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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20. Chapter 20

Everyone at the institute was up early that Saturday morning eagerly awaiting the arrival of the kids from the orphanage, they were all looking forward to spending some time with the children and Harry was delighted how well his present had been received by Hermione. She had flung herself into full 'help the children' mode and was delving through the adoption laws for anything that could be changed to help, one of the main problems was the whole 'blood' issue as sometimes babies were just left on the orphanage steps with no history available – Joan fell into this category which probably explained why the delightful little girl hadn't been adopted.

Harry smiled as he noticed his wife fingering her locket which had inter-twined HJP's engraved into the face and pictures of them both inside, he didn't need the back-up plan but couldn't help spoiling her every chance he got.

They had planed to take all the children shopping today and were waiting to see how that went before organising any more activities for the rest of the week, they were going to teach them swimming and flying with more being added as the holiday progressed.

When the children arrived it was pandemonium as their excitement had been building all week, two of the younger boys made a beeline straight for the pool and jumped in fully clothed. The fact that neither could swim had never even crossed their minds, water was for getting wet with and they certainly achieved that.

They eventually got them settled into rooms and the elves were working overtime trying to childproof the institute. To an adult a balcony is for sitting relaxing while you gaze out into the world around you, to a four year old it's an exotic climbing frame with treasure beyond measure on the other side so you just have to climb it.

The respect for Jillian Green and her team shot up and Harry knew they would need their expertise in designing the new orphanage at the former Malfoy Manor, out of everyone at the institute only Dan and Emma had any experience at dealing with young children.

The children sat mesmerised on the terrace and almost ignored the food on the table, not only could they see the beach and ocean but a cruise ship was sailing past to give its passengers a view of the famous cliffs. Some of the children were waving without understanding that the people on the boat couldn't see the Institute; it's wards kept them private.

Harry found Joan stuck to him like glue but unlike the Creeveys was not annoying him with inane questions every two seconds, she seemed quite content just to be near him and when he held his hand out to take hers as they walked her smile lit the entire room. Hermione had been working on sorting the children into groups who would be accompanied to Naples for some shopping and had smiled at her husband when Joan's name was at the top of their list. When Hermione took the girls other hand Joan just seemed to glow, both Potters didn't think the young girl had ever been as happy and they hadn't even done any shopping yet.

Everyone from the Institute was working in pairs and had about six children in their care as they headed out on a shopping trip that had little eyes sparkling with wonder, Dobby took Jillian and her staff to their new place of work so they could start informing the elves what needed to be done.

-oOoOo-

Connie sat in an interview room at the ministry having just finished writing her report on the incident, they had all been separated as soon as they reached shore and would stay that way until it could be established exactly what went wrong.

Amelia, Shack and his now ex-partner Tonks entered the room and took chairs opposite her as Amelia fingered the report on the table, "Ok Connie, forget this and tell us what really happened, Carrick is claiming he had the situation well in hand when you punched him out and allowed that bitch to escape."

Connie was sure getting practice at holding her temper, a few deep breaths later and she was at least calm enough not to shout. "Our Don' had a date and didn't want to waste the extra four hours it would take for another round trip so allowed the three most dangerous death eaters onto the boat at the same time. I recommended we stun them for the entire journey and was laughed at; the death eaters bided their time and sprang their trap with ruthless efficiency. I managed to overpower Rudolphus, and then stunned Rabasten but by that time the bitch had done her work and made off over the side. I checked that Phillips was indeed dead with his wand and keys missing before turning round to see that prick Riddick about to cast a summoning charm so I decked him."

"Please assume we're stupid and explain the reason behind punching him," Amelia asked.

"We had a man dead, another down unconscious and a boatman who I could tell had shit himself even from where I was standing on the boat. Not only didn't Riddick check if Jones was ok or could be revived to help us, he didn't even tell me what the plan was. The brainless wonder couldn't even handle a wand-less and handcuffed Rabasten with Jones for assistance, his intention of summoning a free and armed Bellatrix Lestrange into the boat was just plain suicidal. We would have all been killed while she was saved the trouble of swimming to the shore."

Shack shook his head; "you should have done us all a favour and threw the stupid bastard overboard to look for her, save us the trouble of a trial. There was me thinking that nobody could be as stupid as Cornelius Fudge and his nephew goes and proves me wrong."

"I'm sorry boss I wish…"

"You have nothing to be sorry about, but for your actions we would have four dead aurors and all three Lestrange's on the loose, Merlin knows Bellatrix is bad enough on her own. Your new assignment is minister protection detail along with Tonks here, now I know normally I wouldn't stand a chance in an argument with three women but this has to happen at least until this bitch is caught."

Amelia was set to argue but could see her friend and new head of DMLE was right, later today she was going to sentence the other two Lestranges to the veil and killing her husband and brother-in-law would put her right at the top of Bellatrix's murder list as if being minister wasn't enough. She had some phone calls to make then she couldn't put off dealing with that Weasley prat any longer, even if only to stop the old goat from bothering her secretary.

-oOoOo-

The kids were having the time of their lives, not only were they being welcomed into the shops but they had all been given gold to spend from Harry with strict instructions not to spend it on clothes as they would be bought for them. The magical shopping district was benefiting greatly from the Potters locating there and couldn't be more helpful, all shops had lines of credit set up for the Institute or Lord Potter's personal account. As this wasn't Institute business Harry was footing the bill for today and had even purchased half a dozen junior brooms to teach the younger ones to fly.

Both Potters couldn't help but notice that Joan never left their sides the entire trip, while the other children in the group would get excited about something in a shop window her highlights seemed to be holding their hands or receiving a hug. Harry recognised the signs from Hermione's childhood of a young girl desperate for some sort of affection, a kind word from one of the staff at the orphanage would probably have her smiling all day. The parallels between the two were reinforced when Joan dragged Hermione into a bookshop so she could spend the gold Harry gave her. He wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry for this young girl who was making such an impression on them.

Harry was drawn out of his musings by his mobile phone ringing and quickly answered when the caller ID indicated it was Amelia.

Two minutes later and he was calling for Dobbie, there didn't seem to be much sense in spoiling everyone's fun when they couldn't do anything about the situation. They were all heading back to the Institute for lunch in less than two hours and the news could be broken then.

-oOoOo-

Not for the first time Jillian Green thanked Merlin for sending the Potters to answer her prayers, the new orphanage building was beyond anything she could have imagined. The manor itself had been stripped from top to bottom and they now had a blank canvas to work with, even more incredible was the fact they had a budget for the refurbishment and such a wiling workforce.

She had met with the Potters twice more before today and the probing questions Hermione had asked reassured Jillian that this was not a passing whim for them, they were the most serious and mature teenagers she had ever met. On both of their visits Joan just happened to run into them, she was one of Jillian's favourites but because of being left on the doorstep they had no way of determining her blood status therefore her chances of adoption were slim to none. At least now thanks to the Potters she was guaranteed an education and, being a very bright child, she should do well.

Jillian was startled by the sudden appearance of Dobby but his message startled her even more, "Miss Green, you and your staff must return to the Institute immediately. A wicked witch has escaped and may come to this house looking for her sister, mister Harry wants everyone, including elves out of this building very quickly."

It seemed pretty strange to be ordered around by a house elf but Dobby brokered no argument, less than ten minutes after Harry gave the order in Naples the former Malfoy Manor was totally empty.

-oOoOo-

Percy Weasley found himself led into a room that held the minister, four male aurors and Penelope, he had no idea what was going on but couldn't believe his ears when Madam Bones informed him what was about to happen.

"Mr Weasley you seem to think it's alright to demand young girls remove articles of clothing in public, I strongly disagree with that under any circumstances but even more so since one of them was my niece. Your fiancée here has argued that you meant no disrespect and it was their shirts you found offensive, she claims that you were not trying to sexually harass the girls and that no harm would have been done. As proof of this she is going to take her top off here in front of these aurors."

Percy was struggling with the thought that his incredibly shy Penelope was doing this for him, but as she slowly got to her third button reality paid a rare visit to Percy the prick and he was up out his seat and standing in front of his fiancée with his back to her blocking the view of the male aurors present.

"This has gone far enough, I know that I was incredibly stupid the other day and will accept any punishment handed out but this is not happening," Percy turned to see the minister practically smiling at him.

'Mr Weasley had my Auror undone one more button you would have felt the full weight of the law descend upon you," Percy span round to see a pink haired woman re-buttoning her blouse. "As you seem to have come to your senses I've decided to give you another chance, whether I like it or not you now hold a position that demands a certain level of behaviour on your part. Should that level sink below an acceptable point again I will come after you, do not make me regret this decision Percy as two Weasleys in the cells already is really quit enough."

Percy knew he was incredibly lucky to be given a second chance so with a 'thank you' he almost ran out the office desperate to find the nearest floo and get back to Penelope.

-oOoOo-

As the kids were sitting down to lunch at the Institute Harry arranged for a quick meeting with Jillian and her staff as well as Pomona, Minerva, Hermione, mum and dad.

"Bellatrix Lestrange has escaped and I am worried that she may head for the former Malfoy Manor looking for help from her sister. Why I have everyone here is to discuss our options and ask the following questions: can the orphanage staff stay here and will we have room come September the first for our students and the orphanage should they still be here?"

Jillian glanced towards her staff and received nothing but nods, "some of my staff only work part time but would be delighted to spend a few days a week staying here."

Minerva and Pomona were deep in discussion regarding accommodation and quickly came to a decision, "we don't see a problem with numbers but think it would be a good idea to have a separate floor or wing adapted to their specific needs. We also think it would benefit everyone if we all ate our meals together and allowed the children to mix as much as possible with the students. Even with teaching two subjects our relatively low numbers for the moment means that staff have some spare time on their hands and both Minerva and I would like to volunteer to run some classes for them, I'm sure some of the other teachers will do the same."

Emma immediately spoke for her and Dan, "we're pretty sure we wont be returning to dentistry and I can't think of anything more worthwhile, we will help you all we can."

Jillian could only nod in thanks; her throat just wouldn't work as she struggled to fight back the tears. Here were people she'd only recently met rearranging there school and lives to freely offer of their time and expertise to help her orphans. This was not a typical experience for the lady who had ran the orphanage for the last eight years, she had never went to Hogwarts but had learned the business from the inside out.

Thirty-one years ago she had been left on the orphanage steps and, like Joan and so many others over the years, her undetermined blood status had meant she was left to grow up in the place she now worked. When the manager left she had been working as her unpaid assistant for six years and had got the job under the prefix that no one else wanted it.

She was paid a pittance of a salary and ploughed most of it straight back in to help keep the orphanage running, these people were showing her more kindness than she had ever received and asking nothing in return. This was beyond her experience so she just had to nod and hope she was doing the right thing, life had taught her that when something sounded too good to be true it usually meant trouble but she couldn't see what the Potters had to gain by scamming an orphanage. Amelia was a frequent visitor to the orphanage and helped out when she could, the fact that she trusted these people went a long way to easing her fears.

What Jillian didn't know was that the Potters were well aware of not only her origins but the fact that she had been spending most of her money to ensure the children got at least fed. She would now be paid directly into her newly opened Gringotts account and the first time she visited it would be quite a shock, they had deposited back-money that amounted to her being paid a decent wage for the last eight years. A person who was prepared to give of herself in that manner was definitely the woman Harry and Hermione wanted running the orphanage.

They left the meeting to find Joan sitting on a chair beside the door engrossed with a book she had bought that morning, she came straight over and took Hermione's hand while asking her about something she'd read but not understood.

Dan and Emma watched with Harry as Hermione sat beside Joan with her arm around her shoulder, "she reminds me so much of Hermione," said Dan "I only wished that I'd put my arm around my daughter when she didn't understand something. It was right there in front of us all the time but neither of us saw it, it's not just about answering the question but also giving comfort with the gesture. That arm around Joan's shoulder is saying that it's ok not to know everything and always ask questions if you don't understand something. Our daughter and son are already better parents than we were."

"I hate to ruin your pity party dad but Hermione turned out just fine, you're just going to have to spoil your grandchildren."

This earned Harry a playful smack from Emma while he watched his wife answer his unasked question over their bond, 'yes love, this is what it's like to have family.'

-oOoOo-

Albus Dumbledore looked at the letters on his desk in total frustration, he'd sorted them under every heading he could think off but still couldn't see a pattern of what Potter was up to. All he was able to discern is that he hadn't taken any students older than his own year group, which thankfully left most of the seniors still at Hogwarts to compete. Only one figure was constant as he looked at the piles that loomed larger than the Himalayas to the old wizard, there were eighty letters of rejection in total, which was over a quarter of Hogwarts students.

Including Harry and his mudblood there were sixty-one students going to Potter, a dozen Slytherins had 'elsewhere' written on them with another two snakes going to Durmstrang and five Ravenclaws leaving for Beauxbatons. The number of students heading for Potter was by far the largest group and as it included all houses and all blood statuses he hadn't a clue what the brat was up to other than the fact that it couldn't be allowed to continue or Hogwarts wouldn't survive. Only the fact that he had four professors now on staff who had just left school, John Stewart in Herbology and Oliver Woods as DADA, filling his vacancies and being paid a lot less than the teachers they replaced would allow Hogwarts to continue this year.

He had wanted to call a meeting with the head's of house but that prat Percy getting arrested had put paid to that but now he was free they should be able to proceed early next week. He was not looking forward to telling Horace that Harry Potter was no longer a student at Hogwarts; the new head of Slytherin was almost salivating at the thought of adding the boy-who-lived to his slug club membership portfolio.

Fortunately he was Albus Dumbledore and had a foolproof plan for getting the brat back to Hogwarts and once again under his control. When he came to compete in the Tri-Wizard Albus would take the brat aside and show him the prophesy, once he realised that he had to face Voldemort the offer of special training under his illustrious self would be more than enough to entice the ungrateful brat back to the castle. He would be recorded as an assistant professor of DADA to overcome his magical oath and it might settle Woods as Albus was having to use compulsion charms every other day, the boy must be fanatical about Quidittch to fight it so hard.

Unfortunately that would be the only assistant professorship open, due to reduced student numbers, and this would also separate him from his mudblood and friends leaving Ronald Weasley as his only other option.

Of course any training Albus gave would be old, archaic spells that took so long to cast they would allow Voldemort to kill him easily, leaving the great Dumbledore to come to the rescue of the wizarding world. Sometimes his brilliance dazzled even himself and when the dust had settled the wizarding world would see just who was taking the piss.

-oOoOo-

Peter Pettigrew was not a happy wizard, this was not a new phenomenon but the degree of unhappiness was gradually climbing to heights that hadn't been scaled in well over a decade. They had been travelling for ages before finally reaching their destination last night, his master was exhausted but was getting stronger every day and there lay his dilemma. The more Peter cared for his master the stronger he became but as his strength grew so did his temper and the body he inhabited was now able to use a wand.

The better care he took of his master then the more likely he was to be on the receiving end of his wand, Peter was not what you would call a smart wizard but even he could see the flaw in that logic - unfortunately he'd chosen his side and couldn't change now.

He'd been sent by his master to collect any information he could on the current situation in wizarding Britain which was why he was now strolling through the shadows of Hogsmead late at night.

"Can you please show your left arm?"

The question that was really a demand came from the shop doorway in front of Peter where a man who was missing his left sleeve now appeared, he also had a wand in his hand that was pointed directly at the death eater.

Peter was totally taken aback, what the hell was going on here? "What seems to be the problem sir?"

"Oh no problem," the man answered, "unless of course you have a dark mark on your arm."

Peter noticed more people being drawn to the incident and every one of them had their left sleeve missing, his blood froze as realisation of what this meant sank into even his slow mind.

"Oh there won't be a problem then," he said as his right hand reached for his left sleeve. With everyone's attention now on his arm, Peter spun round and dived for the narrow alley between the shops. No sooner was he out of sight than stunners were being fired in his direction. He changed into his rat form and crawled into a hole underneath the building where he stayed for over an hour, when the coast was clear Wormtail emerged and kept his form while rummaging through some refuse looking for newspapers.

What he found scared him more than Voldemort, and that was really saying something. George Grafton was on the front page of the old newspaper minus the back of his head with the banner headline screaming, "Potter dispenses justice!" It was all here, the new laws, punishments and the fact that Potter wasn't living in Britain any more. Normally there would be a mad scramble to find some patsy that would present news like this to the Dark Lord but since there was only him available then he would just have to screw up his courage and face his master. A very scary thought passed through the mind of the death eater, supposing he was the only one left?

He might not have that worry if he didn't get a move on, he was late and bringing bad news that not only destroyed death eaters but shattered his master's plans as well, there was every chance the Dark Lord's temper would see Peter killed tonight.

-oOoOo-

Night was falling on the beach at the Institute as the older children toasted marshmallows over bluebell flames in the sand. Jillian watched while the youngsters fought sleep before finally succumbing and then being whisked to bed by an elf, she shared a look with her staff that clearly said they could get used to this. She looked towards the Potters and couldn't help but smile, Jillian had seen this happen occasionally over the years where a couple and a child had just clicked. Watching them together she wasn't even sure if they were aware of it yet and she would need to talk to her friend Amelia on what was possible, though where the Potters were concerned she was learning that nothing could be ruled out.

Joan had fallen asleep with her head on Hermione's lap but she had shooed the elf away who was going to take the sleeping girl to bed, Harry couldn't take his eyes of his wife as she unconsciously ran her fingers through Joan's hair. Seeing the two of them together was a beautiful sight for the young wizard, although Hermione was more of age to be her big sister the relationship definitely leaned more towards mother / daughter, dad was right on the money when he said she would make a wonderful mum.

Today had ended once and for all any debate between the Potters about whether they were right to come back in time, watching the sheer joy on the children's faces just from the pleasure of being on the beach beside the sea was a patronus worthy memory. Harry, Hermione, Ginny, Neville and Luna all had great fun splashing and playing games with the kids, even taking them on broom rides over the sea. Joan was a bit reluctant at first but Hermione whispered in her ear, "nothing bad will ever happen to you while Harry's there." This gave her the confidence to climb on and she was soon enjoying herself as the five of them gently raced above the waves with their passenger's laughter ringing in their ears.

Harry was carrying the sleeping Joan back up to the Institute while wondering how this little girl had wormed her way into their affections so quickly, Harry had felt a connection that first day in the orphanage but it was just something that refused to be analysed. Perhaps it was both of them being left on a doorstep as babies or the fact that she didn't make friends easily but something about this kid cried out to both himself and Hermione on an almost primeval level. Whatever it was there would be no ignoring it, as Joan already seemed part of their lives.

He glanced towards Neville who had Luna burying into his chest as they walked beside them, the news of Bellatrix's escape had hit the young wizard hard. They knew from the previous timeline who was responsible for what happened to his parents and the way Luna had been supportively clinging to him all day indicated he had shared the details with her. Having fun with the kids had been good for him today though Harry had immediately binned his proposal that they cut back on training while the children were here, with that bitch on the loose and armed they needed to be ready for anything.

-oOoOo-

Bella was beyond tired, she had been pushing herself to get inland and avoid any ministry search parties that were sure to be looking for her, but lack of food and sleep were beginning to take its toll and she needed a bolthole for the night. She could feel her master getting stronger and was drawn towards him like iron filings to a magnet but Bella was worn out. She chose the house at the end of the street and an alohomora gained her entry, it was a risk performing magic but that spell was so low powered she doubted if the ministry monitors could even detect it.

Making her way into the kitchen she discovered exactly what was required handily protruding from a block of wood, large sharp knives. She had to kill quietly while using no magic and these were just perfect for the job, the death eater stealthily made her way up the stairs of the darkened house. Bella found a couple lying sleeping in the first room and approached the bed with a knife in each hand, the husband's eyes shot open as she expertly slid the knife between his ribs and straight through his heart. The man was dead but his brain just hadn't registered that fact yet as she repeated the procedure on his still sleeping wife.

Having checked the rest of the house was empty she returned to the kitchen and ate everything she could lay her hands on, she would have liked to torture the couple before sending them on their way but didn't want anything to distract her from getting to her master. There would be plenty time for pleasure later but right now she needed to sleep, having eaten her fill she lay down in an empty bedroom and was soon fast asleep though with her wand still clutched in her hand.

The young man sneaked into the house as quietly as possible and ghosted up the stairs with a mad gleam in his eyes, he was in so much trouble but right at this moment he didn't care. He knew his dad would freak over him being out all night but any punishment would be worth it, no longer would he be the butt of all the jokes in school because he was now a man and nothing could wipe the smile off his face. Nothing that is except seeing his parents bedroom door open and both of them lying there with knife handles protruding from their unmoving chests, he took a deep breath before screaming "HELP!" at the top of his lungs while racing back down the stairs. On this night of firsts for the young man he had the dubious honour of being the first person hit by a killing curse from Bellatrix Lestrange in over a decade.

Since the aurors now knew where she was Bella was forced into apparating to the one place that came to mind where they couldn't follow, it was very risky but the sounds of apparition pops coming from outside left her with no option so she disappeared before they had time to get any wards up.

-oOoOo-

The group had almost finished training and Amber was progressing well with her shooting when an injured Dobby appeared and had Harry on his knees trying to asses the damage to his little friend. "Dobby will be fine, Mrs Black called for Dobby to tell him wicked witch is in Lord Black's house. Wicked witch caught Dobby with spell but I protected myself." His grin wasn't masking the fact that he was in pain.

"Winky!" Harry called and was instantly rewarded with the arrival of the elf in question, "get Dobby to Poppy and make sure he rests until he's better."

The determined expression on Winky's face left no doubt that his orders would be followed to the letter, Dobby was in good hands as she popped both elves away to find the healer.

Harry turned round to see everyone staring at him in anticipation, "well why do you think we've been training? Suited and booted people, we leave in five minutes."

He grabbed Neville as Hermione took Luna and they apparated to the corridor outside their rooms, "full armour and game faces, this is as real as it gets."

Neville hugged Harry while pounding his back before kissing Luna and diving into his room where the elves had his armour laid out waiting on him. Luna kissed Harry, "thank you, this means a lot to Neville," he just hugged his sister before dashing off with Hermione to get ready.

Back on the beach Sirius had pulled Amber into an embrace and kissed her so hard her toes curled, his 'see you soon' before grabbing Dan and following Remus with Emma as they apparated to the Institute left her sinking to her knees on the sand thinking he was in so much trouble when he got back. That thought led Amber to praying he did come back and released a whole other set of emotions in the young woman.

At opposite ends of the institute two girls had been watching the training session on the beach and could sense something wasn't right so both Ginny and Joan started racing towards Harry and Hermione's room to find out just what was happening.

Hermione left their bedroom to find herself being crushed in a hug by a crying eight-year-old, Joan had taken one look at her outfit and didn't need to be told any more.

"Joan it's alright, remember what I told you yesterday? 'Nothing bad will ever happen to you while Harry's there' well here he is and he won't let anything happen to me."

Harry had been on the phone to Amelia as he joined Hermione in trying to consol the young girl, both were dressed for battle and Joan now had an arm round each of them.

Ginny glanced towards them wondering if they were going after Riddle but Harry's answer of Bellatrix did little to lessen her concerns, everyone said she was nearly as bad as her master. She took the still crying Joan in her arms as a similarly dressed Neville and Luna joined them and they all made their way to meet with the others.

Harry had Hermione and Neville either side of him with Luna directly behind, they had devised this diamond formation in the last timeline and were using it again. Across from them the others were using the exact same tactics with Remus in front, Dan and Emma beside him with Sirius guarding their backs. All eight had weapons drawn and were ready for anything.

They were portkeying in as two groups to cover each other, with a quick nod to Ginny and Joan they were off to face a wicked witch but didn't think a bucket of water was going to melt this one.

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