Chapter 3 : Working out the Kinks
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As soon as they landed they heard someone crying. They looked around and saw Ginny on the bed. Hermione touched her arm and asked, “What’s wrong?” Ginny sat up and clung to Hermione.
“Hermione they found out we’ve been trying to stop them and they’ve changed the law. Only Harry coming back will stop them now. If he doesn’t come back now they’ll have stolen everything. He’s not even been able to see what’s in his vault. There may be things from his parents or who knows. It doesn’t matter because it belongs to Harry not them. They are such crooks.”
“Ginny, its ok.” Hermione stoked her hair.
“No it’s worse.” Ginny said, “They are only waiting until tomorrow. They’ve moved it up two months. They’re trying to say he didn’t stop Voldemort. They’re saying he died months before.”
“Well it’s a good thing I got my memory back then.” Harry said, “We’ll stop them now.”
“Hermione?” Ginny whimpered.
“I found him.” she said, “He had amnesia and he was living with my parents. He had just found out who he was and was coming back to tell them and I was there. He walked in and said hi Hermione, then told them his story. It wasn’t until he was finished that he realized all his memories were back.”
Ginny turned to see a very tanned and fit Harry standing in the middle of the room looking sheepish. She moved slowly, getting off the bed and walking over to him. Pulling her wand she asked, “Did you have a girlfriend?”
“No. No one ever caught my fancy. Although Monica, I mean Jane wanted me to date Hermione.” Harry grinned.
She grinned, put her wand away and threw herself into his arms. They hugged tightly for a few minutes until Ginny pulled away, “This doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten how you walked to your death. You still have to explain that, but I’ll wait until everyone else gets to hear it.” Then she pulled him down for a kiss that they’d both been waiting for.
It lasted for several moments until they heard Ron yell, “Ginny is Hermione back yet?”
Harry pulled away and grinned at Ginny, “We had a plan but you kind of killed it. How about we change it a bit and pull one over on Ron.”
“What were you going to do?” Ginny asked
“Hermione was going to tell you she had a found something in Australia that you would like.” Harry said, “She was to say she had laid it on your bed.”
“That could have been fun.” Ginny smirked, “So I take it you’re not going to go lay in Ron’s bed.”
“No. I thought I’d just follow you guys downstairs, under my cloak and play it by ear.” Harry said, “Give him a good shock when it seems to be a good time.”
“Ok, not great, but it could be good if you’re really careful.” Ginny grinned, “Let’s go.”
“Ginny did you fall asleep?” Ron yelled again.
“No I’m coming.” Ginny yelled back as they headed down to the common room, “And yes Hermione is with me. I was just telling her the news.” Ron took about three steps up the stairs before they turned into a slide and he ended up on the floor.
“You always forget that.” Hermione laughed as she slid down into his arms.
They stepped out of the way for Ginny. The two shared a tight hug and kiss before he asked, “How did it go?”
“Better than I could ever have imagined.” Hermione grinned, “I’ll be picking them up on Tuesday morning.”
A chorus of congratulations echoed around the room. Which was full of Gryffindors as no one had been able to sleep waiting for Hermione to return.
“Excellent.” Ron said grinning. The grin slid off his face as he started his next subject, “Did Ginny tell you about the new law?”
“She did.” Hermione said without any kind of emotion.
“Well what do you think?” Ron asked.
“What can we do, we’re beat.” Hermione said. Gasps came from all around.
“No, you can’t mean that.” Ron looked stricken, “I mean don’t you need to run to the library? Isn’t there some loophole you can find? Please tell me it isn’t hopeless.”
“Of course it’s not hopeless.” Harry said from beside Ginny still under his cloak.
Ron froze his eyes large. Hermione struggled to keep the smile out of her voice, “Are you alright Ron?”
“Did you hear that?”
“Hear what?” Hermione asked, “Did you hear anything Ginny?”
“Not a thing.” Ginny said.
“I heard it.” Seamus said, “It sounded like Harry.”
“You must be wishful thinking.” Ginny said, her smile still fully hidden.
“Must be.” Hermione said her control was slipping.
“Why would you be wishing to hear me?” Harry asked still hidden.
“Where are you?” Ron asked.
“Where’s who Ron.” Ginny asked.
“You’re hiding him.” Lavender said.
“I’m not hiding anyone.” Ginny said.
“Nope I can hide all by myself.” Harry said laughing then pulled off the cloak.
Everyone started yelling and cheering until Ron set off a series of loud pops, “Where have you been.”
“What?” Ron said.
“The blast sent me to Australia. I was in a muggle hospital for about four weeks. I didn’t have many memories of whom or what I was until I saw Hermione earlier today.” Harry shrugged.
“So what are we going to do with the Wizengamot?” Neville asked.
“Well I have an idea that will knock them on their bums.” Harry grinned; the room broke out in cheers again.
“What is all this noise about?” Professor McGonagall asked pushing through the portrait hole, “Do you not remember we have classes tomorrow?”
“We remember Professor.” Parvati said, “But Hermione’s back and we’re making plans for tomorrow.”
“I’m sorry but I’ve already told you, I can’t let you go to the Wizengamot tomorrow.” She said, “No matter how much I want to let you go.”
“Can I go?” Harry asked moving to the front of the group.
Minerva McGonagall thought she was going to faint.”What’s this?”
“I found him earlier today.” Hermione said then related the tale for the professor who had found herself in a chair with her students surrounding her.
“Amazing.” Minerva said, “Simply amazing.”
“Don’t tell anyone yet.” Harry said, “I’m going to give them a shock tomorrow.”
“What are you going to do?” Dean Thomas asked.
“Oh this is going to be a surprise.” Harry grinned, “Hey is my old bed ready? I haven’t slept in like thirty or forty hours and yesterday I spent hiking the trails around Ayres Rock and then fighting thirty idiots.”
The next morning Harry, under his cloak, left the school in the company of Hagrid. They headed to Diagon Alley and were waiting at Gringotts when the doors opened. Hagrid walked up to the desk and asked for a private meeting with Griphook for himself and one other wizard. Once in the room Harry pulled off his cloak to face a shocked goblin.
“This is beyond me.” he stated.
“Surely it’s not beyond you to open new account.” Harry said.
The goblin grinned and said, “Let me get Trinlock. He’s the one you need to talk to. We’ll need some proof of identity. Do you mind a blood test?”
“No, I don’t mind.” Harry said.
The goblin left the room and came back shortly with two other goblins. After the blood test confirmed his identity they asked him what he wanted to do.
“First don’t let the Ministry know until we have to. Second I want…” Harry explained his plan. The goblins grinned and were more than glad to help.
“Harry Potter as Griphook has told us many times you are an unusual wizard. Thank you for riding us of the dark evil that was preparing to take over our bank.” Trinlock gave him a toothy grin, “We can even forgive a break in since it was only meant to free a nation.”
“I sincerely thank you for that.” Harry said, “It was the last thing I wanted to do. I feel terrible about the goblin that was lost in this, what was his name and does he have any family? I wish to make amends with them.”
“His name was Fornock.” Trinlock said, “He is missed. But his family bares no ill will towards you Harry Potter. We all realized that if you had acted differently we would have all died, starting with Griphook.”
“I’ll be back in a few hours. The meeting is at one correct?” Harry asked and the Goblin nodded, “I’ll be at the Burrow if they change the time. I’d hate for my family to find out I’ve returned by reading it in the Prophet.”
Hours later Harry, under his cloak again, followed the goblin Trinlock into the Ministry courtroom. He had followed all procedures for arrival at the ministry except he was invisible. The guard at the desk promised not to tell anyone he was there because he hated what the ministry was doing to his hero.
As the proceedings reached the point that Harry’s case was being heard Kingsley Shacklebolt was shocked. The Weasley’s were the only people in attendance for Harry. He had felt sure Minerva wouldn’t be able to keep his friends away. He was still thinking about it when a voice brought him back to the room.
“Shall we begin Minister?”
“By all means let’s proceed with this miscarriage of justice.” Kingsley stated heatedly.
“Goblin state your findings.” One of the Wizengamot members that had voted to proclaim Harry’s death said.
Trinlock stood and approached the bench. He gave a financial statement of the worth and holdings of Harry Potter. It took a good twenty minutes. Harry had heard the real declaration earlier that day so he didn’t pay any attention to the insane amounts the goblin was mentioning. He was watching the faces. Many showed shock at the numbers being given. Others showed excitement and even greed. Harry was sickened with the fact that Umbridge was still part of the group before him. Her face showed the most greed and satisfaction. She thought she had finally beat Harry.
“Thank you for that statement.” Umbridge said, “Is that all the ministry will be receiving?”
“No.” Trinlock stated.
Kingsley looked confused as did some of the others. Ones like Umbridge had gleeful looks on their faces, “And what else will the ministry be receiving?”
“A lawsuit.” Trinlock said, “You know what that is don’t you?”
“Of course I know what it is.” She yelled, “Why would we possibly be sued?”
“Wrongful acquisition of funds for one part.” Trinlock said, “Illegal declaration of death for another. And finally possession and intent to use a dark object. But of course that’s only directed at you Madam Umbridge.”
“Will the others be filed against all members of this body?” Kingsley asked.
“No. Only the twenty six names I have that actually voted for the illegal declaration of death and wrongful acquisition of funds.” Trinlock stated.
“That vote was locked months ago.” The man who had started the proceedings stated.
“Well if you want to disprove my list then you better unlock it.” Trinlock said, “Mine has the Ministry seal of authenticity on it.”
“Hem, hem.” Trinlock looked at Umbridge, “How dare you accuse me of possessing a dark artifact.”
“I am not the one accusing you.” Trinlock stated, “I’m just the party that gets to deliver the good news. Of course if you don’t have anything to hide from the Aurors then you have nothing to fear.”
“Well I guess it’s no matter then.” Umbridge straightened in her seat, “So on to what the Ministry is acquiring.”
“I would hope that it was no matter.” Trinlock said, “Because your home and office are being searched as we speak. Which I am sure you are aware that is standard Auror procedure in cases like these.” Umbridge was frozen in shock. Harry, meanwhile, was hard pressed not to laugh out loud.
Kingsley couldn’t contain himself any longer, he had to ask, “Trinlock, if I may be so bold what, other than the lawsuit on certain members, is going on here?”
“Just providing you with falsified financial reports. Which is standard Gringotts procedure when someone’s vault is being illegally tampered with.” Trinlock stated, “Only a vault’s owner may know the true contents.”
“So he’s not all that wealthy?” the first man looked disappointed.
“On some things we increased the numbers.” He said, “Others we decreased. But is not for you to know which is which.”
“We are the owners of that vault.” the man said.
“Did she do it?” Kingsley asked, “Did she find an impossible loophole?”
“She met the only loophole left open.” Trinlock answered.
“The only loophole left,” Umbridge said, “was for Mr. Potter to claim the vault himself.”
“That’s right.” said Harry’s disembodied voice, “I came back to keep thieves out of my pockets.”
“Ghosts cannot own vaults.” the original man said.
“I am not a ghost. I’m insulted that you think I would come back as one.” Harry threw off his invisibility cloak.
Cheers and shouts of victory came from the smaller group of the people in front of the room. Kingsley was on his feet and his yells were the loudest. Harry grinned at his friend; it only took a few moments for everyone to quiet down as the Aurors entered the chamber.
“Deloris Umbridge.” The Auror stated, “You are under arrest for possession and used of a dark object. The object confiscated at your home was a blood quill. That is on the list of type C contraband.”
“It belonged to my Great Grandmother.” Umbridge stated calmly, “It hasn’t been used in more than a century.”
“But it has.” Harry pointed to his own hand, “I was not the only one forced to use it. But I believe I’m the only one with the scars to prove it.”
Umbridge was carted out still protesting her innocence. Several on the side that had voted for Harry to be declared dead looked highly uncomfortable. As they should Harry thought.
One lady on what Harry considered to be his side said, “Mr. Potter, not only are we thrilled to have you back. But we are very happy to thank you for defeating the dark wizard You-Know-Who.”
“I’m sorry but who are you talking about?” Harry asked, “Am I to assume you mean Tom Riddle who is also known as Voldemort?”
“Then say his name.” Harry said, “He can’t come back and hurt anyone now.”
“Young man, I am most uncomfortable to say that name.” she stated.
“Then get comfortable with it. I will not respond to any You Know Who gibberish.” Harry said boldly, “His demise needs to be shouted from the highest hills so that any other dark wizards will know we aren’t afraid. If we continue to live in fear it will just give rise to the next one. Don’t be a sheep. Lead that is why you sit in that seat.”
“Right you are.” Augusta Longbottom said, “We must call him V… V… oh gracious, Voldemort.”
“Well done Madam.” Harry said, “Neville would be proud.”
“Thank you Harry.” she said, “But he can’t be any prouder of me than I am of him. He aided you in your fight with… Voldemort.”
“More than anyone knows.” Harry said.
“Maybe now would be a good time to tell us what happened exactly.” another man on Harry’s side stated, “I mean to… Voldemort and then to you after you defeated him.”
“How many in that lot would need to stay?” Harry asked indicating the other side.
“Mr. Potter, I am sincerely sorry for my part in the decision to declare you deceased and absorb your wealth into the Ministry.” The man’s sentiments were echoed from the entire group, “In an effort to right the wrongs we have done here I move that we make it illegal to confiscate the contents of vaults. Any vaults that have no owners will be directed to a charity benefiting the neediest of the wizarding world.”
“I think you should also make it illegal to send anyone to Azkaban without a fair trial.” Harry said, “I believe it was a body just like this that sent my Godfather to prison that way.”
“That was illegal when they did it Harry.” Kingsley pointed out, “And I know you probably don’t want this but, I think his estate should be compensated for his mistreatment.”
“His estate welcomes the idea but suggests that it should be put into a charity to help others recover from time spent in that place when they didn’t deserve it. Like Stan Shunpike and Xenophilius Lovegood.” Harry said, “Although I am sure there were others. And that donation will not be public knowledge.”
“Noted.” the recorder of events wrote his request.
Harry spent the next several hours recanting the information on Voldemort and the Horcruxes. He didn’t tell them everything but he made sure Ron, Hermione and Neville got the credit they deserved. He spent next to no time telling them he had amnesia and that Hermione found him. They would find out the rest when news of his time in Australia reached them from the other Ministry and he was sure it would.
After it was all done Harry approached the Weasley’s, “Thanks for coming.”
“No problem.” Bill slapped him on the back while Fleur hugged him.
Charlie and Percy also slapped him on the back but George put his arm over Harry’s shoulder and said, “Has Ginny hexed you yet?”
“No.” Harry grinned, “But she hasn’t ruled it out. She’s still mad about the forest.”
“I noticed you didn’t mention that part.” Molly said.
“I’ll tell the whole tale to you when we get back from Hogwarts Mum.” Harry said hugging her, “Now I need to go revise for my NEWT’s.”
“What no press conference?” Kingsley asked.
“I hadn’t planned on it.” Harry said, “Do I have to?”
“Good luck getting out of here without one.” he said, “Word has it that the atrium is very crowded.”
“Come on Kingsley.” Harry pleaded, “Surely I can use the floo in some office or another.”
“Of course you can.” he grinned, “My office just happens to have one.”
Kingsley stood on the podium and announced, “Deloris Umbridge has been removed from the Wizengamot.”
“Why?” yelled a young reporter who had been in Hogwarts during her time, “Did they finally realize she was an unregistered animagus toad?” The reporters laughed, Umbridge had become a rally point for the anger as she had led the group to declare Harry dead.
“No we finally have proof…” Kingsley started.
“She’s an animagus toad?” someone yelled.
“Not that I’m aware of.” Kingsley laughed, “But we’ll check that out before we send her to Azkaban. She was found in possession of a dark object.”
“Let me guess a blood quill?” the same young reporter asked.
“Yes.” Kingsley said, “She tried to say it was a family heirloom and never used.” Several younger people yelled but Kingsley held up his hand for silence, “Like I said she tried to say that, but we had proof that she had used it. Someone with a scar from it came forward.”
“What happened with Harry Potter’s things? Did they succeed in their attempt to steal it all?” the reporter pressed.
“Today certain members of the Wizengamot were presented with a lawsuit. Its contents are aimed only at those who voted for declaring Mr. Potter dead. The list has the Ministry seal on it so we have to open the voting record to determine if the names cited are correct.”
“Who brought the lawsuit.” another question rang out.
“Why don’t you just let me give the speech and then if you have questions at the end I’ll answer them.” The crowd quieted and Kingsley continued, “The lawsuit was announced by the Gringotts Goblin sent to give the accounting of the vaults in question. We were informed the lawsuit was for an illegal declaration of death and wrongful acquisition of funds, any questions?”
“Did Hermione Granger find a loophole then?” the young reporter asked.
“Ms. Granger met the only stipulation left for her from the recent changes in laws. Which by the way were reversed today after the arrest of Deloris Umbridge. Also several new laws were introduced today that would restrict the Wizengamots ability to take vaults.”
“What stipulation was left for her?” clamored several reporters.
“Very simply Ms. Granger found Mr. Potter.” Kinsley announced the room was filled with shouts of questions. Kingsley waited until they calmed and he continued, “All we know now is that he had amnesia and she accidentally ran across him. He does have his memories back and he did indeed stop Voldemort. We will be putting together an announcement soon regarding the award for stopping Voldemort.”
Reporters yelled more questions but Kingsley exited the atrium and went to his office where he took the floo to Hogwarts with the Weasley’s and Harry.
McGonagall’s office was filled with the group that had just arrived being added to the one already there. Everyone found seats either on the stairs or chairs. Then Harry with the help of Ron and Hermione told the entire tale of the year on the run. They told about all the Horcruxes not just the ones Harry had mentioned earlier. When Harry told of his walk to the forest to die and why he did it Ginny left her seat and grabbed Harry in a hug. They didn’t let go of each other as he finished his tale and told of his year in Australia.
“So you’re a hero on two islands.” Ron chuckled.
Harry didn’t acknowledge him other than a groan.
“How did you end up in Australia?” George asked Harry shrugged his reply.
“If I may ask,” Albus Dumbledore’s portrait asked, “how many wands are you carrying?”
“Two.” Harry said, “I have the one Voldemort stole.”
“Two wands using your, may I say, incredible power is why you landed in Australia.” he stated.
“But I’m no more powerful than the next person.” Harry said.
“You are powerful enough to know that’s not true.” Albus said, “Who has more power Ginny or Ron?”
“Ginny.” Harry said, “But she’s got that weird seventh thing going on.”
“True but how do you know?” Albus asked.
“I guess I can feel it.” Harry said, “But I can’t describe it.”
“Now where do you fit in?” He asked.
“I’m about the same level as everyone else.”
“No you’re suppressing it.” he said, “Let down that guard you keep up. I know you keep it up so you’re the same as everyone else. I’ve felt it down before and so have you.”
Harry thought for a moment and remembered a time when he didn’t feel that block that he felt now. Looking inward he realized he subconsciously built it as he grew. He didn’t want to be any more different then he already was so he had hidden it, “How do I take it down when I don’t know how I put it there?”
“Close your eyes Harry.” Albus instructed, “Look at that place where the block resides.”
Harry dutifully followed the instructions when told he looked through the barrier and was shocked at what lay behind. He knew he had used that power when it had been needed. And now he knew how the Australian group knew he was powerful. While he had amnesia he hadn’t blocked it. He had rebuilt the block after dealing with the group that had attacked the muggles. Carefully he pulled down the mental barrier and said, “Wow.”
“Now who’s most powerful in the room?” Albus asked.
“Harry is.” Ron said, “Even I can feel that.”
Harry rebuilt the block and the feeling left the room, “I’m going to keep that hidden. I still don’t want to be that different.”
“Wise decision.” Albus said, “That power is what took you half way around the world. Your magic protected you when it knew you couldn’t do it. You have matured in your magic farther than most people do in a life time.”
“That day we moved me from Privet Drive. When my wand acted on its own?” Harry said.
“Another instance of your magic acting on its own to protect you.” Albus confirmed.