Hi, here is the last chapter for this part. Sequel is definitely possible, but still in work. Thanks for all your reviews and putting this story in your favourites lists. Happy reading.
Harry looked over his latest notes from Ancient Runes. He was really glad that he had found into the class this easily after the switch. The subject was a lot more useful than Divination could ever be. Even if he was with the Ravenclaws and Slytherins, it had been good so far. The Ravenclaws had only given him a few curious looks why he was with them and not his house, but otherwise they easily accepted him. The reaction of the Slytherins was far more entertaining. To his joy Malfoy and his ilk weren't in this class, so he got his first really good impression of true Slytherins. There were five of them in this class. Daphne Greengrass, a blond beauty that was called Slytherin's Ice Princess, the Ice Queen was currently Roselia Humason from sixth year, Tracy Davis, Daphne's closest friend and follower, quite pretty as well in Harry's opinion and slightly more approachable and Millicent Bullstrode, whom Harry remembered from her roughhousing Hermione at the duelling club last year. From the male Slytherins there was the arrogant half-Italian Blaize Zabini and then Theodore Nott.
Contrary to Draco and his goons they didn't choose the confrontational way to find out more about Harry, but used more subtle ways. Listening in on conversations between Harry and Terry Boot for example as Terry asked why Harry had changed his elective. Then they let Tracy make first contact and get a few more innocent questions in. It was quite funny in Harry's opinion. They liked their cloak and dagger games so much that they seemingly didn't really know how to get straight answers. He had a lot of fun leading them around by their nose by giving answers that could have multiple meanings. Overall Harry got a few more acquaintances among the Ravenclaws and a few Slytherins that wouldn't stupidly believe the rubbish that Malfoy let lose.
It was just a shame that he didn't find many opportunities to get a few more contacts with the Hufflepuffs as well, but the Gryffindors only had Herbology with them and it really wasn't Harry's favourite subject. Perhaps because Aunt Petunia had always forced him to work in her garden. Not to mention that he didn't have the official time to hang out with some of them in his free time. At least he had got a few more closer ties with his fellow Gryffindors. The Quidditch team was closer than ever after the first two victories and Oliver's only concern was that Harry didn't do anything stupid before the last match against Hufflepuff that would land him in the hospital wing again. Harry had no intention of doing that. He hated the place.
Not to mention that being at the hospital would mess his schedule up massively. There was so much he wanted to find out. For example why Slytherin named his special chamber the Chamber of Secrets. Except for the hidden entrance there seemed to be nothing special about it so far. But there had to be something that you could find with cunning and determination. Right now his training to be able to defend himself properly had priority and he couldn't repeat more than one day. The time turner simply couldn't do that. But exploring the Chamber of Secrets and harvesting the basilisk for potion ingredients was something he really wanted to do before the year ended. He expected that a snake of that size would bring him millions of galleons and he wasn't somebody that wasted gold easily. Not when he knew poverty well. And many things became possible if you had the gold to pay for them. Not to mention that nobody would need to know about his source of gold. Opening another vault in his name was easy after all. The goblins certainly didn't care as long as he could pay the annual fee for his vaults.
Harry felt his hand close around the snitch being far ahead of Cedric Diggory. He felt a wide smile spread over his face. Yes, they had finally done it. They had won the Quidditch Cup. He held the golden ball high over his head in a victory pose which let the Gryffindor section of the stands cheer loudly. He saw his teammates come closer and he decided that landing might be a good idea. Oliver looked as if he was capable of hugging him in the air and making him fall from his broom. One time a year was enough, thanks a lot.
He managed to land before being tackled to the ground by Fred and George who ruffled his hair and shouted how they had done it. The best part was when the chaser girls indiscriminately kissed all their male teammates full on the lips. Harry was sure he wasn't the only one with a goofy smile on his face after that. He really couldn't think of anything being much better than getting kissed by three beautiful girls. This would so make a fantastic memory for his patronus. And for tonight there would be no repeating time. Tonight was party time! The nights after that he would go down into the Chamber and take care of getting the valuable parts of the basilisk.
Harry stood in the Shrieking Shack glaring at Sirius Black.
"Why? I want to know the reason why you did it." He demanded, pointing his wand at the escapee.
They had followed the black dog down into the passage under the Whomping Willow when it had pulled Ron who had just found Scabbers in Hagrid's hut when they had been there to visit him because it was the day for Buckbeak's appeal and probably execution. Harry had made Malfoy's life hell for bringing the situation about. Having an ironclad alibi was so much fun. The blond never saw it coming. And while Snape stubbornly stated that Harry had something to do with it, there was no proof as Harry had always been somewhere else with witnesses.
Black looked surprised at the demand.
"Yes, they wouldn't have told you the truth. They would have hidden it from you." Black rasped out.
"Which truth? That you betrayed my parent by giving up their location to Voldemort?" Harry asked angrily.
"No, that I didn't even get a trial, neither a fair nor unfair one. Not even a show trial for Voldemort's supposed second in command." Black laughed insanely.
"Interesting. Shows how corrupt they are. But I am still waiting for the truth. You should know that I am completely proficient in blasting hexes, cutting curses and bone-breaking curses. You wouldn't think what you can find in the DADA section." Harry snapped.
"Really? That's impressive for a thirteen year old wizard. Well, I didn't come here to kill you, Harry. I came for somebody else." Black said.
"That somebody wouldn't by any chance be Peter Pettigrew?" Harry asked shocking the others.
"How did you figure that out?" Black asked clearly shocked and impressed.
"The Marauder's Map. It showed Pettigrew on it one night. He must have realized that I had it, because he disappeared soon after. I didn't make the connection until you dragged Ron down into the tunnel. I wanted to know where you took him, so I had a look on it and to my surprise there was another dot labelled Peter Pettigrew. Now talk finally!" Harry exclaimed impatiently.
"Peter is a rat animagus. He was the secret keeper. We switched, thinking it was a genius plot to deceive Voldemort. I convinced James and Lily that the deception would add another layer of protection around them. And it would have if he hadn't been a Death Eater. When I saw your destroyed house I realized what Peter had done, what I had done. I only wanted revenge that moment because Hagrid didn't let me take you, Harry, even if I was your godfather. I lost it then and there. I tracked Peter down, but he hit me with an overpowered cheering charm and blasted the street apart with a second, hidden wand, killing the muggles in the process. He cut off his own finger, transformed and escaped through the sewers which he had blasted open." Black said.
"Are you willing to testify that under veritaserum?" Harry asked, shocking Ron and Hermione.
"At once. I never got to tell my side of the story; they just carted me off to Azkaban." Black stated without hesitating.
"Good, I believe you for now. Let's go to the castle, hand over Pettigrew to the DMLE and get your name cleared." Harry said.
"You don't believe that lot of tosh, do you Harry?" Ron asked. "How could Scabbers be Pettigrew?"
"Easy. The rat is much too old to be a normal garden rat. I researched it after the assistant at the Magical Menagerie said that rats normally live three years at most. Scabbers is well over six years old as far as I could determine. Probably longer, but I don't know when he went to your family, Ron. First I thought he just was too lazy to show his magical powers, but later I was more suspicious. And it's easy to prove. Just hold him out, Ron. I will force him back into his human form." Harry said.
"But that is a fifth-year spell, Harry." Hermione spoke up.
"And? I learned a lot this year. Ever since I found out that Sirius Black was after me, I looked up all I could think of that could help me stay alive. My homework quality suffered a bit for it, but it was well worth it. And I knew that there was a possibility of my father and his friends having been animagi after Professor Lupin called my patronus Prongs and he had told me before that it was my Dad's nickname." Harry said.
Ron looked flabbergasted.
"When did you do that?" He asked.
"Mostly early in the mornings after my morning runs. Nobody was in the library then and I practiced when you and Hermione had one of your rows. Which were numerous this year." Harry added an afterthought. No way would he talk about having a time-turner.
They were interrupted by Professor Lupin storming into the shack. So Harry's makeshift paper-plane memo had reached him.
"Hello, Professor, you are right on time to see the traitor getting unmasked." Harry said grinning and fired the spell at Scabbers who was trying to wiggle away from Ron.
Scabbers turned into Peter Pettigrew.
"Stupefy, incarcerous, petrificus totalus." Harry called out in quick succession and had Peter effectively neutralized.
"Wow, Harry. That was incredible work. I didn't know you were that fast." Lupin praised him.
"Thank you, Professor." Harry said grinning, then he remembered something. "Uh, did you remember taking your potion? You know which day is today, don't you?"
"Shit, no. You are right Harry, get the others out quickly. Sirius, we will talk tomorrow." Lupin said horrified and urgently and got a nod.
Harry threw him a vial with a potion that looked remarkably like wolfsbane. Lupin caught it.
"I brewed it by the instructions I found on the potion. I had no chance to test it though. It looks like it is supposed to. Maybe it will work, but I wouldn't want to risk it." Harry said.
"Thank you, Harry. I hope it works, but I will still stay here. It's safer." Lupin said and downed the vial, shuddering. "It tastes like the one that Severus brewed."
Harry nodded and then levitated Pettigrew out while Sirius helped Ron. They were outside of the main room and Harry locked the door behind them with the strongest locking spell he knew.
"You knew it, Harry?" Hermione asked surprised.
"Yes, of course I did. I figured it out shortly after Snape substituted in DADA. I mean I already had a lot of clues, but that was like being hit with a sledge hammer. The git did it on purpose." Harry growled. "I decided that he couldn't be trusted to not try anything against Professor Lupin and so I decided to learn brewing that potion."
"What the bloody hell are you two talking about?" Ron demanded to know.
"Language Ronald." Hermione admonished him.
They just reached the entrance at the Whomping Willow and Harry immobilized the tree so that they could get out.
"Quick, we need to get Pettigrew to the castle and to Dumbledore." Hermione said.
"No, we are going to Professor Flitwick. We will call the head of the DMLE here to take our statements and let the headmaster come there as well." Harry said.
"Harry?" Hermione asked confused. "Why not Professor Dumbledore's office?"
"Because Harry doesn't want anything to be manipulated before all statements are documented. And I have to agree with him. While Dumbledore may not have sent me to Azkaban himself, he neglected justice being seen by not forcing a trial for me to be given. So I won't risk anything until I have Amelia Bones here. She is probably the only one with a good head on her shoulders in one of the leading positions of the Ministry." Sirius agreed with Harry. "How did you know?" He looked at Harry.
"Research. I wanted to know everything about you to be better prepared when I had to face you. At that point I was still believing that you were a traitorous bastard and after me. But the more I found out, the more it didn't make any sense. Wizards really lack common sense. I mean, really, a robe being spared by a blasting hex so powerful that it killed thirteen muggles and the wizard wearing the robes? That's impossible." Harry scoffed. "Add to that that I found Pettigrew on the Marauder's Map a few times and I had all the proof I needed to know that something was more than fishy."
"You are smart like your mother, Harry. And I am really glad that you are." Black said smiling.
They were surprised by a chill in the air.
"Shit, dementors." Black brought out.
Harry concentrated on the feeling of having a true family. Possibly with his godfather who he had discovered was innocent.
"Expecto Patronum." Harry cried out and a bright silver stag shot out, running at the dementors, driving all of them, all of the hundred that were trying to corner them, away.
Hermione's, Ron's and Black's eyes were wide and their jaws hang open seeing this show of power.
"You can do a corporeal patronus, Harry? That's immensely advanced magic." Hermione said awed. "I knew that you had asked Professor Lupin for help with it, but I didn't know you had fully mastered the spell."
"That was incredible, Pup." Black said, beaming with emotion. Was that pride? Harry wasn't sure.
"Pup?" He instead asked slightly winded.
"Well, that's what I called you when you were a baby. I guess it stuck." Black admitted sheepishly.
"I kind of like it." Harry mumbled.
Sirius grinned happily.
It was kind of ridiculous how the Minister tried to push everything under the rug. Only blazing fury from Harry who clearly told the man what he thought of his reluctance to accept that the Ministry had made a mistake in the past made the man cave in. After all, having the Boy-Who-Lived-And-Had-Enough-Public-Sway-To-Get-Hi m-Sacked against him wasn't smart. And Harry clearly showed that he was ready to use his name to get to that point if his innocent godfather wasn't publically cleared of all charges and given custody of him like his parents had wanted.
Dumbledore too got a feeling just how angry the boy was with his current home situation. Harry wouldn't budge on the issue of leaving the Dursleys for good. All the windows rattled, the air grew hot and things crashed from the shelves in the room when Harry nearly lost complete control over his emotions. It was only another sign just how powerful this boy was and what kind of potential he had. In the end he caved in like the Minister to not completely lose the trust of the boy. He needed to be able to lead the boy to not go down Tom Riddle's path.
Harry had long since realized that Dumbledore had his own agenda and messed around in his life far too often and kept far too many things from him. But the man trying to deny him the one thing he wanted more than anything else, the one thing he should have had all his life, a family that loved him and cared for him, he wouldn't take without resistance. His magic reacted accordingly. Harry knew that he was able to do exceptional magic if he fully put his mind onto it and his emotions only fuelled that. His patronus was the most impressive proof of that.
Fudge the idiot then tried to get back on Harry's good side, but the boy only asked one question: "Why weren't the dementors removed after they nearly killed me during the first Quidditch match of the school year?"
It shut the Minister up quickly. It was hard to give any satisfactory answer, especially when the truth of a major blunder done by the Ministry had come to light now. Not giving Black a trial would result in a major headache for him and he could be happy if in the end he was still Minister. He hadn't thought that the man could have been innocent. Nobody had, but then again, nobody had investigated properly and Crouch had sent Black to Azkaban within hours after his capture. It was really unfair that he would now take the brunt of the sure-to-come public outrage.
Ron and Hermione had only stared in a mixture of shock, awe, horror and pride at the display Harry gave. How had their friend managed to manoeuvre the Minister of Magic and Professor Dumbledore into such a position? His display of raw magic was astonishing too. But both knew that if there was one topic that could make Harry break it was his placement with the Dursleys and adults not taking his complaints about them serious. They both had talked about their suspicions about Harry being abused there when he hadn't been around, but to have it confirmed like that by Harry who was furious was somewhat terrifying.
Harry grinned reading the headlines in the Daily Prophet. Sirius was freed and given compensation for being illegally imprisoned for twelve years without a trial. Barty Crouch had taken the biggest hit. He had been forced to retire from his position at the Ministry as Fudge was desperately clinging to his position. He had somehow survived the massive hits against his handling of the situation, but one more public mess and he would be gone. Not that Harry cared. The man was stupid and incompetent. There were much better alternatives for the position.
Harry had also used the chaos last night to put a nifty little spell on Snape. He didn't doubt that the man would try to spill the beans on Lupin. Nothing had happened, but with the hatred Snape held for everything that was connected to the marauders, Harry didn't want to take a risk. He had found a spell in one of the books he had bought in Knockturn Alley last summer. It made a person unable to tell a certain secret. Kind of like a variety of the fidelius charm, just concerning a secret. Wizards were stupid after all and if nobody pointed out that Lupin was a werewolf nobody would find out, which meant his favourite DADA teacher would be able to return next year. And the spell thankfully included writing the secret down.
He was sure that Snape and Dumbledore had tried to break it, but it was impossible. This spell only broke if the caster died or if he lifted the spell himself. After all, it wasn't really dangerous to use the spell. How he loved his time-turner. He knew that he wouldn't be left without a watchdog, so he had gone back in time six hours to do some important things that nobody needed to know about. First thing had been rescuing Buckbeak and hiding him in a greenhouse that was up for renovation for one night. Then when everybody was busy with interrogating Sirius in Flitwick's office he had sneaked into Dumbledore's office under his invisibility cloak and looked for anything about his family, Dumbledore's plans and rare books. With how the old man had manipulated him there was no reason to refrain from doing so. He had found more than he had estimated. Such a great treat that all the portraits of the former headmasters had been out, probably listening into the discussion going on in Flitwick's office.
He used a spell to tell him which things didn't belong to Dumbledore and if there were some that belonged to himself. Books from the private Potter collection were the first things he took with him in a bottomless bag that he had got at Flourish and Blott's last summer. It could hold five times the normal contents. Next were some magical items that belonged to his family. While he knew that Dumbledore would know that they had gone missing, he wouldn't be able to say anything. These things belonged to Harry and should never have been taken from him. Next he destroyed the tracking instruments on the man's desk. He only needed to vanish every trace of his blood. After two hours, which he knew he had as Dumbledore was busy with Fudge, Sirius and Madam Bones till in three hours when he would return here to his office, there would be no way to set them up anew without a fresh sample of Harry's blood, which he wouldn't get.
That was another spell he had found. Blood was a powerful magical source and using somebody's blood in a dark magic ritual could have severe consequences for the one whose blood was used. Harry didn't want that at all. No, he was finally breaking Dumbledore's control. He had already shown part of his hand and if he wanted to be left alone he needed to make sure that when his remaining hand was revealed it was the strongest on the table. Dumbledore would suspect the time-tuner sooner or later, he was sure, but he wouldn't be able to prove it. Copying ministerial objects was supposed to be impossible, especially something as complex as a time-turner. But who said that just because people said it was impossible that it had to be true? No, there was magic that wasn't commonly known and Harry would do what he could to use that kind of magic to his advantage.
As an afterthought he took the rest of the private book collection as well. If he could find the rightful owners he would send the books back anonymously after making a copy for himself. But this would make it harder to tell just who had been behind the theft and let Harry have more time to prepare for the inevitable confrontation.
Dumbledore was angry. When he had returned from the interrogation, he hadn't been able to think about more than how to prevent that his control over Harry slipped further away. He hadn't expected that the boy would show such power. And the idiot Fudge would have done everything to not make the boy mad enough to publically speak out against him. That would have cost Fudge his job. Harry would move in with Sirius, a man notorious for not being controlled by anybody. The one thing his Black heritage was good for in Sirius' eyes. No, the only person Sirius had ever followed willingly had been James Potter, but he was dead and Sirius would do everything in his power to keep James' son happy and safe. And the Dursleys were clearly not the place where that could be achieved.
Now after a night of sleep he had coincidentally had a look at his silver instruments and had noticed how most of them had gone silent. No smoke coming from them, no spinning sounds, nothing. He quickly did some detection spells and found that all traces from the blood that he had taken from Harry as a baby were gone, irreplaceably gone. He had no possibility to track Harry down anymore, no chance to leech off his magic as he had done during his childhood to keep the accidental magic outbursts to a minimum. Otherwise the Dursleys would have been dead by the time Harry turned six with how they treated the boy.
How could this have happened? The only time he had been out of his office had been when the interrogation of Sirius had taken place. And nobody knew what the instruments were for. Not even Severus who had a better understanding of the dark arts than any other of the teachers here. He would need to investigate this closer. So his first action was asking the portraits of the former headmasters, but they hadn't seen anybody in here since he left for Professor Flitwick's office. Though they had been there and listened to the discussion and hadn't been here. He quickly looked over his other things if anything was missing and to his horror the whole collection of books he kept in his secret hiding place were gone. He had taken things he found valuable from many families that had died in the last war and from those orphans that couldn't know about their families' treasures.
If anybody asked where rare books and objects had gone, the most logical answer was the Death Eaters and Voldemort. It was perfect for him to learn family secrets and family magics. But now his precious collection was gone without any trace of the intruder. There was no magical signature he could track down, no hint of forceful entry. So only somebody knowing his password would be able to enter and that meant the teachers. No student knew the password except Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger as they had been here for a short time after the interrogation had been over to try and get Harry to agree going back to the Dursleys even if Sirius was cleared.
Perhaps the vanished blood had been caused by Harry's magical outburst. It wasn't uncommon for blood to reach out to its rightful owner, even after thirteen years Harry's blood would recognise his magic and with the high amount of magic lashing out it was completely possible that Harry's magic had seen the objects using his blood as dangerous for Harry and had vanished it. But who could have taken the books and objects? Nobody had been in here and disillusionment charms were always disabled by the wards on the door. He would have to think about this some more.
Harry sat in the compartment he, Hermione, Ron and Neville shared on the Hogwarts Express. Thanks to Harry always partnering with Neville while Ron and Hermione had their rows he had started a new friendship with the somewhat clumsy boy. Harry hadn't realised it before, but if you managed to give Neville some confidence, he wasn't that bad at magic. He was a pure prodigy at Herbology. And finding out that he used his father's old wand made Harrys tell Neville to go to Ollivander's, if necessary without his overbearing Gran knowing, and get his own wand to reach his full potential. He had told Neville what Ollivander had said when he had bought his wand. The wand chooses the wizard, not the other way round. Neville said he would do so, he had saved a lot of his pocket money and had more than enough to get one, not to mention his trust vault at Gringotts.
Thanks to Neville Harry knew a lot more about how the wizarding world worked. Neville's Gran was sitting as regent for the Longbottom seat until Neville came of age. To think what had happened to Neville's parents was horrible. He could somewhat understand why Neville didn't speak about it freely. To think your parents were still alive, but didn't recognise you. So Harry had started to encourage Neville in his classes and except for Potions there was a noticeable improvement in his grades. He now had solid passes in Charms, DADA and Transfiguration, the three wanded subjects. It was still nothing really impressive, but for Neville who had always had problems getting spells right it was fantastic. Harry wondered how much Neville would be able to improve with his own wand.
Hermione and Ron had come to a truce over the Scabbers affair after Sirius had explained how Crookshanks had tried to help him with getting Peter. Crookshanks was a really smart cat and had immediately noticed that Scabbers wasn't a real rat. In Harry's opinion that explained even why he had jumped at Ron at the Magical Menagerie. Well, Harry already knew what Ron would get for Christmas next year. He was after all pretty downtrodden about not having a pet anymore and the Weasleys couldn't really afford buying him a new one. Ron would get an owl for Christmas.
Their end of year results had come as a major surprise for Ron and Hermione, they hadn't realised how much better Harry had got the past year. Harry had come in second overall, just behind Hermione. That had never before happened. Harry knew that if he had concentrated on the theory more he would have been able to surpass Hermione, but he didn't care that much about being the best. What counted was that he could do all the spells he wanted and had a good understanding of how they worked. He didn't need to know every little detail and didn't need to learn the book by heart.
Though Hermione had realised that she couldn't go on like she had and had given the time-turner back. Ron had moaned about not having been told, but Hermione stated that she had promised to not tell anybody. Her reaction to Harry's reaction to the revelation was amusing.
Hermione walked into the Gryffindor Common Room through the portrait hole and sat down in an armchair next to the ones Harry and Ron occupied. She seemed relieved.
"What happened, Hermione?" Ron asked curiously.
"I just told Professor McGonagall that I was quitting Muggle Studies for next year. I simply can't take the strain anymore." She said.
"Good for you. So you handed your device for repeating time in too?" Harry asked.
"How do you know that, Harry?" She asked shocked.
"Pretty simple. You didn't miss any of your classes except the one before which Malfoy upset you. So you had to have a way to be in two places at once. I found nothing about an ability to clone yourself so the only possibility was manipulating time. I don't know what exactly you used, but as a third-year you wouldn't be able to use a spell powerful enough to allow you that. So the only remaining way is some kind of device or potion. And face it; Snape would never waste time to brew a potion like that for students." Harry said.
"Since when are you so smart, Harry?" Ron asked impressed. "And why didn't you tell me?"
"I was always smart; I just didn't act like it most of the time. Bad habit I guess. And I didn't tell you because I realised that it must be very secret if Hermione always changed topics. Let me guess, you had to promise not to abuse whatever you got and to not tell anybody to avoid others becoming jealous." Harry said.
"You're right, Harry. I got it at the beginning of the year from Professor McGonagall and I had to promise exactly that. It's dangerous to mess with time. You can't be seen by anybody. It could have massive consequences. Wizards have killed their future or past selves by messing with time." She confirmed looking impressed that he had concluded all that on his own.
Both she and Ron got the underlying message that the Dursleys had ingrained into Harry that he couldn't show his intelligence.
The four spent the rest of the journey with playing cards, reading, mostly Hermione, and discussing plans for the summer. Harry was really looking forward to leaving the Dursleys for good. He would move in with Sirius. He had got a letter telling him that Sirius would be at the station to get him. He didn't know yet where they would live, but that was secondary. As long as he never had to see the Dursleys again he could deal with nearly everything. And he now had two months ahead of him where he could continue his preparations. He had lots of books to read, if necessary using his time-tuner. He would be ready when Voldemort returned and he would find a way to get back at Dumbledore for all the pain he had put Harry through. After all, there was nothing Harry couldn't do if he really put his mind to it.
That's it. Hope you liked the story.