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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25. Chapter 25

Pomona led her 'delegation' into the great hall with every set of eyes in the place focused on the group, they were all wearing Italian designed dress robes and the Institute headmistress felt like a bride as she walked down the hall with her husband at her side.

The three Potters were next with mum and dad behind them; Neville, Luna and Ginny then had Sirius and Amber completing the procession. Amber had heard tales her whole life about Hogwarts but after her time at the Institute was singularly under whelmed, she wasn't sure if they had went for dank and depressing as part of their Halloween celebrations but her gut feeling told her this was the norm. The Institute members added a splash of much needed colour to the festivities with only the Beauxbatons students not dressed in black, Dumbledore of course was ridiculously colourful and she half thought if this was why he kept everyone else in black.

The older Hogwarts students couldn't believe their eyes that this was professor Sprout, their former head of Hufflepuff, and strolling arm in arm with professor Lupin. When their gaze travelled along the former pupils 'disbelief' was the only word to describe the changes on display.

Pomona approached Albus and Amelia before speaking, "Good evening Minister, Headmaster, we just popped by to let you know that the search parties can be brought back, your missing students are safe and sound at the institute and being cared for after their ordeal today."

It was like watching an equilibrium experiment using real people, the colour drained out of Albus while seemed to flow into Amelia, as she was almost purple with rage.

"You mean to say we sat there enjoying a feast and listening to you prattle on all night while Hogwarts had students missing and you did nothing!" if anything the experiment moved even further in Amelia's direction as Dumbledore was now ashen while the minister exploded as the realisation hit that the old fool didn't even know.

"Just what kind of school are you running here headmaster? Students missing and you don't even know? The goblet spewing forth names of people who haven't been near the castle – you have a lot to answer for and you better start talking now."

Albus spun round to face the staff table and professor Vector stood up, "all Hufflepuff students present and accounted for."

When she sat back down it was Percy who stood up next and he looked pissed off, "headmaster, you allocated specific tasks to professor Clearwater and myself which meant we were unable to monitor returning students. We both assumed that you would take care of the situation since you ensured we were otherwise engaged."

Slughorn didn't even bother standing up, "I was busy dealing with a pupil all afternoon headmaster."

Amelia heard the growls coming from the Potters at that remark but decided to deal with Dumbledore first, "there's no point trying to blame the staff you appointed, as headmaster the duty of care for the students of Hogwarts falls to you. When do you think it would have become apparent that there were students missing?"

She wasn't expecting an answer and turned to Pomona for more information, "could you tell me please headmistress just who is missing and how they came to end up at the Potter Institute?"

"There was a death eater attack in Hogsmead today," Pomona now had the undivided attention of everyone in the hall, "Peter Pettigrew stunned Ronald Weasley and Millicent Bulstrode before being disturbed by Cedric Diggory and Cho Chang. Cedric was hit by a cutting curse but his life was saved by the emergency portkey that all Institute students are issued with when they leave the Château, the portkey triggered as soon as he was injured and transported both him and a shocked Miss Chang to Italy." Pomona didn't think it was possible for Amelia to get any angrier but she was being proved wrong and wondered how the minister would cope with the next instalment of the story.

"Miss Chang was in shock and it took over an hour for Cedric to be well enough to be woken and able to answer questions, this was when we discovered that Pettigrew had abducted the two students for his master. A team from the institute acted swiftly, rescuing both students from Voldemort's clutches and they are at the moment enjoying the hospitality of our infirmary for precautionary measures only."

Amelia didn't need to ask who the team was or that she would be hearing a lot more of the details later but there was still more than enough information here to shred the old whiskered wanker. "Have you anything to say Albus?" he was stoic but Amelia wasn't letting him off the hook, "I think at the very least headmistress Lupin and her staff deserve a thank you for the rescue and care of students you didn't even know were missing." The sarcasm dripped off her words while the old goat mumbled 'thanks' as if it was choking him to say the word.

Amelia now ignored him as she turned to Harry and Hermione, "Lord and Lady Potter, tonight both your names and Tom Marvolo Riddle came out of the goblet which means you will have to compete in the tournament or loose your magic, do you know anything about this?"

Harry's answer was carefully worded so that no lies were told, "madam minister, our fight with Voldemort earlier tonight is the first time either my wife or I have been in Britain for at least a couple of weeks."

Amelia had to ask the question and was aware of Harry's evasion but again that was for later, "unfortunately I'm informed that you must compete as this constitutes a magically binding contract."

Both Potter's just nodded their acceptance as Albus seized his chance, "Harry we really need to talk and now that you're moving back into the castle there are things that we really need to get sorted out…"

Harry cut him off, "Amelia this is a ministry sponsored event?" he asked, receiving her nod he ploughed on ignoring the desperate attempts at interruptions by the old coot, "is it a condition of competing that you must reside in Hogwarts during the event?"

She looked towards her two officials who were in charge of the organisation, both shook their heads so Harry pushed home his point, "we will then compete but arrive shortly before the event is due to take place, is this within the rules?"

"Yes Lord Potter, that would be acceptable."

Albus almost had a coronary, "that hardly promotes the goodwill spirit that we are trying to generate here."

Amelia looked at him like a bug that needed stepped on, "do you call names coming out of the goblet that weren't put there by the people concerned goodwill? Perhaps if you put a bit more spirit into being a headmaster then you might actually know when some of your students have been attacked and are missing without having to rely on people from another school to do your job for you."

Representatives from both Drumstrang and Beauxbatons were on their feet, "madam minister, we would also like to request the same conditions be applied to us," the look that both gave Dumbledore could have stripped paint, "conditions here at Hogwarts are not as we were led to believe."

Harry came back into the discussion, "Amelia, could I make a couple of suggestions? Can we condense this tournament to have it finished by Christmas so it won't aversely affect students studying for exams and also hold the first event very quickly to give a certain Tom Riddle less time to come up with an escape clause."

Both representatives quickly agreed with this suggestion and though Albus strongly objected, no one was paying him any attention whatsoever which was the worse punishment possible for the incredibly vain wizard.

Harry's next suggestion had Tonks and Connie moving quickly to comply before Amelia had even agreed, "I think we need to get that goblet somewhere incredibly secure because should Riddle get his hands on it he could void the competition by it's destruction."

Albus was blustering about the castle being the safest place but was again being ignored as they planned on taking it to Gringotts.

Amelia had a quick word with the two ministry officials before making an announcement, "the first test will take place on the eighth of November, second on the twenty second with the final on the thirteenth of December. Can we all agree on that?"

All parties involved except Dumbledore agreed and the dates were set.

Albus was watching as everything slipped through his fingers and his temper was barely contained as he tried once more to get Harry to listen, "Lord Potter we really must talk, there are important matters that cannot be ignored any longer so you must listen to me."

"You have nothing I want to hear old man but if you don't mind I have something to say," Harry turned to address the hall. "Students of Hogwarts, especially the boys third year and below do not drink any potion Slughorn gives you – especially his patented homesickness cure."

Amelia knew right away she wasn't going to like the answer to her question but it had to be asked, "could you please explain that statement Lord Potter?"

Harry seemed to be thinking of the best way to answer her question when of course he was having a mental conversation with his wife on the best way to deliver this devastating blow, "when Hagrid came to deliver my Hogwarts letter he asked me if I'd never wondered where my parents learned it all, well has no one wondered where Riddle learned it all? Last time I looked the Hogwarts library didn't contain 'an idiot's guide to becoming a dark lord' yet he was able to kill his remaining family and create the diary before leaving Hogwarts, considering he spent his life before turning eleven and summers thereafter as a muggle he could only have obtained that knowledge one place. How am I doing Sluggy?"

The potions professor sat as if petrified at the knowledge Potter was alluding to.

"Our Tom caught his head of house in a compromising position with a second year boy, Sluggy here is no great shakes with a wand but had developed a potion version of the obliviate curse to feed to his young victims. Tom wasn't stupid enough to eat or drink anything that Sluggy had been anywhere near and blackmailed him for the rest of his years at Hogwarts."

Harry had everyone in the hall hanging on his every word as he continued with his tale, "Forbidden knowledge, banned textbooks, illegal potions, and free run of the castle, basically anything he wanted because his head of house would be going to Azkaban for a very long time otherwise. This bastard is responsible for Tom not dying that night he cursed me as a baby, he's responsible for the basilisk being released on the school in my second year and this bastard is the reason why we had to fight Voldemort again tonight."

A curse whizzed by Harry's ear but it was outgoing rather than incoming, the spell hit Slughorn directly in the face as Ginny's famous Bat-boggie hex finally got him moving. He moved right into a fist though as Percy Weasley broke his nose and continued to pummel him even after the potions professor was on the ground. Penelope finally managed to get her fiancé pulled off Sluggy before the girl who'd been petrified along with Hermione started firing in solid kicks aimed at his groin.

Both aurors and the minister made no move to intervene, as they would be taking what was left of him back to the ministry. Amelia noticed a young puff throwing up while his friends tried to comfort him and guessed why 'Sluggy' wasn't counting Slytherins today, she would leave the Clearwater girl a little longer before sending Connie and Tonks to arrest him.

The Institute party were rallying round to comfort Ginny except Harry and Hermione; they never took their eyes off Dumbledore. As minister for magic Amelia had to act and sent her aurors over to arrest the pig since Penelope now looked exhausted but it was the Hogwarts board of governors that she addressed.

"Governors we have a hard decision to make here and I really only see two options as the status quo is now untenable, we either bring Hogwarts under ministry control or close it."

Dumbledore couldn't help but notice his opinion wasn't even being sought and now realised the writing was on the wall, he was being sidelined and quickly becoming a nonentity. Potter's revelation about the diary and Voldemort's survival meant he was aware of horcruxes, Riddle's name entered in his own handwriting probably signified knowledge of the prophesy leaving Albus with no cards left to play. Potter on the other hand had Severus, Molly, Arthur, Oliver in St Mungo's and the information from the goblins to wheel out at any trial.

Albus was beginning to realise just how badly the master manipulator had been out manoeuvred, he himself now had two choices of either sinking quietly into ignominy or going out with a bang. Sitting quietly in a cell in Azkaban was just not a future Albus was prepared to accept so he was going to go out with a bang and take as many of these ungrateful bastards with him as he could.

All conversation stopped with Dumbledores next words and the old wizard was delighted to be the centre of attention once more, "Harry my boy I really must congratulate you on a job very well done but then again your little mudblood bitch always was an annoying know-it-all. I knew from the moment she was sorted into Gryffindor that another Potter would end up with a mudblood and even that stupid bastard Weasley couldn't keep you apart forever, I was hoping he was going to ruin her for you though."

Harry just smiled at him, "why thank you Albus, you just won me five galleons."

Albus was hoping to at least make the boy angry before provoking him into a fight but this totally confused him.

"You see my beautiful wife bet me that you were too stupid to work out we were manipulating you but I maintained that you would put it all together eventually, of course I stipulated that it would be way to late for you to do anything about it which is why I got the full five. I wasn't worried though, you are so arrogant in your belief that no one but you can see the big picture that it was actually very easy to get you to do exactly what we wanted."

Albus was raging inside, this cocky young bastard actually had the nerve to stand there and criticise him, Potter was going to pay dearly. "And just what was it that you wanted?"

Harry was keeping him talking as Ginny moved with Joan into the centre of their formation and Pomona kept Amber company in the middle of the other, Dumbledore was going for his big play here so his name would be forever in the history books but the Potters were having none of it.

They didn't expect him to pull this tonight or Joan would never have been near Hogwarts, but not knowing that students were missing was inexcusable and the final straw for Amelia. If the old man wanted a fight they wouldn't be holding back, not with their family here as there was just too great a risk one of them could get hurt.

"We knew that you would put so many charms on that goblet in an attempt to force me back to Hogwarts we would have no problems ensuring Riddles name came out as well. You are so predictable old man that we were at least two steps ahead of you at every turn."

Amelia understood what was going down here but couldn't see anyway to stop it, Albus was determined to have his moment and there's no way the Institute crew was going to back down. She started quietly getting the students out of the firing line while the Potters got ready for the unavoidable fight.

Albus was reaching for his wand when the metallic click reverberated around the otherwise silent hall as everyone waited with baited breath for the fight of the century.

"Mum, please don't kill him just now."

"You'll have to give me a good reason son because right now I want to cut him in half, just like that Malfoy arsehole. Even Voldemort couldn't shield against my shotgun and this prick has harmed my family way more than those other two ever did."

"He wants a grandstand finale mum, to show the world that he was better than Harry Potter, it will hurt his pride a lot more when I kick his arse in front of all these witnesses."

"Are you that confident Harry?" Dumbledore was trying to install some doubt into his mind but again there was that smile.

"My beautiful muggle born wife could easily kick your arse old man, it's your play so lets have it. Some of us have a school to run properly and don't really have the time to waste standing here listening to an old has-been's drivel."

Albus moved like lightning as his wand fired his flaming whip curse straight into Potter's group, it should cut most of them in half. For all Dumbledores speed Harry was quicker and, calling on his seeker reflexes for the second time that night, caught the flame whip with his bare hand.

Albus couldn't believe what his eyes were telling him, not only had the brat caught his whip; his hand appeared undamaged which was impossible. He then felt the drain on his core as Harry held hands with the mudblood before giving him the final piece of the puzzle.

"The power he knows not old man."

He was terrified now as the drain on his core was substantial and he couldn't break the spell, he reached into his robes for his other wand and drew it only to hear a loud boom as searing pain shot up his arm. Albus looked at his now ruined hand and had no more aces up his sleeve.

The group of six were glowing, as all were in physical contact with Harry and Hermione while Dumbledore's magic was redistributed where it could be used for the light side. The spell ended when Albus had no more magic left in his body and Harry silently summoned his now useless wand and snapped it right in front of Dumbledores crooked nose, a blur that was Joan Potter flew past them and swiftly kicked Albus as hard as she could on the ankle. The noise of the bone breaking was louder than that of his wand being snapped as the old man fell full length on the great hall floor like a tree being chopped down.

"You're a bad wizard and I'm glad my daddy kicked your arse."

Hermione clutched her daughter to her, "Joan, what have we told you?"

"Sorry mum," a chastised Joan turned back to Dumbledore, "I'm not allowed to say arse but your still a bad wizard and I'm glad my daddy kicked your butt!"

Hermione kissed the top of the young girl's head, "that's much better sweetie."

Amelia Bones well remembered Harry just absorbing her stunner but this was something else entirely as she watched him hold onto that curse before the explanation for Snape's condition hit her like the knight bus, they were drawing off the old bastards magic and Dan Granger's pistol just ensured that using a second wand was no longer an option.

The man now lying on the floor of the great hall bore only a passing resemblance to the Albus Dumbledore that adorned the chocolate frog cards; his face was pale and haggard as his appearance now matched that of someone of his great age. Amelia was sure he wouldn't see Christmas and had a decision to make, did their world really need the spectacle of a trial for this wizard or could the healing start quicker and better without one.

He would never see Azkaban, as the old man probably wouldn't survive a weekend in that resort, she reckoned that his last days were going to be spent in a secure ward at St Mungo's. She would have to consult with the Potters about what would be best for Magical Britain.

Harry approached her, "Amelia, there's another wand that needs snapped tonight." He pulled out Riddle's wand, "we took this of the self styled Lord Voldemort earlier tonight and he wasn't looking too good since mum blasted him with her shotgun and my wife and I disarmed him before he turned tail and scampered." The gasps could be heard throughout the hall as Harry snapped the hated wand that had killed both his parents.

He walked over to the contestants and noticed the Hogwarts entry was the Slytherin beater who had hit Alicia with his bat, claiming he thought she was the bludger; Harry hoped the dragon roasted his arse off.

"My wife and I are being forced to take part in this competition but we have no intention of taking it seriously, the winner will come from one of you three and we want to wish you luck."

Victor was desperate to say something to this arrogant boy who had upstaged the whole competition then had the audacity to claim they wouldn't really be trying to win, only the fact that he'd just performed a feat that Victor had witnessed and still didn't believe kept the Bulgarians mouth shut. He just gave a curt nod that Potter could interpret any way he wished.

Fleur had heard about Harry Potter from her little sister who had a crush on him but he was supposed to be fourteen! The Lord Potter before her looked older than that and his wife on his arm looked every bit as powerful as him, being part-veela she could see the enormously strong bond between these two and knew her sisters dream would remain just that.

Bole couldn't help showing he was an arse, whether he was affected by the vela charm and trying to impress or just an arse wasn't certain, "afraid of a little competition Potter?"

"What I'm afraid of Bole is that you aren't even a little competition, skilful champions have died in the past so what chance does that give you of just surviving, never mind winning. When you can't tell the difference between a beautiful broom riding girl who's wearing bright red robes and a bludger I really fear for your life."

Bole didn't know if he was being insulted, challenged or complimented so just came up with one of his stock answers for situations beyond his understanding before walking away, "well you would say that."

Hermione spoke to the other two champions, "please don't judge Hogwarts by that example, the headmaster had alienated a lot of students and only the dregs seemed to have entered. As bad as Bole is with a beaters bat he's actually worse with a wand in his hand."

The two Potters suddenly found themselves interrupted and almost surrounded by the Hogwarts board of governors, "Lord and Lady Potter, we would like to invite you and your school to return to Hogwarts. Dumbledore is gone and we think Pomona Sprout would make an excellent headmistress."

The icy glares from the Potters made the entire board take a few steps back but the chill contained in Harry's voice had them taking at least another one, "I thank you for the invitation but have no intention of returning to Hogwarts, Pomona LUPIN is an excellent headmistress but of the Potter Institute and under contract to us. This contract has some severe penalty clauses so she will be going nowhere without our consent which will not be forthcoming."

He quickly glanced at the Lupins to see them both trying to stifle their laughter.

"My whole family has applied for Italian citizenship and plan to live and work there permanently. The purebloods of Britain have never hid the fact that they don't want magic users of mixed blood or race in their country, well I intend to grant them their wish by offering an alternative to Hogwarts in a country that has welcomed us with open arms. I am sorry if this doesn't quite fit in with your plans but I refuse to raise children in a country that thinks of their mother as a mudblood and allows twelve-year-old girls to be sold to the highest bidder. Until Britain deals with it's bigotry problem and brings itself out the dark ages then the Potters will live abroad. As to your choices had Fudge still been minister I would have advised closure but Amelia Bones is an honourable lady who will always give of her best, with her in charge you have a chance."

These revelations were perhaps one too many for some of the people in the hall, a few of the smarter students had quickly worked out what that would leave them with while the board of governors faced being stripped of their power and influence if Hogwarts came under direct ministerial control. The crowd was starting to get ugly when Amelia spoke, "Lord Potter I would like to thank you for ensuring that two criminals were brought to justice tonight and for destroying Lord Voldemort's wand, I know we can count on you to finish the job."

The sheep stopped their bleating with the realization that they still needed this upstart.

"On behalf of the ministry I would like to put forward a recommendation for "Order of Merlin's' for you and your group."

"Madam minister, while flattered I feel I must refuse though I would like to put forward a Hogwarts student for one, she is a pureblood Slytherin who took on Voldemort, Lestrange and Pettigrew without a wand and managed to free her betrothed, if you would like to return to the Institute we can go over the details there."

Amelia just smiled, Harry knew there was no way she wasn't going with them tonight to hear their story and he had just provided her with the perfect opportunity while poking in the eye any suggestions that he himself was bigoted by recommending a Slytherin for their world's top award.

"Professor Vector, please assume charge of the school until we return on Monday with some solutions, can I assume that the other schools will be returning home?"

Both answered that they would be leaving in the morning and Amelia had Tonks take the slug to a cell while Connie took the old goat to St Mungo's, she was going to take the goblet to Gringotts herself and then the three would meet there before heading to the institute. This should be quite a tale Amelia thought though she had no idea just how big a tail it was.

The Institute crew used Harry's portkey to take them home and were all glad tomorrow was Saturday, facing Voldemort and Dumbledore in the one day was an excessive Halloween, even for Harry.

-oOoOo-

Millie sat beside Ron's bed waiting on him awakening from his terror induced slumber, she was doing something that she hadn't done before and wasn't happy with they way her thoughts were going. She was analysing their relationship by comparing it to those she had seen tonight and it didn't exactly measure up. The large Slytherin had watched the Grangers, Lupins and the Potters as well as Neville and Luna and Lord Black with his girlfriend. In every case both partners were attentive to each other with glances and casual touches whereas Ron had never even held her hand unless she grabbed his, no hugs or kisses were ever initiated by the red head leaving Millie to wonder just what their relationship was.

Millie was well aware she was no beauty and didn't expect her betrothed to profess undying love but she didn't think she could continue a relationship where there wasn't ever affection coming from the other partner, even a dog expected a pat on the head once in a while.

Ron awoke with a start and shot right up in bed before Millie managed to grab him by the shoulder, "Ron it's ok, we're safe." She could see the confusion in his eyes so tried to reassure him. "Harry and Hermione rescued us and we're in the Potter Institute."

The change in her betrothed's demeanour was astonishing, "Potter! We didn't need rescuing by him, I had it under control but as usual he has to play the hero and claim all the credit again."

This was a side of Ron she'd not seen before and definitely didn't like, she managed to calm him down before asking a question she swore she would never ask, "Ron I don't expect you to love me but do you even like me?"

No answer.

"Am I an embarrassment to you?"

Again Ron had no answer.

"When that Gryffindor girl made a play for you why didn't you tell her you were betrothed?"

Millicent sat there with tears running down her cheeks as Ron's mouth opened and closed like a goldfishes without a sound being emitted, when the Potters entered with Neville, Luna and Ginny he finally had an outlet for his temper.

"Potter, playing the great hero again I see, gloating over your gold as well by bringing us here to show off."

Joan had ran over and jumped on her 'aunty Millicent's' knee and hugged the crying girl, Millie soon had her large arms wrapped around the small girl and drawing comfort from the fact that at least someone wanted to hug her.

Harry was still coming down from his fight with Dumbledore and in no mood to take shit from anyone, especially this prick. "Just what is your problem Weasley? We go against Voldemort to save your sorry arse and you have the audacity to shout abuse at us! Add to that the girl who got you out of there is sitting here crying, you seem to be determined to take being a dickhead to a whole new level. This building sits on a large cliff and I have people begging me for the opportunity to throw you off it and you're beginning to convince me they've got the right idea."

Hermione knelt beside Millicent, "we have to return to Hogwarts next week, you're welcome to stay here till then and get your head together. I know how much Ron used to infuriate me and you look as if a break would do you good."

"What about me?" came from the ginger whinger.

Hermione actually snarled at him, "what you have yet to realise Ronald is that not everything on this planet revolves around you. Ginny told us that while she was going to be sold your only concern was for a bigger room than you had at the burrow, what kind of a selfish human being are you? There's no way you can stay here as my parents would kill you, mum's already put a bullet in Molly, killed Lucius Malfoy and shot Voldemort while dad's only managed one death eater so far though he did blow off Bellatrix Lestrange's arm and Dumbledore's hand."

Hermione looked ready to attack Ron and there wasn't one person in the room now who would lift a finger to save him, fortunately Joan interrupted.

"Mum, can aunt Millicent stay with me? Tomorrow's Saturday, we could all go shopping."

"That's a great idea sweetheart, Millicent the minister is coming here shortly could you put your memory of tonight into a pensieve for her to watch? Joan could then take you to her room then aunt Millicent wouldn't have to watch it again."

Millie was about to protest about putting them to a lot of trouble when Dobby appeared with a small table and a pensieve, "We have already put another bed in Miss Joan's room and Winky has laid out night clothes for aunt Millicent"

"Dobby, you and Winky are the best," gushed Joan, which caused the little chap to actually blush.

Millie finally got the message that Hermione was trying to convey, she didn't want Joan to see the memory and this way the little girl would think she was helping her new aunt. She placed her memory in the pensive and left as Joan took her hand, Millie didn't even acknowledge Ron's presence.

The prat was seething but before he could begin a rant about how unfair life was to him Amelia, Tonks and Connie arrived.

"Ladies, we've all had one hell of a night but there's something I want you and the prick lying here to see before we go somewhere else and answer your questions."

They started the memory playing and the horcrux being destroyed put the first smile of the night on Amelia's face, though she did chuckle when Bellatrix tried to shield herself with her missing arm and ended up eating tree branch. The six-foot squirrel confused her for a moment until the sharp ex-auror noticed the wand he was using and almost passed out.

That Peter Pettigrew was dead was beyond doubt, his brain was fried and the amount of blood lost would end his life within minutes.

Millie had nearly managed to sneak away with her burden when the bushy tailed one noticed her and spells started raining down all around them as the hunt was now on, the deadly game of hide and seek that followed raised everyone's opinion of Millicent Bulstrode. They could all see the poor girl was almost exhausted from lugging Weasley when the boom of Emma's shot gun gave her fresh hope, she immediately ran straight towards the group. The Potters blasting the squirrel and catching his wand was the last action before they portkeyed out of there.

"Lord Potter, I totally agree with you. That girl deserves the Order of Merlin and if I have anything to do with it, First Class." Amelia had been astonished at the young girl's courage; anyone who could put down that Lestrange bitch definitely deserved a medal.

Ron's war cry of, "what about me?" was met with a mixture of distain, disbelief and disgust though Ginny looked ready to rip his throat out.

"Let's see Ronald, your contribution to tonight was to scream your head off, wet yourself then cover your betrothed in blood, snot and piss while she hauled your unconscious arse out of there. Not satisfied with that you then upset her and she leaves here crying, personally I think you're an ungrateful bastard who should be hung from the ceiling by your balls but that's only my opinion."

Luna made a face that appeared as if she had swallowed a bug, "while I fully agree with your sentiments Gin, that was one image I didn't need in my head. Ronald Weasley your greed and jealousy have cost you the two best friends you'll ever have, a young sister and now a girl who actually loves you so much she risked her own life to save yours. Being that you are the most selfish person I have ever met if it was Millicent that needed rescuing I'm betting you would have been out that graveyard like a shot. She really is much to good for you."

They all filed out though Harry hung back to speak to his former friend, "there's an old saying Ron that people get what they deserve, I actually agree with Luna and think Millicent's way too good for you. If she gives you a second chance my advice would be to grab it with both hands. Oh and my wife wasn't joking about mum and dad, you'll be leaving first thing in the morning for your own safety."

Harry left the pensieve playing on a loop so Ron could watch it all night, he still reckoned Millie would be better trying to beat some sense into him with her stick but at least he tried.

-oOoOo-

Millie was lying quietly crying when she felt a weight settle on the bed and a small hand offered her a hankie, "when I was in the orphanage it was normal for someone to be crying at night, sometimes the kid next to you would get picked to have a new life and while you tried to be happy for them you couldn't help but wonder what was wrong with you that they didn't want. You just have to keep believing that someone out there will love you and tomorrow could be the day when the magic happens and it all comes true."

Millie dried her eyes as she listened to this extraordinary young girl.

"I kept believing and now I've got the best mum and dad in the whole world, every kid in the orphanage loves them but they picked me to be their daughter. When we go shopping tomorrow mum will spend as much time shopping for things to bring back for them as she will for us, she sits and reads to us all and we get so carried away the elves have to come and shoo us into lunch. You're a friend now aunt Millicent and Potters always look after their friends, my mum and dad will help you – just you wait and see."

Joan kissed her new aunt on the cheek before returning to her own bed as both witches fell asleep.

-oOoOo-

Amelia was full of questions but one now stood out from all the others, "was that squirrel really Voldemort?"

Harry explained how they had discovered the ritual and removed his muggle father's bones as a precaution; he had to credit Sirius for the squirrel.

All Amelia's years of experience were useless, she fell about laughing her arse off, Connie Hammer was the same while Tonks just gazed at her cousin in awe. Dobby had to bring refreshments before the two witches were calm enough to continue.

"Did you put your name in the goblet Harry?"

"No Amelia, we knew Dumbledore would charm the goblet to accept other schools and enter my name that way. We used this to enter Riddle as a student of St Brutus's Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys. My relations told everyone that's where I went so we thought it was poetic justice."

Hermione continued, "This was our plan from the start, get him entered in the hope of stripping his magic though we never counted on Riddle having a new body. We just asked these two to empty the grave, can you imagine the wizarding world's reaction if he turns up at the tournament?"

This started everyone laughing again before Amelia asked, "but how did Hermione's name come out of the goblet?"

Hermione at least had the decency to blush, "that was me, I told Harry I would be beside him for everything and that includes this tournament, Dumbledore had charms all around the goblet but none of them gave Dobby any trouble."

"Amelia I know this will double the expense of the tournament so we would like to make up the difference," Dobby popped in with the chequebook and informed them that Miss Joan was now fast asleep. "We would also like to offer some training for your 'younger' professors, while I stand by my position that the institute comes first I can see no harm in letting them observe and ask more experienced professors questions."

"Thank you Lord Potter and with the way things are at the moment I'll take you up on both of your generous offers."

-oOoOo-

Bella was actually wishing she was back in Azkaban, they had returned to the Riddle house because they had no-where else to go. Every time the creature swished its tail Bella wanted to fire a cutting curse at it, what a fine stole it would make.

She wasn't sure whether it was the pain relief potion that was making her light headed or the continual scurrying about of the thing she could no longer call master. When she and Peter had been on their food foraging missions they were also given the task of searching for information, what a revelation it was when they found that issue of the Quibbler.

Both had decided at once that whoever showed this to the Dark Lord would pay with their life so no mention of the fact that his father was a muggle would ever pass their lips.

At the moment Bella had a dreamless sleep potion passing her battered lips, not a good idea to mix it with the pain relief potion but then when your only companion was psycho squirrel who gives a shit!

Bella's last thought before succumbing to the bliss of unconsciousness was that it didn't matter any more, Riddle, Quirrell or squirrel, Harry Potter had kicked his arse up a tree every time they'd went head to head.

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