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.



26. Due Notice

Albus sat alone in his office at Hogwarts, staring at his cup of tea. Where had he gone so wrong? In front of him was a copy of Harry's files and brief for the meeting that had happened early that day.

It was all there in front of him. Every bit of information that he had somehow missed. He was supposed to uphold the laws he had helped create in the Wizarding World, instead he was now the victim of those very same laws.

He never dreamed that forcing Harry to do the tournament he was basically saying: "Yes, Harry, you are old enough to know what's going on, old enough to make your own decisions. By competing, you, my boy, are an adult."

Then Cornelius' ploy at trying to discredit Harry in that trial, trying in him front of the full Wizengamot as an adult. What was Cornelius thinking!

Albus had been suspicious that Harry was up to something, he just couldn't figure out what. The boy never received any mail as that owl of his was too noticeable. How did the boy do it?

The wards really needed to be fine-tuned, but since Harry now refused go back to his relatives, he had to could not clear the school. His only option was to force Harry to remain at Hogwarts.

It wasn't safe for the boy outside of the school and Sirius Black wasn't responsible enough to keep a 15 year old boy in check. Merlin, Sirius had never grown up himself, what with his stint in Azkaban. How could he be a proper guardian for a teenager when he needed a guardian himself?

No, Harry was now lost to him. He would never regain the trust the lad once had in him. Or had he ever had it? Included in the file was a mind healers report. Severus had a lot to answer for. How could he have missed this? How did Harry submit to a healer? He never left the school, that Albus knew of.


Later that afternoon, Minerva and Poppy were sitting in the infirmary office sharing their usual afternoon tea. So far the conversation had focused on the events leading up to Harry's emancipation.

"Poppy?" Minerva queried as her old friend refreshed their cups, " Have you noticed anything unusual about Albus of late?"

"If you mean other than his normal meddling?"

"No, no," Minerva replied. "I was referring to his rather frightening obsession with Harry Potter." She sighed. "I know he has always taken an unusually strong interest in young Harry's life. I'm afraid the stress of being on constant watch for so many years is. . .well. . ." She stirred her tea slowly, lost in thought for a bit.

Poppy, watched her friend as she sipped from her own cup.

"Are you asking me if Albus is losing his ability to make rational decisions, Min?"

There was a pause as Minerva collected her thoughts. "Yes, Poppy, I am. Lately he has become more and more adamant that he have total control over Mr. Potter's life." Minerva hesitated and then continued. "He has gone so far as to tell me that the wards will not be re-tuned because Mr. Potter MUST stay at Hogwarts if he is not going to be at his relatives. He used the argument that staying with Sirius was too dangerous. This even after Harry won his emancipation. Albus is at this moment holed up in his office looking for a way to regain control of the boy."

Minerva looked up at her old friend, tears shining in her eyes. "I'm afraid, Poppy, afraid his mind is buckling with the strain and there is nothing I can do to help him."

Poppy leaned forward, placing a hand on her old friends' arm. "Don't fret Min, I'll see to it he comes in for a mandatory physical this week. While he's in here I'll be sure to check for stress and mental acumen as well."

Minerva gave her a watery smile. "Thank you Poppy. I'll be sending you the necessary paperwork so you can release your results if you find anything amiss."


A weary Harry returned to Grimmauld Place after his meeting with the Goblin Keeper. The Keeper had informed them the best time to do the ritual would be during the dark of the moon after the new year.

Harry and Sirius, after due consideration, decided to have their Christmas fun in spite of Dumbledore. They made hurried plans for fun, sun and half-naked girls on some white sand beach.

The bags were quickly packed and ready. Harry no longer needed anyone's permission, but he did let Lord Peter and Ragnok know where he would be, in case of an emergency. Their port-key was timed, and just as it activated to whisk them away, the fireplace in the parlour went green.

"Sirius? Hello? Harry? Anyone?" called Remus. "You need to get to Hogwarts for an emergency Order meeting. Hello?"


Rita Skeeter was in seventh heaven. She had followed Harry Potter to a meeting where he was emancipated! And the files she'd managed get a quick look at . . . !

She had the story of a life time. Child Abuse, neglect, recognized as an adult by a senile Albus Dumbledore and a bumbling Cornelius Fudge! It was the stuff of dreams! And that fool Dumbledore never suspected he carried his undoing in his very own pocket! His magic had masked her presence quite well.

She quickly wrote out her article. The minister was at first reluctant to print anything that portrayed him in a bad light. However, when she pointed out that he had believed Dumbledore when he said the boy was fine at his relatives, and the fact that headmaster had also stepped aside and let him try the boy – thereby giving his implied consent to the trial.

A reluctant Cornelius had turned a lovely shade of green at reading her piece, but gave the go ahead. Anything to bring Potter down a notch now that he claimed not one but two lordships.

The next morning, she went to the Editor's Office and knocked. She handed in her article and left, humming to herself.

Later that day, she got word from her contact in the ministry that he needed to speak with her.

In Hogsmeade, in a corner table at the Hogshead, Rita met her contact, a fat little filing clerk in the DMLE that was disgruntled with how things were done.

"You need to run Rita," the clerk said. "The Potter's high class barrister has filed paperwork for your arrest. Seems you violated the terms of your employment."

"He can't do that!" Rita hissed.

"Yes he can. Potter owns controlling shares of the Daily Prophet and he has requested that all articles about him go through his barrister before printing. How you got into a closed meeting at Gringotts is beyond me, but I'm sure the Goblins would like to know as well."

"But. . . but I have the Minister's backing!" Rita argued.

"Ol' Fudge doesn't have any say. You violated your contract Rita and ol' Charley is looking for ways to fire you. Best you lay low for a time. Heard Potter took off for the hols with that insane godfather of his, so he won't be around for you to snoop on."

Rita shuddered as she paid her spy and left. This put a new wrinkle in her plans, she mused. The best way to to hide would be in her bug form, but where? As a beetle, she knew that the whole world was against her, between the many predators that ate beetles to the many humans that don't watch where they are stepping.

She smiled. There was one place she could hide and still get a scoop.


Lord Charles sat in a very cluttered office, looking over at his friend. "Care for a drink while you are here, Peter?"

"Don't mind if I do, Charles," smiled the barrister as he made himself comfortable. "She's a nasty bit of magic isn't she? How in Merlin's name did she get on the paper?"

"She blackmailed her way in originally and then I couldn't get rid of her, as she had the ear, so to speak, of our illustrious Minister." Charles coughed the innuendo into one hand as he handed Peter a shot of fire-whiskey with the other. "Anyway, she had a binding contract, one I could not break."

"I see," Lord Peter smirked, taking the glass with one hand while pulling out a folded piece of parchment with the other. "Thank you for alerting me about her. Here, this is what Lord Harry and I worked out on what should be published about his recent elevation to adulthood.


Harry was coming in from the beach when Dobby popped in. "I'se sorry, Master Harry Sir, I'se got an urgent letter for you from your your Lord Petey. He says it's about What'ses His Name. Ol' Dumbly's trying to get hold of you'se Master Harry Sir. Here is your copy of the Daily and Quibbly."

Harry sighed and took the letter and package. "Thanks Dobby."

Harry James Potter Emancipated!
by Emmy Anderson

Yesterday in a close session at Gringotts, Harry James Potter meet with Gretta Marchbanks, Head of the Wizarding Children Services and with Amelia Bones, Head of the Department of Law Enforcement (standing in stead of minister Fudge to avoid a conflict of interest). Representing Mr. Potter was his barrister, Lord Peter Flinchley-Addams Retainer at Law. Also attending, but uninvited, was headmaster Albus Dumbledore, protesting this action.

The meeting lasted only an hour before Harry James Potter became emancipated. His title is now, Lord Harry James Potter-Gryffindor, Lord of the Ancient and Noble Houses of Potter and Gryffindor.

Lord Potter-Gryffindor has issued a written statement that the emancipation came about due to the actions of Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts and Head of the Wizengamot, and Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic. They declared Lord Potter-Gryffindor an adult through their actions this past year.

Lord Potter-Gryffindor stated that by forcing him to participate in the Tri-wizard tournament and by trying him as an adult before the Wizengamot, both bodies of government set a new precedent and thereby declared him an adult by default.

What Lord Potter-Gryffindor has planned for the future is unclear at this time. He wishes to finish his schooling in peace before making any further decisions.

We, at the Daily Prophet, wishes him well.


The Order of the Phoenix was in turmoil. No one could find Harry or Sirius anywhere.

When asked, Remus shrugged and replied, "Sirius'd been planning on taking Harry away for Christmas after all. They left a note and were gone before I arrived."

"But. . . It isn't safe!" Molly screeched, throwing up her hands. "Albus! How could you allow this to happen! You promised that Harry would be safe here at Hogwarts or we would've demanded he come to the Burrow."

"Now, now, Molly," Albus said calmly. "I'm sure once I have a talk with the boy, he will only see that we have his best interest at heart."

Remus snorted. "Pull the other one, Albus! Harry's a lot like his father in stubbornness, but he's also his mother's son and has her temper."

Molly started to screech again until someone put a silencing spell on her. Arthur thought about removing it and chiding whoever performed it, but decided instead to be thankful for the small miracle of silence.


In the deep recesses of the Ministry, Croaker was going over the file on the latest reports of Lord Harry James Potter.

"So, the boy finally managed to get out from under ol' Albus' control," he chuckled as he read Sparkplug's report. "And Molly was heard in all her glory at Gringotts. So by morning everyone else will know as well."

"Boss, a letter from Twist has arrived."

"What does the lad have to say?"

Dear Unspeakables,

I want to thank you for your help these past few months in supplying me with all the stats for my articles. I am wondering though, is the Queen really going to get involved with the Wizarding World?

I heard from the grapevine that Fudge is still in the dark looking for my head. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. He always did have his head up his arse.

What I am surprised about is that no one has figured out who I really am. Even Rita, in her illegal animagus disguise, hasn't found me. Oh? Didn't know that did you? How I found out? I have my own sources.

Potter has been very helpful in giving me detailed information as well. Seems no one really understands just how disgruntled our golden boy really is. He's been writing me notes since I first started my articles.

As for your offer of joining, I think I'll pass for the moment. I refuse to go near the ministry while it is still head-hunting, my head, to be honest.

Well I have to go. I am enjoying my Christmas Hols tremendously.


Croaker laughed. How ingenious this lad really is. I wonder how long it'll take for the rest my people to figure it out?


In Little Hangleton, a scream of rage echoed off the stone walls as many dark cloaked figures stepped back in fear.


Rita found the prefect place to hide – Potter's trunk which he left behind for the holiday. As she tried to wiggle her way into the trunk, eager to delve into the brat's secrets, a glass jar slammed down over her. She was caught! Buzzing her wings frantically, she tried desparately to escape, only to have a lid clapped firmly down, trapping her.

As she peered out of the jar, she saw a distorted image of a house elf wearing what looked like a safari hat and khaki commando shirt and shorts.

"Bad buggy! Dobby caught you'se! Master Harry Sir will be sooooo pleased! Maybe he'll let Dobby keep you'se for a pet!"


Well, we did manage to sneak Oliver into this chapter briefly. We haven't forgotten him.

As for the concerns about the port-key situation, please remember that it was a goblin made port-key. Also remember that goblin and house elf magic does not affect the wards around Hogwarts, according to canon as we understand it.

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