Chapter 24 : Interrogated
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Chapter 23: Interrogated
Hermione had no idea what time it was or how she’d really gotten here. Once Dumbledore had convinced Mad-Eye Moody that she was in fact not a Death Eater, everything had happened very quickly. She and Sirius had both been Apparated to the Ministry of Magic along with the prisoners. Hermione glanced over at Sirius.
He still looked pale, in spite of the blood replenishment potions that someone had given him and he kept staring at her.
“I’m sorry Hermione” he murmured as she looked at him. She’d been pacing around in the little office for what felt like hours, wanting to know what was happening with the family they had helped and with the Death Eaters that had been captured but
Dumbledore and Moody had left them here while they took care of everything else. Hermione knew that both she and Sirius would be questioned more vigorously once the Aurors were done with the prisoners and she wasn’t looking forward to the idea of being interrogated by Moody anymore. She might have stood up to him earlier, but now she was thinking that it would not at all be pleasant.
They would both have to try and explain what had happened, not to mention why they were out of bed and running around on the outskirts of the little muggle village at four in the morning rather than in their bed and Hogwarts. Hermione had seen the way Dumbledore had looked at them both and caught the look in his eyes that said they would be having a big discussion about all of this before she would be getting to bed.
“What are you sorry for Sirius?” Hermione asked him tiredly as she moved over to sink down into the seat next to him.
“Running in there like an idiot” he replied “You had some kind of plan and I messed it up. I saw that kid on the floor and the other one crying while their parents huddled in fear of those Death Eaters and I just lost it. I just wanted to hex them into oblivion. I could’ve gotten us all killed for not listening to you” he explained softly, watching her expression carefully as though he expected her to be angry with him.
Hermione smiled at him softly.
“I understand Sirius. It’s not your fault, and everything turned out alright in the end except for you getting hit with that curse. They’ll be doing what they can to help the boy. I heard one of the Order members saying that he wasn’t quite dead yet. I think they took him to St. Mungo’s.” she told him.
“No, I could’ve gotten you killed. I heard you scream at that woman. If she’d been quicker, you’d be dead right now” Sirius said, staring into her eyes.
“Sirius didn’t you tell me not to dwell on ‘what if’ situations?” Hermione asked him mildly. He looked terrible as he frowned at her worriedly. He was so pale and drawn from the blood loss and she knew he wasn’t feeling well not only because he’d lost so much blood, but also because the spell that had struck him made him sick with pain. Hermione had been surprised by how many scars he actually had that had all opened up when that spell had struck him.
Obviously he’d lost so much blood because of the scars on him from Moony’s attack. But he’d also had several more scars, some of them appearing to be quite deep and Hermione stared at him for a moment as she realised just how much he must hurt himself.
He had several scratches on his hands, as well as an unrelated bite mark from Moony on his back that he’d told her Moony had given him last year when Sirius and James and Peter had snuck Remus out of the Shrieking Shack and he’d wanted to run right through the heart of Hogsmeade.
“You were so in control and I just rushed in like an idiot” Sirius said softly. Hermione couldn’t help but smile at that. After all, he had. But he’d done what any Gryffindor would. He’d seen a person in need of help and he’d rushed in courageously to do what he could to help them. He’d stunned one of the Death Eaters as well, and if he hadn’t been hit with that curse, he might have gotten both of them. As Hermione stared at him she was reminded of Harry. He was always rushing in and trying to do something to help with no regard for planning out a strategy or concern for his own safety.
“Well, you can only learn from it Sirius. This time we got lucky and a big secret is that when people like you and me rush in and try to help people, almost always we get by on limited knowledge and a whole lot of luck.”
“You didn’t. You went in there calm and controlled. You didn’t rush in like an idiot.” Sirius argued.
“I’ve been rushing into dangerous situation since I was eleven years old and befriended Harry Potter” Hermione said drolly “Harry was never much for strategy, he’d just rush headlong into danger, convinced he was doing the right thing. That’s how you wound up dead actually. Harry got it into his head that you’d been captured by Death Eaters and were being tortured at the Ministry and when he tried to contact you at your house you were upstairs. Kreacher told him you were gone and so Harry rushed off to the Ministry just like the Death Eaters wanted, with a bunch of fifteen and sixteen year old side-kicks and no experience duelling outside of the little DA duels we did like we do in ME. I got the scar on my chest that day from a Death Eater curse. Ron got mauled by some horrific brain thing in the Department of Mysteries at the Ministry, Neville broke his nose and Ginny and Luna were in bad shape too by the time the Order go to us. You rushed in to help Harry when the Order got there and you weren’t quite quick enough with your shield charms.”
Hermione sighed as she remembered “I guess I learned my lesson not to rush headlong into things that day. I started to think about ways we could still achieve the goals we’d set without just bowling in blind and unaware of the danger, mismatched with opponents much older and nastier and much more evil than us.”
“You should teach us how to do all this in ME” Sirius told her “Having the spells on hand is helpful, but it’s no good if we don’t think through far enough to be able to use them.”
Hermione nodded, wondering how she could incorporate some kind of impromptu duel at ME.
Both Hermione and Sirius fell silent when they heard the door hand rattle moments before it opened. Professor Dumbledore strode into the room, closing the door firmly behind himself. Hermione felt nervous as Dumbledore turned his bright blue eyes on the pair of them and watched them over the top of his half-moon spectacles.
“How are you feeling Mr Black?” he asked them in a bemused sort of voice when they both just stared back at him.
“Better, slowly” Sirius said, though Hermione noticed the way he winced as he tried to get to his feet.
“And you Hermione?” he asked her next. Hermione raised her eyebrows.
“Fine” she said.
“Alastor wants to question both of you about what happened, but before I can let him do that, I need you both to tell me what you were doing running around in the early hours of the morning away from Hogwarts and on the outskirts of Port Augustus?”
Slowly Dumbledore moved over to sit at the desk within the office and Hermione waited until he had interlaced his fingers and rested his chin on the before she spoke. She glanced at Sirius, knowing he wasn’t going to like what she was about to divulge, but needing to tell Dumbledore the truth.
“We were with Remus” Hermione said and she watched Dumbledore blink. He didn’t seem at all surprised to hear that.
“I see. You have achieved Animagi then my dear?”
Hermione nodded “Though if it’s all the same to you professor, I think it would be best if we all remained unregistered, given our ages and the reason for being Animagi.”
Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled but he said nothing.
“As you’re aware, I have every intention of joining the Order when I finish school, though I’m of age now, so if you’re willing to accept me into the order now, I won’t object. Personally I would be happy to notify the other trusted Order members of the tell tale sign that my animagus form, a fox, is that my tail is much bushier than a real fox’s due to my hair.”
“And you Mr Black?” Dumbledore asked. Sirius stayed silent, staring at their Headmaster, clearly not wanting to dob in himself or his friends for anything.
“Sirius, you need to tell him the truth here” Hermione told him softly but Sirius just glanced at her and remained silent. Hermione sighed at her boyfriend’s mistrust.
“Anyway, we were with Remus when Sirius and I heard screaming, we sent the others off to keep Remus under control and we came to investigate.” Hermione finished when Sirius refused to speak.
“So you were both out of bed after hours, no doubt along with Mr Potter, and Mr Pettigrew as well as Mr Lupin, running around with a werewolf, beyond school grounds and clearly outside of the protection and safety of Hogwarts and Hogsmede?” Dumbledore said mildly.
Hermione nodded, blushing slightly though she had no doubt that Dumbledore was aware of Sirius, James and Peter being Animagi since he was certain and unsurprised to learn they’d broken Remus out of the Shrieking Shack.
“And hearing the screams you thought it would be wise to investigate, where you encountered five Death Eaters involved in the torture of two young children and their parents?”
Hermione nodded “We saw the flashes of magic being performed, accompanied by screaming and rushed to help.”
“Well my dear, I had hoped you would have a higher regard for school rules, but I feel that had you and Mr Black here not been out of bed after hours gallivanting around the countryside with a werewolf, all four victims of tonight would have found death and instead of capturing five Death Eaters we would be cleaning up four bodies. Therefore, on this occasion none of you will be punished for breaking school rules. However, I’m afraid Alastor will still need to question both of you on tonight’s events. Once that is through we will return to Hogwarts where you, Mr Black, will be going to the Hospital Wing to allow Madam Pomfrey to treat you until you are up to full strength. And you Hermione, my dear girl, will be having a long discussion with me.”
Hermione smiled, knowing Dumbledore was trying to exclude Sirius from any discussion that might in some way reveal who Hermione really was and where she had come from, no doubt to keep him from learning the things of the future that may or may not come into being.
“I understand” Hermione told him. “What do you want us to tell Mad-Eye? I think that if we admit animagi in a Ministry interrogation we might have some issues….”
“I will take him aside and explain that particular situation to him. He will need to confirm the details of the attack and your part in the events. Make sure you give him every memory you have of tonight’s events in order to effectively prosecute the witch and wizards in question. It is unlikely they will be tried before the full Wizenagamot, probably just a few officials and so you both need only provide your memories of the events I think, along with answering some of Alastor’s questions.” Dumbledore said.
Hermione and Sirius both nodded their understanding while Dumbledore went to the door and invited Mad-Eye Moody into the office. He looked less than pleased at being forced to wait so long and Hermione tried to stifle her giggle at the disgruntled expression on his face. As she did she also noticed that in this time Mad-Eye’s face was much less disfigured. He still had most of his nose.
“Right. You two” he growled fixing Hermione and Sirius a glare each.
“Alastor, it should be noted by you now that Miss Peverell and Mr Black are both unregistered Animagi, they were out of bed tonight to accompany a friend of theirs who happens to be a werewolf to keep him from hurting himself and anyone else. I understand they have been undertaking this task for some time, every full moon. That is how they both came to be in Port Augustus this evening. As students and illegal Animagi, we have agreed it best for them to remain unregistered for the time being.” Dumbledore spoke up.
“You expect me to trust the word of two kids that are unregistered Animagi?” the man growled disbelievingly.
“Yes” Dumbledore replied simply.
“Moody, I at least intend to join the Order as soon as Albus will allow me, therefore my unregistered status may come in very handy down the track. Now, if you have some phial’s ready, I am willing to provide you with my memory of tonight’s events in regard to the muggle family and the Death Eaters” Hermione told the grizzled man, raising her wand to her temple and watching the way the memory gathered as a ball of white light at her wand tip.
“I don’t know who you are girly” Moody growled irritably “But for my money you are entirely too familiar with this process to avoid suspicion.”
Hermione didn’t reply and instead turned to Dumbledore who conjured a glass phial to contain the memory she had extracted.
“I am far too familiar with the process” Hermione admitted “Which is why I know that you standing there glaring at me is supposed to intimidate me into admitting some kind of guilt you suspect I must have buried somewhere. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I have already explained to you what happened.”
“And you kids just happen to be good enough with magic to take on five Death Eaters wielding the Killing Curse and come away having saved the day? I’m supposed to believe that, am I?”
“They are both animagi at seventeen Alastor” Dumbledore inserted gently.
“Whether you really want to believe it or not is entirely up to you. That’s what happened” Sirius snapped, not at all liking the way the Auror was speaking to his girlfriend.
“Oh and I’m going to believe you boy” Moody said sarcastically “So as students you were both level headed enough to go in there and come away with this result? You didn’t react to seeing two kids tortured? To seeing muggles threatened?”
“If we hadn’t reacted they’d all be dead and you’d have no idea who did it” Sirius spat at him “And if you witness our memories of what happened you’ll see how we were affected. I nearly bled to death for reacting by rushing in without checking how many were in there. I saw a bloke torturing a little girl and reacted on instinct to take him out. I didn’t see the other one, the woman.”
“And you?” Moody turned his magical eye on Hermione.
“They are bound and gagged, in custody. Something I would refer to as Sirius and I having ‘reacted’ to what happened tonight” Hermione responded coldly “The boy might live. The others… well I assume they’ll have their memories modified.”
Hermione didn’t admit that she had seen the blood on the floor from the boy’s neck and almost hurled. She didn’t tell them that when she’d seen the little girl writhing and screaming she’d almost hurled a Killing Curse herself. She didn’t even mention that she’d screamed curses at the female Death Eater and may have done irreparable damage to her since she had no idea what hexes, jinxes, spells and curses had shot out the end of her want. She didn’t admit that she was afraid she may have killed the woman, or that the malfunction of her wand to achieve such a thing utterly terrified her. Instead Hermione stared into the mismatched eyes of the Auror, holding all of her secrets close to her chest.
After all, if she admitted all of those things she would only be providing them with more questions she didn’t want to answer. How could she explain to the suspicious Auror that she was so controlled because she’d been helping Harry Potter fight bad things since she was in her first year? That she was comfortable beneath his mismatched gaze because she’d known and even liked Moody in another life, another time. How could she explain that she was almost certain the name of the family would be Beech? How could she explain that if she and Sirius hadn’t intervened tonight, the Beech’s would’ve met a fate worse than death when they were all tortured and blown to smithereens as they had been in the time Hermione had lived?
“Did you see anyone else at the scene? Did anyone get away?” Moody asked after a long staring match with Hermione.
“No. We stunned the first bloke and bound him before we crept around to get the second guard and break into the house” Sirius replied.
“I’ll be needing proof from both of you that you didn’t perform any illegal magic” Moody told them. Sirius cocked his head to the side, looking confused but Hermione had seen the spell before of how to check what other spells have been performed by a wand. Reaching into her pocket, Hermione held it out towards the Auror, stifling a small smirk at the way Moody had his out and at the ready the minute she went for her pocket.
“I should warn you” Hermione began as Moody came forward to take the wand from her “When I bought that Mr. Ollivander said that the combination of Maple wood with Unicorn hair is prone to malfunctioning. I’ve not had any trouble with it and found it very responsive, but I suspect that the malfunctions he mentioned might include being able to perform multiple spells at once. Whatever I hit that woman with was a nasty combination of magic… so just don’t be surprised if when you do that spell, mine shows several at once.”
Moody just leered at her as though he didn’t believe her, silently waving his wand to perform the spell.
The room flared to light as the mixture of the spells Hermione had performed exploded into being again, this time only the shadow of the spells, but nonetheless impressive.
“Bloody Hell” Moody exclaimed in surprise “You performed four hexes simultaneously. None of them friendly either…. No wonder they can’t wake the woman.” Her grumbled, glancing at Dumbledore as though hoping the headmaster might be able to explain the phenomenon.
“It would seem Hermione was telling the truth about her wand” was all the bespectacled man said.
“This is some unfriendly magic girly” Moody said, though Hermione could see the gleam in his eyes that said he didn’t disapprove of dealing nasty magic to people committing far worse magical crimes. “You want to explain why a sixth year student not only knows of, but knows how to use any of these spells?”
He asked her when it was revealed that Hermione hap simultaneously performed an arrow-shooting spell, Confringo, Bombarda Maxima, and a Defodio curse.
Hermione just stared back at him “There are some nasty folk getting about these day Moody. Doesn’t hurt to be prepared to incapacitate them by any means necessary.”
Moody watched her for a moment longer before glancing over at Professor Dumbledore,
“You sure this one is trust worthy?” he asked, making Hermione narrow her eyes on him “Because if she is, well, it’ll be nice to have some young new blood in the Order with a little more maturity and knowledge than some of those yahoos we’ve got now.”
Hermione flushed at the roundabout praise.
“Yes well. For my money I won’t have my goddaughter joining the Order before she finishes Hogwarts” Dumbledore said mildly “Though I have no doubt that once Hermione and her group of friends have finished school they will have more than enough knowledge and maturity floating around to be of use.”
Hermione glanced over at Sirius who was alternating between glaring at Moody and sipping from the Blood Replenishment potion he’d been given. Feeling like this night wasn’t over yet and wanting nothing more than to crawl into bed and sleep for a week, Hermione took her wand back from Moody and stayed silent as he checked Sirius’s wand for past magic, collected his recollection of the evenings events and finally dismissed them both back into the care of Dumbledore.
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