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.



23. Plans Go Awry

Harry smirked as he read the letter from Lord Peter. Two meetings were scheduled after the leaving feast. The first was a secret meeting between Lord Peter and himself to go over everything. The second was to meet with the Review Board, which consisted of Madam Bones and Wizarding Child Services, to decide if enough proof had been gathered for Harry's emancipation.

Sirius was supposed to escort Harry to Gringotts where the meeting with the review board was to take place. As far as anyone knew, Albus Dumbledore wasn't invited. Lord Peter had the old wizard's guardianship quietly revoked so the headmaster's presence wasn't necessary. The notice informing Dumbledore of that fact had been 'accidentally' delayed. By the time the he found out, it would be too late to stop the proceedings.

As they left the Defense class room, Harry was called back by Hermione. "Harry? Are you sure it'll be alright for you to go home with Sirius?" she asked with some concern.

"Sure why not?" Harry asked. They had somewhat restored their friendship, but it had been slow going. "Sirius has been cleared of all wrong doing and he wants to spend Christmas with me. What's so hard to understand?" Students passed by on their way to the next class.

Hermione sighed and shook her head. "But Dumbledore. . ."

"Doesn't have a say in this, Hermione. He isn't my guardian."

"But you usually stay here for the holidays," she tried to reason with him.

"True, but you get to spend the hols with your family," Harry looked over at his friend. "Why can't I spend it with my godfather?"

"Of course, but . . ."

"But nothing, Hermione. This is my first Christmas to have with someone that's family, and the Dursleys don't count. They've never wanted me or considered me family," Harry growled. "I'll be fine, Hermione. Don't worry."


"Mr. Potter," came Professor McGonagall's voice as he was leaving the Common Room to head for dinner in the Great Hall.

"Yes Professor?" Harry asked, turning to face her.

"I see that you didn't sign up to stay for the holidays this year?"

"No, ma'am. Sirius wants me to stay with him and I'm going to. He's got everything planned out for us," the teen replied in a wistful voice.

"Do you think that's wise? After all he isn't your guardian."

"But he's my godfather. Professor?" Harry asked, looking up at her.

"Yes Mr. Potter?"

"Why is everyone suddenly so concerned about where I spend the holidays? No one ever was before. Don't you want me to spend them with the only family I have left? Everyone tells me that Sirius' place is very secure."

"Very well, Mr. Potter."


Harry was ready to scream. It was Leaving Feast for the start of the Christmas Hols. It seemed that Dumbledore was against him leaving Hogwarts. He went as far as inviting Sirius and Remus to spend it here. He cited the possible danger Harry would be in away from the safety of the castle. Sirius tried to refuse, but Dumbledore was adamant about keeping Harry where he could keep an eye on him.

'Looks like it'll be Plan B,' Harry thought with disgust. He wrote to Lord Peter about the change in plans and requested a timed port-key. There was no way Harry was going to miss his meetings. Sirius would just have to fend for himself. Harry wondered if his godfather had told Dumbledore what was going on. If anything, the old marauder thought it was one massive prank to pull on the old headmaster.

That night Harry received a note and an old coke can from Lord Peter from Dobby. Harry was sure he wouldn't have gotten this far without the little elf's help.

Lord Harry,

It does not surprise me that the headmaster is trying to thwart you. He does, however, suspect something. He does, after all, have friends in the ministry and they have been nosing around, asking questions.

Be careful. The port-key will go off at 9 a.m. tomorrow for us to discuss your briefing. Don't lose it.


The next morning, Harry was up and dressed alone in his dorm, well before 8 a.m. The port-key went off as scheduled and Harry landed in Lord Peter's office. Breakfast was waiting.

"Did anyone see you leave, Lord Harry?" asked Lord Peter.

Harry smiled dusting himself off. "Since I am the only one staying in the dorm at the moment and Sirius and Remus aren't expected to arrive until sometime this afternoon, no sir."

"Very well, help yourself to breakfast, as we go over everything for the meeting tomorrow."

"You know, they'll start looking for me when I don't show up for lunch, don't you?" Harry commented as he poured himself a cup of tea.

"You will be back in plenty of time and I have confidence in your skills of distraction," Lord Peter smiled.

The rest of the morning they went over everything in Harry's file, from the sealing of his parents' will to the abuse done by the Dursleys, to the accidental emancipation by both legal authorities in the Wizarding World.

"Do you think it'll work?"

Lord Peter smiled. "I don't see why not. Relax Lord Harry. Between you and Oliver, you have kept this world totally off balance. Something as minor as your emancipation should slip past unnoticed. I salute you for your artful misdirection."

Harry raised his cup in mock salute before sipping.

True to Lord Peter's prediction, no one questioned Harry when he came down for lunch an hour later.


Sirus and Remus arrived just before dinner that night. Sirus was very apologetic about the change of plans, but Harry brushed it off.

"It's alright, Padfoot," Harry said as they walked to the Great Hall for dinner. "We all know that what Dumbledore wants, Dumbledore gets." Sirius cringed as Remus snorted.

"We need to talk after dinner, cub," Remus said quietly.

Alright," Harry said. "What about?"

"After dinner," was the terse reply.

Dinner that night was chaotic as only two Marauders could make it. Stories about the past as well as a couple of pranks kept the table in an uproar. Severus Snape, sporting a mohawk and neon pink robes, was a hit to everyone but the potions master.

Harry didn't say much as he picked at his food. He wondered just what his godfather and Moony wanted to talk about later. He also didn't like the fact that everyone thought it was alright for the two to torment Snape. Granted Harry didn't like the man but still. . .

"So what did you want to talk to me about?" Harry asked making himself comfortable on the sofa in the guest quarters.

"So this meeting tomorrow," Remus asked. "Why isn't Dumbledore invited? He is, after all, your guardian."

Harry straightened, turning to Sirius. "He knows?"

"Moony overheard me talking to Gringotts," Sirius reassured Harry, glaring at Remus. "Moony here wanted to tell Dumbledore, but I talked him out of it."

Harry sighed with relief. "I guess Dumbledore's notice got lost in the mail or something."

"Cub, Gringotts doesn't lose mail," Remus chided.

"Right, like they didn't lose my bank statements that I never got? Or the fact, that the notice that I was entitled to have my parent's will read when I was eleven was lost? Or the notification assigning Dumbledore as my supposed magical guardian got lost?"

Remus reared back in surprise.

"No, Moony," Harry sighed. "Albus Dumbledore has been keeping my rights and heritage from me. So, it was decided to 'accidently' lose his notice until tomorrow when the meeting starts. Don't miss understand, he isn't my legal guardian, magical or otherwise. He never was and, after tomorrow, never will be."

Remus looked from Harry to Sirius and nodded his head.


Harry walked casually into the Great Hall for breakfast the next morning. Hopefully by the end of the day, he would be free of Dumbledore's meddling. The old coot would have better things to occupy his time.

Since there were only a few people staying at the castle over the holidays, only one large table was set up. Many of the places were yet to be filled. Some were reading the Daily Prophet and some were reading the Quibbler. Since the whole tampering with British rule fiasco, the rags had been doing their best to give their readers a bit of a history lesson.

Harry had been pleased to note that many of the pure bloods hadn't been too happy with current events. Many thought that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II wielded no power over the magical community. That was until the Quibbler and the Prophet started to post some of the more archaic treaties, in full unedited detail, including the 1692 Statute of Secrecy.

The newspapers pointed out that these were magically enforceable contracts. Even if one hadn't signed it personally, the whole community was bound to it through the signatures of the family heads of that time period. If they directly opposed the Crown, The Wizarding World would lose not only their autonomy but also their magic.

An owl dropped his copy of the Quibbler beside him as Harry filled his plate.

Truth or Fiction?

The other day I was listening to the golden trio as they came out of Defense class. They were arguing that it wasn't safe for Potter to leave the castle for the holidays.

I happened to overhear them as they were discussing He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but Potter insisted on calling him Lord V***. I think I will too as it's easier on the hand to write.

Yes, surprisingly, Potter was saying the Dark Lord's name! I heard Potter mention in passing that the Dark Lord wasn't even a pure blood! This got me wondering. I was curious at some of the other comments I overheard him make in the past, so I went and tried to look up any information on you-know-who in the school library.

Hogwarts' Library is amazing. There are books about everything and anything here. About the only thing you can't find is a good action thriller to sit down and enjoy when you aren't busy working on homework. Or any information about the man who currently holds our world in fear, the so called Dark Lord.

Anyway, I digress. Potter likes to call the him Lord V***, or Riddle, somewhat interchangeably. The Golden Boy refuses to say "He-Who-Must-Not-be-Named" or any other silly aliases. That got me to wondering.

Now Riddle didn't sound like a wizarding family name I'd heard before, so I did some checking. I found a Tom Marvolo Riddle was sorted into the House of Slytherin, and later made head boy in 1943. He was a half-blood, according to the few scant records I found at school.

With so many questions in mind, I paid a visit to the goblins. Where, for a small fee, I was allowed to research their

self-updating heritage books. Guess what I found?

I started out with the line of Slytherin, for we all know Lord V*** professes to be the last of that line. Well, according to the records, he's lying. A man named Tom Marvolo Riddle was the last of that line, but he died on October 31, 1981. He was the son of Merope Gaunt, last of the pure-blood line of Slytherin, and Tom Riddle a local muggle aristocrat. The heritage book clearly shows there is no direct blood heir to Salazar Slytherin now living.

So, where does that leave Lord V***? Perhaps he suffers from wishful thinking. The heritage books are blood-bound and have never made a mistake in the thousand years they have existed. All I know, is that his loyal followers are following a dream. Or a nightmare? The direct bloodline of the ancient and noble house of Slytherin is no more.

I know these statements can get one killed. But seriously, why isn't anyone questioning what they are told? Why are we giving power to someone that doesn't even like to use his real name? Lord V*** can't be his real name. After all, Lord V***'s claim to Slytherin's blood is false. Perhaps the ministry's claim he is gone is false as well, personally, with their record. . .?

Potter claims otherwise. So who is right and who is wrong?And even more importantly, can we afford to be wrong? Could Potter have been right all along and no one wanted to believe?

Oh by the way, this is my last article until after the holidays.

Happy Christmas.

--Oliver Twist


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