe, a grim standing by its side.
"I would like to thank you for the loan of your hound," the hollow female voice told the other cloaked figure. "He was quite helpful to me in locating the other five pieces so the magic sustaining them could be removed. I will also be taking steps to insure this can not be done ever again."
The figure with the scythe bowed slightly and in a hollow male voice responded "And I would like to thank you for your assistance in removing the magic sustaining them and in locating this spirit that has eluded me for these past twelve years so that I could finally send it on to where it belongs."