He's Not Dead Yet
You know something, I'm not even a boy or a lesbian and I think the actress who played Angelina Johnson in the Harry Potter movies was drop-dead gorgeous!
Anyway, that aside, I apologize for the delay but I have had some serious work to do these past few months and the week before last was my final exams; I also didn't have proper computer access this last week because I had to go up north for my cousin's graduation from West Point. Now, however, I am FREE! I'm finally coherent now that I've gotten more than four to five hours of sleep and I can start writing again! Woohoo!
I don't own Harry Potter or any allusions to anything else in media. Oh, and I will address an issue brought up by a reviewer named "magitech" who suggested that Harry's little speech on the television would be a breach of the Statute of Secrecy.
We Now Conclude this Arrest with a Hymn
Harry wasn't sure what he had been expecting when he entered the Granger residence and was introduced to Hermione's aunt and cousins; his impression had, almost immediately, been of Aunt Petunia and two hyper-skinny, female Dudleys. Hermione and Tracey had both greeted him with hugs and a kiss on the cheek from either girl; when Caitlin and Roslyn had moved towards him, with that look in their eyes that they intended to do the same, Harry instantly held out his hand for them to shake. Both had seemed incredibly put-out and kept shooting glares at Hermione.
"So, how has Christmas hols been for you, Harry?" said Tracey.
"It's been great, Tracey," he replied. "Sirius finally worked up the nerve to propose to Bathsheba."
"Oh, Harry, that's wonderful," said Hermione.
"Yep, the wedding is going to be this summer. Oh, and it's going to take place in Norway."
"Yeah, turns out a lot of Bathsheba's family live there. You're both invited, of course."
"Thank you, Harry, that sounds wonderful," said Tracey.
Caitlin and Roslyn both began to look red-faced at being ignored. Neither of them could fathom why this filthy rich and fairly attractive young man was choosing to speak to their beaver-faced cousin and her friend instead of them. It never once occurred to the two of them that Harry might actually find Hermione and Tracey to be more pleasant company. Of course, Caitlin and Roslyn were not about to be ignored without a fight and so both began to press up on either side of Harry, much to his annoyance.
"So, we hear you're a lord?" said Caitlin in what she assumed was a seductive voice.
"That is so fascinating," Roslyn added. "We've never met a lord before."
"Gee, I wonder why," Harry said in a sarcastic tone that went right over their heads.
Hermione and Tracey both glared at Caitlin and Roslyn. As Hermione's two cousins continued to invade Harry's personal space, no one noticed a certain house-elf named Winky preparing to strike. If there's one thing you should never, ever do, it's interfere with a house-elf's plans to get a mate for its master or mistress, and Caitlin and Roslyn were getting far too close to Mistress Hermy's Lord Potter for Winky's liking.
The last thing either Caitlin or Roslyn remembered was a sharp pain in the back of their heads as though some very large and very heavy object had collided with their skulls before they slumped to the ground unconscious. The eyes of the two witches and the young wizard turned to look at the house-elf who was now resting her cast-iron skillet over her shoulder and grinning smugly.
"Yous should not be messing with Mistress Hermy and Mistress Tracey's Lord Harry Potter sir," Winky said to the unconscious girls.
"Winky, while I deeply appreciate the help, was it necessary to hit them the skillet?" said Hermione. "That could have caused them serious brain damage." Of course, in Caitlin and Roslyn's case it might be an improvement, Hermione added in her thoughts.
"Not to worry, Mistress Hermy," said Winky proudly. "Winky is putting non-breaking spell on skillet. Hurts like regular skillet, but not cause any real damage."
"Oh, that's a relief. Thank you, Winky."
Winky gave Hermione a salute before popping off to the kitchen to start working on afternoon tea.
"Winky has been a tremendous help," Hermione explained to Harry. "My cousins have been trying to prank me and Tracey since they showed up, but Winky always turns their pranks back around on them."
"What exactly were they trying to do?"
"Oh, the usual stuff. Itching powder in our clothes, trying to make us trip down the stairs, tacks on our seats…"
"And that's normal? That's the kind of stuff that Dudley would do to me."
"Well, at least we have Winky on our side," Tracey added. "Of course, we are going to have to explain what happened to these two." She nodded to the still unconscious girls.
"I say we just leave them here and go get some tea," Harry suggested.
"Tea does sound nice right now," Hermione agreed.
So, Caitlin and Roslyn remained unconscious on the floor while the three friends went and had tea. Upon being asked where the two girls were, Harry, Hermione, and Tracey all replied that they were taking a nap. Caitlin and Roslyn did wake up after an hour or so and proceeded to act like nothing had happened. Later that evening, when Harry, Hermione, and Tracey were alone in Hermione's room, the bushy-haired girl suggested that maybe she should get the anti-pest ward on her house adjusted since it allowed Caitlin and Roslyn to enter.
"There's something else I was wondering, Harry," said Hermione.
"Well, about your public donation to those charities and your announcement that you and Sirius are taking up your families' old titles in the Muggle world. It's just, what if someone looks into your background? I mean, most of your paperwork is in the magical world, isn't it?"
"You know, Hermione, the Ministry of Magic might have their problems, they may even be the most ineffective branch of British government to ever exist, but even they aren't stupid enough to let a bunch of Muggle-born witches and wizards just drop off the map entirely without any paperwork. Seems that, if you're born and/or raised in the Muggle world, the Ministry provides documentation of your attendance at a prestigious boarding school for the gifted in Scotland. I mean, really, if they didn't then all those children vanishing from the system without a trace every year would cause suspicion, wouldn't it?"
"Actually, yes, it would seem very odd. So, if someone tries to verify what you announced?"
"They would find rock-solid evidence supporting my claims, yes."
Neville sat patiently waiting by his window when an owl arrived, dropping a letter into his hands which he eagerly opened.
Dear Mr. Longbottom,
I am pleased to inform you that your calculations were correct. I have tweaked a few minor errors in the brewing process, but I can safely say that the potion will be a success and that I will go to St. Mungo's with your research to ascertain whether or not your request will be accommodated.
Merry Christmas to you,
Professor Robert Preston
As soon as Harry entered Potter Manor for the evening, he was accosted by one of his house-elves.
"Ellis is sorry to be disturbing Master at this hour," said the elf. "But portrait of Lady Cedrella is asking for yous. Says is urgent!"
Ellis transported Harry over to the women's wing of Potter Manor where he was confronted by the very anxious portrait of Cedrella Weasley.
"Thank goodness you're here, Lord Potter," she said. "You have to contact the Aurors immediately and have them go straight to the Burrow. Molly has gone too far this time."
"She's brewed the highly illegal potion Deditiopotentia. You have to call the authorities now or it could mean serious trouble."
Molly and Arthur were spending the evening together. The children had turned in early, leaving the adults to themselves. Molly tapped the arms of her chair nervously as she waited for Arthur to finish reading The Quibbler.
"Arthur, dear, may I get you some tea?"
"Hmm? Oh, no thank you, Mollywobbles, I'm not thirsty."
"Arthur, I really think you should have some tea."
"And I said 'no thank you.'"
"Arthur…" Molly said in a warning tone.
Arthur gave a frustrated sigh. His wife was acting very strange lately; he had confronted her about her actions and about Ron and Ginny and she had just snapped at him. He had also found bottles of what had looked like Amortentia in the cupboard when he was looking for a midnight snack the night before last. When he tried to ask Molly what she had been doing with a now illegal substance, she had accused him of not trusting her. Arthur might not be the brightest of individuals, but even he could tell that there was something going on.
"Yes, dear, I would love a cup of tea," Arthur replied wearily.
Molly got out of her seat and went to the kitchen. As she poured the cup of tea for her husband, she pulled out a vial of the potion she had been secretly brewing and put in three drops. While she didn't think Arthur could ever actually do anything to stop her, he was asking too many questions for her liking. She supposed that the mild loyalty potion she'd been putting in his food over the years had finally lost its effect, so it only made sense to use a little bit of the Deditiopotentia she'd been brewing for Ginny to give to Harry.
She soon returned and handed Arthur the cup, only for him to set it down on the table.
"Arthur, aren't you going to drink your tea?" she said with a note of impatience.
"In a moment, I just want to let it cool."
Molly glared at him and Arthur gave her a suspicious look in response.
"Molly, is there something you're not telling me?"
"Of course not! What ever gave you that impression?"
"Just a feeling." He picked up the tea and sniffed it slightly. "The tea has a strange smell, Molly. Perhaps it's gone off."
"It hasn't gone off, it's…it's just a new brand."
"Hmm. Molly, I'm starting to get the feeling that there's something going on here."
"What? You didn't see anything, did you?"
"No, but I think there's something going on."
"Arthur, take my word for it, there is absolutely nothing going on."
That was when the door was busted down and a group of red-roved Aurors entered the scene.
"All right, nobody move," said the lead Auror. "This house is surrounded. Wands where I can see 'em. Now then, now then, now then, my name is Senior Auror Heath Edwards, and this is a raid."
"Evening, Heath," Arthur said brightly.
"Oh, 'ello, Arthur."
"Look, if this is about the flying car, in my defense I never intended for anyone to actually fly it…"
"It's not you we're after, Arthur. It's your old termagant of a wife who's the problem."
"This is an outrage!" Molly yelled.
"Shut up! We have reason to believe that there are certain substances on the premises."
"What sort of substances?" said Arthur.
"What sort of certain substances?"
"Certain substances of an illicit nature."
"Could you be more specific?"
"Certain substances to be removed for clinical tests."
"Have you got anything in mind?"
"We suspect that there are large quantities of the highly illegal potion Deditiopotentia hidden on the premises. What's that, then?" He pointed to the cup of tea.
"It's just some tea," said Molly nervously.
"Right, I am confiscating this and will be taking it back to the lab for clinical examination." Here he turned to the other Aurors. "Right, lads!"
"I beg your pardon?" said a female Auror.
"And lasses…I am leaving you lot to tear apart the kitchen. Leave no stone unturned until you find that potion. As for you, Ma'am," he said to Molly, "I am afraid I must ask you to accompany me to the station."
"You see, if we don't actually find anything, DMLE protocol requires me to charge you with illegal possession of whatever we happen to have down there."
As Molly was dragged off by the Auror, she couldn't help but notice her mother-in-law's portrait grinning smugly down at her.
Meanwhile, at a resort in Southern France, Narcissa Black (formerly Malfoy) was enjoying all the benefits of being a single, attractive, and wealthy woman when she noticed someone she hadn't seen in over two decades. Although they hadn't spoken in such a long time, Narcissa could recognize her big sister Andromeda anywhere, and the man hauling twenty tons of luggage she assumed was Andromeda's Muggle-born husband…Tod, or Terry, or something.
"Andy," Narcissa greeted evenly.
"Cissy," Andromeda replied.
Narcissa looked over at her sister's husband who looked about ready to collapse.
"As amusing as watching him struggle is, why didn't you just cast a Featherlight Charm or a bottomless expansion on your luggage?"
"Ted insists on doing as much as he can the Muggle way," Andromeda replied. "Something about not becoming too dependant on magic."
The two sisters stared each other down for several minutes before simultaneously breaking down in tears and hugging, completely oblivious to Ted who had finally succumbed to the weight of the luggage and had to be rescued from underneath it by the hotel staff.
Amelia Bones was not happy, she was not happy in the least. Bad enough that she had to have her holidays interrupted, meaning she had less time to spend with her only surviving relative, but she also had to come in to work on a case of illegal substance possession, something which often involved a lot of paperwork.
"Okay, so tell me exactly what it was you found," Amelia said to Senior Auror Heath Edwards.
"Well, it's like this, Madam Bones. We followed up on the tip that Molly Weasley was brewing illegal substances, so we go 'round to investigate. Lo' and behold, we find her in the process of dosing her own husband with Deditiopotentia and apprehend her. We then ran an inspection of the kitchen which turned up about a crate load of the stuff."
Amelia rubbed her temples and counted to ten. Deditiopotentia was one of the most illegal potions in the world. Its effects were similar to the Imperius Curse, except it left no outward sign like a glazed expression or memory loss. The potion was designed to allow the one who administers it to completely control the victim in such a way that it seems as though the victim were acting of his or her own accord.
"Have you gotten Molly Weasley's statement about why she made that horrible potion?" Amelia asked.
"We tried, boss, but the woman keeps denying everything and accusing us of fabricating evidence."
"Dose her to the gills with Veritaserum. I want answers."
"Right away, Ma'am!"
"Oh, and, Edwards…"
"Yes, Madam Bones."
"Get me a sandwich."
Christmas day came once more, with gifts and love and joy galore, once again it wiped the floor…with the other three hundred and sixty-four.
Whoops, sorry, wrong story. Plus the narrator's contract says she is not allowed to burst into song at any point during the normal course of her duties.
Anyway, Christmas day had come again to Great Britain (and a bunch of other irrelevant countries, but they are not important to the story right now) and everyone was getting into the spirit of the holiday. Well, almost everyone.
Draco and Lucius spent their holiday at the mercy of their vindictive master. Even if Voldemort was only a pale shadow of his former self, he was still absolutely terrifying to them. Voldemort also had no tolerance for Christmas celebrations, though not even his most loyal followers knew it was because of his horrible and lonely childhood. The only time of the year that Voldemort hated more than Christmas was New Year's Eve, as it was his birthday and only served as a reminder of his miserable existence on the planet.
Christmas cheer was also a bit strained at the Weasley household since Molly's arrest. When the news got back to them that Molly had made a confession under Veritaserum that she had been intending to use it to have Harry Potter fall in love with Ginny and that she had been about to use it to control Arthur, tensions in the Weasley home were running high. Arthur blamed himself at first for letting Molly do whatever she wanted just because he wanted peace in his house, but his eldest boys convinced him that it wasn't entirely his fault and that, considering her actions, Molly had probably been potioning him throughout their marriage. Ron and Ginny were griping up a storm about their mother being arrested, though Ron seemed more upset that he didn't have his mummy to cook his food and Ginny was distressed that she didn't have her mother to help her ensnare Harry.
Both Charlie and Percy had invited their girlfriends over for Christmas, and luckily both Frieda and Penelope were relatively decent cooks and volunteered to make the dinner as not one of the Weasley men knew anything about cooking (though Fred and George were decent at potions and could have figured it out, no one trusted them anywhere near the food). Although everyone was sad to have lost a member of the family at Christmas, most of those present couldn't feel very sorry for Molly after what she had been planning to do.
Back at the resort in France, the two Black sisters and Andromeda's husband were sitting down to dinner, though Ted kept scowling because of the neck brace he was wearing.
"Why didn't he ask for the mediwitch to magically fix his neck?" said Narcissa.
"Let's just say there's a reason why our Nymphadora is so stubborn," Andromeda replied. "But it's just something I find adorable. Isn't that right, dear?" she added, pinching her husband's cheek.
"I wish Lucius had had some redeeming qualities," said Narcissa regretfully. "Unfortunately, the slimy bastard was only interested in one thing. Getting a male heir. After that, all I was good for was looking pretty at social functions."
"Oh, Cissy, I am so sorry."
"Yes, I always wanted more children. Especially since I realized what a little shit my son Draco is. So I told Lucius, I'd better get more children if you ever want to touch this again." She indicated to her very appealing figure. "But noooo, the bastard didn't want to run the risk of dividing up the family money between a bunch of heirs."
"And when you turned down his advances?"
"He decided that if I wasn't going to put out, then he'd find someone who would for the right price."
"Oh, Cissy," Andromeda gasped.
"You're lucky to have a man who loves you so much, Andy. I don't see Ted causing you any grief."
"Nope. He knows better than to step out of line. Isn't that right, dear?"
Ted mumbled something about crazy Black sisters.
Other people's Christmases went much more simply. There were the usual heartwarming antics and general sweetness that are typical of these stories, and since we all know the route such things take, let us move on to one family's Christmas in particular.
The Longbottom family had just settled down to their Christmas dinner. As had become a custom, two seats were left unoccupied in remembrance of Frank and Alice Longbottom. The Fairly small Longbottom family was currently composed of only Neville, his grandmother, his spinster great-aunt Enid, a couple of cousins who were considerably older than him, and his grandmother's brother Algie.
"Let us raise our glasses in a toast," said Augusta Longbottom. "To Frank and Alice, how we wish you could be here with us."
It was at that precise moment that the doors to the dining room opened. A collective gasp swept through the room and Augusta dropped her wine glass in shock. Standing there in the doorway, accompanied by a representative from St. Mungo's, were Frank and Alice Longbottom, looking careworn but otherwise fine.
"Happy Christmas, everyone, what did we miss?" said Frank.
In a flash of speed no one ever thought possible from the boy, Neville rushed from his seat and hugged his parents for the first time since he was an infant.
Back at Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore sat brooding. While Christmas normally warmed his heart (not counting last year when he'd been abducted by the Goblin Inquisition), this year he was in a foul mood that was second only to Voldemort's. Things had been bad enough for him in the past year and now Molly Weasley had been arrested. How was Harry going to trust the Weasleys now that it was known Molly had tried to potion him into falling for Ginevra? He knew that the goblins would figure out that the marriage contract he'd arranged wasn't worth the parchment it was written on, so forcing Harry into compliance with it was out of the question.
None of the young ladies that Harry spent time around were good options to control the boy through. Miss Granger was Muggle-born, something that the old families would not accept in the Lady of a Most Ancient and Most Noble House, and she had become far too independent and distrustful of authority figures lately so she was right out. Miss Greengrass was from a Grey family that had never really trusted Dumbledore. Miss Lovegood was unpredictable and not entirely mentally stable, plus she and her father had been very clear in their dislike of Dumbledore. Miss Bones would have been a good candidate, half-blood but with an old family name, the orphaned daughter of two supporters of the Light side; however, she and her aunt also did not trust Dumbledore ever since the incident with Snape. Miss Dunbar was also a half-blood, but had a Muggle family name, and she was in Gryffindor and clearly supported the Light; although, her pureblood relatives were somewhat Dark, and, again, she did not seem to trust the great Albus Dumbledore.
Lastly, there was Miss Davis. A pureblood from an old family that firmly stood by the status quo. Walter Davis had been willing to lend his support to Dumbledore for the right price in the past, the man was terribly greedy for money and power. Marissa Davis nee Rowle had once been a wild, free-spirited girl who had no intention of going through with an arranged marriage; that independent streak had been crushed when her parents forced her into marrying Walter. Marissa would be only too happy to see her daughter marry a young man who would love and respect her. Dumbledore had also heard recently that Walter Davis was planning to arrange a marriage between Tracey and young Gregory Goyle.
That's when an idea hit the aged headmaster. A sinister grin spread across his face as a back-up plan began to form in his mind. Dumbledore picked up some parchment and a quill and began to write. He had just finished writing his letter when an owl swooped in and dropped off one for him. Dumbledore picked up the message and read. His eyes widened when he saw that it was from his spy at St. Mungo's and what he had to say.
"Oh, this is so not good."
Omake: The formation of the Ministry of Magic
"Quiet, everyone! Order! Order!" Lord Slattersthwait shouted. "Thank you. Welcome, my Lords, my Ladies. I am sure you all know why I summoned you here?"
"Is it to discuss why Lord Potter chose not to sleep with my sister?" said Lord Licinius Lovegood.
"I told you, Licinius, it wouldn't be proper," Lord Junius Potter insisted. Of course, he did deeply regret not marrying the Lovegood girl when he had the chance; every time he had to talk to his wife he was reminded of that mistake.
"No, that is not why we are here," said Slattersthwait. "We are here because the Crown has finally agreed to allow us self-governance and we need to establish an institution that will enable us to keep order."
"I say that the wealthy are obligated to govern over those of…lesser standing," sneered Lord Hector Prince.
"Yeah, and what will you do, then?" chuckled Junius Potter, earning a scathing glare from Prince.
"Gentlemen, please," insisted Slattersthwait. "This is a very serious matter. Though I do believe Lord Prince has a point. The old magical families are entitled to recognition. Therefore, all those of Most Ancient and/or Most Noble Houses will have seats on a governing panel. We'll call it the Wizengamot!"
"What?" said Junius Potter, puzzled. "That sounds stupid. I refuse."
"Oh no you don't," said his father-in-law, Lord Gainsby. "Unless you want me to dissolve your marriage to my daughter, you will take that honorable position."
"That is not such a bad idea," said Lord Lovegood. "Then Junius can finally be with my sister. You have no idea how vexing it is to see her pout like she does whenever I have to tell her that Lord Potter won't be ravishing her-"
"Lord Lovegood, is it really necessary to discuss your sister's personal life in this meeting?" said Lord Swindon.
"I am not sure. Junius, do you think it's necessary that I-"
"No," said Lord Potter shortly.
"Then it's settled," said Slattersthwait. "We will all start the first session of the Wizengamot tomorrow morning and begin organizing our new government. I am sure our…Ministry of Magic will be the finest center of magical government in the world. No nasty little, bribe-taking, power-abusing, all-around corrupt politicians for us."
Lord Aquarius Black leaned over to whisper to Lord Potter.
"How long do you reckon it will last?" he said quietly.
"Three months," Junius replied. "Care to make a counter-offer."
Aquarius Black won the bet.
Author's Note: You all don't know how lucky you are that I am not the type of author to jerk you around by doing things like, for example, threatening to delete or abandon my story if I don't get more reviews (seriously, that annoys the hell out of me when people do it). I was also sorely tempted to make it so that you only thought that the Longbottoms were going to get better, but then it turned out that they would still be in the hospital for a while, but I decided not to do that because I love my readers.
Again, I would like to apologize for the delay, but I have been very busy. Also, in a couple days, I'll be going to Arkansas to attend my cousin's wedding. I think he and his girlfriend (sorry, fiancée) are rushing things because he literally just graduated from West Point, but what do I know?
Anyway, thanks for reading and thanks for all your support.