A/N: This has been partially written since Christmas, when the idea for it was completely stuck in my head. I've been really unsure about posting it, but ended up finishing it this week because I just couldn't focus on my other fics. So I figured what the hell? Some of you guys might actually like it.
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Article from the Daily Prophet, 19th February 2003
Harry Potter Takes Seat in Wizengamot
Today, the Potter family seat in the Wizengamot was filled for the first time in 23 years, as Harry Potter joined the deliberations over the Muggle-born Registration Act, which has been re-submitted for the fourth time. Mr Potter inherited the seat aged only one - after his father, James, was killed fighting He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named - and prior to this day has never taken up his seat; speculation as to what could have caused him to suddenly take up his birth-right is rife.
Harry Potter was left an orphan after the famous events of October 31st 1981, when He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was temporarily defeated in Godric's Hollow by the combined efforts of James and Lily Potter. Unfortunately, their struggle cost them their lives, but their year-old son Harry somehow survived the killing curse that was aimed at him. After their deaths, Mr Potter was taken in by his godfather, Sirius Black, and was raised quietly away from the majority of wizarding society; few people have been allowed into their inner circle. It has often been speculated that this continued mistrust of outsiders has its roots in Peter Pettigrew's betrayal of the Potters that led to the fateful confrontation with You-Know-Who, and ultimately to their deaths. Pettigrew, a childhood friend of the Potter's, remains in Azkaban for his crimes.
Little is actually known about Harry Potter's life so far: he did not attend Hogwarts, no record of his schooling or employment has ever been made public - other than his exam results, which are held on file by the Ministry in accordance with the law - and none of his friends or acquaintances has ever been persuaded to discuss him. The only truly well-known facts about the reclusive Mr Potter are that he was responsible for the death of You-Know-Who at the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998, and that in the last three years he has become one of the most famous and successful Quidditch players in the league. He currently holds the record for most consecutive snitch catches – he is unbeaten in the last two seasons - and his team, the Falmouth Falcons have won the league every year since he was recruited three seasons ago. Oliver Wood, coach of the Falcons has always refused to discuss where and how Harry Potter came to his attention.
Today, Mr Potter proved that while the wizarding world knows little about him, he is extremely well informed about the realities of our society as he argued vociferously and eloquently against the Muggle-born Registration Act. While we may never know enough about Mr Potter to understand his apparently sudden change of heart about using his hereditary seat, it seems clear that he intends to use it to its fullest, and that he means to live up to his father's reputation as an avid defender of muggleborn rights.
The final vote on the Muggle-born Registration Act will be held next week; turn to page three for details of the proposed legislation, or to page six for more on Harry Potter.
Article from the Daily Prophet, 22nd February 2003
Quidditch Match Targeted by Death Eaters
The terrorist organisation known as the Death Eaters today launched an unprecedented and vicious attack on the Quidditch match between the Falmouth Falcons and the Appleby Arrows.
An hour into the game, several masked individuals appeared in the crowd and used extremely powerful exploding curses to target the stands containing the Falcons supporters; three people have been confirmed dead, and estimations of injuries run into the hundreds.
It is speculated that the reason for the attack was Harry Potter's recent very public opposition to the Muggle-born Registration Act; the Death Eaters main cause has always been to place limitations on the so-called 'dilution' of magical blood, and the Act is somewhat sympathetic to their movement.
Attacks by the Death Eaters have been increasingly rare over the last five years, after the final defeat of their founder and leader took its toll on their organisation, but the events of today clearly show that the few who remain have no intention of fading into obscurity anytime soon.
While the Ministry no longer considers them a high priority, every ranking Death Eater remains a fugitive from the law, and the auror department will no doubt be stepping up their efforts to round up the last of these criminals after yesterday's attack, which brought back chilling memories of the Wizarding wars that so blighted our society in the last century.
Full report by our match correspondent: page 2
A History of the Death Eaters: page 10
Ministry reaction: page 5
Article from the Daily Prophet, 23rd February 2003
Minister Shacklebolt Responds to Attack
At a press conference this morning, Minister for Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt reiterated the Ministry's commitment to tracking down all fugitive Death Eaters.
"Our society has spent too long rebuilding itself to be threatened by the remnants of what has always been a terrorist organisation – attacks such as the one on the Quidditch ground in Falmouth simply serve to remind us of exactly what we fought so hard to defeat for so many years; a group who have no respect for our society or our way of life.
To those Death Eaters who remain loyal to their cause, who persist in adhering to the ravings of a dead megalomaniac, I say: we are looking for you, we will find you, and you will answer for every one of your crimes."
Harry Potter also released a statement to the press today, in an extremely uncharacteristic move for the exceptionally private young man:
"My thoughts and sympathies are with the families and loved ones of all those who were injured in this violent, criminal act. I don't know what these people are trying to accomplish, but they will not succeed by committing atrocities against the wizarding population. Voldemort is dead, and he is not coming back; it is time his ideology died with him.
Some people have suggested that this attack was intended to express displeasure at my stance on the Muggle-born Registration Act, and to pressure me into changing my position on this law. I cannot say whether this is the case or not, but I can say that I refuse to bow to the will of a terrorist group. My opinion on this matter remains unchanged, and I intend to vote against the Act, as I have always stated I would."
Harry Potter: A Lifetime as a Target – Special Report by Rita Skeeter, pages 6-9
Wanted Death Eater Profiles – pages 22 and 23
Article from the Daily Prophet, 25th February 2003
Muggle-born Registration Act Defeated in Wizengamot
Today the Wizengamot voted to discard the proposed Muggle-born Registration Act, which had been proposed for the fourth time. The final result was thirty-seven against, twelve for and one abstaining, a resounding defeat for the proposed law.
The legislation, which would have required all Muggle-born witches and wizards to register with the Ministry of Magic and receive official documentation of their magical status, has divided opinion in the magical community.
Some have claimed that it is the only way to keep a truly accurate record of the magical population, while others have long felt that it amounts to little more than a form of segregation. There now seems little chance of the legislation being revived again, after such a definitive setback.
Members of the Wizengamot refused to comment on the vote as they left the session this morning, but the Prophet has learned that the Death Eaters sent a statement to the Ministry of Magic soon afterwards; it is believed that they are promising retribution on the Wizengamot for their rejection of the law, and that threats were also made against Harry Potter in specific.
Article from the Daily Prophet, 4th March 2003
You-Know-Who: Gone, But Not Forgotten
It has been nearly five years since You-Know-Who was killed at the Battle of Hogwarts by Harry Potter, but his legacy of violence and disparity lives on.
In the week since the Muggle-born Registration Act was rejected by the Wizengamot, there have been no fewer than four assaults on prominent members and their families, which a source at the Ministry tells the Daily Prophet have all been attributed to the Death Eaters. Several other members have reportedly received threats, and the auror department is believed to be stepping up its pursuit of these wanted criminals, as well as increasing security measures around members of the Wizengamot.
Concerns have also been expressed about the safety measures currently in place the Ministry itself which are currently being reviewed by the Minister, and security procedures for large events, including Quidditch matches, are also expected to change as a result of recent events.
The last few weeks have seen more Death Eater activity than has been reported in many years, leading to concerns that the terrorist group may be experiencing a revival. Unofficial sources at the Ministry state that the Minister is determined not to allow the group to revitalise itself; the effects of the last war linger on, and the Ministry is determined that the Death Eaters will not regain any ground.
Article from the Daily Prophet, 10th March 2003
Harry Potter: "I will not be cowed by threats"
After yesterday's leak from the Ministry, when several anonymous threatening letters regarding Harry Potter were inadvertently made public, the reclusive Quidditch star has issued a statement through his lawyer.
"I am aware that a number of threats have been made towards me; this is not unusual in my profession as a Quidditch player, nor is it uncommon for a member of the Wizengamot. I have chosen to ignore these threats, recognising them for what they are; the ravings of unstable individuals unable or unwilling to adapt to the fact that their ideals have no place in our society. I refuse to be cowed by the words of people who lack both the bravery and integrity to put their names to their opinions. I will continue to fulfil my commitments both to my team and to the Wizengamot, regardless of how many letters these cowards choose to send."
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Christopher Vance slammed the file closed on the newspaper clippings and sighed heavily; just when he'd thought his job couldn't get more complicated, the universe had dumped this in his lap. He closed the file on a groan of frustration and threw it into his in-tray for further consideration later. He grabbed his quill and pulled yesterday's field reports towards him, intent on at least making a dent in his paperwork while his brain was still semi-functional.
After a few minutes of attempting to decipher the handwriting of one of his newest field operatives, he flung the report down in disgust and scribbled an angry memo about requiring paperwork to be in a legible script in future. He sent the memo and watched it fly out of the door towards the desk of Nymphadora Tonks, Head of Mentoring; she'd pass the message on to the recent Academy graduates. And by pass it on, he meant "yell it until she was hoarse"; Tonks was the finest staff trainer he'd ever seen.
He leant back in his chair and closed his eyes. He had a headache. He'd had a headache every damn day since he'd become Head of the Auror Department. Why had he ever thought it would be a good idea to take this job?
'I asked myself that every bloody day I spent in this office.' The low growl of Alastor Moody came from his open doorway, and he spun his chair around and opened his eyes.
'You didn't tell me it was going to be like this you cantankerous old git. I would never have let you retire if I'd known.'
Alastor grinned; it made his face look even more scarred and lopsided than normal. 'You get used to it Vance. I recommend firewhisky – Merlin knows it got me through some days I wouldn't have made it through otherwise.'
'I'll bear it in mind.' He squinted at his old boss, and waved his hand at the armchair in front of his desk in invitation. Moody stumped across to the chair and dropped down into it, his eyes darting around his old office.
'I don't miss this place one little bit.'
Vance grinned for the first time in hours. 'You're a lying bastard.'
Moody barked a laugh. 'Well, I don't miss the paperwork. Or the politics.'
'Tell me about it. Death Eaters and Unforgivables I can handle; Harry Potter and reporters and interfering Ministers, I can't.'
Moody cocked his head to one side in interest. 'Harry Potter?'
Vance grimaced. 'Bane of my life at the moment.' He looked across at Moody and sighed. He didn't have a clue what to do anymore, but there was a possibility that Moody might; the man had been head of department for years and he had more practical experience than anyone Vance knew.
'You've seen the newspaper reports, about his stance in the Wizengamot, the Death Eater attack on his game?' He waited for Moody to nod sharply in acknowledgment before he continued. 'So everyone thinks he's being specifically targeted; what we haven't publicised is that we're pretty much certain that he is. He's received several threats – not that he hasn't had a few of them over the years anyway – but these seem serious. We reckon that the Death Eaters are out for him in a big way now.'
Vance scrubbed a hand over his face and rested his elbows on his desk. 'Problem is, I've been told to provide him with a protection detail, and he's having none of it. So far I've sent four of my best aurors to him, and he just sends them straight back; won't have anything to do with them. I'm tearing my hair out here Moody.'
Moody tapped his foot as he considered his words. 'Why don't you just let him get on with it? He took out Voldemort, I'm sure he can handle the dregs of the Death Eaters.'
Vance snorted. 'That's more or less what he said to my aurors, and if it was down to me that's exactly what I'd sodding well do, but between his team's owners and the Minister, my back's against the wall here. I need to offer Potter some sort of protection, but he's resisting my every effort; I need to get him to co-operate.'
'Well, which aurors have you tried sending?' Moody asked with interest.
'Sturridge, Cornel, Stevens and Pikely.'
'Good blokes.' Moody nodded thoughtfully. 'And Potter just told them to bugger off?'
'Pretty much, although in much nicer terms. Told them he had no intention of being babysat, he wouldn't curtail any of his activities under any circumstances, and he certainly wouldn't be seen to be overly concerned about the Death Eater threat in public.'
Moody leant back in his chair and folded his arms. 'Sounds like Potter.'
Vance started at that. 'I forgot you knew him.'
'Yep. Knew his parents too. Did you ever meet them?'
'Once or twice, but that's it. I couldn't say I knew them.'
Moody nodded slowly and leaned forward, his good eye focusing on Vance. 'Interesting pair they were; both as stubborn and hard-headed and difficult as each other. It's no wonder Potter's a bloody-minded bastard with those two for parents. People always say he takes after his father, and they're right. He got his mother's brains and sense of fairness, that much is true, but he inherited a hell of a lot of traits straight from James; he's a natural flier, he's ridiculously competitive and he's an old-fashioned, overly chivalrous sod with an inflated sense of honour.'
Vance nodded politely, even though he was baffled by the route this conversation had suddenly taken. 'Is that right?'
Moody continued with barely an acknowledgment of his comment. 'And his godfather, Sirius; well, he's cut from the same cloth. Makes sense I suppose, when you think he was James Potter's best friend – and now I come to think of it, they're bloody related of course.'
Vance huffed out an exasperated breath. 'This is all fascinating, but I don't see how it's going to help me.'
'Then you aren't listening Vance; I'm telling you about Potter. He's good at flying, fighting, magic and arguing his corner, and he'll take on any man you send him in an argument; chances are your aurors aren't putting up much of a fight when confronted with an irate Boy-Who-Lived anyway.'
Vance stared. 'I'm still not following. What's your point?'
'It's obvious what you need to do; send a woman.'
Vance felt his eyebrows shoot upwards, an expression of confused surprise settling across his face; Moody gave another of those lopsided grins as he carried on speaking.
'Potter won't shy away from a confrontation with a man, but those old-fashioned manners of his make it difficult for him to be anything less than charming with a woman; and he doesn't spend much time around women anyway, so he's much more unsure about how to handle them. So send him the feistiest female auror you've got, someone who'll go toe-to-toe with him and refuse to back down just because he's Harry-sodding-Potter. He won't know what hit him.'
Vance sat still for a moment, frozen in place as Moody's words sank in; then a grin spread slowly across his face as he rose from his chair and headed for the door of his office. He stuck his head out and yelled one word at the top of his voice.
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A/N: So that's the prologue. I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this :)
Anyway, I'd love to hear what you think so if you have a moment to fill in that little review box, I'll be very grateful!