Chapter 12 : Chapter Twelve: Fudge
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Moody came through the fireplace first, since he wanted to take a quick look at the locket before the two Auror's showed up, and was still asking questions by the time Tonks and Kingsley stumbled out. They were grinning madly as they told everyone that a warrant was out for Rita Skeeter's arrest. Sirius and Remus shared an amused look, and Sirius wrapped an arm around his cousins shoulder and pretended to cry in the crook of her neck, sobbing around how proud he was of her.
"Of stop being so dramatic, Sirius." She said with a hint of annoyance in her voice, pushing Sirius off her shoulder.
Sirius smirked at her before he walked over to Remus and sat down next to him in the couch. Everyone else seated themselves around the room, and looked over towards Dumbledore, who had conjured a chair and placed it in the middle of the sofa's, and sat down.
"Dumbledore," Kingsley started, "I have a message to give you from Mi-"
"Can't it wait, ladie? I think what Dumbledore is about to tell you is more important." Moody interrupted, his fake eye spinning in Kingsley's direction.
Kingsley nodded, trying to keep his face straight and hide his annoyance at the old Auror. Tonks sent Moody a quick glare, but he had turned his attention to Dumbledore before he could notice. Dumbledore briefly explained to them about the Horcrux, informing them how dark and dangerous they were. At the end of his explanation he asked them if they knew any means of destroying anything beyond magical repair, but the Auror's couldn't think of anything right away, and thought over everything they had learned in all their years as Auror's.
"I would also like for anyone to look for anything that might of been in the possession of any of the Founder's of Hogwart's when they were alive." Dumbledore told them.
Confused looks ran throughout the room, and Sirius looked at Dumbledore like he was more mad than he already was.
"I believe that Voldemort would of made any Horcruxes out of any Founder's possession's. Take the locket for example, this used to belong to Salazar Slytherin himself. I believe he got everything but Gryffindor, as I have the Sorting Hat and Sword that belonged to Godric Gryffindor himself." Dumbledore told them, answering the unspoken questions running through their heads.
"I know Helga Hufflepuff had some kind of cup, I remember reading about it in a book when I was researching for a paper when I was at Hogwarts." Tonks said, her hair turning blonde as she sunk into deep thought.
"I remember a Ravenclaw friend of mine telling me about a lost diadem a couple of years ago, but like I said, it's lost. Do you think You-Know-Who might of found it?" Kingsley added.
"If he was desperate enough, I believe he would of." Dumbledore replied to him, a hand on his chin as he thought.
"That would make four. That diary, locket, Hufflepuff's cup, and Ravenclaw's diadem. You believe he would of made seven, Albus?" Moody said.
"Yes, I'm trying to think of what else he could of made a Horcrux out of..." Dumbledore trailed off into thought.
"Wasn't there a message you needed to give to Albus, Kingsley?" Arthur said, the thought suddenly popping into his mind.
"Yes, thank you Arthur," Kingsley said, and turned his attention to Dumbledore. "Minister Fudge requested a meeting with you, to talk about the kidnapping and Hogwarts."
Dumbledore sighed and stroked his beard, looking more like the old man he really was. He checked the gold watch on his wrist, and stood up from his chair.
"I have some time left before I need to help Hagrid with the animals he bought for the new year. If any of you need me please don't hesitate to come to Hogwarts." Dumbledore told them as he walked towards the fire.
"Albus," Sirius started, standing up from his spot, "Have the meeting with Fudge here. I'll stay upstairs with the kids, keep them busy for a while."
"I have invaded your privacy enough, Sirius." Dumbledore said with a small smile, "I've over-stayed my welcome."
"Nonsense," Sirius said with a wave of his hand, "I insist. Besides, wouldn't it be easier that Harry's here? If Fudge doubt's anything you say about Voldemort's return, we bring Harry down and show Fudge all of his injuries. It's enough evidence, I would think." He explained.
Dumbledore thought over it for a moment, looking at Sirius over his half-moon spectacle's.
"If you insist," He said with a sigh, "I'll call Fudge now. You may want to head up right now then, Sirius. He might come over as soon I tell him he may. Plus, the children will need a explanation as to why they aren't allowed downstairs at the moment."
Sirius nodded, and with a grin on his face, headed towards the stairs. Molly got up form the sofa and grabbed the pot of tea off the coffee table, and went to the kitchen to make fresh tea, while Dumbledore headed over to the fireplace and threw Floo powder in.
"Minister of Magic's Office!" He said, and stuck his head in the fire.
Moody gave a quick goodbye to everyone in the room, and started to walk towards the front door to leave, since he didn't think he could be in the same room with that 'moron of a minister'. Arthur, Remus, Kingsley and Tonks were quietly talking about any new Death Eater sightings to break the silence. After a few minutes Dumbledore pulled his head out of the fire, used his wand to vanish any soot that stuck to him, and walked over to his chair in the middle of the two chairs facing each other.
"What did he say?" Remus asked as Molly walked back in, a steaming pot of tea clutched in her hands.
"He'll be here in a few moments." Dumbledore replied, leaning back in his chair.
"Should I be here? Or should I join Sirius and the kids upstairs?" Remus asked worriedly.
"Please, feel free to stay. You might be able to help me out when he asks about Harry's kidnapping." Dumbledore told him with a sad smile.
Remus nodded and grabbed himself a chipped mug, and poured some tea into it. Tonks put a comforting hand on his shoulder, and he looked at her with a smile on his face, her hair now a dull orange with dark blue eyes. He then quickly looked away as he felt a blush coming on, and took a sip out of his mug for something to do. The room filled with silence, waiting for the moment they would have to speak of the horror's Harry barely escaped a few days ago. Suddenly the fire roared and turned green, and Cornelius Fudge stumbled out, coughing out soot that had entered his mouth. Fixing his bowler hat and wiping his robes off, Fudges eyes searched the room for a moment, taking in everyone who was there.
"Dumbledore," He started with a slight nod of his head, "I trust Auror Kingsley had informed you of what we need to talk about?" He asked.
"He did," Dumbledore assured him with a small smile, "And what is it that you need me to inform you about right now? " Dumbledore questioned curiously.
Fudge walked over by Dumbledore and conjured his own chair, his eyes flickering to each person in the room before he sat down, and kept his eyes on Dumbledore.
"First off, most importantly, to capture and rescue of Harry Potter." Fudge replied, almost hesitantly.
"Yes," Dumbledore said with a nod, "It is quite a story. Although I feel I would be wasting my breath, as you do not believe the person who captured him is alive, I really see no reason to bother you with the story."
Fudge squirmed uncomfortably in his chair, feeling all eyes on him.
"Now Dumbledore, you know I only believe such because I have no evidence to support it, and seeing as such I wouldn't want to scare the Wizarding World about what could be nothing." Fudge explained, wiping the sweat off his hands on his trousers.
"What would you say if I told you I have evidence. We both know of one spell only Voldemort himself uses on his victims, seeing as he created the spell. No Death Eater has ever used the spell, in respect for their master. Harry has wounds healing on his back from the Retrorsum Vellit Curse, which can only heal the Muggle way as of now. And if that isn't enough proof we have multiple people in this house that could provide a memory for us to watch the kidnapping.'" Dumbledore told him, watching Fudge carefully.
Fudges eyes widened a bit, and he took an audible gulp. He thought over Dumbledore's words, searching for anything in his words to make him believe he was being lied to, but found nothing. Taking a deep breath, he wiped the sweat off his brow and looked back over at Dumbledore.
"And can you produce such evidence?" He asked hesitantly.
"Indeed." Dumbledore replied, and looked over at Remus. "Will you please go get Harry from his room upstairs and bring him down please?"
Remus nodded and stood up quickly from his seat, setting down his mug on the table in front of him before making his way out of the room, and hurried up the stairs. The room once again waited in silence, and Mrs. Weasley stood up and poured everyone a mug of tea, using her wand to send them out to everyone.
"Thank you, my dear." Fudge said, looking over at her with a kind smile on his face, and took a small sip out of his cup.
A minute later they could hear people descending the stairs, talking in hushed voices. The creak on the floorboards announced they were walking towards the room, and within seconds Remus walked in, his arms wrapped around Harry's waist. Harry gave a small smile, and eyed Fudge worriedly, already knowing from Sirius what he was going to be asked.
"It's good to see you, Harry." Fudge said after a moment, and Harry sat on the couch next to Remus.
"Hello Minister." Harry replied hesitantly.
Dumbledore turned his body towards Harry, studying him curiously for a momentarily before he began.
"I believe Remus filled you in on everything?" He asked.
Harry nodded, tearing his eyes away from Fudge to look at Dumbledore, "Yes he did, sir."
"Excellent. Now, Minister Fudge has said that he needs actual proof that Lord Voldemort has returned, and luckily enough you have that proof healing on your back. Will you please lift your shirt and show Minister Fudge the wounds that were inflicted upon your back?" Dumbledore said.
With the help of Remus, Harry stood up and walked over to stand right in front of Fudge, and turned around. Harry gripped one of Remus' arms as he used his other arm to pull his shirt up all the way up to show the bandages covering his back, blood staining through them. Remus grabbed his wand out of his pocket and waved it around Harry's back, making the bandages disappear. Harry sucked in a deep breath as the air hit his wounds, and kept his body tense. Fudge looked at his back with wide eyes, getting off his chair and walking up to Harry to get a closer look, and studied the wounds closely.
The rest of the adults watched Fudge, wondering what was on his mind. They worried that Fudge wouldn't believe what he was seeing, and the Wizarding World would continue to be unaware of the return of Lord Voldemort. Not only did Fudge see the three long cuts along Harry's back, he saw how weak and pale Harry looked, he could also see the little cuts that covered his hand and parts of his body, his tired eyes and his sudden weight loss. It all finally clicked in Fudges mind, he knew no one in this room would lie about who did this, they wanted justice for it. Remus could see the understanding in his eyes, and with a smile he led Harry over to the couch, watching as Tonks summoned bandages and placed them carefully on Harry's back.
"I-It's true." Fudge stuttered, stumbling back into his chair, his mouth open in what seemed shock.
Dumbledore let out a breath he didn't know he had been holding, and watched as everyone else gave a small sigh, and how Harry looked a bit annoyed.
"Yes," Dumbledore said, "And know you know Voldemort is back..." He trailed off.
"I need to inform the Auror's and Daily Prophet right away." Fudge muttered, his brain rushing through everything he now needed to do.
"We can help you with that." Kingsley said, standing up from his seat, and after finishing putting the bandage's on Harry's back, Tonks did as well.
Fudge nodded numbly, holding onto the arm of the chair as he stood up, his face pale and worried. Kingsley and Tonks made their way to the fireplace, waiting by it as Fudge walked over to Dumbledore, who was getting out of the chair he conjured.
"I'm sorry, Albus," Fudge started, sincerity and guilt in his voice, "I should of believe you when you told me after the Third Task, but-"
"But you didn't want to believe it, you didn't want to deal with everything that Voldemort's return would bring you." Dumbledore cut in, his voice calm.
Fudge flinched as though Dumbledore had slapped him, knowing his words were true.
"There is still time," Dumbledore continued, "to inform everyone about his return, before too much damage is made. Do what you need to do, Cornelius, and if you need me I'll be by your side."
"Thank you, Albus. If you wouldn't mind I would also like that memory of the kidnapping, so I have proof to show."
"That can be arranged," Dumbledore said, "Remus, would you mind sharing your memory?"
"Of course," Remus replied, "I'll send it to the Ministry after I get Harry settled in his room."
Fudge nodded his thanks to Remus before he turned back to Dumbledore, "I'll contact you after I inform the Ministry of You-Know-Who's return." He said with a weak smile.
Dumbledore nodded, and he and Fudge shook hands. After a moment Fudge cleared his throat, and started to walk over towards the fireplace as Kingsley grabbed the Floo powder off the mantle. Fudge turned around and looked at everyone in the room with guilty eyes, and they stopped on Harry as he spoke.
"Thank you all for your time, and I'm terribly sorry for my grave mistake."
And with that he, Kingsley, and Tonks walked into the fireplace, all shouting the same destination, Fudge completely forgetting about wanting to ask Dumbledore if he had found a new Professor for DADA at Hogwarts. The room sat in stunned silence for a moment, as if hardly believing what just happened. Remus finally cracked a smile, and carefully put an arm around Harry's shoulders, ruffling his hair slightly.
"You did it, pup! You got Fudge to finally believe us!" He whispered excitedly.
Harry felt his lips curve into a smile, finding Remus' excitement amusing. He felt relieved, glad that Fudge finally saw the truth, that he wouldn't be made out as a liar to the Wizarding World anymore. Dumbledore vanished the chair Fudge had conjured with a flick of his wrist, beaming over at Harry and Remus. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley got off their couch and walked over towards the couch Harry and Remus sat on, and Mrs. Weasley pulled Harry into a warm hug, careful not to touch his wounds while her husband sat down on Remus' free side. Harry put his arms around her, closing his eyes as she held him tenderly, as if telling him everything was going to be alright. They stayed like that for a moment, and then at the same time they started to pull away. Before Mrs. Weasley fully pulled away from him, she turned her head and whispered in his ear.
"You mother and father would be proud of how strong you are."
And then she let go of him, beaming at him with tearful eyes as she sat down on his other side. Harry gave a choked smile, a warm feeling spreading through his chest at her words.
"Would you like to inform your friends and godfather about what just happened?" Dumbledore asked Harry, his eyes twinkling merrily down at Harry.
"Yes, sir." Harry said, quickly standing up from the couch.
"Do you need me to help you?" Remus asked, starting to sit up.
"No thanks, I think I got it." Harry muttered with a smile.
Remus sighed and sat back down, watching Harry as he hurried as fast as he could over to the stairs, clutching the railing as he climbed up, and could barely hear Dumbledore instructing Remus how to hid Sirius in the memory he had to give to Fudge. By the time Harry made it up the stairs to the second floor, his heart was beating fast and he struggled to catch his breath, but he hurried into the room he knew Sirius was waiting in with the Weasley's and Hermione. Harry opened the door slowly, peeking in before he walk in the door, and shut the door behind him. Hermione and Ginny were sitting on a sofa together, looking at a magazine Ginny held in her hands. Sirius, Fred, George, and Ron were all sitting in a circle on the floor, reading the piece of parchment Fred and George had wrote idea's out on for their joke shop, all of them snickering over something they had wrote. All heads turned to him the moment the door shut, and Harry saw Fred trying to hide the piece of parchment.
"Bloody hell, Harry! You scared me, I thought you were mum for a moment." Fred exclaimed, setting the parchment back in front of him.
"What happened?" Sirius asked eagerly, getting off the floor.
Harry stared at him for a moment, before he broke out into a smile.
"Fudge believes us." Harry replied, watching as everyone beamed at his words.
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