Harry Potter and Future's Past

Starts out the day after the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry and Hermione meet the Goddess of Love, and she offers to let them go back in time. Strictly Harry and Hermione. Minor - well maybe major Ginny, Ron and Dumbledore Bashing. Soul Bond - Time Travel

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5664828/1/Harry-Potter-and-Future-s-Past

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15. Chapter 15 Speaking to the Minister

"Minister, Minister...I really must insist that..." Dumbledore was so busy trying to get the Minister's attention he failed to notice the quill in his hand turn blue until he felt a jerk at his navel and ended up in his own office at Hogwarts. When he tried to floo back to the Ministry he discovered the Ministry's floos had been shut down except for official business while the investigation was underway. Looking around his office, his eyes found the perch used by his phoenix.

"Fawkes," He said and an instant later a flash of flame occurred and the phoenix materialized before him. "I need to return to the Ministry," He said to the red and gold plumed bird. He touched a tail feather of the phoenix and in another instant of flames he disappeared only to arrive in the Ministry Atrium. As the fountain materialized in his vision he thought. "Good thing I didn't have to fly here on a broom; that might have taken hours."

**** E E ****

As they walked toward the Minister's office, Harry tried to show a look of tired confidence, but actually he was apprehensive. By turning his back on Dumbledore, he now had to take responsibility for all that had happened. Last time, he and his friends had been mostly left alone. He didn't know exactly what Dumbledore did, but he had done something. This time there was a lot less damage but there were the deaths of the Death Eaters to be explained.

"Better to explain Death Eaters than Sirius," Hermione said as his thoughts had been bleeding over to her.

Harry gave her a quick smile, but her comment did make him start to wonder if Sirius made it out.

This time she didn't need to hear his thoughts. "I'm sure he's fine," She said.

During the walk, Hermione kept reminding Harry. "Remember to be calm and be nice. Fudge needs you, but don't make him defensive. Take the humble approach."

When they arrived in the Minister's office, Fudge took a moment to disappear into a different room and change out of his pajamas. When he returned he took his spot behind his desk and motioned for the teens the take the seats in front of him. Several seconds of silence was broken when Harry finally spoke. "Thank you sir," He said, "for taking the time to talk to me. I know your time is very valuable right now."

"That's quite alright Harry…may I call you Harry?" the Minister questioned.

"Yes sir. That's fine sir."

"Excellent," The Minister said. "Ahh...Amelia," The last was to Madam Bones who finally caught up to them. They all turned to see the gray-haired woman with her customary monocle entering the office. Her hair was astray and her eyes weary but alert. She had a look of someone not in a good mood.

"Thank you Minister. Hopefully this won't take too long. I have a lot to do," She eyed the teenagers wearily. "Starting with these four of course."

"Yes ma'am," Harry said speaking for his group still. "I think this will go a long way to explaining what happened."

"Very well Mr. Potter," She said as she took a seat.

Harry took a deep breath before continuing. "Before I begin my explanation, I should introduce my friends. This is Hermione Granger, my best friend and a lot more. Minister you've met her before, but might not have remembered it," He then nodded to Neville and Luna, "I'm sure you both know Neville Longbottom or at least his Grandmother and this is Luna Lovegood, daughter of the man who owns the Quibbler."

The name of the magazine Luna's father published made Cornelius Fudge pale. The ministry had taken an antagonistic approach toward it ever since the interview by Harry concerning the Dark Lord had appeared in it. That Harry Potter was friends with the daughter of Xenophilius Lovegood was not a good thing. Then of course everyone knew Augusta Longbottom. She was a woman who one dared cross at their own peril. He swallowed before replying, "Very glad to meet all of you," His eyes lingered on the young blonde girl who had her wand behind her ear and was looking around the office like she didn't have a care in the world. He finally turned back to Harry.

"Sir," Harry started with his green eyes focused on the Minister. "I hope you now know that I haven't been lying all year. I really did see Voldemort," Harry had to force himself to not roll his eyes when the Minister of Magic shuddered at the name, "resurrected last year."

"Yes, well it's definitely looks to be that he is back so we'll revisit that issue later with you."

"Yes sir," Harry continued. "Also that I didn't lie at my trial concerning the Dementors. I believe that was settled at Ms. Umbridge's questioning?"

The Minister eyes stayed focused on a sheet of random parchment he had picked up. Harry could see a small bead of sweat appear on the Minister's brow before he spoke. "It appears I was misled in regards to that situation," Cornelius finally said as he sat the parchment back down.

"I understand sir," Harry said. "It's just that I've asked you to believe one other thing in the past and I'm hoping now that the other issues have been proven to be true you will now consider that issue one more time."

"What would that be Harry?"

"Sir at the end of my third year, we," Harry nodded to Hermione, "told you that Sirius Black was innocent and that Peter Pettigrew was still alive."

"Obviously you were confunded," Fudge replied. "Or the trauma of seeing your parent's betrayer was too much."

Harry sighed and then he turned to Amelia Bones. "What crimes were Sirius Black convicted of?" He asked.

"Support of You-Know-Who, accessory to murder, namely your parents and killing Peter Pettigrew and several muggles," She answered.

"What if I told you that you're wrong?" Harry responded calmly. He raised his hand to waylay her rebuttal. "Go have any of your people look for any information on the trial of Sirius Black and you'll find there is none. It doesn't exist because he never was charged, nor tried, nor convicted. He was sent to Azkaban and left to rot for all of those years without a chance to defend himself by Barty Crouch."

Amelia's mouth stopped in mid-opening.

Harry pressed on but not in an accusing manner. "Neither of you were in your current positions when it happened and I can understand how it propagated into what it is now, but I would like you to keep an open mind when it concerns Sirius Black."

"What does Sirius Black have to do with tonight?" Fudge asked.

"Everything," Harry replied truthfully but with an exaggerated sigh. "Sirius Black is my godfather and over the last couple of years he and I have been..."

"Mr. Potter, are you saying you know where Sirius Black is?" Madam Bones asked. "If you do, you must tell me at once so we can go arrest him. He is a dangerous fugitive."

"Stay calm Harry," Hermione's voice came through causing the anger that had erupted in Harry to dissipate. He looked at the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. "Ma'am, as I said, I believe he was never tried or convicted. Prove to me that I'm wrong. In fact since Sirius played a major part in tonight and what I want to discuss, go and have that information looked for now."

"Mr. Potter," Bones started as her eye tightened around her monocle. "I will not be spoken…"

"Amelia," Cornelius Fudge interrupted. "It's a minor thing to do. Have one of your people go to the records office and pull the information. Harry obviously thinks it is important."

"I'm sorry Madam Bones," Harry added, realizing that he didn't want to get on Amelia's bad side. "I didn't mean to speak rudely; it's just been a long and stressful night. I hope you can understand."

"I won't be able to understand until you explain exactly what happened," Amelia replied. After a contemplative stare at the teens she turned to the Minister and nodded. "I shall have it done now Cornelius," She said. She quickly crossed to the door and disappeared. She was only gone five minutes before returning. "I have a junior Auror looking into it," She said. "He'll bring the records shortly."

"To continue with my explanation, let's presume what I said is correct," Harry said. "Sirius Black is my godfather and Voldemort found out that I consider him part of my family. Last night Voldemort tricked me into believing he had Sirius down in the Department of Mysteries."

"Why would he do that?" Bones asked. "And how?"

"As I mentioned to the Minister earlier, the how involved Riddle sending…"

"Someone sent you a Riddle?" Bones interrupted.

"No Ma'am. It's his real name. Lord Voldemort's real name is Tom Riddle. He went to Hogwarts fifty years ago," Harry said and then with his eyes fixed on Cornelius Fudge he continued. "He was the one who originally opened the Chamber of Secrets."

"Dumbledore mentioned that name I think," Fudge replied with a shrug. "It's unimportant."

Harry had to fight with himself to keep from rolling his eyes or climbing over the desk and throttling the Minister, but finally he turned back to Amelia, "Riddle has been sending me visions recently about the Department of Mysteries. He's been trying to lure me here to get something for him."

"What did he need you to get for him?"

"A prophecy ma'am," Harry replied. "I didn't know it until it was explained to me by a Death Eater of all people," He said with his voice increasing in volume. He spent a couple of seconds to calm down before continuing. "But it seems there was a prophecy made that led to the murder of my parents. Voldemort now wants it."

"But if his Death Eaters could get in there why did he need you?" Madam Bones asked.

"Lucius said that only the people the prophecy is about may retrieve it," Harry explained.

"Of course," Bones replied. "I'd forgotten about that," She made a few notes on some parchment before looking back at Harry. "So he used some kind of vision trick on you that caused you to come here thinking you needed to rescue your godfather? Is that the basics?"

"Yes Ma'am," Harry replied glad he didn't have to explain the connection he shared with Voldemort.

"Why did you think you had to come yourself? Why not go to a Professor?"

"After the torture I've been experiencing over the last year and the only protection I received was being told to keep my head down, I hope you can understand I have little confidence in what the response would have been."

"Which I believe has been improved recently," Bones said.

"Maybe, but say I had told someone and they had told you. Would you have been more interested in arresting Sirius or rescuing him?" Harry asked. "There was no time to try to convince you and I couldn't let Sirius die."

More notes were jotted down. Finally Bones looked back up. "So you came all the way to the Ministry and made it to the Department of Mysteries. You were then attacked by the six Death Eaters?"

"No Ma'am, there were twelve in all," Harry responded and then he acted like he remembered something. "That portal...or whatever it is, wherever it goes you need to send Aurors."

"What are you talking about?"

"The stone archway," Harry explained. "We found out it was a portal or something. It's in the room with all the benches. Malfoy was saying something about it was called the Death Room."

Madam Bones' eyes widened. "But that's the Veil…it's…" She stopped. "Maybe you need to explain from the beginning…tell me everything that happened."

"Yes ma'am," Harry replied. "Hermione was concerned it might be a trap," He explained. "So when we got to London…"

"How exactly did you get here?" Amelia interrupted. "You were at Hogwarts right?"

"Yes ma'am we were. We rode on my broom and a couple of Thestrals," Harry said as if it happens every day.

"The Thestrals were very nice," Luna said. "Mine was named…" She looked at Amelia and Fudge. "Oh you probably don't need to know that."

Amelia just looked on in shock as she listened.

"As I was saying, when we got to London, we made a stop at the store Fred and George Weasley opened up. They are friends of ours who we knew had some products that might help us in case it was a trap," Harry continued, "these hats, the swamp and powder that causes those clouds of darkness."

Amelia was jotting more notes down. "Fred and George Weasley?" She asked.

"Yes ma'am. Their store is at ninety-three Diagon Alley," Hermione responded. "They aren't in trouble are they?"

"Oh no," Amelia replied. "We'll have to corroborate your story with them of course, but I'm very interest in that darkness powder. It could be very useful and I would like to discuss it with them."

"There is already someone here looking at these," Harry said as he showed his hat to her. "It's a shield hat. It is supposed to block a couple of spells."

"It works great," Luna said as she twirled her hat on her finger. "Bellatrix Lestrange hit me with a stunner and I didn't even feel it."

"Bellatrix Lestrange?" Amelia eyes shot up to look at Luna. "She was here?"

"Yes ma'am," Harry said. "She went through that portal thing."

Amelia looked over at Fudge and then back to Harry. "Let's get back to what happened," She said. "You got some things from your friends and then came here."

"Yes ma'am," Harry nodded. "I knew we needed to go to the Department of Mysteries," He paused as if he was organizing his thoughts. "We started looking for Sirius and the place with all the blue orbs in it like I saw in the dream or vision. We found a room with a tank full of…" He looked over at Luna. "What did you say those were?"

"Aquavirius Maggots," Luna replied with the answer they had put together. "Daddy wrote all about them."

"That's not what they were," Madam Bones replied. "They are living brains. The mystery of thought is studied in that room," She looked again at Fudge. "Croaker is examining all the damage down there now. He'll have a complete report later today." She turned her attention back to Harry.

"Well we thought there were the Maggots things and would sting someone if they hit them, so we put some in jars to use as well," Harry explained. "Then we found that room with the benches. When we looked at the Archway, the fabric seemed to move and we heard voices. We tossed a rock into it and it disappeared, so we presumed it was some kind of portal to another place. We first thought that if it was a trap maybe we could escape through it to safety," Hermione had thought of adding this, it gave an alternative for Fudge and Amelia to think about that could be far worse than what happened.

A collective gasp rose between Fudge and Bones. "Mr. Potter it is a very good thing you didn't do that."

"Why? Where does it go?"

"It doesn't go anywhere," Amelia explained. "It's called the Death Veil and its instant death for anyone who enters it."

Harry forced himself to swallow hard before continuing. "Oh...uh well," He stammered on purpose.

"Please continue Mr. Potter," Amelia said.

After a few seconds he pushed on with the story. "We finally found the room with the orbs and started looking for Sirius," He continued. "When we were at the place where he was supposed to be, Neville found the prophecy with my name on it. Not knowing what it was, I took it and suddenly we were faced with a dozen Death Eaters who had been disillusioned."

"We have Vincent Crabbe Sr., Augustus Rookwood and Theodore Nott Senior in custody," Madam Bones started listing the people they had recovered. "Mulciber and Rodolphus Lestrange are dead..."

"Yeah another Death Eater, uh Jugson I think, killed him by mistake," Harry said.

"How do you know that?" Bones asked.

"I threw one of the…Mag...I mean brains at them and it hit the ground near Lestrange. Jugson panicked and used the killing curse on it and the curse hit Lestrange as well. He then chased me until I was able to trick him into going through the portal…uh I mean veil."

Bones nodded at the explanation. "Can you tell me who the others were?"

"The other Lestrange, Rabastan I think, Bellatrix, Avery, Macnair.."

"Walden Macnair? The one who works for the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures?"

"Yes ma'am," Harry replied as he watched her jot that fact down. "And Antonin Dolohov was the last one besides Lucius Malfoy," He looked over at the Minister of Magic who was looking extremely pale at the mention of the last name.

"And all of the others went through the Veil?" Bones asked.

"Are we in trouble for that?" Harry asked. "They were threatening to kill us and…and..."

Fudge knew that pressing any kind of charges against Harry Potter after the morning display, especially for the accidental death of Death Eaters would be political suicide. "Of course not Harry," He said. "In fact I think you have done a great service for our community."

"Thank you sir," Harry replied as he breathed a true sigh of relief.

"Nonetheless I do need the rest of the story of what happened," Bones replied after a glare at the minister.

"Yes ma'am. After the Death Eaters appeared, Lucius demanded the orb I had. Bellatrix threatened to torture Luna if I didn't hand it over," Harry continued. He glanced over at Luna before proceeding. "I knew though, if I did, they'd kill us on the spot."

Amelia nodded, agreeing that is exactly what would have happened.

"As I said earlier, we had got a few things from the Weasleys and we sent a couple of decoy detonators…"

"Decoy Detonators?" Bones asked. "What are those?"

"Oh...they are another creation of the Weasleys," Harry said. "You let them loose and they will go run off and explode causing a diversion."

"I definitely must speak to these young men," Bones said. "But go ahead with the story."

"When the detonators went off, it distracted the Death Eaters just enough for us to react. We threw some darkness powder in front of us and…and I hate admit it but we purposely destroyed some of the shelves the orbs were on. We were trying to do anything to create a diversion to get away."

"I also threw one of the…the brains," Hermione added.

"We then ran," Harry said. "We ended up in the room with all of the clocks…we exchanged some spell fire there…mostly blasting hexes to try to slow down the Death Eaters who had followed."

Fudge and Amelia were listening intently now.

"We had marked the doors when we kept getting lost looking for Sirius, so we were able to get back to the portal…uh Veil room," Harry said. "We put down the swamp to slow down the pursuers some as well."

"Why didn't you try to get away?"

Harry was expecting this question and had the reason ready to go. "We were concerned that there might be more Death Eaters at the lifts to cut us off. If there were, then we'd be caught between two sets of Death Eaters in a very narrow corridor."

"True. Excellent thinking I should say," Bones said.

"When we got to the uh…Veil room, we started securing the doors. We thought about going through the Arch but without knowing where it came out, we were unsure. Then we came up with an idea. What if we could trick some of the Death Eaters into going through the Portal? Enough to make it a reasonable fight for us."

"I noticed the room, what did you do?"

"Hermione had brought some small rocks to banish at any assailants and Neville had some dirt with him."

When Amelia and Fudge looked at Neville questioningly he replied. "I like plants and had some dirt in my pockets," He said truthfully. If they followed up on that, Professor Sprout would vouch for Neville's love of plants.

"We enlarged the rocks to line a path and used the dirt and other things to make the bench steps disappear," Harry explained. "We used a desk from the other room to transfigure into a door to hide the arch and then the darkness powder…and…well it worked." Harry shrugged his shoulders with the last statement.

"They just walked through a door?" Bones asked.

"We sort of made it seem that we had gone through it by slamming it shut with banishing charms," Neville explained. "That was my job."

"With the darkness powder between the door and the veil..." Harry's explanation trailed off.

"What happened with Lucius?" Amelia asked.

"He wasn't fooled by the changes," Harry said. "Said he had toured the place and..." Harry could see Fudge pale again at the statement, "he hadn't seen any room like that. He started canceling the enlargement spells on the rocks and recognized what room it was. I tried to sneak up on him and stun him but he was able to block it. I used the prophecy to prevent him from attacking me. It was then that several people from Dumbledore's Order of the Phoenix showed up. Malfoy was able to disappear into the darkness after summoning the orb I had in my hand. I chased him and when I caught up to him in the Atrium, Voldemort showed up. He tried to kill me and well you saw what happened."

"What was that golden thing anyway?" Fudge asked.

Harry didn't want to answer that question. He didn't want that knowledge in Voldemort's hands. "I...I don't know sir," Harry lied. "It's the same thing that happened last year though when I dueled him in the graveyard."

"I saw him holding a blue orb when he left," Fudge said. "So he got this prophecy from you?"

"Uh...no sir," Harry replied. "Neville, Luna," He said to his two friends. They each pulled blue orbs from their pockets and laid them on the Minister's desk. "We noticed that they wouldn't outright attack us if they thought they might damage the orb so we made a couple of copies for protection."

A knock happened at that time and a person in Auror robes came in and whispered something to Amelia and then handed her a roll of parchment.

"Are you sure?" Amelia whispered to the Auror who nodded in return. Amelia glanced at Harry for a few seconds before saying "Thank you," to the Auror who turned and left. She took a minute to read the parchment in her hands; while doing so her eyes became more and more focused.

"What is it Amelia?" Fudge asked.

"This is the arrest record of Sirius Black from November first nineteen eighty-one," She said indicating the parchment. "It gives some pretty gruesome details about the circumstances of the arrest but…" She looked at Cornelius Fudge, "according to my Auror there are no records of a trial ever having taken place. No trial, No order of sentence, nothing. It appears that Mr. Potter is correct."

"Barty Crouch Sr. was told by Dumbledore that Sirius was my parents' secret keeper," Harry explained. "At the time, he really thought he was."

"If Black wasn't their secret keeper then why did Dumbledore think he was?"

"Did you go to school with my father and Sirius?" Harry asked the Head of the DMLE.

"No, I had left a couple of years prior to them starting, but my younger sister, Susan's mother did," She replied. "She told me all about their antics."

"They thought it would be the ultimate prank on Voldemort to make Pettigrew the secret keeper instead," Harry said. "The Death Eaters would pursue Sirius while they kept Pettigrew stashed away."

"Even if I were to believe that, Black still killed Pettigrew and all of those muggles. This report details the finding of Pettigrew's finger and lists all of the muggle people who died that day."

"That's what we tried to tell you," Harry was speaking to Fudge again, "that night he was captured and later escaped. We saw Pettigrew. He was the one who killed those muggles. He cut off his own finger and disappeared," Harry explained.

"There is no mention of anyone seeing Pettigrew escape."

"He was an animagus, ma'am," Harry said. "He transformed into a rat and disappeared."

"That's a very convenient story Mr. Potter," Amelia scoffed. "How many people knew about this rare ability of Pettigrew?"

"Ma'am, I will gladly show you my memories of when we found him after our third year," Harry said. "Do you have a Pensieve?"

Amelia Bones looked annoyed. "A Pensieve? Of course I don't have one of those. There are only a handful of them in the whole world."

"We can use Dumbledore's then," Hermione suggested.

Amelia looked shocked. "Dumbledore has a Pensieve?" Her shocked look became one of anger. "That bastard," she said. "I have too many cases that I could easily solve if I had access to one of those."

Harry was stunned. He never considered that the Pensieve was a very rare item and that the Minister or Amelia Bones didn't know about Dumbledore's. But then he remembered what Dumbledore had said the day he first came across it. "I was using the Pensieve when Mr. Fudge arrived for our meeting and put it away rather hastily," Harry shook his head slightly as he thought of that statement. Dumbledore was not the type of person to do anything 'hastily'. "He put it away quickly because he didn't want Fudge to know about it. Another one of his blasted secrets that other people needed to know about," He quickly sent his thoughts to Hermione who also sat stunned. They had expected to be able to offer memories today. That was the whole reason for getting the Death Eaters to unmask.

"I wondered why Dumbledore never offered to use my memories of that night Sirius escaped or of Voldemort returning," Harry replied finally to the Head of the DMLE. "Would my memories of those events help?" Harry asked. "They show Peter Pettigrew alive, and it will show why Professor Snape gave the testimony he did. He was knocked unconscious during that time."

Amelia Bones was looking off in the direction of a wall as she thought about the implications of the matter. Finally she looked back at the group. "Yes Mr. Potter I would like those memories," She turned to Fudge. "Cornelius, if Sirius Black is innocent we are going to have major issues with the public."

"With You-Know-Who back we are already going to have issues. I doubt I will have my job next week."

Harry knew it was time. "Sir, if there was a way to make it look better for you would you do it?"

Fudge looked at the young man with interest. "What do you have in mind?"

"I'm going to be speaking to the Prophet and the Quibbler later and what I want to say is I am supporting the current administration," Harry said. "I don't think changing Ministers right now is a good idea. For all I know the next one will be under the influence of Voldemort."

Fudge interest moved even higher but he was too much of a politician to think it would be free. "You say you WANT to support the current administration, which means you want something to do it," He stated wearily.

"Two things actually," Harry replied. "The first being justice. I want Sirius to be..." There was a knock on the door and a second later the same junior Auror poked his head in.

"I'm sorry ma'am, sir but Dumbledore is insisting on seeing you."

Fudge looked at Harry who shook his head. "Tell him it will be a few more minutes."

The Auror looked nervous but quickly said. "Yes sir," And shut the door.

"Thank you sir," Harry said. "As I was saying, I want Sirius to have his freedom."

"Harry, as Amelia pointed out, if we come out with Black being innocent right now, the public will lose all faith in the Ministry."

"No sir, I believe if you tell them the truth, they will listen. You tell them the truth and Sirius and I will give our full support in backing you."

"He'd do that?" The Minister asked.

"Sirius has no grudge against you personally Minister," Harry lied, though Sirius had promised to drop the grudge if Fudge agreed to the deal.

Fudge looked over at Amelia. "What do you think?"

"Cornelius, if Sirius is really innocent, the man needs to be free. I want him questioned under Veritaserum though and I'd like to see those memories," She said. "Right now I'm going to need every Auror working on You-Know-Who and Death Eaters, not chasing after someone who doesn't deserve it. I prefer the truth to anything else Cornelius; it makes life simpler."

Fudge turned to Harry and he was smiling for the first time. "I think we can manage it then. When can you get Sirius in here to be questioned?"

"If you will vouch for his safety, I will personally escort him here within an hour," Harry replied.

"Excellent," Fudge said. "Amelia, I want you to go with Mr. Potter and bring Mr. Black directly here."

Amelia Bones looked at Harry appraisingly but before she say anything the door burst open and the lurid robed figure of Albus Dumbledore stood there. "Minister I truly must insist that I am included in any discussion concerning Lord Voldemort and Mr. Potter."

Harry turned and looked at the Headmaster and then turned back to the Minister. "Sir may my friends and I go now?"

"Yes of course," Fudge said. "I'll see you back here in an hour with Mr. Black?"

"Yes si..."

"Black? Sirius Black?" Dumbledore exclaimed. "Now isn't the time to be discussing Sirius, we should be focusing all of our attention on Voldemort."

Harry turned and looked at the Headmaster. "Headmaster," He started, "would you like to tell the Minister and Madam Bones who my parents' secret keeper really was?"

"Harry," Dumbledore started. "Again this not the time to discuss this, there are so much more important things to deal with. Let's get you and your friends back to Hogwarts and then I can discuss what really matters with the Minister."

"It's a simple question Professor," Hermione said. "Who was the Potters' secret keeper?"

"Miss Granger," Dumbledore said. "This is a difficult topic for Mr. Potter and with the night he's had it really..."

"WAS IT SIRIUS BLACK!" Harry yelled to interrupt the Headmaster. "Yes or no?"

Madam Bones spoke up as well. "Albus, since you seem to want to avoid answering that question I will ask it. Remember that lying to me in regards to a criminal case is a chargeable offense. Was Sirius Black the Potters' secret keeper at the time they were murdered?"

The Headmaster's eye went from Madam Bones to the Minister until finally they came to rest looking into the green eyes of Harry Potter. He seemed to slump a little before he finally answered. "No. Sirius Black was not the secret keeper, it was Peter Pettigrew."

"Why didn't you offer to show our memories Headmaster?" Hermione asked. "In fact in the past two years there seemed to be many opportunities that our memories could have been shown to the proper legal authorities."

"Albus, these young people tell me you have a Pensieve," Madam Bones said testily. "I would like to access it to verify their information and to help proceed with other cases I have pending."

"As much as I would like to help Amelia," Dumbledore replied, "It is my personal property and I really need it right now especially with Voldemort returning. We can discuss the matter at a later time, shall we say three months?"

Harry could see Amelia's temper was about to erupt at the Headmaster. He quickly grabbed a quill and parchment from the Minister's desk and jotted a note.

"He doesn't know he misplaced the Pensieve. We can give it to you later."

He quickly handed the note to Madam Bones who glanced down at it. She looked at Harry and Hermione and almost smiled at them. She then glared at the Headmaster. "We will discuss this later Albus, as for now I need to go deal with my Aurors about arresting Lucius Malfoy and the questioning of Sirius Black."

"When shall I attend the questioning?" Dumbledore asked.

"Your presence is neither requested NOR required," Amelia replied coolly. She looked at Harry. "What do you need to get Mr. Black here?"

"Harry, you need to return to the school," Dumbledore replied in his best grandfatherly voice. "You don't realize how great the danger is for you."

Harry ignored the Headmaster and spoke to Madam Bones. "If I could have an Auror to escort Hermione and me; maybe Nymphadora Tonks? I know she's Sirius' cousin."

"I'll be glad to escort you Harry," Dumbledore said.

Harry was almost tempted to take the Headmaster up on the offer just to see what he would say, but then he remembered he would need to speak to Sirius and doubted he could do it privately with Dumbledore around. "No thank you Headmaster," Harry replied.

"I will escort you to find Auror Tonks," Amelia Bones said. "She might be confused about the orders."

"I will start arranging the press conference," Minister Fudge said. He saw the young blonde girl and said. "Miss Lovegood, maybe you'd like to invite your father? He's been ignoring our attempts at recent communications." Of course he didn't mention those 'recent communications' consisted of threats against the publication if it continued to support Harry Potter.

"Oh Daddy would love to come," Luna replied happily, "if he isn't out looking for the yellow-eyed crimzelle. He had a lead on one last week."

"Um...yes," Fudge replied uncertainly. "Come with me and you can try to find him."

Neville followed Luna and Fudge out of the office, while Amelia escorted Harry and Hermione. Albus Dumbledore stood alone in the Minister's office trying to figure out how to get back in control of what was happening. With the appearance of Lord Voldemort he had expected the Minister and everyone else to come running to him for guidance. He sat down in one of the chairs and at that time he noticed the two blue orbs on the desk.

"One of these must be the prophecy," He thought as he put both in his pocket. He considered going to Grimmauld place to try to talk to Harry again, but knew he needed to have Harry alone to persuade him of the proper course of action.

It didn't take long before Tonks was found. Her pink hair was readily seen amongst the team of Aurors guarding the floos as workers came and left. She was confused and surprised when Amelia informed her that she was to escort Harry and Hermione to a location to bring in Sirius Black for questioning.

Once Amelia had walked away, Tonks rounded on the two teens. "What's going on Harry? What's this about Sirius?"

"Trying to get him cleared," Harry replied. "As you can imagine the Minister is going to look foolish because of this, so I'm offering my support if he clears Sirius."

"And he went for it?" Tonks replied.

"Well once we pointed out that Sirius hadn't been tried or convicted and promised Sirius would support him as well, yeah he went for it."

A short time later they were entering Grimmauld Place and Sirius was sitting at the table drinking a cup of tea with a smile on his face. He rose to his feet and greeted Harry and Hermione as if he hadn't been expecting them.

"Looks like you did well tonight Harry. When Snape told us you were planning on coming to London because you thought I had been captured..."

"He fooled me, but fortunately it worked out," Harry said as he turned to the Metamorphmagus. "Tonks, can we speak to Sirius alone to let him know what's going on."

"Sure," The pink haired witch replied.

When she had left the room, Hermione quickly put up the muffliato charm and they settled down to the table.

"Glad to see you made it out," Harry said.

Sirius shrugged. "I wished I could have seen you and Voldemort. I was tempted to come upstairs as Padfoot and watch, but knew it wasn't worth the risk. When I yelled I was following Malfoy, I ducked behind one of the darkness area and called Kreacher. He took me to a side street and it was no problem after that. I better see those memories...now how did it go?"

"A few hiccups," Harry replied, "but we got eight of them and Fudge and Bones are buying the story. You are to come in for questioning and a press conference afterwards. As long as you're willing to support the Ministry and pass questioning by Amelia Bones, you're going to be a free man."

"Did we hear anything about Peter?"

"Haven't had a chance to speak to Dobby yet," Harry replied.

"You keep Tonks busy," Hermione said. "I'll go talk to Dobby and get the Pensieve," She was gone for thirty minutes, but when she returned she had a smile on her face.

"I spoke with Dobby. Voldemort is not currently at the Malfoy residence," She said. "But Peter was."

"Was?" Sirius asked. "Where is he now?"

"Unconscious in a cupboard in the kitchens of Hogwarts," Hermione replied with a chuckle. "Winky is currently standing over him with pot in hand. I brought him around and modified his memory. He now thinks Voldemort had sent him on a mission to Hogwarts and he was captured there. If Fudge reneges on his deal, we can produce him fairly quickly, otherwise we'll figure out what to do with him later."

They all took showers and Sirius put on his best robes before Tonks escorted them back to the Ministry. This time they entered through the Auror entrance where they found Amelia Bones waiting. She was alone, obviously having cleared the room on purpose.

"Sirius Black, you're a difficult man to find," Amelia said as she studied the black haired man carefully. "To let you know your status, you have no formal charges against you from the Ministry, though you should consider yourself in custody pending the questioning you will undergo. If you have a wand, I will need it now," She held out her hand and when he hesitated. "Mr. Black, if you are truly innocent, no harm will come to you."

Sirius nodded and reached into his robes and removed a wand he had procured in a small magical village that had large brightly colored birds and little contact with the outside world. It had worked for him, but not as well as his old one had. With Ollivander now gone, he knew he would have a long wait before he could have another wand that suited him as well.

She nodded as she took it from him and then led the procession into a room where the Minister was already seated at a table. It was obviously an interrogation room for a single chair sat in front of the table. Amelia nodded toward the chair and Sirius sat down and waited.

First Amelia handed Sirius a small bottle of blue liquid. "Since you were an Auror, you will obviously recognize this as a counter-veritaserum detection agent."

He nodded and took the bottle and drunk it completely. They waited the required two minutes and it when Sirius' tongue did not turn purple it was known he had not taken any counter-veritaserum. She then took out a bottle of the clear truth potion and put the required three drops on his tongue. It wasn't long before his eyes became unfocused.

"What is your name?" Amelia asked.

"Sirius Orion Black."

"What house were you in at Hogwarts?"

"Gryffindor."

"Who was your best friend while at Hogwarts?"

"James Potter."

"Did you betray the James and Lily Potter?"

"No. It was Peter Pettigrew."

"Did you kill Pettigrew?"

"I wanted to, but no. He blew up the street and escaped."

The questioning continued for another ten minutes. A couple of the queries made Harry and Hermione nervous since they came close to what Sirius knew about the previous night, but in the end both Amelia Bones and Cornelius Fudge were satisfied.

When the antidote had been applied, Amelia extended her hand and handed him a wand. Sirius looked at it and realized she had given him his original wand. The one that had been taken from him the night he had been arrested. He felt the warmth of the wand that had been missing from the one he had been using. He looked into the eyes of Amelia Bones.

"It was in the evidence room all of these years," She said. "I would like to be the first to apologize for those years."

"You had nothing to do with my arrest and no real reason to check into my past."

"Maybe, but I can't help but wonder if others shared your fate."

"I hope you try to find out," Sirius replied and then turned to the Minister and held out his hand. "Minister, thank you."

"Yes well," Fudge replied nervously. "Mr. Potter implied you'd be willing to..."

"Yes I will Minister," Sirius replied cutting him off. "Now is not the time to be splitting the Ministry over what has happened in the past."

"Sir, Ma'am," Hermione spoke up. "We took the opportunity to retrieve this," She opened the bag she had on her shoulder and pulled out the Pensieve.

An hour later Fudge was sitting at a table that had been arranged on a small stage in the Atrium. With him were Amelia Bones, Harry, Hermione, Neville and Luna. There was one more chair next to the Minister currently empty. Arrayed in front of the stage were a multitude of chairs, all filled with reporters from the various newspapers and magazines. Xenophilius Lovegood was sitting in the front row waving at his daughter.

Fudge started the conference. "We called you here this morning to discuss several things. Mainly to address the rumors that have been flying about concerning certain events that occurred last evening here in the Ministry. I would like to first address the issue of You-Know-Who. Yes he has returned," The uproar that followed that statement was deafening. It took several minutes before Fudge could continue, but finally he got everyone's attention. He signaled to an Auror who was holding a bag that was brought to the table. Hermione took the bag and pulled out the Pensieve along with several labeled vials of silvery liquid.

Harry was looking in the direction of Albus Dumbledore who was standing off to the side. When the Pensieve had been taken out of the bag, the Headmaster's eyes had widened for a split second but then he had settled into a thoughtful look.

"This, witches and wizards of the press is called a Pensieve. Headmaster Dumbledore has loaned it to us for our use," Fudge said. "It will allow you to see the memories of what occurred last night."

Harry and Hermione had discovered how to make the pensive project the memory above the basin by pulling Harry's memory of the time Dumbledore had done it and redid the steps the Headmaster had performed.

Hermione poured her own memory of the battle between Harry and Voldemort into the basin and tapped the correct runes. Immediately above the bowl the two figures locked in the gold cage appeared. Amelia Bones used a magnification charm to make the image much larger and a collective gasp rose from the crowd as they saw Lord Voldemort in battle against Harry Potter. When it ended shortly afterwards with Voldemort losing, the crowd noise rose again, but came instantly quiet when Harry stood.

"As you all can see," Harry started with a gesture to the now blank area above the Pensieve. "I have not been lying about Voldemort returning a year ago," Again he had to fight to keep his eyes from rolling at the reaction to the name. "I was tricked to come here last night. My friends," He now waved his hands over to Hermione, Neville and Luna, "and I ended up fighting a dozen Death Eaters."

Hermione had dumped the next memory into the bowl and the image of twelve death eaters all removing their masks rose from the bowl.

"...Rookwood?"

"That's Bellatrix Lestrange..."

"Lucius Malfoy?"

Harry waved for quiet and instantly got it as he continued. "Eight of them died last night, three of them were captured and one escaped," Harry again had to wait for the noise to abate. "My friends and I were fortunate to escape unharmed."

Amelia nodded to another Auror beside the stage and he disappeared behind a curtain and reappeared shortly leading the three captured Death Eaters who were surrounded by a team of Aurors. Rookwood had ugly red welts around his face and neck, Crabbe Sr. was being levitated since obviously his legs had not been repaired yet, and Nott was bound in magical ropes. All looked sullen. Nott tried to scream something out, but they all had silencing charms on them.

"A full accounting of what happened last night will be given to you after this conference," Amelia Bones said. "For now we shall say these four young people fought and defeated twelve Death Eaters and Mr. Potter himself drove off You-Know-Who."

Harry wanted to add one thing. "When you write about last night, please do not say Harry Potter did this or that without including the names of Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood. We fought as a team last night. We won as a team."

Fudge stood up and addressed the crowd of reporters. "There is one more issue that needs to be addressed this morning. It concerns Sirius Black," The noise rose again and it took three minutes before order could be restored again. "We discovered this morning that the man who the Ministry has been pursuing for three years has never been charged with a crime..."

"Then why was he in Azkaban."

"What about the Potters.."

The room went silent as another magnified memory appeared in front of them. It was the memory of the confrontation in the Shrieking Shack. They all watched mesmerized as Peter was forced out of his rat animagus form and admitted to being the spy and betrayer.

The noise rose only slightly when the memory ended as most of the reporters were digesting the scene they had just witnessed, but in no time another image rose from the bowl. It was the confrontation in the graveyard where Pettigrew brought the Dark Lord back to body as witnessed by Harry. When it was over every reporter was staring at Harry.

Harry rose from his seat again and stared at the crowd before starting. "I will be scheduling an interview later with the only person who has reported the truth about me in the last year. He looked in the direction of Rita Skeeter who suddenly realized that she was going to be given the most explosive story of the century. Suddenly three months in a glass jar seemed like a pittance in exchange. Harry also looked at Luna's father. "The Quibbler will have the rights to the story."

Fudge again rose. "As I said earlier and as the memories show, Sirius Black is innocent. I personally rescind all orders in regards to the capture of Sirius Black. We shall instead pursue the real culprit of those crimes, Peter Pettigrew to the ends of the earth." He motioned to the Auror who had brought the Death Eaters on stage and he disappeared behind the same curtain again. A few seconds later, Sirius Black strolled from behind the curtain and walked over to the table. He shook hands with the Minister and Amelia Bones and then gave a hug to Harry and Hermione before turning toward the reporters. He then waited patiently for the noise to lower.

"Thank you Minister Fudge," He started with a nod in the Minister's direction. "It takes a big man to admit mistakes," Sirius said. "For those of you who might still think otherwise," He rolled up his sleeve and showed his left arm. "No mark. I would never have done anything to hurt my best friend and James Potter was my best friend."

Hermione poured in another memory that Sirius had given. One that showed Sirius' confrontation with Pettigrew all those years ago on a street in London. Everyone could easily see who cast the spell. "Nor did I kill those muggles," Another memory appeared, this one showed the face of James Potter in what most people recognized as a St. Mungo's hospital room. He was holding a small infant with a small amount of black hair on his head. "Sirius," The memory James said. "Lily and I want you to be Harry's godfather."

All eyes were now on Harry again who had tears fighting to escape his eyes. Finally he stood and spoke. "I have known about my Godfather's innocence for some time now. I'm glad everyone else does too. I appreciate the actions of Minister Fudge and Amelia Bones in making sure justice won in the end," The crowd of reporters was now silent. "I extend my full support for the Ministry and call upon all of magical Britain to do the same in the coming battle with Voldemort and his Death Eaters," This time he did roll his eyes at the reporters. He pointed at the three Death Eaters still on stage. "They are just men who thrive on fear and can be beaten."

Sirius smiled at Harry when the young man had sat down. "I also offer my full support to Minister Fudge and the Ministry. Now is a time for Magical Britain to pull together. If we divide we will fall victim to the same darkness that we had all those years ago."

The press conference broke up shortly afterwards and Sirius Black walked out of the Ministry a free man. He had been assigned two Aurors as guards to ensure that until the word was fully released he would not be molested or attacked. Those two Aurors were Tonks and Shacklebolt.

Fudge left to inform the British Prime Minister of what had occurred and to insure the muggle police would stop looking for Sirius as well.

As Neville descended the steps with Luna at his side, he came face to face with an old woman with a vulture topped hat.

"Gran?" He asked the obvious.

Augusta Longbottom stared at her grandson for a full minute. She could see the sweat build up on his brow. "Just like your father, always rushing off impetuously," Her lips moved from a scowl to almost a smile, "as friends should do. I'm proud of you Neville," She said. She looked over at the young lady who her grandson still had his arm around. "And Miss Lovegood?"

"Gran," Neville said still trying to process the compliment he had gotten from his grandmother. "This is Luna. She's my," He looked down at Luna and smiled before turning back to his grandmother, "she's my girlfriend."

"Very nice to meet you Luna," Augusta Longbottom said. "I can expect you around during the summer?"

"I hope so. I think some of the plants Neville knows about might help attract Crumpled-Horned Snorkacks."

The wizened old witch wasn't quite sure how to respond to that so she just smiled at the young lady and nodded.

"She's dead Gran," Neville said. "Bellatrix Lestrange is dead."

It had been years since Augusta Longbottom had tears in her eyes. In fact it had been the day the doctors had told her that her son and daughter-in-law would never recover. Those tears reappeared at that moment. "Maybe we should visit St. Mungos when you get home," She said to her grandson.

"Can Luna come?"

Augusta Longbottom nodded. "Of course."

Harry and Hermione were met by Albus Dumbledore as they stepped off the stage. The Headmaster seemed like he was forcing himself to smile at them. "Harry this time I truly must insist you allow me to take you back to Hogwarts."

"Certainly Professor Dumbledore sir," Harry replied. "We can then talk about the prophecy Lucius said explained why Voldemort attacked my parents when I was a baby."

Dumbledore knew the two blue orbs were tucked in his pockets and was sure one of them was the prophecy that Harry had recovered. "Maybe when you're older Harry. As your unwillingness to listen to me this morning proves, you are still too young to understand."

"The piss ant old goat," Harry thought to Hermione. "He played my emotions like a piano last time. By adding the prophecy to my being distraught over Sirius's death, he knew I'd follow him. What perfect time to tell someone they must fight someone to the death but right after they saw a loved one die. The perfect mindset to associate accepting death with the prophecy."

Harry smiled at the Headmaster. "Too young to follow you blindly you mean?" He asked. "Hermione?"

Hermione pulled the real prophecy from the depths of her robes and handed it to Harry.

"Maybe I'll listen to it right here so everyone can hear it," Harry suggested to the Headmaster who looked stunned.

"Harry..." Dumbledore almost pleaded as he looked at the orb in Harry's hand. "Voldemort still has plenty of spies about and he wants to know what that says. That's why he tricked you here tonight."

"I know," Harry agreed. "I also recognized the initials of the person the prophecy was given to. A.P.W.B.D which stands for Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. What is in this orb? What does it have to do with my parents dying?"

Again Dumbledore's shoulders slumped and he looked like he aged twenty years on the spot. "Come with me to my office and we'll discuss it," He said finally. "I will explain what I can."

"We'll be glad to," Harry replied. He then cut off what he knew Dumbledore was going to say. "Hermione will be there. She's the one who's helped me see through the crap you've been throwing at me," He paused for a couple of seconds. "If I find out you withhold any information from me, I will be owling Madam Maxine about transferring to Beauxbaton."

"That is an empty threat Harry and beneath you," Dumbledore replied. "You would need your guardian's permission to go there and I'm sure the Dursleys will not accommodate you."

"Sir," Hermione spoke up as they were ready for this argument. "The permission forms for Hogsmeade visits are only allowed to be signed by parents or guardians. Since you, as head of the Wizengamot at the time in question, accepted Sirius' approval for those visits, you did in fact declare at that time, Sirius Black was Harry's official guardian."

Harry followed that up with, "It is not an empty threat. Sirius will allow me to attend any school I want and has enough money to provide the tuition at those schools."

Dumbledore had finally thought he had the upper hand by showing Harry his bluff was useless, but now he stared at the two teenagers and a sinking feeling was developing in his stomach.

*** E E ****

Voldemort sat staring at the blue orb that had been taken from Harry Potter. He had been staring at it for over an hour. He was relishing the fact he was finally going to know where he went wrong that fateful night all those years ago. He took out his wand and tapped the orb gently and waited for the prophecy to appear. Seconds ticked away as he waited. When nothing happened he tapped it harder and again waited. A sinking feeling developed in the Dark Lord's stomach as he remembered Potter's words. "Are you sure you have the right prophecy Lucius?" The boy had asked Lucius. "Your Master will be most displeased to discover you've been tricked."

Riddle cast the spell to check for magical properties and when nothing came from the blue orb he screamed out in frustration and then turned to Lucius Malfoy. "CRUCIO!"

A/N: If the pensieve was something that everyone had, asking for memories should be commonplace. The fact that Harry was never asked to give memories for the events that happened at the end of book 3, 4 or 5 suggests that there are rare or Dumbledore's pensieve is unique. I am planning on going back in my noble story and changing it to reflect its uniqueness.

Remember that Dumbledore is not evil in this story, just manipulative and unwilling to share information. He's willing to sacrifice people for the greater good and truly believes he knows what is best for everyone. He is a perfect example of the saying about the road to hell being paved with good intentions.

 
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