Harry Potter and the Price of Being Noble

Harry helps Fleur in the second task of GOF and pays the price. HP/Fleur/Gabrielle/Hermione. A Veela bonding fic based on love. T Rated and it will stay that way. Thirteen year old Almost fourteen Gabrielle to start the story. Good Dumbledore.



29. Chapter 29

"WHAT ARE YOU UP TO DUMBLEDORE!" Fudge screamed as his face turned the same putrid red Harry had seen Vernon Dursley turn many times. "Using this event to make me look foolish. You knew I was going to make an important departmental announcement after it was over."

"Cornelius, I assure yo.." Dumbledore started but was immediately cut off.

"Well whatever game you're playing it's not going to work. We're going to find out who your friend is here and then he and you will be spending time in Azkaban for trying to incite panic," Fudge snarled. He turned to Percy Weasley and said "You, Weasley or whoever you are, go find Undersecretary Umbridge and have her report to me at once. Then find Director Bones. Tell her I want her to bring a supply of Veritaserum and get here as quickly as possible."

"Yes sir. Senior Undersecretary Umbridge and Director Bones, yes sir. I won't let you down sir," Percy replied and scurried away.

"Corne.." Dumbledore tried again.

"I know what you're trying to do and I won't stand for it," Fudge declared loudly. "You want to start some preposterous story about You-Know-Who's returning and make everyone frightened. You expect them to flock to you and make you the next Minister. I should have seen it earlier. All that garbage about that muggle and that Jorkins woman being in these imaginary places you keep saying You-Know-Who ran off too," Fudge continued to rant over the next few minutes while Dumbledore kept trying to break in on the Minister's ramblings.

"That's not...He is...Listen.." The Headmaster tried again and again to interrupt the Minister.

"Well it's not going to work Albus," The Minister came down from his massive tirade and was about to start again when. "Ah Dolores," A toad like woman with a pink bow in her hair appeared at Fudge's side.

"What's going on Minister?" Umbridge asked in a high girlish voice that seemed mismatched to her squat appearance.

"Dumbledore has some crackpot scheme going tonight," Fudge said to his undersecretary. "He's got people pretending to be Death Eaters and making a fuss about You-Know-Who returning," He kicked the black-robed body still lying stunned at his feet. "He even had someone impersonating Lucius Malfoy appear dressed as a Death Eater while clutching the Triwizard cup."

Dolores Umbridge smiled in a fashion that made Harry think of a predator swooping down on a prey. "Ah yes, it seems he didn't know you had planned a meeting with Mr. Malfoy right after this event did he?"

Fudge also smiled at Dumbledore. "You might make someone look like Lucius, Dumbledore, but we shall really… Madam Bones excellent. Glad you could get here so quickly."

Amelia Bones, the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement arrived at that time. She was a broad bodied lady with short grey hair and thick eyebrows. A monocle dangled on a chain that bounced upon her bosom as she strolled up to the judges table. "That young man, Arthur Weasley's son said you needed to see me urgently Minister?"

"Amelia," Fudge started in his oily voice. "I want this impostor taken into custody and questioned immediately," He said indicating the man on the ground at his feet. "He is not to leave your sight."

Madam Bones' attention swept to the blond man in black robes lying on the ground at their feet as she raised the monocle to her eye. "Impostor? But it appears to be Lucius Malfoy."

"Exactly," Fudge exclaimed. "This is some kind of stunt by Dumbledore to embarrass me and the Ministry not to mention my friend Lucius."

"And you're absolutely certain it's not Mr. Malfoy?"

"Absolutely. He and I are meeting later this evening to discuss a few…well to discuss things," Cornelius explained. "Obviously Dumbledore has someone polyjuiced or glamoured as Lucius to try to discredit me in front of everyone. He also has two others up in the medical wing. Claiming they are Peter Pettigrew and Barty Crouch Jr. He's throwing around some ridiculous claim that You-Know-Who has returned," Fudge sneered at Dumbledore before turning back to Bones. "Bring every Auror you have here and find out who those impostors are by any means necessary. I want this ridiculous scheme stamped out immediately. Make sure the Prophet knows about it as well. I don't want people panicking tomorrow if these rumors of Dumbledore's get out."

"You really…" Dumbledore tried one more time.

"I want that report on my desk first thing in the morning Director Bones," Fudge said to Amelia as he pointedly ignored Dumbledore. He turned to stalk away and then remembered something. He turned back to the people around him. "Everyone here still thinks Harry Potter won this event?"

Every one of the Champions, still stunned by the actions of the Minister of Magic just nodded.

"Very well," Fudge replied. He bent down and snatched the cup from the hand of Lucius Malfoy. He also pulled out a large bag from his robes. He handed the Triwizard cup and the bag to Harry. "Here are your winnings and Cup Potter," He said briskly. "Goodnight. I have an appointment with my friend Lucius."

Dolores was eying Madam Maxime with unsuppressed disgust. "Minister, maybe I should accompany you this evening. It would be," She turned her gaze toward Dumbledore, "prudent, to provide multiple witnesses that Mr. Malfoy is in fact at home."

"Excellent idea Dolores," Fudge replied and again he turned to Madam Bones. "First thing in the morning," He repeated as he slammed his lime green bowler on his head and stalked off with Dolores Umbridge following behind him.

"Yes Minister," She replied to the back of Fudge.

Lee Jordan looked around in stunned confusion as he watched the Minister depart. Finally deciding that the Champion had been named he did what he was supposed to do; he amplified his voice and lifted Harry's arm up in the air. "I give you the winner of the Triwizard Tournament. Hogwarts' own Harry Potter," He announced. "And coming in second place was…" He looked quizzically at the rest of the champions and Cedric pointed to Fleur. Lee pulled her over and lifted her arm. "The Beauxbatons Champion, Fleur Delacour," He looked back over at Cedric and Viktor and watched Viktor push Cedric toward him. "In third place was the other Hogwart's champion, Cedric Diggory. And finally giving his best effort this evening was Viktor Krum."

As the crowd erupted in cheers, Harry turned to Dumbledore. "Sir, do you need me for anything else? I just want to go to bed."

Dumbledore turned to Amelia Bones. "Amelia, can you hold off questioning Harry and the other Champions until tomorrow?"

"Albus, I have no idea what is going on actually. Does Mr. Potter have testimony that will be relevant to this evening?"

Dumbledore took her gently by the arm and led her a little away from the listening ears around them. "Amelia, he has everything to do with this evening and I..." He started to explain what had happened over the last several hours. Harry, his bondmates, other champions and the rest of the people who had participated in the past watched as the face of the Director of Magical Law Enforcement evolved through various emotions until the story ended.

"I can understand why Minister Fudge considered that story to be unbelievable Albus. I find it rather hard to accept it myself," she finally said.

"I would imagine so," Dumbledore replied. "None the less it is true. I only ask you keep an open mind as you interview each of the people that the minister claims to be impostors. Each has a fascinating tale to tell."

Amelia turned back to Harry and the others. "It will be at least several hours before I can be ready for your interviews," she admitted. "I want more of the background information before I determine what questions need to be asked of you Mr. Potter and the other champions along with anyone else who had something to do with this evening. I would like all of your wands, and I ask that none of you leave Hogwarts this evening. When notified, I expect you to present yourselves as quickly as possible."

"Yes ma'am," Harry replied as he handed over his wand while Hermione, Gabrielle and Fleur did likewise. Viktor started patting his robes, then Cedric remembered he had Viktor's wand as well. "Sorry, here are mine and Krum's."

Madam Bones' thick eyebrow rose at that statement. "You'll understand shortly Amelia," Dumbledore replied.

"Ma'am, sir," Fleur said. "When you do need us just send Dobby, 'E's a 'ouse-elf. 'E'll know where to find us," She took Harry by the hand and pulled him after her. Gabrielle and Hermione were only a step behind. The women had been in a conversation and none of them were planning on leaving Harry's side that night.

"Unfortunately I must return to Paris zis evening to discuss ze events with my own Minister Madam Bones," Alain Delacour said. "I will make myself available for questioning tomorrow morning."

Amelia Bones realized immediately who she had just spoken. "Minister Delacour? You were part of this?"

"Oui, it 'as been a long and eventful night. As I said, I will be at your disposal tomorrow to give you any information you need."

"Yes of course, thank you sir," She said. "May I ask if you concur with Albus on what has occurred this evening?"

"I personally saw Voldemort zis evening Madam if zat is what you mean," He replied. "I participated in a battle against 'im when 'e tried to kill my daughter."

The Director of the Magical Law Enforcement division nodded her head. "Very well Minister. Please let me know when you return tomorrow."

"Thank you. I shall," Alain replied and moved toward his wife.

Apolline had wanted a chance to talk to her daughters. Her eldest daughter had been almost killed twice in the last two hours while she and her younger sister had suffered through what they had thought was the death of their bondmate. She wanted to hold and comfort them, but could only watch as they walked away. She looked over at her husband who read her face instantly.

"Tomorrow my love. We shall talk to them tomorrow. Tonight is theirs," He said. "Now I must communicate what has happened to Pierre. I'm sure he will want to start working on plans for our country's response to this. It will be best if the French Minister is fully briefed before the story shows up in the paper tomorrow."

Apolline looked one more time as her daughters and their bond mate walked away. She took her husband's arm and said. "I shall join you. I do not wish to stay here tonight," She gave his arm a more firm squeeze. "Alain, you could have been killed as well."

He once again revisited the graveyard in his mind. He watched in horror as Voldemort had tried to kill his daughter though because she had been disillusioned he hadn't known that at the time, but now looking back it made it all the worst. He could see a young man he now considered his son, move faster than he could even think into the path of the light while calling out his daughter's name. He looked into his wife's beautiful blue eyes. "Yes, it was possible, but I could not sit back and do nothing when my daughter was risking her life for her mate."

"I know Alain. You were very brave."

"No, I did what I must, but tonight I did see bravery. I watched a young man willing to give his life for our daughter without a moment of hesitation. It is a memory you must decide if you wish to live through. It is both horrifying and amazing," His eyes also had turned to the four young people walking toward the castle. "He truly loves our daughters," He looked back at his wife. "Remember when we saw the young man in the medical wing after our daughters started the bond and we wondered how he could even take care of himself?" Alain Delacour had to shake his head at that recollection. "Even with all the tales that we heard about him, it all pales in comparison to what I saw this evening Apolline."

"I saw him…through your eyes when Gabrielle said he'd died. Fleur was holding him. I didn't see him actually die though." Apolline gave another glance at the four young people who were nearly out of sight. "He's a special young man isn't he?"

"Yes, he is very special indeed and I will do what I must to protect and help him."

"How did he live?" Apolline asked.

"I do not know. Perhaps the Hogwarts Headmaster knows that answer," He looked over at Dumbledore who was leading the grey haired lady with the monocle toward the castle while levitating the unconscious form of Lucius Malfoy beside him. "I will ask him tomorrow. There are a lot of questions he will need to answer tomorrow."

"Let's go to Paris so you can brief Pierre and then we can get a good night sleep ourselves," She let go of his arm and wrapped her arm around his waist. She had her own fears to quell that evening about her own brave husband.

"Yes of course," Alain replied and his arm went around her slender body as they walked toward the gates leading out of Hogwarts.

** E E **

Fred and George caught up the bondmates before they made it to the castle.

"Great job Harry. You too Fleur," Fred said.

"We've got the supplies ready for the party; Butterbeer, cakes and even a bit of firewhisky. It's starting in the common room in just a few minutes," George chipped in.

"First and second place between the two of you," Fred continued.

"Though we expected nothing less."

"Don't guys," Harry replied and then seeing the surprised look on the Twin's faces he explained. "Look, a lot happened tonight that you don't know about. Voldemort's.." He stopped when both of the twins cringed. "Stop it guys, it's just a name. VOL DE MORT! He's back. He has a body. He...he..." Harry realized he didn't feel like talking about it. "Can we talk about it tomorrow? I really don't feel like a party knowing that the man who killed my parents and has been trying to kill me for years is back alive."

"You-Know-Who?" George asked.

"Back?" Fred said. "Please tell us this is a sick joke you're pulling Harry."

"Eet's not," Fleur said firmly. "E's back and we've seen 'im. 'E tried to kill us," She could still see the green light that had come toward her, and Harry leaping in front of it. She could still feel the horror, shock and despair that had followed as she watched him collapse in front of her. "We'll talk about eet tomorrow, but tonight we need sleep and to recover."

"Tried to kill you?" Fred asked.

"He was in the maze?"

"Non, but eet is a long story and we are very tired though. We promise we will tell you tomorrow," Fleur replied.

"We understand," George said as he watched Harry and his bondmates start toward the castle again.

Harry had only walked a few steps when he stopped and turned around. He offered the Triwizard cup to the twins. "Here; put this in the common room. It'll let them think we've been there at least," He turned and started walking again.

The twins looked at the cup and saw the bag that was in it. "Harry. Hey Harry."

"Yeah?" Harry responded as he stopped again.

"Your winnings are in here."

"Keep it," Harry replied waving his hand dismissively. He looked at his bondmates and then back at the twins. "Use it for that joke shop of yours...or whatever. I really don't care."

"But we can't..."

"Then give it to Ron or Ginny or Peeves for all I care," Harry replied testily before settling down. "Look guys I really don't want it, so take it. Go make a few people laugh," He then smiled tiredly. "Just not at our expense."

Fred looked at George and they both looked at the bag of Galleons before answering. "Thanks Harry. We didn't want to mention it, but Bagman owed too much to the Goblins, The Prophet's solicitor said it's unlikely we'll ever collect anything."

"Glad to help guys, but we really are tired," He turned back toward the castle and started walking again.

As the continued on, Hermione remembered something and stopped. "Wait. We need to talk to Skeeter," she said. "She was with us in the graveyard, and she has to know about Sirius and something about our bond."

"Sirius?" Harry replied. "Why didn't you say something earlier?"

"I thought you saw Harry," Hermione replied. "It was the bug I removed from Moony in Professor Dumbledore's office."

"I wasn't really paying attention," Harry replied. All he really wanted to do was crawl into bed and sleep for several days but he knew this was something that had to be done. "Okay, we'll go warn Sirius and then talk to her."

"Non," Gabrielle said. "You and Fleur go on to bed. I will go warn Sirius. 'Ermione, you go talk to Skeeter. We'll meet in ze room as soon as we can."

"NO!" Harry replied forcefully. "I will not let any of you out of my sight tonight."

"But..." Hermione started.

"No Hermione. We stick together," Harry reiterated. "We know there are Death Eaters out there with children in here. We saw those mirrors Sirius and Remus have. What if one of the Death Eaters has something similar and gets word to someone in the Castle? Tonight we stick together."

"I...I didn't think of that Harry," She admitted.

"I agree with 'Arry," Fleur said. "We'll all go. Eet won't take long."

They met Remus and Padfoot shortly before they arrived at the medical wing.

"Dumbledore thought it might be best if Padfoot and I go visit some old friends while the investigation is ongoing," Remus explained. "If Peter happens to mention things about a large black dog...well we want to wait for a clear path before making your godfather's presence known."

"We were coming to warn you about something similar," Harry replied. "We think Rita Skeeter knows about your form Padfoot."

A low growl emerged from the black dog before Remus spoke up again. "Why do you think that?"

"Remember what I took off your shoulder in Dumbledore's office?"

"A Bee.. Skeeter? She was with us?"

"Looks that way," Hermione replied.

Remus turned to Sirius. "She can't break the story until morning so we should be fine for the next several hours. Let's go do what Dumbledore needed us to do. Then I have to return for my questioning in a couple of hours."

"Madam Bones is letting you leave?" Harry asked. "She told all of us we couldn't leave Hogwarts."

"She said something similar to me as well," Remus replied grinning. "And I'm sure there are Aurors at the gates that might have a problem with me leaving, but then again who needs gates when you know every secret tunnel out of the Castle," He pulled the Marauder's map out of his pocket and gave them a wink.

Harry and his bondmates all laughed a tired laugh.

"I'll see you tomorrow Harry," Remus said finally. "Go get some sleep. It looks like you desperately need it."

"We will as soon as we have a word with Rita," Hermione said. "I told her to meet us shortly."

When they left Remus and Sirius they quickly made their way to the tree and found Rita standing next to it.

"Mr Potter," Rita said when she saw them. "Oh this is going to be wonderful. What is your secret? How did you survive that killing curse? Did you feel any strange magic when it happened? Are you in pain? Did it leave another scar?"

"We're not here to talk about that right now Rita," Hermione replied sharply. "Let's talk about what you're going to write tomorrow."

"Everything of course. You-Know-Who is back," she replied. "That will, of course, be the headline, then there's Sirius Black story. No wonder you thought of animagus when it came to me. You already knew one. Then there's the Barty Crouch Junior thing. Was he really here all year under Dumbledore's nose?" Skeeter was almost giddy. "That is going to be a fun story. Then of course there's you Harry. Surviving another killing curse from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and actually injuring him."

"Look, can we get you to lay off the Harry and Sirius for a day if not longer?"

"But you said I could publish anything that was the truth and all of what happened tonight is the truth. Oh that reminds me, how did you ladies know what was happening with Harry this evening?"

Fleur sighed tiredly. "As you can imagine we are all tired," she started as she ignored the reporter's last question. "You 'ave plenty with just Voldemort returning and ze battle in ze graveyard for tomorrow's stories," She mentally chatted with Harry for a few seconds before continuing. "Go ahead and write what you saw about 'Arry. And you can start laying ze story on Sirius by mentioning ze capture of Pettigrew. Ze story about 'im is, 'e faked 'is own death and framed Sirius by blowing up zat street with all ze muggles. 'E lived as a rat, 'e is also an animagus, until last year. If you don't write about seeing Sirius earlier, we'll get zat interview for you in ze next two days."

"I want the exclusive interview with you Harry as well," Rita replied. "Your side of everything."

"It's for Sirius Harry. Besides, better her writing what you tell her, than for her to make things up," Hermione said quickly to Harry.

Harry sighed as he looked at the reporter. "Okay, you include that apology to Hermione within the next two days and publish the facts concerning Sirius Black's trial and I'll answer your questions. Though I will have people with me to help," Harry replied.

It did not take Rita long to determine an exclusive interview with Harry Potter following his surviving a second killing curse was worth a million apologies. Her eyes looked over at Hermione. "I'll even let you write the apology yourself for that interview."

"I appreciate that offer, but I think it needs to be in your words," Hermione replied.

Rita sniffed. "Very well. I'll work on that after the stories tonight."

"Now if there's..."

"Tell 'er about ze man who 'ad ze cup," Gabrielle said. "She might 'ave missed it."

"Thanks angel," Harry replied and finished the sentence he had started to Rita, "There is one more thing. Lucius Malfoy appeared in full Death Eater mask and robes at the Judge's table holding the Triwizard cup. The cup was how I was originally kidnapped and taken to that graveyard. The only way he could have had it was if he was in that graveyard this evening after we left. He is now in the custody of the MLE."

Rita's eyebrows shot up at that bit of news. "With the way things happen around you Mr. Potter, I think I'll enjoy our little tit for tat. I'll go check on that immediately. Thank you."

"Now if there's nothing else," Harry said. "I really really want to sleep."

They quickly finalized things with Rita and within minutes the four of them were on the seventh floor of the castle. They all knew where they were going.

The room of requirements provided exactly what they needed. A room with a large enough bed for four people to sleep comfortably with a door leading to a bathroom with a water closet attached. Dobby was called to see if he could get them their nightclothes and after a shower by each of them, they climbed into bed. Neither Hermione nor Gabrielle thought anything of Harry pulling Fleur toward him that night and wrapping his arms around her. Hermione climbed into bed behind Harry and wrapped her arms around him. The bed was large enough for Gabrielle to stretch out above them. Harry fell asleep with Gabrielle running her fingers gently through his unruly hair while Hermione held him tight. Fleur sunk into her slumber with Harry's arm around her. Though each had expected to succumb to nightmares of what they had experienced, the only dreams that they had were of each other.

***E E***

Draco Malfoy was the most miserable person at Hogwarts. Serving one of his last days of detention, he had already been told what he had to do. As soon as the winner was announced, he and Hagrid would enter the maze to start cleaning it up. Hagrid would take care of the various monsters and other beings while Draco would follow closely behind with shovel and a pail to clean up anything else. He was not close enough to the judge's table to see his father appear, but when he heard Harry Potter had won, he broke the handle on his shovel in anger.

"There be no replace'n it. You has to work wi what ya have," Hagrid told the blond-haired boy.

Draco knew he couldn't even repair it. Hagrid had his wand to make sure he didn't clean up the messes the easy way. "You just wait until my father hears about this," He grumbled.

Hagrid yanked the hedges completely out of the ground and tossed them aside as he walked into the maze. Eventually they came across the remains of the blast-ended skrewt. While Draco started scooping up the pieces that were blasted off the beast, Hagrid took out his tablecloth sized handkerchief and started sobbing into it. "It was like me own child," He blubbered.

As Draco cleaned up the mess he didn't see the vine of Devil's snare untangle from the hedges and snake its way toward one of his feet. Though when it wrapped around his ankle he let out a very high-pitched scream of terror.

"I woulda said you scream like a girly, but then I'd be insulting too many fine women, I would," Hagrid told him when he walked over and untied the vine from the ferret.

All night it continued. The sphinx had already departed by its own magical powers. Hagrid once again broke down and cried when he saw the remains of the Acromantula. He knew he'd have to take the body back to Aragog and explain to his friend how one of his children came to die in the maze.

Draco finished his duties at a quarter past four am. He was covered in blood and various other body fluids and solids. As he left the maze his only thoughts was how much he hated Harry Potter. He planned a long letter to his father to tell him how things were.

** E E **

The screams of Gregory Goyle Sr. still echoed in the den of Malfoy Manor when Voldemort lifted the Cruciatus Curse from the Death Eater. Goyle had been the unfortunate one to inform Voldemort that Malfoy had disappeared from the graveyard. He looked around at his other followers who had left with Malfoy to clean up the graveyard.

"None of you saw what happened to him either?" He asked them.

"No my lord," Nott replied. "He...he was gathering the body of your..." All of a sudden Nott's muscles tensed as he knew the next words he uttered was going to bring pain, but anything less to his master would bring death. "We found the snake you had mentioned my lord and it was dead," The pain was intense and though the pain ended rather swiftly compared to some of the punishments doled out by Voldemort, Nott could still taste the metallic taste of blood that seeped from his tongue where he had bitten it. He swallowed the blood in his mouth before continuing. "Lucius was..." Nott continued trying to get the rest out and disappear into the pack of Death Eaters and not be singled out again. "He was securing the snake's body and then he wasn't there a few seconds later," Nott tensed expecting to be cursed again and silently thought how fortunate he was when he was allowed to move away.

"Was there anyone else in the graveyard?" Riddle asked.

"No my Lord," Nott replied. "Lucius himself did the detection spell."

"And no signs that he might have been captured and apparated away?"

"No my Lord. There were no sounds."

"So Lucius might have run away?" Voldemort asked. "Did you try another detection spell once you saw he was gone?"

Nott tensed again as he expected more pain as he answered. "No my Lord. We didn't..."

Voldemort rose from his chair and started to pace the floor. "I cannot stay here," He said finally. "Though it's more likely he is running, I cannot take a chance he didn't go the Ministry."

"My lord," A female voice spoke quietly.

"Yes Narcissa," Voldemort hissed to her. "Do you have something to say about your husband?"

"Yes my lord," Narcissa Malfoy swallowed nervously. "Lucius would not have run my lord. He...I mean there must be another explanation. Maybe Dumbledore knew you'd send someone there and left a trap of some sort or someone captured him and apparated after a silencing charm."

"Yes," Voldemort replied finally after thinking about her statement. "Those are definite possibilities," He continued to pace as he thought of all that had gone wrong in the last few hours. A year ago in the forest of Albania he had put in motion a perfect plan that would have him with a new body made from the blood of Harry Potter. One that would allow him to kill the Boy-Who-Lived while leaving the world to believe he'd just disappeared. A plan where Voldemort could regain his power while the Ministry and the world continued to live in ignorance of his return.

"The perfect plan that should have worked," Voldemort thought. "Wormtail must have botched the ritual somehow," He'd stopped pacing when he'd replied to Narcissa, but now he resumed. His thoughts went back on his original plan. He wanted to put to rest any doubts from his followers of his powers. He'd planned on showing them that the night so many years ago was just a simple miscalculation on his part. Voldemort's plan had called for him to raise his army in secrecy while the great Albus Dumbledore searched the world for the Boy-Who-lived.

"But something went wrong tonight," He thought. "Harry Potter was dead, yet he survived again. How?" His thoughts turned to the prophecy that Severus Snape had relayed to him all those years ago. "What am I missing? What is the secret? Does it lie in the remainder of the Prophecy?" Still he paced while the Death Eaters looked on nervously. "I must know what the rest of that Prophecy says," He finally stopped pacing and looked up to find the eyes of his followers looking, waiting. Voldemort's mind returned to the latest problem. Lucius Malfoy. "McNair."

"Yes M'Lord?"

"I cannot take chances. If you get an opportunity kill Lucius as well."

"No, please no," Narcissa cried out as she looked on in abject terror. "My lord please let me go to him. If he was captured we have friends in high places. I can...I'll find a way my Lord."

Voldemort studied the blonde witch as he thought about her request. He had allowed a follower to convince him to not kill someone many years ago and that had led to what had occurred that night with Harry Potter so he definitely would not allow a repeat of that. "If Lucius did leave on his own, he must die, but if he was trapped and has been captured and she can get Lucius freed, his resources and connections could still be useful," Finally he said in a cold high voice. "Go then...find your husband. But if he has betrayed me, you both will die."

Narcissa paled even more but she nodded and quickly left the room.

Voldemort turned to look at the rest of the Death Eaters present finally he spoke. "Go back home this evening. I will call for my loyal followers again soon," With a wave of his wand the wards disappeared from the house. One by one the Death Eaters disapparated away. Voldemort was the last to leave.

** E E **

Minister Fudge and Dolores Umbridge waited for ten minutes at the door of Malfoy Manor. Finally they had to admit that the Malfoys were not home. They returned to their office to plan for the upcoming day and their attack on Dumbledore.

** E E **

Amelia Bones sat at her makeshift desk in a deserted classroom near the hospital wing. Two bottles of pepper up potions sat empty beside her. A massive headache had started recently and she knew it would not get better until she had a good night sleep, but she also knew sleep was still a long time away. She looked down at her notes from the interviews she had conducted. Outside of sending twenty Aurors to Malfoy Manor after the brief questioning of Lucius Malfoy only to find it empty, she really didn't know where to begin. Everything she had heard this evening was going to cause multiple political bombshells. She sighed and looked over at one of the Aurors guarding her door. She recognized the young lady of course. The pink hair that she wore most of time made her stand out.

"Auror Tonks, please have Harry Potter and the Beauxbatons Champion brought for questioning," she said. "I was told that a house-elf named Dobby could find them the easiest."

"Yes ma'am," The pink haired Auror replied and left the room after stumbling on an unseen crack in the floor.

** E E **

Harry awoke to a gentle voice. "Harry Potter must awake sir. He must awake. Harry Potter is needed by the Headmaster."

Harry opened his eyes and found his face buried in a sea of blonde hair. He couldn't tell immediately if it was Fleur or Gabrielle he was holding in his arms. He then realized what his right hand was cupping and knew immediately it was Fleur. Gabrielle wasn't so developed yet. As he started to move his hand he heard, "Leave it. I like ze way it feels for you to 'old me so intimately. Especially after last night."

The phrase 'last night', immediately brought Harry fully awake as the memories of the previous evening came crashing down. He sat upright with a start and looked around. He saw the fuzzy outline of Dobby still trying to get his attention.

"Harry Potter is needed sir," He was saying. "Harry Potter and his bondmates is asked to come see Dumbledore."

"Okay Dobby," Harry replied. "In his office?"

"Yes sir Harry Potter sir," Dobby replied.

"Thanks Dobby give us a few minutes and we'll be ready," Harry said and then a murmur, "Where are my glasses?" Two seconds later they were floating in front of him.

"Dobby got your glasses sir. Harry Potter must hurry though."

Five minutes later four sleepy, grumpy young people made their way toward the Headmaster's office. When they arrived they found Remus and Sirius already there.

"I'm sorry to bring all of you here so early," Dumbledore said. "Amelia Bones wants to interview all of you and I wanted to quickly tell you what's going on before you go. Fortunately unlike the Minister, she does believe what happened. But that also means she is pursuing how Voldemort returned to life and I would appreciate it if you would continue to keep her in the dark concerning Horcruxes."

"What if she gives me that truth serum?"

"As long as you answer her other questions truthfully, it shouldn't come to that, but if it does, I will try to be in the room and help guide the questions," Dumbledore replied.

"Then we'll try," Harry replied. "But I want to speak to you afterwards specifically on that subject along with a lot of things."

"Of course," Dumbledore replied more calmly than he felt. "Shall I escort you down to her temporary office?"

Harry's interview was first and he told everything he knew that had occurred including working with Fleur in the third task, Viktor attacking them, Viktor attacking Cedric, the cup being a portkey and what he knew happened in the graveyard.

Amelia Bones sat back and considered the young man in front of her. She had several things that didn't make sense. "Mr. Potter there is one thing that Dumbledore refused to answer and that is how he knew you were in trouble and where you were. Can you enlighten me on that subject?"

Harry contemplated the woman in front of him for a few seconds before speaking. "Ma'am, Professor Dumbledore was keeping a secret that I hope you will also."

"What type of secret Mr. Potter?" She asked. "With my job being what it is, I can't promise keeping any information secret."

"We understand," Harry said. "But it's...it's personal and it's not illegal so we ask that if possible for you not tell anyone," He sighed. "Madam Bones can you pick a number between one and a hundred please."

"I don't have time for games Mr. Potter…just answer the question," Bones replied tersely.

"I'm just trying to prove something…something that goes a long way to proving what you'll have a hard time accepting otherwise."

A weary Amelia shrugged and said, "fine…eighty-two."

Almost immediately there was a knock on the door.

"Yes?" Amelia called.

The door opened and the young pink-haired Auror stuck her head in. "Ma'am. The Beauxbatons Champion asked me to tell you 'eighty-two'. She said you'd know what it meant."

Amelia turned and her gaze locked on Harry for several seconds before she then turned back to Tonks and said. "Please have her step in here for a moment please."

"Have Hermione Granger and Fleur's sister come in as well Ma'am," Harry said. "We...just have them come in and we'll explain."

Ten minutes later Amelia's headache had grown twice the size it had been as she tried to figure out how not to include that information in her report.

As they were leaving Harry had one question to ask. "Director Bones, what happened to Mr. Malfoy?"

"That is none of your concern Mr. Potter," She replied.

"I just have a friend who almost died because of him," Harry explained. "It would be nice to tell her he's locked up for good."

"Do have any proof of that allegation?"

Harry thought back to his confrontation of Lucius Malfoy at that time. "A house-elf will tell you what he said."

"A House-elf?" Amelia scoffed. "Mr. Potter, it's been a very long night so I've lost my ability to niceties, so unless you can offer real proof, please don't provide groundless accusations."

Harry's temper rose as he felt like Dobby had been insulted and he was about to reply sarcastically when he felt all of his bond mates calming him down. Fleur finally said. "Arry, a 'ouse-elf can be told to say anything and zey will. Zey cannot provide legal proof."

Harry sighed. "I'm sorry ma'am. I am still trying to understand the magical world."

Amelia looked at the young man for several seconds. "Unfortunately your friend and most likely yourself will be very disappointed. Mr. Malfoy was released. There was very little to charge him with."

"RELEASED! VERY LITTLE!" Nothing could stop Harry's explosion this time. The yell brought Auror Tonks through the door instantly with her wand raised. "HE'S A BLOODY DEATH EATER! His son all but admitted that he was part of the thing at the World Cup."

"Mr. Potter you will calm down or I will have you removed," Amelia replied with a very sharp gaze. "Now tell me exactly what I should have charged him with? Dressing up as a Death Eater? Unfortunately that is not against the law. Portkeying with the Triwizard cup? You are the one who left it where it was," Harry felt his temper give way under her firm gaze. Finally she spoke again. "I will tell you what I expect your Headmaster will share with you later. Lucius Malfoy was administered Veritaserum and here is what was discovered. Yes he was indeed Lucius Malfoy. Yes he is a marked Death Eater."

Harry's eyes shot up in question.

"He was marked before you caused the downfall of the Dark Lord Potter," She explained. "Whether he was imperious or not when he took the mark, he has already been cleared of all of the charges from that time. The mark isn't something that will go away so I can't charge him for something he has already been tried for."

"But..." Harry sputtered. "What if new evidence is presented? I mean if he confessed to everything under veritaserum?"

"It would not matter. He was tried and cleared of those charges," Amelia explained.

"I'll explain ze importance of zat law to 'im later Madam Bones," Fleur said.

"Thank you Miss Delacour," Amelia replied. "Is your father going to be back soon?"

"I...I didn't know 'e 'ad left," Fleur replied. "I 'aven't seen 'im since last night."

"That's fine. I understand especially now that I understand your relationship with...well all of you," Madam Bones replied. She turned back to Harry. "What I did find out from Lucius Malfoy is this; He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named went to Malfoy Manor last night after the fight you had in the graveyard. Lucius and his wife provided robes and medical supplies. Lucius was then sent to the Graveyard to clear up evidence. That is the only charge I have him own; tampering with evidence. Even that will probably not stick since the only evidence he tampered with was the snake and he brought it to us."

"So...he's going to walk free?"

"Again I ask you Mr. Potter, what can I charge him with? He confessed under Veritaserum that he did not invite the Dark Lord into his house. I might be able to charge him with aiding a known criminal, but to tell you the truth it would not hold up. ANYONE would give Voldemort that kind of support if he showed up in their home and demanded it. He would kill them if they didn't."

"What about the World Cup and...and the Diary?" Harry asked.

"I had no reason to ask Mr. Malfoy about any actions at the World Cup," Amelia Bones replied. "Did you report this suspicion to anybody?"

"We..." Harry started to reply that they did mention it to Ron's dad, but didn't want to get him in more trouble if he failed to mention it to the proper people afterwards. "No," He continued dejectedly.

"Well how would the MLE know about it then? As for a diary, I don't know anything about a diary either," Amelia replied.

Harry realized he was getting dangerously close to mentioning Horcruxes and Dumbledore had specifically said not too. "It's not important."

"Very well Mr. Potter. You may have these back now," She handed their wands back to them.

'Thank you."

Even with her ever growing headache she could still feel sorry for the young man. "Mr. Potter, I understand your concern and I agree with your assessment of Lucius Malfoy, but I must act within the confines of the law. I will tell you that Mr. Malfoy will be kept under surveillance and if does commit further crimes, we can and will deal with him."

Harry's anger still hadn't abated at breakfast. Though Fleur and Hermione had explained why Lucius Malfoy could not be charged with the crimes he had been cleared of previously even when new evidence was brought forth. The turning point in the morning occurred when the Owls delivered the mail and the daily prophets. Each of them was delivered their own copy.

As they unfurled the newspaper they saw that the entire top of the page had a single sentence written in very large letters.


by Rita Skeeter

Yes, dear readers, as shocking as this is, it is the truth. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has returned to threaten the peace we've known since that night the Boy-Who-Lived defeated him. How did it happen you ask? The story starts last night with the third task of the Triwizard Tournament being held at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Your reporter was, as always at the front lines watching the best and brightest of three of the finest schools navigate a magical maze that was designed to test the limits of their magical prowess and knowledge. As you no doubt know, the champions entered the maze in order of the points that they had garnered and their standing in relation to each other.

First to enter, unsurprisingly, were the two Champions from our very own Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter and Cedric Diggory. Both of them had performed exemplary in the first two tasks and truly deserved their spots as the first two. It is a further testament to the education received and the competency of the teachers at Hogwarts that a fourth year had managed to come up on top despite overwhelming odds in the form of older and more experienced competitors. Next in was the vivacious Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons Academy of Magic while last to enter the maze was the Durmstrang's champion and Bulgaria's star seeker, Viktor Krum.

Though this reporter does not have a definitive idea of what exactly the challenges the Champions faced, rumors include such as Sphinxes, Boggarts, Acromantula and magical traps. Unfortunately do to the Ministry's ineptitude, this reporter and all other spectators were forced to watch twenty foot high hedges and only wonder what was happening within. As I waited, my attention was drawn to our very own headmaster and judge for the tournament, Albus Dumbledore as I noticed two lovely young witches, one Hermione Jean Granger of Hogwarts and Gabrielle Delacour of Beauxbatons ask to speak to him. This was doubly interesting as the former was known to be the best friends of Harry Potter while the latter was also the youngest Hogwarts Champion's girlfriend as well as the younger sister of the Beauxbatons champion.

Things took an even more interesting turn when, after a few minutes the Headmaster had left, his phoenix companion appeared and transported the two young witches away in a flash of flames. At the same time yours truly noticed other people known to associate with Harry Potter and the other Champions were moving rapidly toward the castle. Knowing that something had definitely gone wrong, your intrepid reporter followed them. Hidden, I was able to get close enough hear possibly the last words I ever thought to hear coming out from the venerable headmaster's mouth; "Harry has been taken by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and we are trying to find a way to get to him."

This simple, calmly stated sentence was met by a shocked silence. Personally, I did not believe my ears as everybody knew that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had been defeated by Harry Potter all those years ago. Naturally suspicious and a little skeptical, your reporter accompanied them unnoticed to a graveyard in Little Hangleton where it was said that our young Saviour was being held.

My earlier skepticism quickly changed to shocked horror at seeing the monstrosity that was He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named rise from the cauldron thanks to what was unmistakably a Dark Resurrection Ritual.

With skin whiter than chalk, and cat like eyes the colour of freshly spilled blood with slits for nostrils, the Dark Lord was truly a terrible sight to behold, and it seems, fully restored!

A battle ensued in which I watch our own Boy-Who-Lived sacrifice his own life by diving in front of a killing curse aimed at Fleur Delacour the Beauxbatons Champion who had personally taken on the mission to rescue Harry Potter from clutches of the Dark Lord. As I stood in shock at seeing our saviour crumple lifelessly to the ground, I witnessed an amazing event, one that speaks of miracles. The Boy-Who-Lived, lived again. Once again our young Hero defied death from the wand of the Dark Lord as he rose from the ground and took up his own wand in battle. Not only did he live my readers, but he personally injured and drove off the Dark Lord who had been battling Headmaster Dumbledore and a few other brave wizards who had accompanied him (see accompanying story for more details). Thankfully no one was grievously injured in the battle.

I wish it were not so, I wish I could tell you that all will be well, but it is not to be. The Dark Lord has returned. I call upon the Ministry to do everything in its power to pursue and destroy this thing of evil before dark times descend upon us again.

Finally readers, I have to take this opportunity to correct a wrong I did against someone close to our own Harry Potter. This same someone who risked his own life to come to the aid of our young hero as he was being held in the graveyard, someone I personally witnessed raise his wand against the Dark Lord. I speak of Remus Lupin. As my readers know from previous columns he is a werewolf, but it seems one who is willing to fight against the darkness that is threatening us again. I offer my apology for the previous columns I wrote against him.

Related articles: Major Events of the First Wizarding War; Page 6

The Halloween of '81, the First Fall of the Dark Lord; Page 7

How Did He Do It? Experts Comment on the Methods Used By He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named to Cheat Death; Page 8

Coming Soon an EXCLUSIVE interview with the Boy-Who-Lived.

** E E **

Cornelius Fudge was having an extremely bad morning and it was only seven am. He had arrived early in preparation in taking Dumbledore down a notch or two. After the Malfoys had stood them up, Fudge and Umbridge had drafted a letter to the Wizengamot concerning the unsuitability of Albus Dumbledore to continue his position as Chief Warlock. They had spent a couple of hours planning out the next few weeks once the news of Dumbledore's scheme to undermine the Ministry came to light. Dolores had even thrown out the possibility of having Dumbledore's order of Merlin revoked. Now he sat drinking his third cup of tea trying to grasp what had gone wrong. He had Director Bones' preliminary report sitting beside the freshly read Daily Prophet.

He stared blankly at his desk wondering how many days he had left to sit in his current chair. As he absentmindedly sipped at his tea, he mentally pondered all of the witnesses that Madam Bones had detailed to have seen a very much alive Dark Lord. Dumbledore, Remus Lupin, Alain Delacour, the Deputy Prime Minister of France, even his friend Lucius Malfoy under veritaserum had concurred. He sat his teacup down and turned the page to the other big story headline.


by Rita Skeeter

The night of the third and final task of the infamous and newly resurrected Triwizard Tournament, one that will shortly go down in the history books as the Tournament of Four Champions and will also be known thanks for the resurrection of the Dark Lord was full of additional surprises.

When it had come to Headmaster Dumbledore's attention that Harry Potter had been captured by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, this reporter was shocked to find that the headmaster had chosen to call in Sirius Black to help with the rescue. THE Sirius Black who was imprisoned for the betrayal of the Potters, THE Sirius Black who killed his longtime friend Peter Pettigrew along with many innocent muggles. This reporter had truly thought the venerable Headmaster had finally succumbed to the pressures of his many titles and responsibilities.

Yes my readers, Sirius Black was there in the graveyard and who did he personally capture in the subsequent battle against the Dark Lord? He captured a man who was supposed to be dead, a man by the name of Peter Pettigrew. It was in fact Peter Pettigrew who conducted the Dark Ritual that returned the Dark Lord.

This was rather suspicious, and raises quite a few important questions; why had Pettigrew continued to make the wizarding world believe that he was dead when he was truly alive if he was truly a hero? Also, why was he seen performing a ritual to bring to life the very man who was responsible for the death of his closest friends whom he had originally gone out (and supposedly died) to avenge? And finally, why was Sirius Black fighting against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named as part of the rescue attempt on Harry Potter if he truly was the Dark Lord's right hand man? Also, why does Albus Dumbledore, Leader of the Light and a formidable opponent of the Dark Lord trust Black? Could it be that Sirius Black it truly innocent of the charges that he was imprisoned for? Or is the Dark Lord working secretly for Dumbledore?

Fear not dear readers, for this reporter will not rest until these questions are fully answered!

Related articles: Biography of Sirius Black; Page 5

Biography of Peter Pettigrew; Page 6

The history of The Marauders; Page 7

As Cornelius glanced down at the all familiar picture of Peter Pettigrew and of course Sirius Black, he thought back to more than a year ago when Harry Potter told him that Pettigrew was alive and that Black was innocent. "How could I have known?" He thought as he continued to study the picture of Black. Now instead of the madly insane looking Sirius Black that had been used in the last two years, a more pleasant picture of him standing side by side with James Potter, each with an arm around the shoulder of the other like they were brothers, was on display. Fudge was about to crumple the newspaper up and throw it away when he saw the last headline that he knew could put the final nail in his political coffin.

Harry Potter-Boy-Who-Lived

Lives Again.

by Rita Skeeter

The Night of the Second Coming of the Dark Lord will be the return of Dark Times, of that I am sure. But all hope is not lost as this reporter has witnessed; for while the Dark Lord has newly risen, he will find a stiff opponent in The-Boy-Who-Lived, fourteen year old Harry Potter.

As you, my faithful readers know, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had kidnapped Harry Potter from the third and final task of the Triwizard Tournament and with the help of Peter Pettigrew had forced our young saviour to witness his rise. Bound to a gravestone, the young hero helplessly watched while a supposed friend of his parents who had died heroically to avenge them used his blood in a Dark ritual to give He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named life again. Thanks to a hastily planned rescue by Albus Dumbledore, a young witch, the Beauxbatons Champion and sister to Harry Potter's current love interest, Fleur Delacour, risked her own life to attempt to free our young hero. Following closely behind her was the rest of the rescue party of Light Wizards.

Shortly after the rescue party arrived to rescue the youngest Triwizard Champion a battle took place between the Dark Lord and Force of Light. In the ensuing battle, He-Who-Must-Not-Named, in a bid to end the life of the one who had robbed him of his body those many years ago cast the dreaded unblockable Avada Kedavra curse at Harry Potter. The curse was intercepted by Albus Dumbledore. In a fit of rage, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named cast another curse, this time aimed at the young Beauxbatons champion Miss Delacour. However, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was not prepared for the likes of our brave and heroic champion who hurled himself in front of the curse, sacrificing himself so another, Fleur Delacour, could live. Your reporter watched in shocked horror along with the rest of the battling wizards and witches as this brave selfless lad collapsed lifelessly as he gave his life to save another. I watched as the young beautiful witch he had just saved cried out in dismay as she cuddled his lifeless body. But it seems that Harry Potter did not survive the Killing Curse those years ago by luck or pure chance, as he proved when he, a few moments later, surged back to his feet and cast a powerful cutting curse at the one who had killed his parents, injuring the Darkest of Dark Lords, to the delighted astonishment of the Light Wizards and the shocked dismay of the aforementioned Dark Lord! He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was so grievously injured, that he had to flee in defeat. That's right; Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived not only survived another killing curse, but defeated and injured the Dark Lord as well! A feat accomplished only twice; both by Albus Dumbledore previously in; the Battle of Hogsmeade in the winter of '78 and in the Battle of the Ministry in the summer of the following year (for details of both battles, turn to page 5)

Related Articles: Harry Potter's Hogwarts years; Page 2

Potter, Immortal? Experts' views; Page 4

Harry Potter versus the Dark Lord, Who Will Win? Viewers comment; Page 10

"Potter," The Minister of Magic said quietly. He knew what was coming. The boy had not only survived the killing curse again, but had actually beaten the Dark Lord. The fact that the Dark Lord had been injured was confirmed by Lucius. "He will be the Golden Boy," Fudge said to himself. With those words he knew what he had to do.

"Contact Dumbledore, Dolores. Ask him what he needs of the Ministry," Fudge said to his Senior Undersecretary after calling her into his office.

"WHAT!" Dolores exploded. "You do not believe that rubbish do you?"

"Did you read it?" Fudge snarled. "It WAS Lucius who was in that Death Eater mask; it was confirmed by many people the Dark Lord has returned. Harry Potter survived another killing curse."

The toad like face of Dolores grew redder. "He supposedly survived a killing curse minister. What if he is in league with the Dark Lord? What if Dumbledore is too? Or maybe it was all an elaborate Hoax that even fooled..."

"A hoax that brought Peter Pettigrew and Barty Crouch Junior back from the grave?"

"Hem...well I'm sure that we could make sure they disappear Minister," Umbridge suggested. "If they aren't around, all of this would just go away."

Fudge stared at his Senior Undersecretary and in a pure moment of clarity he realized that following her suggestions over the last few years had led to the edge of the precipice his career now stood. He shook his head. "Dolores, just go do what I asked. The only chance I have to save myself politically is to get Harry Potter on my side and that is only going to happen through Dumbledore. Also cancel that kiss on sight order for Sirius Black. If that man is really innocent..." He didn't bother finishing that sentence.

The Minister of Magic had looked back down at Amelia Bones' report as he said the last words otherwise the look that passed over Dolores Umbridge's face would have shocked him. Umbridge had become accustomed to having things go her way and she was not pleased with the ways things were turning out.

** E E **

A short time later Dumbledore was sitting down in his office for a much more difficult meeting; one which included Harry Potter, his bondmates, their father, Remus and Sirius Black.

"Where shall we start this morning Harry?" He asked in a tired but grandfatherly voice.

"We can start with a certain Prophecy that was made about me."

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