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.



27. Holiday Madness

Black Island was an unplottable island near Port Royal. Its white sandy beach and clear blue waters were like a little bit of paradise. The only building on the island was a Victorian Summer manor house with long verandas wrapping it.

However, it was the beach of a nearby wizarding resort island that proved to be everything Sirius promised it would be. The older wizard had wished he had remembered to pack a camera.

The day after they arrived on Black Island, Remus port-keyed in. To say the werewolf was furious at being left behind to be the scape goat of the Order's rantings and interrogations would be putting it mildly.

"It couldn't be helped, Moony," Sirius said snickering."We had to get out of there before Dumble's prison door closed on Harry again. The old man tends to forget that the boy needs some joy in his life."

Remus started to protest more vehemently until Sirius stopped him by pointing down the beach. "Look at Harry and what do you see?"

The teen in question was busy building a castle in the sand. Something he'd always dreamed of doing as a child. He was planning on being a care-free kid for the whole week.

"When was the last time you've seen him that relaxed and happy, if ever?" Sirius asked. "He knows he's safe here, Moony. Only I, as head of the Black family, can give access to this island. He can now finally be himself, and be the kid he was never allowed to be."

The two marauders soon settled in matching chairs as they watched Harry play in the sand and surf while they sipped drinks in the shade of the veranda.

"Moony," Sirius paused for a moment. "Let me tell you what I found out in the meeting at Gringotts. You weren't there for most of it. . ." Sirius stared out at the lowering sun as he spoke in great detail of what he'd learned.

"So you see," he finished, "we failed them all, James, Lily and Harry. I don't think they'll ever forgive us."

For the remainder of the week, the three of them spent their time island hopping between Black Island and the nearby Wizarding Resort Beach and night club. After all, according to Sirius, Harry needed to have his horizons broadened, so to speak.

Both men were now convinced it was in Harry's best interest to have nothing to do with Dumble's Order, as it wasn't what it had been when they first joined.

During the first war, Albus had been far more open to the opinions of the members and they had actively stood against Voldemort. Now, it was a dictatorship, and most importantly, Albus was taking more interest in Harry's life than the war itself. Such interest was very unhealthy. The man had too many damn secrets and wasn't about to share them. Not good when people's lives might stand or fall on the knowledge he was hoarding.

"I should've never listened to Albus, Moony. He's cost me more than anyone could ever know," Sirius said sadly, one night as they had checked on a sleeping Harry.

"You trusted him. We all did," Remus said, joining him on the patio with a couple of drinks. "I never visited Harry once, in all the time he was growing up, because Albus said it wasn't safe and with my furry problem. . ."

Sirius sighed. "We both failed them. We both promised to be there for Harry and we weren't. We promised! And its a wonder we still have our magic the way we let them down."

"We failed because we put our trust in the wrong person, Padfoot. He made sure we looked to him for everything. The muggles would say he brainwashed us, from the time we were kids and looking back on it, they'd be right. We all trusted Albus blindly. What does Harry say about all this?"

Sirius gulped down his drink before replying. "Harry wants us in his life, but he won't allow anyone, including us, to control him the way Albus has. Anymore, the decisions to be made are his alone to make. We had our chance and we stuffed it." Remus watched his old friend as he brushed away a tear. "All we can give him now is our love."


Cornelius Fudge wadded up his copy of the Prophet and threw it at his aide, Percy Weasley, a.k.a Weatherby, and snarled. "Where's that blasted Skeeter woman! She was suppose to stop Potter from getting any political clout!"

Percy Weasley ducked. "I. . . I'm sorry sir, but she hasn't reported for work for two days. The DMLE has a warrant for her arrest for invasion of privacy and she's wanted by the goblins for questioning. I would imagine she's laying low for the time being."

"Find her!" Fudge snapped, slamming his fist on his desk. "And contact Lucius. We need a plan for when Potter tries to claim his seats on the Wizengamot."

"Yes sir," Percy hurried out the door before hesitating briefly and called over his shoulder, "Don't forget you have a meeting with the muggle Prime Minister at one." Percy shut the door just as a spell slammed into it.


Hermione returned home with mixed feelings. She had told her parents about the fall out between her and Harry, and about her limited career choices in the Wizarding World. To say they were unhappy with the situation was a gross misstatement.

"You mean to tell us, that all you are good for in that. . . that world is to bear children!?" her father demanded. "We allowed you to go after we spoke with that professor. She told us that you would be a very promising witch, with a bright career ahead of you! You could've gone to the finest schools in Britain for what we're paying!"

Hermione hung her head. There really wasn't anything she could say to that. She'd probably snuffed up all her chances at getting a placement in a good uni, since she hadn't taken any muggle classes while attending Hogwarts.

That night as Hermione was settling into bed with a good book, her mother entered.

"Hermione, sweetie, we need to talk."

"What about Mum?" Hermione asked, setting her book aside while cringing inwardly. She'd been dreading this discussion.

"About your letters," her mother started in as she sat at the foot of her daughter's bed. "Something's changed, hasn't it?"

"What do you mean, Mum?" Hermione asked nervously.

"Oh sweetie, your letters used to contain such tales about this boy -- Harry," her mother explained. "And now, he's almost disappeared from them. In fact, your letters are all about your school work with very little about your social life."

Hermione huffed. "What social life? Only Harry and Ron spoke to me. The girls in my dorm barely tolerate me."

Her mother sighed. "Hermione, sweetie, do you remember we had this talk when you were in primary school?"

"The one about if you want friends, you must first be a friend?" Hermione sniped.

"That's the one. I was so happy that you made friends at Hogwarts. I was a bit concerned that they were boys, but still. . . what happened?"

Hermione sighed. "Harry is upset that I didn't write to him over the summer. He's barely spoken to me all term. He's just shut me out."

"Did you promise to write to him?"

"Yes but. . . it wasn't safe. I couldn't. . ."

"So you broke a promise to your friend? Is this the same one whose friend died?"

"Yes, but. . . Professor Dumbledore told us not to! He said it was for Harry's own good!"

Her mother sighed. "Hermione, I know we taught you to respect adults, but we also taught you that adults are not always right. Respect is one thing, sweetie, blind trust is another."

Taking a deep breath, her mother paused before continuing. "Tell me, sweetie, if Harry'd promised to write to you after you lost a friend, would he keep that promise? No matter what someone else told him? Would he find a way to be there for you in your grief? You made a promise and went back on it. Now it's cost you a very important friendship."

Hemione hung her head in shame. How often had Harry broken the rules for her? She sniffled, "But mum. . . Professor . . ."

Her mother held up her hand. "Hermione. You said in your letters that Harry was supposedly safest at his relatives' house. However, you also said, in your letters, that you suspect Harry's living conditions with them weren't the greatest. In fact, a few of your letters hinted that he was abused by these same relatives. Am I correct?"

Hermione nodded sadly.

"You had a choice, whether to be there for a grieving friend or obey a professor who had no right to deny a student simple communication outside of school. You could've found a way to keep in touch with him.

"As far as the Headmaster keeping information from the boy when it directly impacts his life, well, I'm not saying that your professor was right in keeping him in the dark. I only know what you told us, but even we can read between the lines, sweetie."

Hermione sighed, looking at her hands. Harry had been trying to tell her all term that the headmaster wasn't always right, especially when it came to him. "You are right, Mum, but it doesn't matter. You and Da are going to pull me out of Hogwarts, aren't you?"

"Your father and I are still deciding if we will allow you to return to Hogwarts after the holidays. I suggest that you take some time to think about what you want to happen."


Minerva was sitting at her desk going over the first term exams before heading over to her sister's home for the hols. She had this last bit of work to do.

A knock on the door and Poppy entered. "Minerva. I have Albus' test results. He wasn't happy about taking them. However. . . after I threatened to go to the Board he complied. As Deputy Headmistress, it is your right to have a copy. He wasn't happy that you and the Board would be receiving copies but still . . " Poppy huffed. "I'll leave you to your reading. Sorry to spoil your holidays. I know you were looking forward to spending time away with your family."

Minerva sighed as she reached for the file.


Sirius and Remus walked into the manor house on Black Island after spending the day appreciating the many shapes and forms of the half-naked female bodies that littered the resort's beach. Harry had returned earlier as he had some mail from Lord Peter.

The two old marauders could heard Harry's laughter ringing out.

"What's up Harry?" Sirius called with a lop-sided grin.

Harry cackled at the two while pointing and placing a hand on Dobby's shoulder. The house elf was holding up a lidded glass jar with a very strange looking beetle in it.

"Dobby caughts the bad buggy!" The elf was dressed in his safari gear. "Harry Potter sir is letting Dobby keeps her as a pet!" he said, holding the jar higher for them to see his prize. The bug was trying frantically to escape by scratching at the jar's lid. "Dobby promises to take care of buggy, I'se feed her and love her, and calls her Buggy! Dobby will!"

Harry lost it totally, dropping to the floor in hysterical laughter as the two men looked at each other in confusion. Trying between gasps of breath, Harry pointed at the jar and managed to get out, "It . . . It's . . . Rita!"


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