Knowledge is Power

When Hermione gets cursed at the Ministry, Harry and the Death Eaters discover the power he knows not. Unleashing this power has far reaching consequences. Weasley and Dumbledore bashing – time travel story that's hopefully different.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4612714/1/Knowledge-is-Power

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16. Chapter 16

Sirius had to be led into the house and he kept glancing at the note every few seconds, checking that it was in fact real. They all sat around the kitchen table but it was left to Remus to enlighten the company as Sirius was caught up in memories of the past.

"Regulus was Sirius's younger brother, he was a Slytherin the year below us at Hogwarts. I know Sirius won't mind if I say his parents were not nice people but he always looked out for his brother. The Black parents were big believers in pure blood supremacy and put extreme pressure on Sirius to become a death eater, so much so that he ran away and lived with James at Harry's grandparents. He begged Regulus to accompany him but he replied that he would be fine; he had always been his parent's favourite son especially after Sirius was sorted into Gryffindor."

Sirius was staring at the note and his tears were flowing freely again.

"When we got back to Hogwarts that September Regulus had changed, he was hanging about with known Voldemort supporters and wouldn't speak with us. His parents had made Regulus their heir and the noble and ancient house of Black was a big prize for Voldemort. Regulus became a death eater at sixteen but was dead by eighteen, supposedly his murder was ordered by Voldemort himself and now we know the reason why."

Sirius was still staring at the note as he spoke, "I shouldn't have left him there, I knew what those manipulative bastards were like, he should have came to the Potter's with me. That psychopath has taken two brothers from me now but at least I have the satisfaction of knowing they both went down fighting the evil bastard." He looked straight at Harry, "if I ever lose like that please don't mourn me, I would be joining my brothers and going out the way I wanted to."

Harry was having none of it, "Listen Sirius, at the moment you're released into my care until we can come up with a trial date. I'm bloody sure you're not going anywhere, as this is the only family we've got and our kids are going to need someone to corrupt them when they're older. I mean two dentists, a professor and parents who never got into trouble, what chance have they got if you're not around."

The fact that the straight-laced dentists both carried guns they weren't afraid to use and the respectable professor had just spent the morning fighting zombies, not to mention robbing a grave, told everyone he was joking. Claiming that he and Hermione never got into trouble was taking the joke just too far.

Hermione spoke softly to the hurting Sirius, "we need to find that locket or all our plans turn to dust, once it's destroyed Voldemort only has the snake left and it can be killed the same as any other creature. When it's time to take him and the rat down we promise you can be there to let the bastard know just who's responsible for his downfall but it can't happen without the locket."

"Regulus would have taken it to the ancestral Black family home but since I left mother must have blasted my name off the family tree tapestry because I can't remember where it is, only the current head of the family could tell me."

"Who is that?" Hermione asked.

Sirius was deep in thought for a few moments as the possible candidates played through his mind, "it might actually be me, mother would have to complete the paperwork to totally disinherit me and with Regulus there she might not have bothered. After he was murdered I don't think she would have been capable of carrying it out." He took a deep breath, "I, Sirius Orion Black, being the rightful heir of the ancient and noble house of Black claim my rightful inheritance and head of house."

Everyone watched as the Black family ring appeared on the finger of Sirius Black but only Remus had a comment, "Oh great! Now I have two bloody lords to deal with."

"Do you remember where it is?" Hermione asked.

The grimace on his face told everyone he did but wasn't exactly happy about it, "Twelve Grimmauld Place in central London, I think I would rather go back to the cave and face the inferi again than go there though."

Emma butted in, "I don't want to add to your problems Hermione but your father and I couldn't face sitting here waiting on a phone call again, we want to come with you."

Sirius tried to dissuade them, "I have no idea what we'll find when we reach the house, my brother's murder pushed my mother over the edge and she was quite mad by the time she died. Our house elf's only ambition was to have his head shrunk and mounted on the wall beside his predecessors, Remus was being very kind when he described them as not nice." Sirius was struggling to try and put it into a context that everyone could understand, "had I came home with Lily as my wife we would probably both been murdered in our sleep, my favourite cousin was blasted off the tapestry for marrying a muggle born but she wasn't the Black heir. Her two sisters were held up as paragons of pureblood elitism, Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange!"

Dan put his hand on the new Lord Black's shoulder, "it's you we like Sirius, not your family. This just proves what an upstanding gentleman you are to maintain the beliefs you do with that upbringing, I can only think of one other person that shares those qualities and I don't think it's a coincidence that you're his godfather."

With that Dan and Emma left to put on their top of the range dragon hide armour that Remus had purchased for the eight of them, the morning crew were already wearing theirs under their clothes.

Both teens glanced at Remus who nodded in reply; he would be on protective detail while Harry and Hermione helped Sirius search his ancestral home.

It was a thoughtful Hermione who spoke to Sirius, trying to highlight the positive side of this latest development, "you can now bring your cousin back into the family and being Lord Black will surely not hurt when you go to trial. If we can get this locket today then it allows all our plans to continue, if not then I don't know what we'll do as it's imperative Riddle doesn't discover what we're doing."

Emma's lunch just never received the attention it deserved as the six prepared to travel to Grimmauld Place.

-oOoOo-

Amelia Bones was staring at the confessions on her desk and felt as if only a red hot shower could wash away some of the dirt she had accumulated from reading the Weasley documents. Albus Dumbledore wanted Harry infatuated with Ginny Weasley but the girl was going to break up with him on command when the manipulative old bastard had set up a confrontation with Voldemort. How could anyone treat people like that, far less children who were supposed to be in their care?

Molly had her own plan though, she wanted the Potter fortune and fame, if this meant her underage daughter was going to have to become pregnant it didn't seem to bother the 'good mother' Weasley. Hermione was seen as a bossy mudblood who was in the way while Ginny's feelings weren't even considered. Amelia was sure the young girl would have went along with them up until they had to break up, that wouldn't have happened voluntary on Ginny's part.

The revelations were sickening and for the moment her hands were tied, without a minister of magic or chief Mugwump Amelia would just have to keep them in the cells for now. The election for minister was on Thursday and with Harry's public declaration in her favour no other candidate had as yet put himself or herself forward. If that were still the case after six pm on Tuesday the election would become a swearing in ceremony with the ministry able to move forward once more.

Amelia knew the Institute had an open weekend for parents so she was going to schedule a trial for Sirius early the following week but she would have to speak to Harry about the Weasleys. Their testimony would be devastating against Dumbledore but delaying the old goat's trial would give his lawyers an opportunity to claim the Weasleys were delusional, after six months or so in Azkaban even a mediocre lawyer could make that stick.

If it were inconvenient to arrest Dumbledore at the moment they would have to think of something to do with the Weasleys that didn't involve being neighbours with a bunch of dementors.

-oOoOo-

Hermione thought the exterior of number twelve Grimmauld Place was in poor condition but that paled in comparison to the interior, it was like every bad horror movie she had ever seen and was anticipating Vincent Price's laughter come rolling out of the darkness to pour down the cobwebbed staircase. What she wasn't anticipating was the screeching portrait that started spewing vile abuse at them only pausing in its tirade when Sirius spoke.

"Hello Mother."

She looked over the six of them and made it blatantly obvious that she didn't approve of what she saw, "I thought there was some hope for you when I heard you'd helped the dark lord and murdered all those muggles, now you're here with the half-blood Potter brat, a couple of muggles, a girl who's got to be their mudblood daughter and that bloody werewolf. You have been a disappointment to me all my life so nothing new there, take your pack of mongrels and get out of my house!"

It was plain to everyone why Sirius had not wanted to come within miles of this place; Harry was starting to wonder if he didn't have the easier childhood.

Sirius stood his ground, "I am lord Black now mother and this is my house though I may just tear it down and destroy every trace of it."

Even as a portrait the hatred Mrs Black managed to generate in her expressions and voice was impressive, "Kreacher, Deal with these intruders any way you want."

A small filthy figure with long nails and sharp teeth exploded from the shadows with Hermione seemingly as its target before the boom of Dan's pistol reverberated around the hall. The creature was hurtled backwards and slammed against the wall, slowly sliding down but leaving the back of its head behind. Kreacher was dead before he hit the wall never mind the floor.

Dan Granger had been nervous and couldn't explain why; he figured this group of people could handle just about anything. His peripheral vision had caught some movement and a glint of gold off the wand light provided by Remus and Sirius, Dan unholstered his pistol. He was holding it upwards in the ready position that Remus had drilled into them while ignoring the portrait, trying instead to locate what was moving. Dan was an observant man and when he spied the creature he noticed the long nails that were almost claws, the sharp teeth, how filthy it was and even the gold locket around its neck but it was the unmistakable madness shining from its large eyes that held his attention. Before he had a chance to say anything the thing launched itself at his daughter with the applied intent of doing as much damage as possible, Dan just let his training take over and protected the people he loved.

"Dad!" a reproachful Hermione couldn't take her eyes of the now dead house elf, "you didn't have to kill him, Harry and I would have dealt with it."

Dan's voice was as steady as his hand, "I don't think so love, Sirius what's that your mother's portrait is wearing round her neck?" One look and they all saw the locket that none of them had noticed before, "I saw that creature sneaking around and two things immediately struck me, the madness in its eyes and the same locket round its neck."

Remus immediately placed a hand on Harry and Hermione's shoulders, "I think we have a serious problem here so let's all just take a step back and have a think about this before diving in and getting someone injured or worse."

Sirius was studying the portrait while trying to match facts to events in his head as the teens cast a powerful silencing charm around them. Sirius had come to a conclusion and the more he thought about it the more he was sure he was right, "she must have started wearing the locket after Regulus's death, the dark bastard wouldn't want to return as an old woman but would try to influence her to do his bidding and that's what drove her mad. When she died Kreacher took over the locket and Voldemort wouldn't posses a house elf either so he was driven insane as well. That's why this place is such a dump and the little shit looked ready to tear Hermione's throat out, good shooting Dan."

Remus nodded agreement, "we have a bigger problem though, that locket has been drawing on magical energy for years and I suspect it will react as soon as a suitable host comes anywhere near it. We need to be very careful here and have a plan to deal with this."

Harry and Hermione were deep in thought before the young witch spoke, "we see two different ways to solve this problem, have an unsuitable host do it or find a way to keep his soul in the locket until we can stab it."

"If you think he wouldn't want a non magical person then I'll do it!" Emma gave Dan a strange look, "what? You would rather one of those two did it? I'd prefer it to be me rather than standing watching one of our kids put themselves in danger."

Hermione could feel the surge of emotion that passed through Harry as her father said 'our kids' so she kissed her dad's cheek with a heartfelt "thanks dad!"

Dobby popped beside them, "Dobby also volunteers, the evil one thinks elves are vermin and I would like the chance to prove him wrong."

"Let's just take a moment here," said Harry, "we need a plan and while I appreciate the offers we need to make sure that his soul is going to stay in that locket before anyone approaches it. He might not want to inhabit a muggle or elf but if it's that or die I think we all know what he would choose. No one is going near that until we're sure because if his soul possesses someone they would need to be killed."

This had the effect of a bucket of ice water down your back, any thoughts of just pushing ahead were banished now they understood the consequences of a mistake.

"Harry if Quirrell couldn't touch you because of the protection from Lily would your patronus have the same effect on his soul piece?"

Hermione could see where Remus was going with this idea and thought it might work, "a patronus in general might hurt him so why don't the four of us cast it at the locket while Dobby stabs it. Sorry dad but Dobby can move faster, sense if he's in danger and perform magic to protect himself, he's the logical choice."

Dobby puffed up his chest in pride at not only being able to help Harry Potter but to strike a blow against the evil one as well. He would normally have been bouncing around with excitement but knew he needed to concentrate to do this very dangerous job. "Are you sure Dobby?" Harry asked and he could only nod his head in confirmation, he was ready.

"After all those years in Azkaban my patronus doesn't work anymore so I'll stand back with Dan and Emma in case you need covering fire."

Hermione was grateful to Sirius for taking care of her parents while not making it too obvious. Harry gave Dobby the dragon hide gloves and his little friend withdrew a basilisk fang from the box as a silver stag, otter and wolf surrounded the dead Kreacher.

Dobby actually felt giddy with the amount of positive emotion being generated by the silver forms as he knelt beside the filthy creature, he could sense the sprit desperately trying to escape from the locket but the patroni were doing their work. Dobby placed the tip of the fang against the locket and a green mist escaped only for a stag and otter to pounce on it while the wolf circled in case it was needed. The whole event was over in seconds but the sound of the screams would stay with them all a lot longer.

Harry and Hermione hugged one delighted elf, "Dobby you were brilliant, if ever you need anything it's yours, and we all owe you big time my friend!"

Everyone was congratulating Dobby when a voice they had forgotten about spoke, "Sirius, is that you? What has happened to the house? I remember your brother being murdered on the orders of that dark bastard but can't remember anything else. I see your choice of friends is still the same but after what happened to Regulus I'm beginning to think you were right, can you ever forgive an old woman who wronged both her sons?"

The rest of them strategically withdrew leaving the tearful Sirius to try and make peace with his mother; all had noticed her portrait no longer contained the locket.

Dobby spoke quietly, "Harry Potter sir, we have elves at the Institute who would love the chance to clean this house as there's not a lot of work to do at the moment, do you think the lord Black would permit us?"

Harry looked to Remus for some guidance.

"I think that would be fine Dobby but just do general cleaning and wipe out all infestations without touching any items you think are dark, could you start in the library please to give us somewhere to sit."

"Library?" asked Emma and Hermione in perfect synchronisation causing the rest to chuckle as Dobby popped away to begin working on the Black ancestral home.

Sirius eventually found them all seated in the library sipping tea while reading an eclectic collection of books. "What's going on, one minute I was standing in a shithole then I turned round to see dirt actually disappearing right before my eyes, I know Dobby's good but he can't be that good."

The little elf appeared, "we have a team of elves cleaning your home and any items we thought were dark have been placed in a room on the third floor. Do you have any specific instructions lord Black?"

"Dobby anything you can do to brighten the place up would be great by me, also change any Slytherin paraphernalia to Gryffindor as even the bloody door handles are snakes. I don't know about accessing the Black account at Gringotts yet so do what you can."

Harry interrupted, "anything you need just take it out of the Potter account Dobby."

The ecstatic little elf popped away to continue working.

"What happened with your mother?" Remus asked his friend.

"It would seem when the locket was destroyed her painting reverted back to her last update before she started wearing that cursed thing, her memory stops just after Regulus was murdered and this self didn't know about Voldemort and Harry or me ending up in Azkaban. We had a lot of catching up to do but I see you made yourselves comfortable."

It was a happy Emma Granger who gushed, "Remus asked Dobby to have this room cleaned first and your library is fantastic though one of the books tried to bite me."

"Some of the books in here will be very dark, we'll have to dispose of them and didn't you know the library in Potter manor is about half again as big as this."

Both women immediately rounded on Harry as if he'd been holding out on them, "What? Hermione Jean you know I've never set foot in the place so how the hell would I know about the library." Hermione came over and gave him a kiss that curled his toes.

Only Dan's coughing finally split the pair but nothing could wipe the smile from Harry's face, "I take it we will be visiting Potter manor soon then?" he asked which earned him a similar kiss from Emma and finally convinced Remus to get off his arse and at least speak to Pomona.

-oOoOo-

Sirius was sitting at dinner in the Institute a few days later contemplating not only recent events but also the people around the table. Amelia Bones had stood unopposed as minister of magic and would be sworn in tomorrow, he had received notification his trial would be next Tuesday as it would be one of the first official responsibilities the new minister was pushing through. Harry, Hermione and Remus had all received notices to attend as witnesses and Sirius was in no way worried, use of pensive memories and Veritaserum would show his innocence.

Discovering the truth about his brother and being able to speak to his mother's pre-madness portrait had a profound effect on his life. Sirius had assumed that resuming being Harry's godfather and helping the teenager grow into an outstanding wizard was going to be his full time job for the next few years at least, the realisation that role had already been most ably filled by the wonderful witch he was about to marry had left the marauder without a purpose in life. His mother had convinced him that he had a lot to offer not only the wizarding world but also any witch he chose to marry; this led directly to his current occupation of studying the people around him.

Poppy Pomfrey he had known since his Hogwarts years, between Quidditch injuries and marauder scrapes he wouldn't be too far behind Harry in visiting their favourite healer. She was absolutely glowing as her new role of being a mother appeared to be everything she had hopped for, Ginny was a great kid who had been raised by bad parents and was now blossoming under Poppy's care and guidance.

Ginny was forming closer links with the four other teens and knew about the horcruxes being destroyed, her description of Ron's betrothed had them all in stitches of laughter. Both mother and daughter seemed to be benefiting greatly from their new relationship and Sirius was very happy for them.

His eyes drifted to the strangest 'relationship' he had ever seen, Augusta Longbottom and Xenophilius Lovegood. Their relationship was based purely on the care of their charges and both were delighted at the positive changes Luna and Neville were having on each other.

Remus had described the former Neville and Luna to Sirius but agreed wholeheartedly this in no way matched the young couple before them now, both their guardians had been heard muttering 'betrothal' and only the fact that the couple were doing so well had held them back as they didn't want to jinx anything. You only had to watch Neville and Luna for any length of time to see this was a serious relationship, they just completed each other.

His eyes skipped over Minerva and Filius, he didn't even know if there was a relationship there it was just the way the little professor followed his former head of house about that didn't seem natural and totally creeped him out.

When Sirius looked at the Grangers he was beginning to understand what his mother's portrait had been trying to tell him, if Sirius Black could swap places with anyone it would be Dan Granger. He had a beautiful wife and the couple appeared to be on a continual honeymoon they were so attentive to each other. They not only had careers but built up a business together as well as raise their daughter who had captured his godson's heart and soul. Dan's slip of calling them 'our kids' had escaped no ones attention and the way he had dealt with Kreacher had impressed the hell out of Sirius.

He was delighted Hermione had gotten the chance with Harry to meet his parents, Sirius knew there would have been instant friendship between James, Lily and the Grangers as they were the same type of people. They had accepted Remus as a werewolf; accepted Sirius Black was innocent yet at the first sign of a threat to their family both exploded into action to protect there loved ones.

The Grangers and Potters would have got along famously as their values and beliefs were very similar. It was with a smile he imagined Lily and Emma sitting chatting about their prospective grandchildren as James and Dan sat sipping malt whiskey and spoke about sports while secretly listening in to the more important conversation their better halves were having.

His heart filled with love when he watched the two most important people in the world to him sit joking with Ginny, if Neville and Luna completed each other then Harry and Hermione were each other. Sirius may have been letting the fact that he owed these two his life, freedom and sanity but he didn't think so, he never thought he would see two people more suited to each other than James and Lily Potter but he was wrong. These two were so compatible it was hard to tell where one person ended and the other began.

Sirius was just going to have to do a Moony, he needed to get up off his arse and go for it. He wondered how his friend was fairing on his first date with Pomona Sprout.

He was terrified of getting back into the dating scene and wished there was an easier way to meet a girl, little did he know that a conversation his godson had with the head of the Institute earlier today would change his life forever.

-oOoOo-

Ron Weasley was reading again the three letters that had ended his life; the first was from Bill granting permission for his betrothal to Millie, and the Bulstrodes had wasted no time as he was already wearing the ring. The second came from the twins explaining that the mudbloods parents had somehow put their mother in St Mungo's and that her father had found out what they were up to. The twins actually admitted to being scared shitless and the muggle had swore he was going to kill Ron. The third letter bore the seal of the ministry and ordered his presence at the trial of Sirius Black.

If Hermione's father didn't kill him he would have to endure being dragged around Diagon Alley on the arm of his betrothed since 'they were going to be in London anyway' as Millie put it, he wasn't sure what was worse. The thought of being out in public with Millie filled him with dread, this would be announcing to the world that he, Ronald Bilius Weasley was betrothed an barring a miracle would be marrying Millicent Bulstrode.

In the chaos of the last few days of term their relationship had passed unnoticed but that wouldn't last for long, the teasing that he had endured for being poor was nothing compared to what Millie suffered. The 'troll in a dress' comments were some of the less hurtful ones though having experience of both, and both in girls toilets Ron would definitely have to say that the troll smelled worse than his girlfriend.

The idea of returning there as the only Weasley, only Gryffindor in his year and Millie's betrothed was not a pleasant one but at least it was weeks away yet, the trial was in six days.

His temper started to flare at the thought of his lot compared to what the half-blood Potter got, but before he could work himself up to a proper funk a pair of hands covered his eyes from behind.

"Hello lover bet you were just thinking about me!"

Ron prayed to every deity he'd ever heard of that the voice and hands belonged to Millie, that was bad enough but her mother had been giving him funny looks and he would drown himself in his own bath water before letting anything happen there. Maybe Hermione's dad was his best option; at least it would be quick as his other best choice was to be married to Millie and a member of the Bulstrode family for the rest of his life.

-oOoOo-

Remus was driving the little MG sports car back to the Institute with a very lovely Pomona in the passenger seat, robes can make a witch look beautiful and elegant but he was sure you needed muggle clothes to make them appear sexy. The skirt and top his date wore were nothing special but combined with the witch inside they had almost taken his breath away. He had taken her dancing and they had a great night with all nerves disappearing after their first dance together, neither was under any illusions that the night was going to end in anything more than a kiss but both were hoping for more dates in the future.

Thanks to last year teaching and now his job working for Harry, Remus was well dressed and hadn't needed to look at a price list all night, safe in the knowledge he could afford anything his date wanted. Dan had recommended the Ferrari but that was a bit too ostentatious for his tastes, the little British made MG was understated elegance and exactly the impression he wanted to make.

Pomona had never been inside a car before today and as they made their way along the winding cliff top road with the radio playing she leaned into Remus and kissed his cheek. "I've had a wonderful time and hope we can do this again," she said and couldn't fail to notice the smile on her dates face.

Remus was unable to take his eyes of the road at the moment but quickly replied, "I was just trying to figure out the best way to ask you when you beat me to it, and I definitely want to see more of you Pemona."

Pomona's throaty laugh sent his blood racing, "let's just take it a bit at a time for now," she answered.

He was definitely up for that.

-oOoOo-

Dumbledore had been working really hard though it couldn't quite be called school business, he was researching every charm, spell or enchantment he could cast on the goblet that would bond an unbreakable magical contract with the names it would choose.

He realised that he had to find staff for Hogwarts but the master manipulator's plans were well formed; Septima Vector already agreed to take on the head of Hufflepuff role though steadfastly refused to become deputy and deal with all his paperwork. This left him still needing five professors so he planned on having Horace return as potions and Slytherin head.

Arthur Weasley could easily be convinced to give up that ridiculous job at the ministry to teach charms and Head Gryffindor house, the old wizard was chuckling with laughter with the thought that Molly could easily teach potions and head Slytherin but he would ask her to do transfiguration instead. That only left Herbology and their annual defence post vacancy to fill and if necessary he would get some outgoing students to return, he could pay them less as well.

He'd tried floo calling the Burrow a couple of times but as yet no reply, if he hadn't heard anything by the weekend he would just have to go over there. Albus certainly wouldn't be eating or drinking anything though, he knew the real Molly Weasley.

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