A/N: New story! This style is slightly different for me, so R&R and tell me what you think. This is only part one of a three part prologue, and then the story will really start. The entire prologue focuses on Harry Potter, but after that the Avengers storyline should come into play within a chapter or two. Enjoy!
Daily Prophet, 26th of June, 1995
Has He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named returned?
Two days ago, on June 24th, the Third Task of the Triwizard tournament took place at Hogwarts. The four champions, Fleur Delacour (Beauxbatons), Viktor Krum (Durmstrang), Cedric Diggory (Hufflepuff, Hogwarts) and Harry Potter (Gryffindor, Hogwarts) had to make their way through a maze filled with magical creatures set up on the Quidditch Pitch. The creatures the champions faced included boggarts, sphinxes, acromantulas, and Blast-Ended Skrewts, among others.
All of the champions, including young Mr. Potter, were fully prepared to encounter and defeat these creatures. What they weren't prepared for were the Unforgivable Curses being tossed around. One champion placed under the Imperius Curse, two, if not three, were placed under the Cruciatus, and one, Cedric Diggory, ended up dead, courtesy of the Avada Kedavra.
While the MInistry of Magic has confirmed that Barty Crouch Jr., previously thought dead, was behind the happenings at Hogwarts, including the entrance of Harry Potter into the tournament, they have declared Cedric Diggory's death an accident. Harry Potter, on the other hand, is singing a different tune, claiming that the passing of his classmate was caused by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Minister Fudge denies the claim of You-Know-Who's return vehemently. He stated in a press conference yesterday, "You-Know-Who has not returned. We all know that Mr. Potter is slightly...unhinged. His preposterous claims are simply a cry for help, and I can only hope that someone gets this troubled young man the help he needs."
While Harry Potter was not available for comment, Mr. Potter was heard stating, "Fudge can say whatever he wants about me, but why in the world would I want the madman who killed my parents and tried to kill me to be back from the dead?"
So now the question is, who and what do we believe? Cornelius Fudge, our esteemed minister, or Harry Potter, our Savior, the Boy-Who-Lived?
On page four: Dark secrets of the Crouch family
On page seven: Where the Triwizard Tournament went wrong
Daily Prophet, 13th of July
Boy-Who-Lived to become the Boy-Who-Committed-Treason?
In a shocking move by Minister Fudge, anyone who continues to claim You-Know-Who has returned will be tried by the full Wizengamot for treason. The new policy seems to be geared mainly towards Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore, both of whom have not wavered in their proclamations of You-Know-Who's return.
See page 3 for more information on the new Anti-Treason Act
Daily Prophet, 19th of July, 1995
Boy-Who-Lived, Tried for Treason
On the 17th of July, only four days after the Anti-Treason Act was put into effect, Harry Potter was taken into Ministry custody by Aurors Dawlish and Shacklebolt. On the 18th, he was tried on charges of treasonous acts against Wizarding Britain, or more precicely, claiming the presence of a Dark Lord during a time of peace. Surprisingly enough, Harry Potter was just barely cleared of all charges by the Wizengamot, causing many uninvolved to wonder if money is being passed around to ensure that Harry Potter is not charged. Minister Fudge has another opinion.
He said in an interview after the trial: "It is sad that members of the Wizarding Community of Great Britain feel so indebted to a mere teenager that they will allow him to get away with criminal acts. I fear that Mr. Potter has had the rules changed for him for so long that he no longer knows how to be a respected member of society. I can only hope that Magical Britain realizes his true colors before anyone is seriously injured.
Mr. Lucius Malfoy, generous benefactor and trusted advisor to our esteemed Minister agrees, stating, "My son attends Hogwarts with Mr. Potter, and has said numerous times that Mr. Potter has been given privileges that no other student would have gotten, and also manages to get out of sticky situations that other students would be expelled for. Not to mention the fact that Gryffindor has won the House Cup every year since Mr. Potter has arrived. Coincidence? I think not."
This reporter can only hope that the teachers at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry keep Harry Potter in line, before he causes a problem he cannot get out of.
Daily Prophet, 1st of August, 1995
RELATIVES OF THE BOY-WHO LIVED KILLED IN CAR CRASH
Last night, the Daily Prophet learned that while Harry Potter was staying with friends following his treason trial, his muggle family, the Dursleys, decided to go for a holiday, location unknown. On their way home, however, a tragedy occurred; an unknown object slammed into the car, instantly killing everyone inside.
While the accidental killing of a muggle family does not affect the Wizarding World as a whole, there is one question that is on everyone's minds; where will Harry Potter go now?
Daily Prophet, 11th of August, 1995
AZKABAN MASS BREAKOUT: SIRIUS BLACK IS GATHERING FOLLOWERS!
In the early hours of this morning, a mass breakout occurred at Azkaban Prison, which has only been escaped by two people, only one of whom without any doubt. It is an obvious conclusion that the infamous Sirius Black, who is still at large two years after his breakout in 1993, is behind the escape of ten high security prisoners, including Rabastan, Rodolphus, and Bellatrix Lestrange, three of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's most trusted Death Eaters. With all the talk of You-Know-Who having "returned", Sirius Black is gathering the "old crowd" to attempt to terrorize the Wizarding population.
Daily Prophet, 25th of August, 1995
Is Dumbledore senile? Can he keep our children safe?
For nearly fifty years, Albus Dumbledore has been the Headmaster of Hogwarts. Before that, he was the transfiguration professor and Head of Gryffindor House. He has been working at Hogwarts, protecting and teaching our children, since before many of us were born. And therein lies the problem; Dumbledore, spectacular wizard he may be, is getting old.
As many of us know, Albus Dumbledore has been preaching Voldemort's return since June. Many are wondering if this is a sign that he has finally 'gone 'round the bend', and if so, is he still able to protect our children?
(Continued on page 4)
Daily Prophet, 2nd of September 1995
PLATFORM 9 3/4 ATTACKED! PETER PETTIGREW SPOTTED! IS SIRIUS BLACK INNOCENT? HAS HE-WHO-MUST-NOT-BE-NAMED RETURNED?
Yesterday morning, at around 10:55 am, a group of people in black robes and silver masks appeared on platform 9 3/4. The Death Eaters have regrouped, just as we were fearing. The surprise is, not only was Sirius Black nowhere in sight, Peter Pettigrew was spotted fighting amongst Death Eaters when his mask fell off. Harry Potter, who jumped off the train after seeing the man, who has been believed dead since November 1981, stunned and bound the man before calling over an auror. The auror, Kingsley Shacklebolt, cast additional binding spells on the man before flooing him to a warded cell in the Ministry. If Peter Pettigrew is indeed alive, as you cannot use polyjuice potion to become someone who has died, that leaves us wondering: if Peter Pettigrew is alive, what does that mean for Sirius Black?
Madam Bones said in a statement, "If Peter Pettigrew is indeed alive, that throws everything we thought we knew about Sirius Black out the window. Depending on the information gathered from the suspect, it is very likely Mr. Black will need to be brought into trial once more."
As worrying as it may be that an innocent man might have been in Azkaban for twelve years, there is a more pressing question to ask. The Ministry has been denying You-Know-Who's return for over two months, but this was not a random, thrown-together attack. This was planned; this was organized. Since it is unlikely that Sirius Black was responsible, that leaves the question of who was. The Lestranges? Antonin Dolohov? Rookwood? A new Dark Lord, attracting the followers of the last? Or, possibly the scariest option, has You-Know-Who returned, after thirteen years of peace, more powerful than before?
Daily Prophet, 15th of September, 1995
SIRIUS BLACK: CLEARED OF ALL CHARGES; PETER PETTIGREW SENTENCED TO LIFE IN AZKABAN
Yesterday, Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew were tried in a dual trial before the Wizengamot. Witnesses included Albus Dumbledore, Remus Lupin, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and the Boy-Who-Lived, Harry Potter. All five witnesses gave testimonies that proved Sirius Black innocent and Peter Pettigrew guilty. Hermione Granger and Harry Potter, who helped Sirius Black escape the Dementor's Kiss, were almost charged with assisting a criminal, yet when it came out that they had tried to tell Minister Fudge and were ignored, the pending charges were immediately dropped. Mr. Black will be given 1,000,000 million galleons restitution and a formal apology by the Minister of Magic. He has also petitioned for guardianship of Harry Potter.
Peter Pettigrew was found guilty of betraying the Potters to Voldemort (accessory to murder: two counts), murdering twelve muggles (homicide: twelve counts), breaking international law (International Statute of Secrecy: numerous counts), breaking national law (unregistered animagus: one count), being a Death Eater (Treason as noted in the Death Eater Act of 1977: one count) and other criminal activities (torture, unauthorized use of unforgivables, murder, muggle-baiting: numerous counts). He has been sentenced to Azkaban for life, without parole. If, at a later time, more specific crimes are brought to light, Pettigrew may be retried for the Dementor's Kiss.
Daily Prophet, 30th of September, 1995
MINISTRY OFFICIAL ACCUSED OF TORTURING STUDENTS
As we all know, Cornelius Fudge appointed his Undersecretary, Dolores Umbridge, as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts. Barely a month into her employment there, she has been accused of using a Blood Quill (Dark object, banned at Hogwarts in 1592) on Harry Potter, for 'being a liar'. Not much information is known at this time, but Dolores Umbridge is suspended from her employment at Hogwarts and the Ministry of Magic until her trial (Date TBA). In her absence, Sirius Black will be filling her position as Hogwarts professor.
Daily Prophet, 14th of October, 1995
DOLORES UMBRIDGE CONVICTED ON USE OF A DARK OBJECT
Dolores Umbridge was tried and convicted on previous charges of using a blood quill on a Hogwarts student. She forced this student, Harry Potter, to write "I must not tell lies" on his hand numerous times in only her first month of teaching. Potter did not tell anyone about his detentions, and Umbridge would have gotten away with the crime, if it hadn't been for Sirius Black, Potter's guardian, visiting the school.
Dolores Umbridge will spend five years in Azkaban, with another five years of parole. Her position at Hogwarts will be permanently filled by Sirius Black, but the new Undersecretary is yet to be determined.
Daily Prophet, 1st of November, 1995
HE-WHO-MUST-NOT-BE-NAMED HAS RETURNED! DIAGON ALLEY ATTACKED!
Last night, the fourteenth anniversary of You-Know-Who's 'defeat' at the hands of Harry Potter, terror struck in Diagon Alley for the first time in over a decade when Death Eaters attacked. The black-robed wizards set fire to shops, tortured citizens, and killed those who defied them. That wasn't the worst part though; the worst part was when the Dark Lord defeated fourteen years
ago resurfaced. His appearance was enough to shock the alley into stillness.
He did not come to join the fight. He only came to deliver this message: Harry Potter. They thought me defeated, yet I am not. They thought me powerless, yet I am not. They thought me dead, yet I am not. You only delayed my quest for power, and for that, I will kill you, Harry Potter, and every man, woman, and child who tries to protect you. So how many people will you let die for you? I have taken three lives already: your father, your mother, and Cedric Diggory. How many more will I have to take?
The list of the dead is as follows: Hestia Jones, John Dawlish, Peregrine Derrick, and Gianna Noel.
It doesn't matter what Voldemort says. We can, and will, protect you until we die, but that does not mean it's your fault. Anyone who protects you does it because they want to; they want to see you live. It is not your fault if they die. Your parents loved you more than anything in the world. They would have done anything to protect you, and that's why they gave their lives. Your parents loved you more than their own lives. Cedric's death was not your fault either. You didn't know that Voldemort would be there. If you had, would you have let him take the cup? That's what I thought.
Harry, I know how it feels to blame yourself when people get hurt, but you can't control it. People will always fight when their freedom is at stake. Don't beat yourself up over it. Talk to Sirius about it. You'll be surprised by how well he can sympathize with you.
Be strong, Cub.
Thanks. You were right (as always). Please be careful though. I don't want to lose you, or Sirius. You two are the closest thing to family that I have left.
Ron and Hermione never leave me alone. I don't think I've been on my own for a moment since we got to school. I love them to death but it would be nice to have some space, you know. I miss being with just you and Sirius; that was probably the best summer I've ever had. For once, I didn't feel like an outsider. It was great. I didn't think I would miss it so much...but I do. I can't wait until the holidays!
November 20th, 1995, Moaning Myrtle's Bathroom
"Malfoy? What are you doing here?"
"Go away, Potter. I don't want to talk to you."
"Malfoy, are you...are you crying?"
"I said, go away Potter."
"Everything would be better if you'd leave me alone."
"If you really wanted me to go away, you'd have hexed me by now. But you haven't."
"Can't you go bother the Mudblood and the Weasel instead?"
"I didn't want...I wanted to be alone, okay? And don't call them that."
"If you wanted to be alone, then go away."
"I did want to be alone. Not anymore though."
"Are you going to leave anytime in the foreseeable future?"
"It depends. Are you going to tell me what's wrong anytime soon?"
"...Why do you care, Potter?"
"What do you mean, why do I care?"
"I've been downright horrible to you and your friends, Potter. I've mocked you, sneered at you, and tormented you. I've gotten you in trouble and made you lose points. So after all of this, after all I've done, you're asking me if I'm okay. Why? Are you going to use it as blackmail? Embarrassment? Because there's no way that you actually care. No one has ever cared."
"Malfoy, I don't know if 'caring' is the right word, but you're obviously upset for a reason, so..."
"You really are the Gryffindor Golden Bo-"
"I'm not golden. Never have been, never will be."
"Oh really? Prove it."
"I was almost in Slytherin. That enough proof for you?"
"It'll do, I suppose."
"...So are you going to tell me now?"
"If I do, will you leave me alone?"
"I'll consider it. That's the best you're going to get, so take it or leave it."
"Fine. I'm receiving the Dark Mark over the holidays. I got the letter today. Are you happy now?"
"...Do you want to receive the mark?"
"If I wanted the mark, would I be sitting here crying?"
"I'll take that as a no."
"Very good, Potter. It's a wonder you're not top of the year."
"Shut up Malfoy."
"You're the one who wanted me to tell you. I don't see why. It doesn't change anything."
"...What if it does?"
"What are you talking about? I think you've been hit in the head with a bludger a few two many times."
"Malfoy, do you want me to help you or not?"
"Why would you want to help me?
"I really don't know. Maybe I think you deserve a chance to prove Gryffindor wrong. The alternative is spending your life serving a psychopath though, so do you want my help or not?
"...Yes. I do, actually. I swear though, if you start going around gloating about it-"
"I'm not going to. I'm not trying to hurt you Malfoy. I'm trying to help you."
Daily Prophet, 7th of December, 1995
HOGSMEADE ATTACKED ON A HOGWARTS WEEKEND!
Yesterday, Voldemort and his Death Eaters attacked Hogsmeade village while Hogwarts students were doing their holiday shopping. No details are known, only that the teachers, store vendors, and older students fought back.
The number of wizards/witches that are dead/injured/missing are unknown.
December 9th, 1995, Gryffindor 5th year Boys Dormitory
"Oh, um, hullo there, Harry."
"Neville, is everything okay?"
"Yeah, I'm, um, I'm fine. Just...uh...stressed. About end of the term exams and stuff."
"Killer, aren't they?"
"...Nev, are you sure nothing's wrong?"
"It's nothing, Harry. I'm just not really looking forward to the holidays if you know what I mean."
"Neville, I'm sure I know what you mean more than most. You spend the holidays with your gran, don't you?"
"Yeah, usually I do. I suppose I'll have to stay at Hogwarts for the Christmas holidays though."
"Is your gran going on vacation or something?"
"No, I just got this letter from my uncle. Turns out, Gran was in Hogsmeade that day."
"No, she isn't dead. I'd imagine it would take more than a death eater to kill her. She has a pretty bad concussion though, and
she broke her hip. She was released from St. Mungo's today, but the family is afraid that with my clumsiness, I'll just hurt her even more, so I can't go home."
"Yeah...I'm used to it though. I think I'm kind of a disappointment to Gran. She wants me to be more like my parents. Not that I
know anything about them."
"I know what that's like too."
"I figured you might. In a way, Christmas at Hogwarts might not be so bad."
"Spending Christmas alone, at Hogwarts, with no one to talk to might not be so bad?"
"Way to make me feel better, but yes."
"...How would you like to spend Christmas with me?"
"You aren't going home either?"
"I am...you want to come with me?"
"Do you think Professor Black would be okay with it?"
"I don't really see how it would be a problem, but we could go ask now."
"Okay. Thanks, Harry."
"No problem, Nev, no problem."
Prongslet has decided to take in two strays this Christmas. One a black dog, similar to me, but of a noble, dark, and vicious breed, the other a cub, who might as well be an orphan with the state of his parents. Can you make sure we have enough food and board for these two rascals who will most likely butt heads?
December 22nd, 1995
"You didn't tell me the squib was going to be here too."
"It's not like I knew you were coming either, Malfoy."
"Did I not tell you guys...? Oops?"
"Potter, I can't be in the same house as this...this..."
"Harry, as much as it pains me, I agree with Malfoy."
"See, you two are already agreeing. Soon, you'll be best of friends."
I fear that now, with Voldemort having just attacked St. Mungo's, Harry will be in more danger than ever. Thank Merlin no one was hurt this time, but I fear we may not be as lucky next time. You know as well as I do that the public expects Harry to be the one to end this, and there is also the matter of the object we discussed at our last meeting. It is for this reason I must insist two things.
First, Harry must be trained. That is almost a given. Since he is legally your ward, I will leave his training up to you. It is only your right as his guardian to decide what he does and does not learn, within reason of course. Harry may include any friends he would like, as long as they are deemed trustworthy. Again though, I must insist that Mr. Weasley and Miss. Granger be included.
Secondly, and I know you won't like this, but beginning in March, Harry will begin fighting in our battles against the Death Eaters. However, that is not a pressing concern right now; it can be discussed and finetuned later.