Chapter 1: The Statute of Secrecy - Why It's Pure and Utter Bupkis.
Harry sighed. Here he was, effectively under house arrest because an escaped fugitive was on the loose. He looked at the book he'd found at the bottom of his trunk with a frown. It had been one that someone tossed out instead of returning to the library. The librarian had just given it to him, since it was in a ruined state, and Mr. Coriander suggested he was in it. Admittedly, according to the girl who lived with him, and worked as his assistant, he was usually good on odd books that no-one else would ever want.
"So Your Friend Is Magical?" he snorted as he looked over the cover of the book once again. "Like anyone could get away with writing something like that..."
He opened the book to find a foreword. "This book was written at great personal expense, in that several of my friends and myself were 'obliviated' by the magical world in an attempt to stop our research. Thankfully, magicals are also incredibly thick and don't recognise what post-hypnotic suggestion can do to their mind magic." The first paragraph read, "Before you continue, a good idea is to get a book on self-hypnosis, and effectively cause yourself to create a state whereby you only remember things a day after you hear or see them. For some unknown reason, this means you only might forget what you did yesterday when you're obliviated."
Harry paused and thought about what they had just suggested. Effectively, creating a state where you couldn't be obliviated of an important event... because something you could be reminded about, like what you did the day before, got wiped, while the important encounter with a wizard was remembered with perfect clarity.
"Over time, we managed to shrink this period down to only 2-3 hours, because the Obliviate Spell, covered in Chapter 8, only seems to normally work for erasing a hour's memories, unless someone uses it in an overpowered state," the foreword continued, "We are always willing to accept a wizard or witch for help with some of the research, since our last five researchers were killed during one of the several dark wars that break out almost every 10-15 years in the wizarding world of Europe. This book was last updated after the fall of the Dark Lord Tom Marvolo Riddle, also known as Voldemort, in the early 80's."
"Bloody sodding hell," Harry exclaimed while as he looked over the book's Table of Contents again. "They know nearly everything about the Wizarding World... And they last updated... Fuck. The MUGGLES knew his name while the wizards won't even say his fake name?! Just great."
He then looked at the first chapter title, turning to the page for it, before he was forced to blink as he noticed the sub-heading. "OK, why would they say that about a important piece of magical legislature?" He wondered, since every wizard or witch was expected to follow it religiously. Then the little used logical part of his brain supplied an answer. "They have an inside source... and they've faced it firsthand."
"Hermione would love this..." he mused as she continued reading. A lot of it did make sense in a scary, and terrible way. The amount of secrecy they declared they needed was worse than someone like the groups that appeared in films like James Bond, but the way they policed it was poorly managed.
"According to the Statute Of Secrecy, all muggles must be obliviated on the spot before any wizards are quizzed about why they broke the Statute. This includes use of the spells Avada Kedavra, Incendio and several other highly dangerous spells, and it has come to the attention of several of our research teams that many minor 'terrorist' attacks went unpunished in that the actual perpetrator lied to the investigating officer, and the muggles who could prove otherwise had been obliviated and sent on their way." The latest paragraph he read listed, "This includes a infamous incident a few weeks before the latest printing, where a strange rat-faced man caused an explosion in a muggle street. Our own muggle researchers could tell any auror that the rat-faced man caused the explosion, for reasons unknown, but the other man, a Sirius Black..."
Harry froze, his hands freezing up. They couldn't possibly mean the same Sirius Black that just escaped, could they? No, he wouldn't be after Harry if that was the case, would he? Then a little voice asked in the back of his mind. 'Was he?'
"We have repeatedly attempted to bring our evidence to the Wizarding Government, but the book is considered to be a piece of muggle trash, and all attempts to prove that Sirius Black is innocent have fallen on deaf and dumb ears." The last of the section on the incident read, "As of a decade after his incarceration, however, we have not heard of his death, but suspect he may have been driven insane by the infamous prison of Azkaban."
"So, they throw an innocent man in jail, because the evidence they used said that he blew up the street and promptly sent him insane and out to kill me because of some reason that likely involves Tom Riddle." Harry declared with a hint of sarcasm, "Well, that's this year sorted. The Ministry Of Magic, because they obliviate first and ask questions later, created my latest assassin, thanks guys, See you in Hell."
The rest of the chapter concerned the Death Eater 'trials' and how again, evidence was 'accidentally' destroyed by the need for secrecy, meaning that not one Death Eater has actually been arrested and charged unless they were too dumb or too insane to actually make up their own evidence trail. It was almost laughable that the only competent ones who did get thrown in jail were arrested and charged after targeting purely wizarding targets, for example Neville's parents.
"We wish to close in saying that if you have an official secrets act, Wizarding World, at least ask people for the information they shouldn't know before you wipe it from their minds." the book read flatly , "Maybe then you won't have several dozen unsolved cases in your Department of Magical Law Enforcement each month."
Harry hollowly chuckled, before closing the book. The next chapter was about the Ministry, and he wanted to read that one when he met with Hermione in a few days.