A Dragon's Treasure
Lucius remained on the grounds with the minister and he insisted that Draco go inside to be with his mother. People were still going crazy over what happened. Girls were crying, boys and teachers demanding what happened. Lucius was trying to keep the minister calm when Severus came up to him.
"Minister, I need you to come with me," Severus said.
"What for?" questioned the Minister.
"It was Crouch," Severus explained, "Barty Crouch. Crouch used Polyjuice potion to look like Moody all year. He is in Professor Moody's office right now."
" Crouch Jr.?" asked the minister. "Impossible, he's dead, Severus."
"He escaped disguised as his mother," Severus told him. "If you can come with me, he'll tell you everything."
"No," said Fudge quickly. "If there is a Death Eater here, then I'll have to take precautions to protect myself. Lucius, send for a dementor."
"A dementor?" said Lucius.
"Yes, it will stand guard to perform the dementor's kiss incase Barty Crouch attacks."
Lucius almost wanted to laugh. "There is no need for dementors, Minister," said Lucius. "Dementors are unpredictable and untrustworthy. It will cause too much chaos for the night we've already had. Severus and I will be enough protection for you. We will keep you safe during the interrogation."
Fudge frowned, looking at the mess around what used to be the Quidditch pitch. Was it worth it to bring a dementor here, frighten the students? It would be a long process to send for a dementor, even if he were to summon it. He sighed and shook his head.
"Ah very well," said Fudge. "Lead the way, Severus."
The minister followed Severus to Moody's office where McGonagall was still keeping watch on the imposter. She had him tied to a chair. Professor McGonagall woke Crouch up and when Crouch saw Lucius and Snape, he smiled.
"Severus, Lucius," he said. "I'm surprised you're here...our master will be disappointed that you didn't join him."
Severus ignored him and gave him another dose of veritserum. "Ask him your questions, minister. He'll tell you the truth."
"Explain how you escaped Azkaban," Fudge said.
Crouch launched into his story about his mother sacrificing herself for him. He continued on to Wormtail carrying the Dark Lord into his home.
"Wormtail?" said Fudge, his eyes narrowed.
"Peter Pettigrew," said Crouch.
"Impossible," said Fudge. "He's dead."
"No, he faked his death," Crouch Jr. said. "And he framed Sirius Black. He told me how Sirius escaped from Azkaban to get him, but Wormtail got away from Sirius and sought The Dark Lord."
"Then, Sirius is..."
"Innocent," grinned Crouch. "I have to hand it to Wormtail. I didn't know if he had it in him."
Crouch continued to tell Fudge his story. He explained the fiasco at the Quidditch World Cup and that he was the one who conjured the Dark Mark. After telling the minister everything, he told Dumbledore, Crouch became quiet, grinning to himself.
"It's impossible," muttered Fudge. "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named can't be back. He can't."
"It is quite possible," Crouch insisted. "There is magic beyond your ability to understand, Minister. The Dark Lord is back, and all he needed was his father's bone, Wormtail's flesh and Potter's blood. Do not underestimate my master!"
Crouch moved under his restraints, trying to get at Fudge. Lucius moved in front of him. Crouch's eyes became wide.
"You know I speak the truth, Lucius!" hissed Crouch. "You've seen the mark become darker, haven't you? Show Fudge!"
Lucius looked at Fudge. "Did you want to question him further, Minister?" asked Lucius.
"No," answered Fudge. "I've heard enough."
"Professor Dumbledore would want to speak with you," Snape told Fudge. "I'll take you to him. Professor McGonagall, please remain with Crouch and we will decide what to do with him later."
"Yes, I would like a word with Dumbledore," said the Minister.
"Prove me wrong, Fudge," said Crouch as Snape opened the door for Fudge. "You can use the cup to go back to the graveyard in Little Hangleton. The Dark Lord may still be there to welcome you! You can pretend to turn a blind eye. You'll just make it easier for The Dark Lord when he comes to rule everything. The Dark Lord has returned, and there is nothing you can do to stop him."
Fudge stopped at the doorway, looking back at Crouch nervously. The expression on Crouch's face showed that he may very well be telling the truth, and it scared the minister. Fudge looked at Severus.
"Lead the way, Snape," he said.
When Fudge and Snape left, Lucius looked at Professor McGonagall. "Can you continue to keep watch over Crouch, Professor?"
"I can," answered Professor McGonagall.
Lucius nodded and left the room to find his family. He first sought out his son Draco, and found him in the Slytherin dormitory. He brought him out in the hall to speak to him in private, just to tell him he was going home.
"Wait Dad," said Draco. "I know the Dark Lord is back and--"
"Shh!" hissed Lucius. "Not here, Draco. We will talk about this when you get home. Just keep your mouth shut. Don't tell anyone anything about what happened."
Draco sighed. "Yes Father."
"Do you know where your mother is?" asked Lucius.
Draco shook his head and Lucius told him to go to bed. He waited until Draco stepped into the Common Room before leaving. Lucius walked up stairs, checking each room and office. He heard a baby crying coming from the Hospital Wing and he was surprised to see his wife there speaking to Harry Potter. Harry's friends were sitting to the side, looking confused.
"Who was there Potter?" she asked, looking worried. Her baby, Gemma, was crying in her arms.
"Macnair, Goyle, Crabbe, Avery," answered Harry.
"Narcissa," said Lucius, walking up to her in long strides. "What are you doing?"
Narcissa turned to her husband. "Lucius, where've you been?"
"I was looking for you," he said. "I could hear Gemma crying all the way down the hall. Let's get her home."
Narcissa glanced at Harry. "Feel better, Potter."
Lucius put his arm around his wife and steered her out of the Hospital Wing. "What were you doing talking to that Potter boy?"
"I wanted to know if you where there," she whispered. "Did you come when the Dark Lord called?"
"No," he answered.
She looked at him disbelievingly.
"Narcissa," I wasn't there, Lucius insisted. "Ask Severus; ask the minister. I was here the whole time."
Narcissa sighed and nodded her head. "Well, when he calls again, will you go to him?"
Lucius could not answer her. "Let's go home. We'll discuss this later."
Until school let out for the summer holiday, all anyone could talk about was the death of Cedric Diggory and Harry's attack. Dumbledore succeeded in making Fudge believe that Voldemort had returned, at least to some extent. Fudge did not buy Harrys testimony because of his being a parselmouth, and Crouch sounded like a lunatic, but he was willing to test Crouchs theory by checking the portkey for its location. Fudge and a group aurors used the portkey and found themselves in the graveyard in Little Hangleton. Voldemort and the Death Eaters had already left, but not without leaving something behind: a cauldron, ropes, and a knife. Someone had been here.
"Minister," said Kinglsey Shacklebolt. "Weve found something."
He showed himthe rope, cauldron, and knife. Shacklebolt used a spell to test what the items were used for while other aurors searched around. Using the information Harry and Crouch gave them about the ritual, they knew Voldemort would need flesh, blood, and bone. Harry told them that Voldemorts father was Tom Riddle, and they found Tom Riddle Sr.'s grave.
"Harry and Crouch aretelling the truth," said Dawlish. "All the pieces fit."
"No, it can't be," Fudge said in disbelief. "It's impossible. Crouch must've set this up."
"Its all here, Minister!" shouted Rufus Scrimgeour, shaking the cauldron. "Do you need to see Him yourself before you believe? Do not underestimate You-Know-Who and his Death Eaters. They are capable of anything."
The minister started pacing. What was he going to do? He could not tell the public this happened but there seemed to do be too much evidence. Could Crouch plant all this himself? Perhaps Harry? Could he go on like nothing happened? He was the minister of magic and he couldn't turn a blind eye, as much as he wanted to.
"What do you want us to do with this?" Dawlish asked Scrimgeour.
"Take it with us to the ministry," answered Scrimgeour and he looked at the big house. "Let's search the house and see what we find. Minister, you should come with us."
Fudge reluctantly followed the aurors to the great big house. It was dark inside and they all lit their wands. There were muggle things inside the house, nothing to entail that a wizard lived there. They were deathly silent, listening for noise. They came up to the drawing room. Shacklebolt knocked the door open and found Wormtail and Voldemort himself.
"Peter Pettigrew?" gasped Shacklebolt.
"Master!" cried Wormtail.
"Stupefy!" shouted the aurors, stunning Wormtail. They turned to Voldemort, who grinned.
"It is so nice of you all to drop by," he said. "But I am not in the mood to entertain today."
Voldemort disaparated before the aurors could do anything. The minister looked like he was going to be ill. Proudfoot looked at him.
"You believe now?" he demanded and the Minister nodded weakly.
Kingsley and Proudfoot came to Wormtail. They tied him up and looked at the minister.
"We need to question him," said Proudfoot, "but best to do it at the ministry."
"Very well," said the Minister. "It has been a long day, gentleman. Take Peter here into custody."
Fudge and the aurors left the Riddle house, shocked at what they had just seen. Voldemort could have easily killed them all. Fudge realized, from that day on, his position would change drastically. For the first time in office, he had wished he were not the Minister of Magic.
While Fudge and the aurors made their discovery, Dumbledore gave a speech about Cedric Diggory. He told them how he really died. He gave an honorably toast to Harry, for which the Slytherins did not raise their glasses. Draco was thinking how he tried to make friends with Harry, and Harry refused his friendship. Harry had brought all this on himself. Everyone was going to suffer now. He might lose his father to the Dark Arts, and his newborn sister might never get to know him.
Draco tightened his hands into fists, his mouth clenched and his eyes staring across the room at Harry Potter. All because of Harry's poor taste in friends, the Wizarding World was doomed.
Draco decided to voice this to Harry on the train ride home. He entered Harrys compartment. "Trying not to think about it, are we? Draco asked them. Trying to pretend it hasnt happened?"
"Get out," said Harry.
"You've picked the losing side, Potter! I warned you! I told you you ought to chose your company more carefully, remember? When we met on the train, first day at Hogwarts? I told you not to hang around with riffraff like this!" he jerked his head at Ron and Hermione. "Too late now, Potter! Theyll be the first to go, now the Dark Lords back! Mudbloods and Muggle-lovers first! Well, second--Diggory was the f--"
Draco felt sharp pains in his legs and in his back before he crumpled to the floor with Goyle and Crabbe. Draco woke up when the train driver was hitting him on the face.
"Wake up you," he said. "We're at Kings Cross now."
"Potter," Draco hissed, pushing himself up. It wasn;t easy; his legs still felt like they were made out of jelly. He went to his corridor to get his trunk and he came out of the train, looking for Harry. He had already left.
"Draco!" Narcissa screamed when she saw him. "What happened to you?"
"Potter and his pals hexed me," Draco grumbled.
"With what?" Narcissa demanded.
"I'm not sure," he answered. "They all hit me at once."
"What did you do, Draco?" said Lucius.
"Nothing," said Draco.
"I told you to keep your mouth shut about what happened," said Lucius. "Do you have to make things worse than they already are?"
"Enough, Lucius," hissed Naricssa. "Draco, let's take you to St. Mungos."
"No, they'll ask too many questions," Lucius said.
"We can lie," said Narcissa, glancing at her husband. "That shouldn't be a problem for you, should it, Lucius?"
Lucius sighed. "All right, come on."
The great and wealthy Malfoy family left the trains station to St. Mungos, with Lucius an Narcssa wondering how they were going to keep their family together.
TO BE CONTINUED