In this World and the Next

Not for Weasley fans, dark beginning and rating is for safety. A Re-do with payback on the menu H/Hr Complete

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5627314/1/In-this-World-and-the-Next

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16. Chapter 16

Sirius was eagerly awaiting his copy of this morning's Prophet , yesterday had felt so good and he was now looking forward to his blind date tonight. Instead of an owl though, Sirius found himself having to answer the door where all thoughts of his date swiftly flew away. Amelia Bones was standing there with a couple of aurors as back-up. Sirius had no other option but to invite them in, Dan and Emma greeted their visitors warily.

Amelia's tone alerted all three residents that this was not a social call. "Lord Black, can I ask you when was the last time you saw Lucius Malfoy?"

Sirius could answer with total honesty, "Madam Bones, I have not laid eyes on that blond arsewipe since before I was illegally placed in Azkaban. I also have no desire to break that run of good luck anytime soon. Could I ask what brought you here and why the question was asked?"

"We currently have Lucius Malfoy in custody, he claims you must have placed him under the Imperious curse yesterday. Can I ask you to give me an account of your movements up until about four o'clock yesterday?"

Sirius appeared unconcerned, "So he's resorting to the same excuse he used last time, I really thought he had more originality than that. I wonder if he has enough gold to escape Azkaban this time? I don't know what he's done but I intend to see that he doesn't. Yesterday I was in Gringotts for most of the afternoon conducting Black family business. I met briefly with Narcissa in that time which probably explains his claims. I'm revoking their marriage and claiming back the bride price since we all know her husband is a death eater. I also promised to cast her out the Black family the second the marriage is dissolved. I've already done the same to that psycho bitch Bellatrix. "

Amelia had to tread carefully, she didn't want to upset a man who the ministry had already treated badly. Something just didn't sit right with this case though. "Could the Narcissa that you met possibly have been Lucius under the influence of polyjuice potion?"

Sirius paused for a moment before answering, "It's possible, I haven't seen her for many years and would put any differences down to that. The meeting took place in a room in Gringotts though, that would be a hell of a risk to take. You do Know what happens to people who try to deceive the goblins? She left well before I did, cursing my name because she would no longer have one. The papers dissolving her marriage should have cleared yesterday, allowing her to be cast out of the Black family today."

Amelia could understand that would be something the Malfoys would be desperate to avoid. Would they really concoct something this elaborate though? All Lucius had revealed about the incident was that he had set off to meet Sirius and the next thing he remembers is waking up in custody. Even under truth serum they couldn't get any more out of him, Amelia really didn't want to ask this next question but realised she must. "Lord Black, please may I check your wand?"

Sirius again took a moment before answering, "I can understand why you're asking madam Bones and can't help wishing you were in charge when I was dumped in Azkaban. I will allow you to check my wand in order to clear myself from this investigation."

Amelia accepted his wand gratefully, along with his reasoning. She was surprised to see the last six spells cast were all household spells and couldn't help but say so.

Both Grangers had kept quiet, realising that they were out of their depth here. Emma though, thought she could help with this. "That would be my fault, the whole family is moving to a new home next weekend and I was starting to panic about the work we still had to do. Sirius gave us a demonstration of how much easier it is to clean and pack when you can use magic. You've no idea how relieved I was after seeing that."

This got Amelia's attention, "Can I ask where you're moving to?"

Dan was getting fed up with these people turning up at his door whenever it suited them and didn't even try to hide his annoyance. "Can I ask why you want that information? I was actually looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet."

Sirius not only backed him up, but let Lord Black out to play as he took his wand back from Amelia. "Last time I looked, supplying a forwarding address to the ministry was not an actual requirement when moving house. Madam Bones I have cooperated fully with your investigation, if there is nothing else then we'd like to have our breakfast without an auror guard."

Amelia was forced to put-up or shut-up, since she had nothing there was only one option open to her. "My apologies for disturbing your morning and I would like to thank you for your cooperation Lord Black. This closes the last avenue available for Lucius Malfoy to escape being punished. I think it's fair to say you won't be seeing him for quite a number of years yet. Please excuse my forwardness over your moving house, being inherently nosey is a requirement of my job. I just try to always be thorough."

Sirius relaxed his tone, "If you want to be thorough Amelia, I'll give you something that requires investigation. Barty Couch brought his wife into the prison to visit their son, highly illegal and days later both mother and son were dead. The son was apparently in good health beforehand and of course there was no investigation. That's always smelled bad to me." He could see from Amelia's raised eyebrows that she thought it was highly coincidental as well. Sirius of course had been told that junior was currently living at home, hidden under an invisibility cloak while being guarded by a house elf. Sirius was determined to help the kids any way he could, getting rid of Crouch would definitely be a plus.

Amelia left the Grangers with more questions than she arrived with, not something she had anticipated when she knocked on their door. That the Potters were moving home was a concern but she had no right to demand their new address. She was sure she could soon discover it if she looked hard enough, unfortunately she was going to be very busy for the foreseeable future.

-oOoOo-

The great hall was in turmoil at breakfast, and for once the Potters weren't at the centre of it. The two pictures on the front page of today's Prophet turned the spotlight directly onto Draco Malfoy. Lucius was there, pictured in all his finery. He was still in the dress and, while the aurors had removed the blood from his face, they had deliberately left the make-up on. Narcissa's picture was next to her husbands, she was charged with being an accessory to the assault on the minister. It was soon discovered that she, like her husband, was a death eater and the charges quickly began to multiply.

Draco sat there stoically as the jibes progressively got worse as his world fell apart.

"I'm confused Draco, which one's your mother?"

"That dress looks really sliming on your father."

"Do all three of you dress the same Draco?"

Just when he thought it couldn't get any worse, an owl from Gringotts arrived bearing bad news. The loud shriek from Pansy as she read it over his shoulder quietened the hall.

"If you're no longer Draco Malfoy, that means our betrothal is no longer valid!" She raced out of the hall in tears.

Millicent was as usual sitting beside Neville as she let out a sigh, "Sorry guys, but if I don't go and see if she's ok, no one else will. Quite a few Slytherins will have a lot more on their mind than Pansy's welfare. It now looks as if the ministry is actually going to start arresting death eaters."

Neville looked on in wonder as Millie went to check on a girl he knew she couldn't stand the sight of. It was Hermione who provided the answer he was looking for.

"She has a heart of gold Neville, we're very lucky to have her as a friend. If I tried to comfort Pansy, she would think I had come to gloat because we don't like Draco."

The words were out before Neville realised what he said, "Yeah, she is pretty amazing."

The Potters were pleased for Neville, they were dreading Halloween but at least they knew Neville would have other friends.

Feelings at the Slytherin table were running close to boiling point. The ministry had declared war on former death eaters due to the actions of one man. That many of them might soon be seeing family members on the front of subsequent Daily Prophets meant there was no sympathy for the blond boy whose turn it was today. Truth be told, there was quite a bit of animosity and anger toward the Malfoys. Draco was going to have a rougher time than even he thought.

Draco understood enough pureblood politics to know that if the head of the Black family had dissolved his parents' marriage, the next step would be to disown his mother. Since his father would appear bound for Azkaban, there would be no way for him to claim Draco as his heir. He would be Draco No-Name by Monday, and the blond Slytherin knew just who to blame for his massive downturn in fortune. Sirius Black had been freed from Azkaban due to Potter's actions, he was also his godfather. Draco had lost his name, heritage, both parents and his godfather since Potter came on the scene. His father was no longer in a position to order Draco not to antagonise precious Potter, he would show Weasley how a real Slytherin deals with his foes. That would have to wait, first thing on the agenda would be surviving the trouble that was coming his way. Then he could begin opening peoples' eyes so the blame could start to be appropriated where it belongs, before finding some allies for his revenge.

-oOoOo-

Tonks thought she might be forced to cancel their date tonight but all the suspected death eaters came along quietly. Apart from extra guards for the holding cells, everyone's shifts should be back to normal by the weekend. She could only assume these people thought their money, power and position would protect them, the aurors were all aware that a trial under truth serum was their immediate future. None of them were stupid enough to tell them that though, at least not until they were safely ensconced in a holding cell.

She would have plenty of time to go home and get prepared for her date tonight, Tonks couldn't believe how nervous she was. How could she be looking forward to something yet dreading it at the same time.

-oOoOo-

Sirius didn't have time to do his story justice, so Harry and Hermione were going to have to wait before hearing all the details. Needless to say it was a very happy Sirius who set out for his date.

Padfoot and Moony were sitting chatting while their dates were visiting the ladies room, Remus decided to ask his best friend straight out. "Sirius, why did you pull this stunt? I know the idea of you not being ready to date is ludicrous, so tell me the real reason!"

Sirius decided to be as honest as he could, "Remus, when we were younger, what's the first thing that would have gone through our minds if one of us was dating a metamorphmagus?"

Remus understood at once, "We would have thought they were a lucky bastard and imagined them having any woman they wanted. On tap, so to speak."

Sirius nodded his agreement, "The entire focus shifts though when the girl in question is a member of your family. I see how you look at Tonks and I know you'll never hurt her, I also think she might like you. All I'm doing is trying to help my best friend and a member of my family. If something happens between you then you know I approve. I happen to think you could be good for each other but this will be the limit of my involvement. I saw an opportunity for us all to have a nice night out and took it, nothing more sinister than that."

Remus was astonished at his friend's new-found maturity, maturity was not usually a trait one associated with Sirius Black. One question later though and he was reassured the maturity was only a temporary condition. "What do you think of your date?"

"Oh she's a babe! A babe who I'd really like to get to know better." A suggestive wiggle of his eyebrows left Remus in no doubt what the old dog meant.

The two girls meanwhile were having their own conversation in the ladies, "Well Hestia, what do you think of Sirius?"

Hestia was a couple of years older than Tonks but her sense of fun had seen the two become firm friends. When she'd agreed to this, it was supposed to be just her and Sirius. Watching Tonks with Remus, Hestia was beginning to wonder if her friend had played her. She decided to yank her chain a little, just to find out what was going on here. "Oh I like Sirius well enough but it's Remus who sets my heart all aflutter. Those gorgeous eyes of his look right into your soul when he speaks to you. I know Sirius is your relation but would you mind if we swapped for the rest of the evening? After all, it's not as if you're really dating the guy."

The way her friends chin almost hit the floor told Hestia all she needed to know, "Ok, so when did you realise that you actually liked the guy?"

Tonks answered without thinking, "Wednesday! I helped him teach some kids at Hogwarts and found myself looking forward t it all day. He makes me feel like a nervous teenager again Hestia, what can I do about it?"

She laughed at her confused friend, "Tonks, you don't have to do anything. I was only half joking you know, he really is quite dishy."

Tonks actually growled back her answer, "Get your eyes off him Hestia, I saw him first!"

Sirius and Remus gazed on in wonder as the two beautiful witches returned to their table. Hestia was about the same height as Tonks though with a slightly fuller figure that Sirius definitely appreciated. Her shoulder length straight black hair perfectly framed her heart shaped face. It was her laughing blue eyes that Sirius thought was her most alluring feature, they seemed to sparkle when she smiled. They were sparkling now as she returned to her seat beside him. Sirius decided then and there that his godson had a brilliant philosophy on life. When a Granger woman told you to do something, you just did it.

Emma's idea was paying all kinds of dividends Sirius hadn't expected, and the night was still young!

It had been a brilliant evening and the best first date Tonks could ever remember having. She was starting to get nervous though as Remus was taking her home. She was actively looking for her own flat but still staying with her parents at the moment. She was beginning to feel like a nervous teen again, what if Remus wanted to kiss her? What if he didn't?

She was so preoccupied that it almost made her jump when Remus placed his hands gently on her cheeks, adjusting her head slightly before tenderly kissing her lips.

"I hope you don't mind but I had been wanting to do that all evening, I was wondering if you wanted to do this again?"

Tonks still had her eyes closed as she answered him, "What, kiss or date?"

"Both!"

"Yes!"

Remus smiled as she still had her eyes closed, "Yes to what? Kiss or date?"

Her eyes now open, Tonks hands made their way to his cheeks. She gently said 'Both' before kissing Remus with rather more force than he'd used on her.

Somewhere deep in the back of her mind Tonks was thinking that feeling like a nervous teen was sometimes a very good thing indeed.

-oOoOo-

Breakfast that Saturday morning was a loud, rambunctious affair as everyone caught up on the happenings since Tuesday. Hermione was jubilant that her mother's plan for getting Remus and Tonks to notice one another appeared to have gone so well. Emma was also grinning like the proverbial Cheshire cat but the clear winner in the smiles stakes was Sirius, he was beaming out enough sunshine to give them all a tan at breakfast. The marauder had just had a stellar few days.

Their breakfast was interrupted by the arrival of today's Prophet, the front page stopped all conversation.

"Well that was unexpected, brilliant but still unexpected."

Harry couldn't help but laugh at his godfather, "Sirius, you really do have a way with words. You've just single-handedly done more damage to Voldemort than any witch or wizard ever. And the beauty of it is, no one knows you were responsible for it!"

The front page of the Prophet looked like a chessboard, composed of tiny pictures of all the people the ministry had arrested under suspicion of being death eaters. Every single one was being put under trial with the use of truth serum now mandatory for anyone wearing a dark mark. Britain appeared to be finally dealing with its death eater problem. All present thought that ensuring Voldemort had no marked followers left walking the streets was a brilliant way to start the weekend.

The letter to Harry from Gringotts proclaiming his purchase of both Riddle and Gaunt properties was complete didn't dampen their mood either. With demolition scheduled for Monday, this added the icing to an already sweet day. The cherry on top however came from reading that the site had contained some contaminated material that had been safely disposed of, of course the correct sum had been withdrawn from his vault and they'd roasted a pig in his honour.

Harry was tempted to take Riddle out in their very next defence class, if he could think of a way to do it without arousing suspicion of their knowledge he probably would! Then his sensible side kicked in, he needed Tom to let the troll into the castle. All their demons would be laid to rest on the one night, rather fitting that it would be Halloween. At one point Harry had considered adding Draco to the list, Sirius had solved that problem by leaving him without a name or power. Without the Malfoy millions to back him up, Draco No-Name became a nonentity in more ways than one.

Hermione was trying to imagine the effect this would have on Hogwarts, quite a few of the students had relatives featured on the front page. For the next few weeks it would be more important than ever to keep their large group of friends together. Millie had shown them that a kind word could make all the difference at a time like this.

For the first time since regaining their memories, Emma felt there was some hope for her family being able to live in the country they were born in. She had always assumed they would be heading off to Australia in November, never to return. It wasn't that she would have minded living down-under, it was very nice to have a choice though. Coming back to a country where her children might be murdered was never going to be an option.

The five at breakfast were again going to Devon for the day, seeing their new house in its final stages was getting them all excited. Sirius had been convinced to move into the self-contained flat above the garages, that way he could have as much privacy or company as he wanted.

Sirius wanted it to be his bachelor pad but everyone just referred to it as the kennel, much to his annoyance.

-oOoOo-

Quirenus Quirrell observed the expressions on the faces of the mainly Slytherin children who saw their relatives featured on the front page of the Prophet. Tom didn't feel anger or resentment, rather it was almost glee. These people had forsaken him, retreated behind their gold and relaxed in their manors while he barely existed.

A stay in Azkaban would let them feel a fraction of what he himself went through, they would also be exceedingly grateful when their lord eventually rescued them. He had no intention of doing so right away, spending Christmas in a cell should turn them into the hardened followers he required.

They would come crawling back to their master from gratitude as well as fear. His new death eaters would be even more vicious against the people who dared to remove their privileged lifestyle. Combined with his, their wrath would be the stuff of legends.

-oOoOo-

Harry could easily see where Hermione inherited her legendary organisational skills from, Emma was dashing throughout the house while taking copious notes and measurements to ensure everything fitted.

It was to this scene that Ginny and Luna entered, and immediately burst out laughing at the three males standing in a line and nodding in agreement to everything that Emma said.

Harry led both girls out to see the swimming pool, with a retractable roof and glass wall that opened to the garden, it could and would be used all year long. He needed a quiet word with their friends at the first opportunity, and this was it.

"Ginny, I didn't mind that you showed your brother Charlie the house but next week we move in here. That's when the wards will become active and only those invited will be able to access the house. You both are of course on the invited list but you'll have to floo or owl if you want to bring someone else along. These wards are to protect my family and they're the best the goblins offer, I would hate to see anyone run afoul of them by mistake."

Rather than having to deal with two upset girls, Harry found himself confronted by the both of them wearing wide grins. Luna explained their reaction to a clearly puzzled Harry. "These wards are to protect your family yet we can come and go as we please. That's rather a lot of trust your placing in us Harry."

Hermione arrived and saw the wide smiles, "Ah, I take it you told them about their room?" the gasps and squeals of delight as both girls dived at Harry told a different story. "Well, maybe not." It was soon Hermione's turn to be engulfed by the two very happy girls, the quartet then made their way upstairs to inspect their respective rooms.

Emma and Dan were standing in what would soon be their bedroom, the large glass front had French doors that led onto their own balcony. It really was the house of their dreams, and sharing it with their daughter and son made it much more special. The house was designed to accommodate their eventual grandchildren as well, both parents knew they were years away from that yet but the news lately appeared to bring that reality just a bit closer.

Sirius effectively had his own apartment on the grounds, they could all be together until the bachelor decided to marry and raise a family of his own. The thought of the exact same house being built on the beautiful piece of land they bought in Coronet Bay made the dream even more complete. Their lives from now on could be composed of perpetual springs and summers. Neither Dan nor Emma had ever spent Christmas in the sunshine but both were more than willing to give it a try.

Sirius ran a glance over the spacious apartment and thought he certainly could be comfortable here. They all recognised this was merely the next stepping stone in his acclimatisation back into society. Staying with the Grangers had been incredibly good for him, Emma's gentle reminders that he no longer lived in a cell forced Sirius to remember his manners and how to interact with people again. It was Dan though who had helped the most, sitting in a pub while having a drink and a chat with a friend was something Sirius never thought he would do again.

Dan had a sort of inner peace that made him really easy to talk to, Sirius had unburdened his soul to his new friend / family. It's no wonder Harry and Dan were so tight, if ever there was a father figure for the lad to model himself on then Dan Granger was of the twenty four carat variety.

That's not to say this man was a push over, anything but! As they got to know one another, the shields had come down and Sirius saw the fire and steel under the mild mannered exterior. The night of September the nineteenth they had touched on why they hated the Weasleys so much, Dan's reactions left Sirius glad he had black hair.

Sirius had later tried to put himself in Dan's place and wondered what it would take to get a reaction like that from him? The obvious answer left the man who had endured ten years in Azkaban feeling sick to his stomach and with fat tears running down his cheeks. His respect for these four sky-rocketed. To have that happen yet still try to help the people of Britain spoke volumes for their characters. Having to see that boy every day at Hogwarts must be driving them both nuts.

Sirius was beginning to understand their need to leave the country, Harry and Hermione would need time away to deal with everything that had happened to them. Sirius hoped it was no more than an extended holiday before they returned back to Britain, but he would support them no matter what they decided. With the ministry finally dealing with the country's death eater problem and the goblins roasting their last pig, prospects had seldom looked better for magical Britain.

Whether it could stand to lose its two brightest stars to Australia while still maintaining its reforms was another matter entirely.

Luna couldn't believe they had a bedroom in this fabulous house. It wasn't so much the actual room, more that it meant Harry and Hermione wanted them as part of their lives. For Luna Lovegood this was life changing. In such a short space of time she'd went from being a lonely girl to having her best friend live with her. Now she had another two friends who actually went out of their way to ensure she was included in their lives. This was a strange situation for Luna, wonderful but still strange. The little blond glanced toward Ginny and saw her friend displaying pretty much the same emotions she was, the Potters were having a huge influence on both their lives.

-oOoOo-

Almost five hundred miles away in Hogwarts, Minerva McGonagall was sharing those views as she finalised the arrangements for the first year's visit to the ministry this Friday. She had suspected they may be forced to cancel due to events happening in their society at the moment but the minister himself had been adamant that it would be business as usual. Minerva was sure she wouldn't be alone in expressing her shock that Cornelius had it in him, the entire electorate of magical Britain were probably thinking the same.

She also didn't think she would be alone in casting her vote for him at the next election, the green bowler hat went in the bin, as did listening to Albus and Malfoy. What emerged was a man who now believed in himself and didn't seem afraid to make the hard decisions, their society had been crying out for a strong leader for generations. That they had found one in the guise of Cornelius Fudge could be the most shocking revelation of all. Considering what life had been like lately, that was really saying something.

She would have Remus and Pomona accompany her and the students to the ministry. Filius would then lead the, as yet unannounced outing to Gringotts the following week. She couldn't remember a time when her job was so hectic, she also couldn't remember a time when she enjoyed her work more.

She would have to ensure they monitored the children of the arrested death eaters closely, that situation could not be allowed to fester and turn nasty. Minerva was delighted they now had Horace as head of Slytherin, his style of dealing with trouble was thankfully the total opposite of his confrontational predecessor. These children would remain in school at least until the summer, what happened after that was anyone's guess. A lot would depend on the sentences handed out, and the public's reaction to the trials.

-oOoOo-

Cornelius Fudge also had the public's reactions at the forefront of his mind, that was until he saw transcripts of the first confessions coming through from those arrested. The crimes committed in the name of so called 'pureblood supremacy' were disgusting and depraved. These animals were nothing more than terrorists who decided to use any means while attempting to reach unobtainable goals.

Cornelius decided to 'cherry pick' which trials would be held in public, that would clearly demonstrate these people didn't deserve to be walking the streets. They also decided to highlight that their actions had harmed pureblooods just as much. Their society had suffered severe damage at the hands of these maniacs. Disagreeing with Voldemort had been a death sentence, irrespective of blood purity. Old pureblood families like the Potters, Bones, Longbottoms and Blacks to name but a few had almost been pushed to extinction.

His policy made in anger the other day could have came back to bite him on the arse, instead he was being lauded as a great leader who was not afraid to make the hard decisions. The thought of Malfoy in that dress sent shivers of revulsion through Cornelius as he realised he'd made a poor choice of metaphors. If the aurors hadn't grabbed him when they did, Malfoy would never have been able to bite anything ever again, Cornelius fully intended to kick the bastard's teeth right down his throat!

-oOoOo-

Excitement in the Dursley household was running at fever pitch. Their letter had stood up to all the scrutiny they could throw at it, it was genuine and the Dursleys were finally upwardly mobile. Vernon was allowed his unpaid leave but would have to work his arse off until they left on Friday. This meant Petunia would have to handle all the shopping and packing while he was otherwise occupied at Grunnings.

Petunia could hardly contain her excitement, her time now would be taken up by shopping for new clothes before undertaking the trip of a lifetime. The only miniscule cloud on the horizon was that leaving on Friday didn't give her enough opportunities to boast about it to her friends. This was balanced by the anticipation of all the stories she would be able to recount when she returned.

-oOoOo-

Draco's prediction proved to be accurate, he was now Draco No-Name. That in their culture placed him one rung on the ladder above a squib. Just when he thought his standing in Slytherin couldn't get any lower, the Malfoy name turned to shit before he lost even that.

His attempts to push the blame onto Potter were met mostly with derision. Crabbe and Goyle stayed because their fathers were both on the front page of the Prophet, Weasley stayed because he had nowhere else to go.

Pansy was so upset over their betrothal no longer being valid that she was of little use to him at the moment. Neither she nor Draco harboured any illusions that Pansy's father was doing anything other than diligently searching for a suitable match for his daughter. With neither fame nor money, Draco certainly wouldn't make the list.

All Draco had left was a chance at vengeance, unlike Weasley though he certainly didn't want an audience when he made his move. The fewer people who knew about it, the better.

Jason Burke was a third year who had appeared sympathetic to Draco's arguments. Like a good Slytherin though, he didn't want to call attention to himself by taking a stand against the general opinion. Jason's family had been decimated by the arrests and he, like Draco, was looking for someone to vent on.

Draco had training in spells way beyond first year levels from his father. Crabbe and Goyle were never going to be anyone's first choices for back-up in a magical fight. Weasley's mouth continually made claims his magic couldn't cover. Draco needed the assistance of Jason for the initial attack. A well-executed ambush should disarm the Potters, then Vin and Greg came into their own.

Without wands the Potters would soon rue the day they messed with Draco, his two companions with beater bats in their hands would soon see to that. Of course when their beaten and broken bodies were found, Draco would be nowhere near that location with a cast iron alibi to boot. That was how a Slytherin operated, his father had trained him well.

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