CHAPTER FIFTEEN- WIZARDS, WITCHES AND WIZENGAMOTS
“Good evening, Mister Black,” Umbridge spoke, her girlish voice sickly sweet as Harry entered the Defence against the Dark Arts room. He gritted his teeth after being threatened earlier by Andi, with Narcissa Black talking to him. He would be on his best behaviour.
“Professor Umbridge, I have a meeting with Professor Dumbledore this evening,” Harry informed the woman.
“Yes, I am aware. Your meeting shall have to wait until your punishment is done,” the Ministry stooge announced gleefully. Harry looked around the room, wondering what she had planned for him. With Lockhart, it had been helping with his fan mail.
“Erm, what would you like me to do?” Harry asked politely.
“You will be doing lines for me today you will be writing ‘I must not tell lies,” pointing to a table, which held several bits of parchment on it. Harry took a seat in front of the parchment, reaching for his quills and ink. “Oh, you won’t be needing them. I have a special quill for you.” She handed over a quill of pure black colour, but Harry could sense the Dark magic emanating off it in waves making his stomach roil.
“I have no ink,” Harry suggested getting an evil smirk from the witch.
“Oh, don’t worry about that. This is a special quill,” she answered, then stood over him. He picked up the quill and began to write, “I must not tell lies.” First, his hand began to itch, then pain lanced across his hand as he wrote. Looking down in shining blood on the back of his hand were the words ‘I must not tell lies’. On the parchment written in blood-red ink were the exact words. The words began to fade on his hand, but he stared up at Umbridge in horror as he tried to get up from the seat. However, he could not move.
“This is illegal; this is torture!” Harry shouted.
“Listen, you little brat, I have the confidence of the Minister, and I’m sanctioned to do this,” Umbridge snarled.
“I’ll tell my father, he’ll have your job,” Harry realised he sounded like Draco, but he now had the power to back it up like the blond.
“Your father is nothing but a common criminal; he’ll be back in Azkaban soon,” the toad shouted, showering him with spittle.
“You’ll be going there first,” Harry returned.
“If you tell anyone about this, I’ll make sure your friend Miss Granger is given to a true pure-blood like Lucious Malfoy or Antonin Dolohov.” Harry went quiet; now, he was afraid.
“What do you mean?” Harry asked.
“I am on the Muggle-born registry committee; your friend is still a minor and can be mentored by a pure-blood. If you tell anyone, I will make her life hell,” Umbridge threatened. Harry immediately stilled, then picked up the quill as Umbridge watched him carefully. She grinned as he began to write, but he would not give her the satisfaction of seeing him in pain. It was more than an hour later that she felt he could be released for today.
“Remember what I said? I shall see you again tomorrow,” the toad-like witch grinned at him as Harry hid his hand away in the hoodie he wore, leaving her behind. He felt ill, light-headed and nauseous, not to mention furious at the witch and Dumbledore for allowing her to teach at Hogwarts.
“Professor McGonagall, I’m ready for my meeting with the Headmaster,” Harry knocked on the transfiguration room door. She looked up at him as he entered.
“Are you well? You look a bit pale,” Professor McGonagall commented as she waved her wand, putting away all the parchment on her desk.
“I’m fine, Professor, just wasn’t really hungry at dinner,” Harry responded.
“Very well, but if you start to feel worse, come see me this evening,” the usually stern Professor told him warmly as she began to lead Harry towards the Headmaster’s office. At the stone gargoyle, she muttered the password with a roll of her eyes. The Deputy Headmistress knocked on the door of Professor Dumbledore’s office, receiving an ‘enter’.
Harry entered the Headmaster’s office, which he had frequented many times, but the office seemed almost silent. The widgets that usually whirred and whizzed were unusually quiet; even Fawkes looked solemn, staring at Harry from his golden perch. Professor Dumbledore, himself, sat behind his desk with hands steepled, observing Harry over his half-moon glasses. He gave a grandfatherly-like smile, but Harry immediately avoided his eyes, thus finding Severus Snape standing next to the desk.
“Thank you for bringing Mister Potter, Minerva, you may leave now,” Dumbledore immediately turned back to Harry as if dismissing his Deputy. Harry’s anger grew, first for not using his correct name and secondly for ignoring his Head of House.
“I’m sorry, Headmaster, but as his Head of House, I am required to be here per Hogwarts rules,” Professor McGonagall finally grew a backbone, Harry thought, trying not to grin. “I’d also ask you to call my charge by his proper name, Lord Rendlesham.”
“Right, erm, Lord Rendlesham, as you are essential to the war, I think it is your best interest to learn Occlumency from Professor Snape,” the Headmaster began, “you shall have lessons in the dungeons, but it shall be called Remedial Potions. Of course, you can tell Mister Weasley, Miss Granger and Miss Weasley.”
“No!” Harry simply said. He had not even been invited to sit down, just immediately told he had lessons with the dungeon bat.
“Excuse me,” Dumbledore blinked at him, astonished the boy had stopped him.
“Professor Dumbledore, I came up here expecting to discuss something about my classwork or education as is your per view. However, you wish to discuss joining in the war. Are you deliberately trying to create child soldiers?” Harry asked, a little short. The pain in his hand seemed to be getting worse. “You are my Headmaster. If you wish to discuss my education, then call me to your office, but anything else, you will have to speak to my guardian or my father.”
“Show the Headmaster some respect,” Snape snapped out.
“I am Professor. I have no wish to join your little bird club or participate in this war. I want to live a normal life with my friends,” Harry responded.
“But you are vital- “Dumbledore began but was immediately cut off.
“I don’t care, I’m tired of this damn war and the prejudice that people show. I just want to finish my education, if you can’t let me do that, then it might be time to look elsewhere,” Harry replied angrily before leaving the office. He felt even worse now. Harry just wanted to find his bed. He stomped into the Gryffindor Common Room, not even speaking to Hermione or Cepheus, who tried to call him. Throwing off his clothes, he fell into bed, curling up into a ball and promptly passed out.
“How many did Professor McGonagall say were coming?” Harry asked. He was tired and kept shivering every now and again. He figured it was from the blood loss every night.
“Twenty or so from first through fourth years,” Hermione reminded the boy, looking at him critically, “are you ok? You look a bit peaky?”
“I’m fine, probably coming down with something. I’ll go see Aunt Andi after we finish here,” Harry answered. He leaned up against the table, completely ignoring Narcissa, who wanted to watch the first club meeting and Cepheus, who had finished his first lesson with Narcissa. Draco had wanted to linger but knew he could not. A few minutes later and a group of about thirty or so students entered. Narcissa extended the room.
“Welcome to the Introduction to the Wizarding World Club; as you’re all Mundane-born, you won’t especially know about much except the education you’ve had inside of Hogwarts. Now before I get started, are there any questions?” Harry looked around.
“What’s a Mundane-born?” a small girl asked.
“Ah, I believe Muggle-born is a bit of a nasty way of calling someone without magic, so I use the term Mundane, someone without magic. Who can tell me what the Wizengamot are?” He had several hands up, picking what appeared to be a third-year Gryffindor girl.
“Cary Mitchell, sir, the Wizengamot are the high courts of Wizarding Britain and the ones that create the laws,” the girl answered, reminding Harry of Hermione.
“Well done, I’d give you points if I could,” Harry made the class chuckle. “Our whole world is governed by the Ministry of Magic and the Wizengamot. The Wizengamot is made up of the Ancient and Noble, Ancient, and Noble Houses. Order of Merlin Recipients and Heads of Ministry Departments also. However, our real history begins with the Magical Houses of Great Britain.”
“Mister Black why is this not taught in History with Binns?” a fourth-year student asked.
“I couldn’t tell you,” Harry responded though he could guess.
“Before the tenth century, Great Britain’s coexisted as one Magical and Mundane, many of our magical forebears were great Houses, for example, the Black, Peverell, Longbottom, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or Selwyn. Of course, there were minor houses such as the Bones, Bulstrode, and later the Malfoy. But initially, fifty Houses came together to create the Wizarding council as Magical began to separate and hide from the Mundane,” Neville took up the narration.
“The Wizarding council was chartered in the 993AD; its first Chairperson was Godric Gryffindor. Over time, some of the houses died out until only six existed as Ancient and Noble Houses, with others taking up Ancient or Noble titles.” Susan continued.
“In 1707, the Ministry of magic was formed with part of the Wizarding Council Charter enshrined in its history. The Wizengamot was made up of fifty Houses and eight council members when they first met to set our land laws. There are a lot of traditions that go back to the Wizards Councils and the Old Families, such as snubbing someone by refusing to shake their hand; this can cause a Blood Feud….” Harry continued explaining more about the Houses and Ministry in their current forms.
“How did you find that?” Harry asked Cepheus as everyone was leaving; he noted Carry Mitchell was going with Dennis Creevey.
“Not as boring as Binn’s,” he shrugged.
“Professor Binns,” Hermione automatically said.
“He’s a ghost,” Ceph returned.
“What about your lesson with Narcissa? About the Black family History,”
“Aunt Cissy is amazing; she’s great at telling our history.” Harry grinned at the boys’ enthusiasm as they left the classroom towards dinner.
Ministry Seeks Educational Reform
Dolores Umbridge Appointed first-ever ‘High-Inquisitor.’
In a surprise move last night, the Ministry of Magic passed legislation known as Educational Decree 23, appointing the popular Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher Dolores Umbridge as High Inquisitor. The Inquisitor will have the powers to inspect her fellow educators and make sure they are up to scratch. Dolores Umbridge recently left her post as Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic to….
Hermione had had one of the best birthdays she could recall despite worrying about her best friend. She had woken this morning to find a bouquet of pale pink roses on her bedside table. A simple note had indicated it was Harry who had somehow left them there.
A bunch of Hermione roses for my favourite Hermione. Yours, Harry.
Lavender and Parvati had cooed over them, as had most of the rest of the Gryffindor girls except Ginny Weasley, who kept shooting her dirty looks. When Hermione had gone down to breakfast, Harry had been talking to the third year Robin but quickly smiled when he saw her giving Hermione a kiss on the cheek and wishing her ‘Happy Birthday.’ During Breakfast, Professor Dumbledore had announced a Defence Club in the Great Hall ‘to supplement Madam Umbridge’s excellent teaching’ starting Thursday. Hermione had been awarded twenty points in Charms and another ten in transfiguration. Even Professor Grubbly-Plank’s lesson on bow-truckles had made her happy. Now she was standing in the Common Room before dinner in her favourite blue dress.
“Happy Birthday,” Katie Bell and Alicia Spinnet both said as they passed her on the way to dinner. Harry had asked her to wear something nice and wait for him before dinner. Lately, she had taken to wearing Mundane clothing just to annoy the pure bloods like Blaise Zambini, Marcus Flint and Cormac McClaggen, who had recently started leering at her.
Harry looked at himself in the mirror once again, making sure the green jumper was lint-free.
“You look lovely,” the mirror commented.
“Thank you,” Harry replied, sweeping his hair back and tying it up away from his face. He took one last look in the mirror, then left the dorm room. He growled when he noticed the sixth year Cormac McClaggen leaning towards Hermione.
“You look wonderful tonight; perhaps you’ll allow me to escort you to dinner,” Cormac was saying, his voice as slick as a snake-charmer.
“I’m waiting for someone,” Hermione squeaked as he leaned in closer.
“If it’s Potter, you could do so much better than him,” Cormac winked.
“It’s Black, McClaggen, and last time I looked, my family was older and more extensive than yours,” Harry’s voice rolled across the Common room. The sixth year instantly moved back several steps and looked at the younger boy. “I’m beginning to think Angelina was wrong; your hands are everywhere. Next time you touch Hermione, your hands will disappear.”
“Watch yourself, Black; there are more important people out there than you,” Cormac looked a little green as he stuttered.
“I’m sure there are, but you’re just a little piss-ant,” Harry stepped up to Hermione, though as he looked up at the sixth year, the boy was still cowed by Harry’s bright green eyes and the aura surrounding him. Harry looked at Hermione, offering his arm. “Shall we, Milady?”
“Thank you, kind sir,” she replied, demurely acting. Harry tried not to laugh as they walked past the flabbergasted boy. They both broke down laughing when the Fat Lady closed behind them, although that soon changed when Harry led them up the corridor rather than down towards the Great Hall. “Where are you taking me?”
“I know you got your presents from the others earlier, but this is my present,” Harry gave her a secretive grin. Ron had just got her a box of chocolates from Honeydukes; Neville had given her a set of books on wildflowers and their uses in potions (She was looking forward to reading these); Draco had snuck her a beautiful eagle feathered quill and ink. Parvati and Lavender had gotten her a one-year subscription to Witch Weekly. She had rolled her eyes but murmured thank you, regardless.
“Those flowers were enough,” Hermione told him as he led her further down the corridor until they reached a stone wall. On the other side was a tapestry of Barnabus, the barmy teaching trolls to ballet. “Harry, what?”
“Quiet, one moment,” Harry shushed her, then proceeded to walk past the spot three times until a door materialised in front of them. The bookworm stared at the door in disbelief, “It’s called the Room of Requirement or Come and Go Room, Dobby told me about it.”
“It’s amazing,” Hermione breathed as Harry opened the door for her, and she walked through the door into…. France. She was standing in an empty Parisian restaurant with balconies overlooking some of Paris’s most significant landmarks. Harry led her over to the one table with a lit candle next to the open balcony doors. A warm breeze came from outside, and she could almost hear the noise of the street below. A bright moon hung in the sky. Harry pulled out a chair for her, then took one opposite for himself. With a POP, Dobby appeared looking like a small waiter.
“Mister Black’s Hermy bes having Beef Tenderloin Brochette to start,” the little elf squeaked in an almost perfect high-pitched French accent. He put the plate of tenderloin skewered by red & green peppers with onions. Hermione simply did not have words as the pair tucked into the delicious starter. After they had finished the starter, Dobby and Winky bought the main meal of Savoury Chicken Provençal, seared chicken coated with Pistachio pesto.
“Finally, for Desert Tarte Au Citron,” Winky told her after they had finished their delicious main meal. Hermione had barely spoken during the meal, savouring the beautiful food that had been cooked for her. She smiled at Harry over the lemon tart.
“Why?” was all she could ask as she savoured the zingy pâtisserie treat.
“You’ve always talked about your love of France, so for your birthday, I thought I’d bring a taste of France to Hogwarts,” Harry answered, leaning back on his chair.
“Oh, thank you, this was such a wonderful idea,” Hermione gushed; he could see her eyes getting a little wet.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and the sights,” somehow, Hermione got the feeling he was not talking about the French landmarks. They settled into a comfortable silence as they finished their deserts.
“Harry, are you alright?” Hermione asked tentatively. She had noticed he had been quieter the last two weeks and paler than usual.
“Of course, why?” Harry looked at her, trying to appear confused. He had had detention for a second week in a row when he questioned the slightest thing. His hand, partially hidden by the long jumper sleeves, was raw.
“You’ve been very distant with everyone; you have barely spoken to your little brother, who is desperate to get to know you. You’re also very tired, often going to bed straight after your detention with Umbridge,” Hermione came very close to knowing the truth, so he thought a little misdirection would be helpful.
“Do you remember the first day of classes? I was supposed to have a meeting with Dumbledore,” Hermione nodded, “I knew it was nothing to do with classes. Still, the Headmaster wanted me to take Occlumency lessons with Professor Snape, then when I refused, he went off to say I was important in the war.”
“How dare he, your fifteen years old! You should be out enjoying yourself, being a teenager, having a girlfriend,” Her face flushed at the last comment, which Harry noticed.
“That’s what I told him, that I was not going to have anything to do with the Order of the Phoenix,” Harry explained.
“Oh, Harry,” she teared up a little as she looked at the dark-haired boy in front of her.
“Now, I think it’s time you had your present. Can you do me a favour and meet me out on the balcony?” He asked with a wide smile.
“Of course, but you didn’t have to get me anything more; this was enough,” Hermione chided Harry. She did follow through with his instructions and went out onto the balcony. The bookworm could see the streets below like she was actually in Paris on a warm summer night, not in Scotland in the winter. She felt his breath on her neck, sending pleasant shivering up her spine. Harry brushed the hair away from her neck then she felt the touch of cold on her throat as the other teen put a necklace on her. She lifted the silver pendant up; it was of a raven but with sapphires for an eye.
“It’s beautiful,” she breathed.
“It has some mild protection charms on it, which should stop medium-range hexes and curses. But it is my family’s emblem, which I hope will protect and guide you too,” Harry finished. She turned to look at him; Harry was a couple of inches taller than Hermione. She looked at the green-eyed boy as he stared right back into her brown eyes. Time seemed to stop as she moved closer, then her petal-soft lips touched his. Harry’s eyes widened as he realised what was happening before he closed them and threw himself into the kiss, tightening his arms around her. Harry slowly pulled away as if in a dream, staring at the freckles on her nose.
“Are you sure?” He asked her softly.
“Absolutely, I’ve liked you for years,” her voice trembled as she admitted her feelings for him.
“So have I, I realised recently how much you mean to me, and I can’t go on without you by my side,” Harry realised how mushy that sounded.
“You’ll always have me by your side, whether we’re a couple,” she blushed brightly, “or not.”
“Well, Miss Granger, would you do me the honour of being my girlfriend?” Harry asked, getting a massive smile from her. She threw herself back into his arms, their lips meeting once again for a more heated kiss. After several minutes, the bushy-haired girl pulled away, turning to look out into the Parisian skyline. The boy put his arms around Hermione, and she placed her hands over his. As her thumbs rubbed against the back of Harry’s hand, she felt raised scars as he hissed in pain.
“What?” she asked, confused as she turned to look at him.
“Hermione, it’s nothing. I, erm, just caught my hand,” Harry lied, knowing she would see through him but trying anyway.
“Show me, Harry,” Hermione spoke in her sternest voice. Harry knew he couldn’t resist, so he slowly revealed his hand, which had ‘I shall not tell lies’ beginning to scar on it. “Who did this?”
“Madam Umbridge, in detention. I use a special quill that draws my blood,” Harry replied dully. Hermione once again embraced Harry.
“That evil witch, I’m going to see McGonagall,” She drew away from her arms, intent on going to see the deputy headmistress. He grabbed her hand.
“Please, Hermione, no, she threatened me. Told me if I complained to anyone, you would be the first on the list to become a mentee to Lucius Malfoy or Antonin Dolohov,” Harry told her desperately. Her face dropped.
“You took this for me,” she whispered, then lunged at Harry. Her lips found his hungrily. He could feel her body close to his, her soft curves moulding into his quidditch-hardened muscles on his chest. She grabbed his hand, marching him towards the door.
“We can’t go to McGonagall,” Harry told her desperately.
“No, but we are going to Andromeda. I don’t care if she tells your father, you’ve been so pale and withdrawn because you’ve lost a lot of blood,” Hermione told him, dragging the reluctant teen through the castle to the Hospital ward. She called out to Madam Tonks as soon as the door closed. The tall, dark-haired women emerged from her private quarters.
“Harry? You have not injured yourself, have you? I noticed you’ve looked a bit peaky the last few nights,” His pseudo-aunt looked at him, worried, seeing the pale-face and dark bags under his eyes. She did notice the way the self-confessed bookworm and Harry’s best friend was holding his hand. She just won two galleons from Minerva. She also noticed the girl was looking around the ward to see if they were on their own.
“Madam Tonks, Harry needs a blood-replenishing potion and some dittany,” she released in one breath. Andromeda looked at the girl in worry.
“Come with me,” she led the pair through to her private quarters into the front room, which had been comfortably set up. “Now, do you want to tell me what’s going on?”
“Madam Umbridge has been torturing Harry,” Hermione revealed, shoving Harry’s hand at the Healer. Harry fought to pull his hand back instinctively. He was not happy with Hermione, he had been trying to protect her, and now Harry’s dad would get involved.
“Oh my,” Andromeda gently took Harry’s hand, scrutinising it. Around the words, the skin was bright red. “I think this might be infected; how long has this been going on for?”
“Erm, apart from the weekends since the first day of classes,” Harry whispered. The older witch sharply looked at him and then pulled out her wand, performing a diagnostic spell on him.
“Your iron is low, you’ve lost a lot of blood, and you’ve definitely not been eating correctly. Do not argue with me, young man. I’ve seen you picking at your food,” he had a look like he was going to argue with her but looked at his feet instead. This was just like when she had first met the boy after his abuse had been revealed. “You are lucky you have come to me now, or…”
“How serious would it be, Madam Tonks?” Hermione asked, holding his other hand.
“Please call me Aunt Andi; I have a feeling I’ll be seeing a lot of you,” she nodded to the pair of them holding hands. Hermione blushed as Harry looked up, grinning a little bit, “Now it could be serious, another week or two, and Harry could have been deathly ill, especially as he wasn’t going getting enough nourishment.”
“Oh, Harry,” Hermione shuddered. The boy just pulled her into his side, cuddling her as Andromeda went off to go get various potions and poultices. The older woman returned, directing him to sit at a small kitchen table. She put some liquid into a grey bowl, placing it on the table.
“Submerge your hand in that while you drink these,” Harry immediately followed her instructions, knowing from experience not to argue. He hissed as his hand became submerged, but soon it soothed and cooled the flaming around the back of his hand. First, she handed him a blood-red liquid in a vial standing over him until he drank it all, then gave him another few vials making sure he swallowed them.
“What are you giving him?” Hermione asked, ever curious.
“Well, he’s had a blood replenishing potion as well as something to boost the iron in his blood. I’ve also given him a nutrition potion,” Andromeda glared at Harry, not pleased he had not been eating correctly. “You will need to keep that in there for a few hours, then we shall bandage it up. You will be staying overnight and missing your classes tomorrow,”
“Really, do I have to?” Harry whined, then looked nervous, “What are you going to tell everyone? If Umbridge finds out, Hermione is in danger.”
“We will tell everyone that you have the flu, and that’s why you have been under the weather lately,” the Healer told him. “Now, I’m going to have to Floo your father; he needs to know,”
“No,” Harry cried out.
“Don’t argue with me!” was the reply, and Harry knew not to argue with the formidable woman.
Sirius Black was furious; even Remus could not calm him down. They strode through the atrium of the Ministry towards the first Wizengamot meeting of the winter. After being summoned to Hogwarts the night before by his cousin, he heard Madam Umbridge’s story of her torturing his eldest son. He was now out for blood. Remus managed to direct him to the Black Wizengamot office, where Amelia Bones and Narcissa were waiting.
“What happened?” Amelia asked, taking one look at the fuming Sirius.
“Fucking Ministry, fucking Fudge, we need to get him out of the Wizengamot,” Sirius snapped, getting a hushed gasp from Narcissa. Sirius rarely used swear words and did not use mundane ones.
“You know why that can’t happen? We are still getting evidence on Dumbledore. Which is worse, Dumbledore or Fudge?” Amelia asked him calmly, then began rubbing his arms. Remus shared a look with Narcissa. He knew the pair had been meeting but did not realise they had become this friendly again.
“Yeah, alright,” Sirius seemed to slump down into his chair.
“Now, are you going to tell us what happened?” Amelia asked, rubbing his shoulders. Sirius proceeded to tell them about his meeting with Andromeda, Harry and Hermione the night before. How Madam Umbridge had been torturing Harry and threatening him with Hermione’s life.
“I think we need to propose an educational reform of our own,” Remus mused, but Sirius sat up.
“Rem, that’s a brilliant idea,” Sirius said, “If we can somehow manoeuvre the Ministry into making a new decree, then we might be able to protect Harry.”
“Are any other’s being tortured?” Amelia asked, steely-eyed.
“Hermione mentioned Lee Jordan, the Weasley twins’ best friend, had detention with Umbridge,” Sirius answered.
“We’ll investigate when we go after the Minister,” Amelia said before promptly leaving the office. The other three looked at each other, unsure what was going on until ten minutes later Amelia arrived back with Madam Marchbanks in tow.
“Your Grace, Mr Lupin, Lady Malfoy, it’s a pleasure to see you. Now, what can I do for you?” the head of the Department for Education was very much like Regent Longbottom.
“Madam, it has come to my attention recently the discipline at Hogwarts is inadequate,” Sirius spoke carefully, trying to word the proposition right, “I have evidence from the last several years that the Slytherin Head is heavily biased when doling out detention. Slytherin students who get detention will only have light work whereas other houses will either get detention with Caretaker Filch or made to do horrid tasks.”
“Well, this will not do. While the Ministry pushing themselves on Hogwarts was not my idea, it may well help the Board of Governors make some changes,” Griselda Marchbanks took a seat, resting her body.
“Oh?” Sirius prodded her.
“Yes, while the Board has lots of power, the Headmaster has the right to overrule us, especially on hiring, firing and disciplinary matters,” She explained, not noticing the grins on the face of the other three adults. “He has been making it difficult to change things within Hogwarts for many years. We think poor Minerva has too much on her shoulders as Deputy Headmistress and Head of Gryffindor house.”
“Really? She seems to handle it well,” Narcissa spoke up.
“Bless her, she is a wonder, but the board wonders if she might be neglecting her lions. Not on purpose,” Madam Marchbanks assured the other three as she saw the protest on their faces. “His Grace, the Duke of Caernarfonshire, has put your son as an example; we’ve recently begun to hear a lot of tales of occurrences over the last four years.”
“Yes, he has been through an awful lot of adventures,” Remus commented. Sirius considered the information he had just been given; Cyrus Greengrass was on the Board of Governors. He was yet again using Harry to highlight Hogwarts failures. Perhaps it would soon be time to speak to the Duke of Caernarfonshire and find out his intentions.
“So what are you going to do?” Sirius asked.
“We’ve decided that after this term, we’re going to ask Minerva to step down at Deputy. To be honest, I think she prefers the teaching and looking after her lions, but Albus always leaving means she has to run the school,” Griselda told the assembled group, frankly.
“Who will you have take over?” Remus asked curiously.
“Filius Flitwick, we’ll ask him to take over the Deputy position while Septima Vector takes over as Ravenclaw Head of House.” Sirius thought this was quite clever; it might enable Minerva to keep an eye on Harry. He often wondered how Minerva came to be practically running the school while Albus was doing his ICW and Wizengamot duties. At the same time, she was also Head of House Gryffindor and still taught transfiguration.
“That sounds like a good idea,” Sirius said out loud.
“Thank you for bringing this to me; if you’ll excuse me, I’ll gather the Board together before the Wizengamot,” The old lady bid them all a goodbye, then left them to discuss this latest change. While they were trying to effect change, they had a lot of opposition in the Wizengamot, which was a point to them.
“I’m sorry about dragging you all here early, but seen as I’m here, I’m going to fill out some paperwork,” Sirius looked at Narcissa and Remus.
“What paperwork have you got?” Remus looked at him suspiciously, but Sirius grinned like he was planning the greatest prank ever.
“You’ll see,” Sirius offered his arm up to Amelia, leaving the pair none the wiser.
“Good Morning Lords and Ladies, Heads of Departments and the public, welcome to the first Wizengamot session of the winter season. I will remind you all this is a Wizengamot session; only those of the Wizengamot or experts invited by Wizengamot members may speak. If the public galleries cannot control themselves, I will make this a closed session,” Tiberius Ogden warned them sternly as he looked around the chambers. It was not as busy today as the last session due to being during the school year. There were some proxies in chairs for those who worked or Minerva McGonagall, who was at Hogwarts. “Now, Scribe, do you have any public announcements?”
“Yes, Sir,” Percy Weasley spoke out, then continued on in a distinctly strangled voice. “William Weasley has acceded to Lord Weasley after Arthur Weasley stepped down; this has now been formally ratified with the Heritage Department.”
“Congratulations, it has been explained to you what to expect and how to behave?” Tiberius asked the eldest Weasley. The Weasley boy nodded and settled back in his chair.
“His Grace, The Duke of Anglia, would like to announce his second-born child has been discovered and wishes to formally declare the child, Cepheus Orion Black, the Lord Black,” Weasley continued on, getting a lot of whispers. The Chief warlock noticed Sirius turning to look at Dumbledore, whose mask slipped a little. “Finally, the Department of Education and Family Services would like to announce Educational Decree Twenty-three and Twenty-Four. Dolores Umbridge has been appointed as the High Inquisitor.”
“Now, before we begin our scheduled topics, does anybody wish to declare anything?”
“Excuse me, Chief Warlock, I have not been informed of Educational Decree Twenty-four. Would the DEFS care to elaborate?” Minister Fudge interrupted on the back foot.
“Madam Marchbanks, perhaps you would care to enlighten the minister so we may continue with today’s subjects?” Ogden asked with a twinkle in the eye.
“Ah, it is such a minor thing we did not think it would be right to bother you with. Educational Twenty-Four states that in the case of discipline at Hogwarts, the misbehaved student is disciplined by his or Her head of House,” Griselda explained with a wild smile.
“Thank you, Madam. Does anybody wish to declare anything?”
“I would like to announce the birth of my daughter’s son, Emmet Clarence Travers, who has been named as my heir after the loss of my son,” Sir Clarence Travers announced.
“Lost? He’s in jail for murdering innocents,” Sirius muttered, getting a small laugh from Regent Longbottom.
“Congratulations, Sir Travers, may the child be blessed with long life and great ability,” Tiberius intoned. Sirius stood up so the Chief Warlock indicated he could speak.
“As you know, I’ve recently become the Head of the Black Family. Due to breaking the sacred bonds created during the marriage, I have dissolved the marriage between Rodolphus Lestrange and Bellatrix Black. I have informed Gringotts, and the Bride Price is being reclaimed. Furthermore, Bellatrix Black has been disowned from the House of Black. She will be known as Bellatrix No-name from this day forth,” Sirius started getting gasps from the gallery and some surprised noises from the Houses. “House of Black is also dissolving the marriage between Lucius Malfoy and Narcissa Black- “
“You cannot do that without talking to me first,” Sir Malfoy shouted, looking at his, now, ex-wife in the public gallery. The room erupted in shouts.
“Order, order!” Ogden shouted, firing off fireworks to eventually get order. Once quiet, he indicated that Sirius continue though he was not sure if he wanted the man to continue.
“I have filed the correct paperwork with the Department of Heritage, signed by a judge for Gross Indiscretions,” Sirius sent a duplicate to the Chief Warlock, who was trying not to smile. Everyone knew Gross Indiscretions was code for taking the Dark Mark. Though Malfoy claimed to be Imperiused, it was enough to have his marriage dissolved. “Again, the Goblins of Gringotts shall be Reclaiming the Bridal Price. Lastly, Narcissa’s son Draco has been adopted into the House of Black.”
“You filthy mongrel, you don’t deserve the name Black!” Lucius Malfoy shouted as all hell broke loose. There was lots of shouting as Minister Fudge tried to slump down in his chair. He would lose his ‘donations’ from Sir Malfoy after the man lost his gold to Black and possibly his support as Minister. This would be another nail in his coffin; perhaps he ought to start buttering up Black. Tiberius looked over at Narcissa, who was now leaving the chambers with a smile on her face.
“Sir Lucius, that will be quite enough, you may contest both with Family Services, but for now, I’ll ask you to take your seat so we may continue,” Tiberius Ogden drew himself up to his full height looking at the blond sternly.