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.



21. Don't Get Mad Get Even

Xeno Lovegood sat in the office of the Daily prophet drinking tea along with Emily Anderson, Lord Charles and two barristers. The five were going over the edict that had come down from the Wizengamot. "Surrender all information on Oliver Twist or face a year in Azkaban for abetting treason."

"Well?" Emily asked, nervously. After all, she was the one that gave the note to Mr. Lovegood which started this chain of events.

One of the barristers, a middle-aged man in a rumpled mixture of muggle and wizarding attire, cleared his throat and in a husky, whiskey voice spoke up. "The Wizengamot doesn't have a case. In fact, they are breaking several of their own laws, not to mention the Queen's treaty themselves."

"Oh? Is that treason as well?" Emily asked. "I would rather have thought that it was more like sedition instead of treason."

"It is indeed," said Lord Peter. "However, in their arrogance, the Ministry of Magic are usurping the Crown's authority. They have no right to declare treason."

Lord Peter looked at through the file in his hand. "My esteemed colleague, Mr. Horace Rumpole, and I have read Mr. Twist's articles with great relish. It is about time someone started to ask questions. That the someone asking questions is a teen age boy is perfect."

"However," Horace Rumpole chuckled, sounding as if he was clearing his throat. Looking a bit gleeful he added, "Nothing in these articles promotes treason, or even sedition. Nothing the boy wrote is false nor does it,'fomenting insurrection'. In fact, according to what he did write, it was understated at best and drawn from ministry records themselves. If I didn't know any better I would say that someone on the inside, perhaps the Unspeakables, are helping him."

Lord Charles sputtered into his tea cup. "Surely you don't mean that Horace! What is your proof?"

Horace looked thoughtful for a moment. "The information is too wide in scope, to inclusive for a school boy to know. Even if he does profess his source is the Hall of Records, the amount of time he would have to spend to find his information would hardly leave him time for his school work. No, I would say that the Unspeakables may well be helping him. They are the only ones who would have unlimited access to the information, sealed or not. Now, this information isn't to be published, or leave this room." The barrister gave a knowing look to the editors and reporter.

"So what do we do now?" Lord Charles huffed. "The ministry has issued a writ for us to turn over any and all documentation we have on Oliver. I for one don't want to go to Azkaban, but I refuse to give up a fellow journalist."

"What little we do know will hardly satisfy the ministry, and as for documentation? Most of that lies with the goblins, and I wish the ministry would try and force them to hand it over!" Xeno grimaced.

"That's were I come in," Lord Peter soothed. "I am the barrister for the Potter family. As you know, they own major shares in both your papers, and since I am their attorney of record, I am here to protect their interest. I suggest that if the Ministry is so anxious to get their hands on Oliver Twist that you post a special edition detailing just how you plan on responding to their illegal demands."

"Quite right. Demand that your complaint be taken to a court of law," Rumpole chuckled. "That would in effect nullify the Wizengamot's ability to rule on this matter, it would be a conflict of interest. That would only leave an international wizarding or Her Majesty's court. "


Hermione plopped down beside Harry with a crumpled letter in her hand. "Harry? Can we talk?"

Harry looked up. "About what?" he asked, warily.

"I got a reply back from my parents. I told them that my career options were next to nil after Twist's article."

"Oh?" Harry asked, putting down the essay he was working on. He took in her harried appearance. "Something wrong?"

"They are talking about pulling me from Hogwarts after my O.W.L.S. They said that they refused to pay for substandard education. They offered to hire tutors for me to catch up on my muggle education. I have to make up my mind on what I want."

Harry sighed and pulled his friend into his arms as she sniffled, snuggling closer. "Don't worry Hermione. It'll work itself out."

"You were right, Harry," she whispered into his shirt. "I should not have listened to Professor Dumbledore. I'm so sorry, will you ever forgive me?"


That evening a special edition of both the Quibbler and the Daily Prophet came out. As both papers were running Oliver Twist's articles, both were coming under fire.

Special Edition

Ministry and Wizengamot in Violation of Basic Tenets of British Law

Could Their Actions Threaten the Wizarding World?

Since the vote to arrest Oliver Twist for treason was handed down and sanctioned by both the Wizengamot and the Minister of Magic, both the Daily Prophet and the Quibbler have been brought under heavy criticism by the ruling and judicial bodies of our government. However, these venerable bodies have failed to uphold the laws they were sworn on their magic to uphold.

If the ministry and the Wizengamot wish to pursue legal action, they must file such action in a court of law, and rule themselves out as said court due to conflict of interest.

That would leave their only recourse the ICW or her Majesty's court.

We, of the Daily Prophet and the Quibbler, refuse to turn over any information about Mr. Oliver Twist. The newspaper has the right to protect their sources and staff against persecution if the articles published can be verified. As of this date, all of Mr. Twist's articles can be proven as fact. He assures us he has the original copies of his facts and statistics.

We stand behind Mr. Twist and applaud him on his integrity.

Lord Charles Witherspoon

Xeno Lovegood


Daily Prophet
The Quibbler


Harry was sitting in the Common Room. He hadn't been able to escape all week from his friends. They had been clinging to him like limpets. It was as if they were on a mission to track him down and poke their noses into his business. Hermione was especially clingy since her parent's letter. Harry wanted to pull his hair out.

As he stared into the blazing fire in the fireplace, his thoughts were on the arrest warrant for Oliver. He had to admit that he was very nervous about being arrested. It brought back the memories of the past summer, a locked room and food through a cat flap. Harry shuddered.

Professor Flitwick had reassured Harry that his lips were sealed. No one was going to hear anything about Mr. Twist from him. Further, he confided to Harry with a toothy smile, goblins are immune to occlumency and veritaserum.

Harry looked down at the Marauders' map and noted that Rita was also on the prowl. She had been at the castle for a week now trying to get information on Oliver.

'All luck to her, she'd need it,' Harry thought with a smirk. She had been harassing students and staff all week. He was sure she spent as much time as a beetle as she did a human trying to get any gossip she could.

The rumor mill was going crazy and many students were running scared. Harry had taken the precaution of spelling his bed, the area around it and the bed curtains to repel all insects.

He snorted. It was times like this that he wished he had a few muggle items here. Ant traps came to mind, as did a fly swatter.

Dobby had also been warned of her animagus form and been promised several sets of warm and colorful socks if he managed to capture her in beetle form. The house elf was currently dressed in khaki shorts and a safari hat, stalking the halls invisibly, large glass jar in one hand and a lid in the other. He could've sworn that he heard Dobby once say, "Here buggie buggie buggie."

Harry was wondering when they would start breaking out the truth serum and calling for loyalty oaths. He wondered how he was going to manage if and when they did.

Now if only he could just get away from Hermione's obsessive need to study and Ron's demands for chess matches.


Cornelius Fudge walked into number 10 Downing Street for his quarterly meeting with the Prime Minister. He was convinced this would be a typical, short meeting. Except for the business with that brat Oliver Twist, Cornelius really didn't have much to report and the less he reported, the better for all concerned.

The wizarding government was running smoothly with no sign of the return of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, despite what Dumbledore and the Potter brat said. No, this meeting would be a pleasant chat, bit of tea and a few platitudes. Business as usual.

"Ah, come in Cornelius," said the prime Minister with a cold, predatory smile. "Have a seat and give me one good reason why I shouldn't have your Wizengamot disbanded with you and Albus Dumbledore up on charges? After all, you both are leaders of a government that is denying more than half of its citizens their rights under British law."

Well, maybe not all tea and crumpets. Fudge whimpered.


Harry finally got some time alone. He was sitting in his bed with Dobby standing guard. It was early and he had pleaded a headache. Of course, Hermione wanted to take him to Madam Pomphrey right away and Ron wanted to get Professor McGonagall.

However it was Seamus that spoke up. "He looks fine to me. Maybe he just wants some time alone? You two have been hanging on him all week. Maybe he wants to wank alone, unless you want to hold his willy for him?" He leered, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.

Hermione ewww'd and blushed. Ron looked like he was about to be ill as everyone in the common room laughed. Harry blushed heavily but didn't say anything. Trust Seamus to come up with a very lewd idea. Bless him!

"Hey Seamus, you said I could borrow your latest Playwitch, right?" Harry called back, insuring that he would definitely be alone for the time being. He grinned as Hermione and Ron fled the dorm for the library and parts unknown.

It wasn't wanking, or anything of that nature, even if he did have the copy of Playwitch tucked under his pillow. He was too busy going over everything that Lord Peter had sent him and all the mail from both editors.

At least he didn't have to worry about Rita. She was hanging around the Ravenclaw dorms tonight, hoping to find a clue that would lead her to Oliver. The betting pool had given her many ideas on just who Oliver could be but no student was willing to come out and speak to her.

So far, Harry had been reassured that neither editor would give any information to the aurors. He wasn't too sure about Dumbledore. The old coot was awfully quiet on the subject.

Also, one of the letters he had received from Dobby was very strange. It was from Ragnok and contained a small corked vial. It looked empty and Harry puzzled over it until he read the letter it came with.

Dear Lord Potter,

Please place your memory of the ritual used to restore the Dark Wizard in this vial. It may be crucial to your quest.


Harry decided he would puzzle over the strange request later as he took pen to paper and wrote his next article.


Mayhem, Sedition and Treason?

As I sit back and watch the mayhem that my articles are generating, I have to wonder. Why am I wanted for treason? Where is the treason in asking questions of adults, or in stating true facts? Is it not the job of adults to teach children about their world, and answer their questions truthfully? How are we supposed to learn unless we ask questions? Even questions that might provoke and dismay those in power. How else is a child to learn?

I sit in the Great Hall and watch as professors of great learning and supposed wisdom run around as if the world is on fire and they don't have a clue how to put it out. Why are they searching for me, instead of defending my right to ask the difficult and embarrassing questions? They, after all, are the teachers.

Everyone says that Hogwarts is the safest place to be in all of the Wizarding World. I can't say I believe it. Is having dozens of Dementors attack a Quidditch pitch full of helpless students safe? Is being petrified in the halls safe? Is being told by the headmaster to, "stay away from a certain corridor if you value your life," safe? Is having a troll running loose in school safe? I, for one, think the answer to all of these questions is a resounding "No!"

It would seem some of the teachers, including the headmaster, are too concerned with their image and the school's reputation to worry about student safety. It also must be mentioned the extent to which they are willing to go to maintain the status quo. Better they should be giving the students the tools they need to live a long, productive and well informed life.

My last observation needs to be shouted aloud until it sinks into the hearts and minds of the administrators of this school.

Quit dividing the school between houses and blood lines! The sorting hat is right, and if an inanimate magical artifact can see the problem, then one would think the wise and learned could as well.

Now is the time to band together, before the world as we know it ceases to exist due to blind prejudices. It really is much simpler to repair something before it is completely crumbled to ruin than it is to build anew. Especially true of the Wizarding World — once we are 'outed' to the muggles there is no going back. Three things that can never be recalled; a loosed arrow, a cast spell, and a secret revealed.

Last I'm very disappointed, but not surprised, that the Wizarding government is calling for my arrest. A wise muggle once said, "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right." The man was Thomas Paine, born in England, was one of the founding fathers of the United States. I doubt many pure bloods know him, especially not Binns.

I will keep writing as long as I am able. Thank you all that support me. I am but a voice calling in the darkness, looking for a candle to light my way.

--Oliver Twist


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