Poison Pen

Harry has had enough of seeing his reputation shredded in the Daily Prophet and decides to do something about it. Only he decides to embrace his Slytherin side to rectify matters.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5554780/1/Poison-Pen

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20. A Call for Treason

The day after Oliver Twist's column appeared in the Quibbler, the atrium of the ministry was filled with irate people demanding explanations. The witches and wizards manning the information desks had, by mid-morning, called for aurors to guarantee their safety.

As if that wasn't enough chaos, hundreds of owls soon filled the space above the floor, each one fighting for a place to land and be relieved of their letter.

Between the screaming of angry people, hooting of impatient owls and the resultant flurry of feathers and owl droppings, it didn't take the aurors long to close off all entrances to the ministry. Many repelling charms, along with threats of arrest, later and the atrium was quiet once more.

The shell-shocked personnel and weary aurors were given restorative and calming draughts before being sent home.

0o0o0o0o0o

While the aurors were busy in the atrium, an emergency meeting of the Wizengamot was called for that afternoon. To have their way of life questioned in such a blatantly disrespectful manner offended them deeply! As the membership filed into the Wizengamot chambers, few took note of the many seats that remained empty.

All seats were inherited, passed down through the generations from one pure-blood head of house their heir. The empty seats were sad reminders of the many family lines that had died out, for one reason or another.

Several seats were held by proxy by another noble house as the current heir was either a minor, or had been disowned by the family head and declared as unfit to serve. Many seats went vacant because of the war with He-Who-Must-Be-Named. He had targeted certain families, wiping them out root and branch, leaving no known survivors. No one knew why they had been so thoroughly eradicated save the one who ordered their demise.

Albus Dumbledore, Supreme Mugwump of the Wizengamot, held several proxies, including the Potter seat. Many wondered if the old wizard would willingly yield it to Potter when he came of age. It was a well known fact that Albus Dumbledore held his power close.

0o0o0o0

"Overlord Ragnok!" A flustered goblin panted, " You are needed on the main floor, my Liege."

Ragnok looked up from the papers he was reading. "What is it Stoneblade?"

"The floor is filled with Wizards and Witches, all wanting to take the heritage test!" Stoneblade wrung his hands. "Those wishing to actually do business with us are being crowded out!"

Heaving a long-suffering sigh, the elder goblin rose from his ornate desk. " Very well, call up another cohort of guards in full armor and meet me on the main floor in 5 minutes." Steelblade didn't bother to answer, simply turned and ran from the room.

"Ah, Oliver Twist. I knew you were going to poke the anthill," Ragnok chuckled. Turning to his desk and carefully gathering the papers he'd been reading, he placed them in a small hidden vault for later. He then quietly left the office closing the heavily warded door softly.

The main floor of the bank was churning with activity. Wizards and Witches were struggling to get to an open teller, all of them waving a copy of the Quibbler at any goblin who made eye contact.

"SILENCE!" A guttural voice roared. "Those wishing the heritage test will follow me!" The armored and fully armed goblin turned and stalked down a long hall. At the end of it double doors stood open, revealing a large room with four desks, each manned by a goblin.

When the guard reached the open doors, he turned to face the crowd behind him and snarled, "You will form four lines as you pass these doors. You will wait your turn. If you cause problems you will be removed. . .one way or another." He then turned to stand beside the doors, rested the shaft of his gleaming halberd on the floor and allowed those behind him to enter. The first people to pass him inched by warily, eyes on the wicked weapon in his hand.

It quickly became obvious that he wasn't the only armed guard in the room. Behind each desk sat a goblin, and behind him stood another, armed and ready. The first test, going back 100 years, would cost 5 galleons. For every one hundred years further back the client wished to delve into their heritage, it would cost 1 galleon more. The testing began with quiet efficiency.

Ragnok was glad Harry had given him a heads up on his latest Quibbler column. He'd had his potions staff working over-time to be ready. The elder Goblin chuckled to himself. "Might have to make that boy an honorary goblin if he keeps adding to our coffers this way. If this doesn't wake up the pure-blooded fools, nothing will! I wonder, do wizards have family reunions?" His cackle made those who heard it shiver.

0o0o0o0o0o

The headlines in both the Quibbler and the Daily Prophet the next morning blared out the results of the emergency session.

Special Edition

Emergency Wizengamot Session Issues Arrest Warrant for Oliver Twist for Treason

Yesterday afternoon, in an emergency session of the Wizengamot, a majority vote was passed for the immediate arrest of 'Oliver Twist' for treason.

"He is threatening our way of life," said Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic. "This Oliver Twist must be stopped!"

"The facts he (Oliver Twist) is mentioning in his articles are taken out of context and only serve to incite panic and foment insurrection," said one Wizengamot member, who asked not to be named.

Mr. Twist's articles started last summer in the Quibbler as a letter to the editor asking questions. Last September, Mr. Twist was hired by the Quibbler as a columnist. Later, the column was picked up by the Daily Prophet. Rumors have it that two more newspapers are vying for the syndication rights as well.

"My daughter enjoys the ways he 'pokes at the old fuss-pots,'"

said another Wizengamot member who also wished to be unnamed. "I had to side with the minister, though. Mr. Twist is attacking our way of life and must be stopped."

Amelia Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement (DMLE) was unavailable for comment. However, her department issued a brief statement on her behalf.

"The law must be upheld at all costs. We will comply with the wishes of the Wizengamot in pursuing this matter to the fullest extent of the law. Anyone with information about Oliver Twist is asked to contact the DMLE immediately."

On the back page of the paper was a small advertisement that read:

To All Citizens:

The Ministry Library and Hall of Records are closed to the public until further notice. Further, anyone needing copies of records must submit paperwork to the Ministry stating who wants the information, the purpose of the request, and who will have access to said information.

Individuals requesting sealed information will also be required to take an oath prohibiting the use of said information for any purpose(s) save that stated. Sharing of this information with any unauthorized person(s) will have severe legal consequences. By order of Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic.

0o0o0o0o0

Albus looked over the students in the Great Hall as many read the announcement. A low grumbling noise could be heard. Many of the pure blood students looked vindicated.

Draco Malfoy was looking particularly pompous today. He wore a satisfied smirk and laughed arrogantly every time he heard a muggle-born or Ravenclaw give an indignant squeak..

A glance at the Gryffindor table showed they were as outraged as the others. That didn't look promising. Of all the houses, the Gryffs were the most volatile, plunging head first with little thought for consequences when they took up a cause. And since one half,or better, of their house were muggle-borns and half-bloods, there was going to be trouble.

Albus gave a despondent sigh. Life just got more complicated.

Severus sneered as he read the article. "Well. That's that!" he said, folding the paper.

"How so?" Minerva asked, over her teacup. "If anything, the Wizengamot just validated Mr. Twist's articles! By closing the Hall of Records, Cornelius confirms that the information in Mr. Twist's article was correct."

Filius smiled. "The American muggles have a saying, "It's like closing the barn door after the animal has escaped."

Severus snorted as he stood. "Well with the Ministry closing ranks, it is going to be difficult to prove, isn't it?"

"Only if you don't know where to look," Filius muttered to himself.

"Their stupidity knows no bounds!" Snapped Pomona. "They are so terrified of a child's words that they want him arrested for treason? Not even He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has earned that kind of a response! I guess what they say is true. . .the truth hurts."

0o0o0o0o

Ragnok was relaxing in his private office after a long day of overseeing the chaos caused by Oliver Twist's column. He was just raising a crystal goblet to his lips for a final sip of Goblin whiskey when he was once more interrupted.

" My lord Ragnok," a hesitant voice squeaked. " The Mistress of Knowledge is here to speak with you!"

"What?" Ragnok almost choked. " Why? Never mind! Show her in immediately." He stood, quickly, spelled his robes clean and waited respectfully for her to enter.

His bow was low and reverent as the small cloaked and hooded figure swept into his presence. " Greetings, revered Lady. How may this warrior serve you?"

0o0o0o0

Amelia Bones was beyond pissed. To have her name come up in the Special Edition, and have someone in her own department dare to issue a statement without her knowledge was infuriating!

However, picking up a file out of a concealed vault, she smiled. She would deal with her department's leak soon enough. This was more important.

She stepped out of her office and announced that she was out for the day and left a set of standing orders. No one was to talk to any reporters and if any information on Mr. Twist did come in, everyone was to sit on it until her return. No one from DMLE was to talk to anyone outside the department, for any reason. If they did, they would be walking a permanent beat at Azkaban, without hazard pay.

An hour later found Amelia quietly sipping tea at Number 10 Downing Street as the Prime Minister looked through a file stuffed with reports and newspaper clippings. She was a creature of law, and while a pure-blood, could no longer condone the bigotry and prejudices of the Wizarding World.

To condemn a child for treason was unconscionable!

She'd tried to persuade the Wizengamot not to go the route they took, but only a handful listened. Now they would have to pay the price for their arrogance.

She was not about to let anyone railroad another person into Azkaban without due process, not while she was Department Head of Law Enforcement.

"There is more to this, isn't there?" The Prime Minister queried, looking up from the papers he was scanning.

"Yes sir. There is."

0o0o0o0

Arthur was worried as he stepped out of the loo. This was wrong on so many levels. People were forgetting the lessons learned when Sirius Black was found to be innocent of all charges after spending twelve years in Azkaban. His contacts told him to sit tight and wait out the storm in silence.

"Mr. Weasley?" called a clerk, running towards him.

"Yes Marge?"

"There's an emergency departmental heads meeting in 30 minutes."

"Oh Merlin's name, now what?"

0o0o0o0

Rita Skeeter was in seventh heaven. She had just been handed a license to smear Twist's reputation to the four winds. Any dirt she could find would be published by order of the Ministry under the guise of public safety. He was to be made an example of for 'the greater good.'

According to her directive, she had been given license to tag along with the aurors when they questioned the editors of the Quibbler and the Prophet.

As stated by this Twist's articles, he's a student currently attending Hogwarts. Someone in that maze of hallways and classrooms should know at least something. Should she wait for the aurors to turn their attention in that direction, or use her animagus form and just hang around? It was amazing the things one could overhear when one was too small to be noticed.

0o0o0o0

Harry was reading a note penned to him from Xeno Lovegood. "If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it," he whispered to himself.

Harry smiled. He was sure he had heard that quote before but not sure where. At least he was safe for the moment. The remedial lessons were easier to bear now that Harry, thanks to Healer Atwaters, had a handle on it. Sure, he was still getting mind raped twice a week, but at least Snape couldn't find what Harry didn't want him to.

"Oh there you are!" came a childish sing song voice from a small alcove. "Did the nargles hide you again?"

Harry paused, stunned.

A slender figure with long blonde hair appeared in front of him wearing Ravenclaw robes.

"Hello Harry Potter. Did you lose something too?" she asked in a dreamy voice.

"Uh no?" Harry replied, a bit confused.

"If you want to view paradise," she said as she turned away. "Simply look around. Don't worry, Daddy will protect you. He's good at that." She started to skip away.

"HUH!? What? Who are you?" Harry called after her.

"Why, I'm Luna Lovegood." Her breathy voice drifted back to him as she disappeared down the stairs.

0o0o0o

A/N: A cookie if anyone can tell me where the quote that Mr. Lovegood sent Harry came from.

We are going to let Hermione boil for a bit before the teapot whistles.

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