Drama Action
Multiple Eras
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire
Published: 04/25/2002
Updated: 06/24/2002
Words: 81,279
Chapters: 30
Hits: 96,527

Harry Potter & The Thousand Mysteries

A. A. Yarrum

Story Summary:
When Harry returns to fifth year, he finds himself faced with a whole lotta problems- Voldemort, puberty, exams, Ron & Hermione to name but a few. A lot of characters enter into his life from his previous shenanigans, There’s a Christmas Ball, OWL exams, Sirius, Lupin, and more!

Chapter 14

Author's Note:
This fic is going to make a few more twists and turns (Gringotts Cart Style!) and Harry will be told a few things he’d rather not know about the war on Voldemort. This chapter is a bit all-over-the-place, and that’s deliberate! Harry’s life is getting out of control, what with the hormones and other pupils and the things that have happened up to now. He finally makes it as an animagus, though, and that plays a big part in this chapter. Hope you like it- thanks once more to Schnoogle and Schnooglemods!


Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?

‘Cornelius is due to make this statement form Ministry Headquarters in London tomorrow morning, in time to catch the Daily Prophet in the morning,’ said Dumbledore, from his chair opposite Harry and Fudge. He handed Harry a sheaf of parchment, with official looking writing across it. At the top was the Ministry symbol- a minute picture of Britain beside the government coat of arms, with a wand emitting sparks over both.

Harry took the parchment, and read the statement.

Cornelius Fudge

Minister for Magic

It is my duty as Minister to make the following announcement:

Over the recent weeks, it has been made clear to us at the Ministry that He Who Must Not Be Named has reconstituted his band of followers, known as the Death Eaters. While sources at the present time refuse to divulge information relating to the whereabouts of Voldemort, they have shown conclusive evidence to suggest the Death Eaters are regrouping.

It is imperative that the Ministry keeps the upper hand in this battle, and as Minister I am invoking my ancient duties to call a Counsel of Distress, which will meet at an undisclosed location at an undisclosed time. The Counsel will comprise of:

Albus Dumbledore

Headmaster of Hogwarts

Melissa Muddy-Duck

Department of Magical Law Enforcement

George Greene

International Confederation of Wizards

Mildred Greymalkin

Silversmith Defence Sector (Vice President)

Jorg Schilthorn

European Wizards Convention

Harry Potter

Hogwarts School and former defeater of He Who Must Not Be Named.

Carlotta Limelina

Deputy Minister for Magic

End of Statement

‘What’s this?’ asked Harry, shocked. What the Hell was the Counsel of Distress?

‘Cornelius has admitted that Voldemort has returned,’ said Dumbledore triumphantly.

‘No, Albus,’ said Fudge, looking ticked off about something. ‘I admitted that the Death Eaters have returned. There’s no mention of You-Know-Who anywhere in the statement, other than to say his whereabouts and even his existence are unconfirmed.’

‘Cornelius, please!’ cried Dumbledore. ‘ “The man with red eyes”? Who do you think it is?’

‘I don’t know, but there’s nothing concrete! I simply can’t go around saying things that I have no evidence for! What would you say if I announced Grindewald was back, or that Merlin was clay pigeon shooting in Caithness this morning? Even if it is true, I can’t say that until I am one hundred and five percent certain!’

‘You can’t announce this,’ said Harry, looking up. Dumbledore and Fudge looked at him as if he had gone mad.

‘Why ever not?’ asked Fudge patronizingly. ‘I thought you’d be pleased about this, young lad!’

‘Imagine the panic it’d cause!’ said Harry. ‘You can’t tell them this! The country would go mad!’

‘I don’t believe this!’ cried Fudge, throwing his arms into the air. ‘You’ve been on at me to admit You Know Who is back, and as soon as I do, you change positions and say that I was right when I said he wasn’t! Dumbledore, I’ve said it before, the boy’s deranged.’

There was nothing Harry could say to that, which wouldn’t confirm his suspicions of Harry being a lunatic.

‘Harry is right, Cornelius,’ said Dumbledore placidly. ‘You cannot announce this until we have ensured the threat is big enough. For the time being, I suggest you call the Counsel of Distress on Saturday. That will give us suitable time to prepare ourselves.’

‘Shit,’ said Fudge, tapping his fingers. ‘I’ve got thirty reporters turning up at the Press Room tomorrow expecting major news. What do I tell them?’

‘Tell them you found the missing people, but that you aren’t going to disclose anymore information,’ Harry said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

‘That boy will be Minister some day, Dumbledore,’ said Fudge. This was the next thing that threw Harry.

‘A minute ago I was an insane lunatic,’ he said coolly.

‘We all are, my boy!’ said Fudge. He seemed a bit happier now he didn’t have to make the announcement. ‘Well, I’m going to trust you two on this, but just remember it’s me who stuck my neck out.

‘I’ll be heading back to London,’ he said, putting his cloak on. ‘I’ll see you both later, I presume.’

They said goodbye to Fudge, and when the door snapped shut, Dumbledore turned to Harry.

‘You wanted to see me?’ he asked.

‘Oh!’ said Harry. He had completely forgotten. ‘Do you think there’s a Death Eater at Hogwarts?’

Dumbledore looked completely taken aback at this, but instantly composed himself.

‘I’m afraid I cannot discuss matters such as these with anybody outside the staff faculty, Harry, even if it is yourself. I hope I don’t seem rude,’ he said, calmly.

‘No, Professor. I’ll see you tomorrow at breakfast.’ Harry rose and made to leave.

‘Harry,’ called Dumbledore. ‘You missed dinner. I announced that the Yule Ball would be taking place on Christmas day, and the delegations from Durmstrang and Beauxbatons would be arriving on Sunday, three days before the ball commences.’

Harry cringed. ‘Another Ball?’

‘Alas, yes,’ said Dumbledore chuckling. ‘Now, to bed!’

Harry left the room, and made his way back up to Gryffindor Tower. As he traipsed up the many stairs, which led to Gryffindor Tower, he thought about the Counsel of Distress. He didn’t want to be on some Ministry thing. Why couldn’t he have a normal life?

‘Harry, where were you?’ asked Ron. He and Hermione were sitting doing their homework at one of the tables in the Common Room.

‘Did you hear about the Ball?’ asked Hermione. ‘Viktor will be here!’ she looked at Ron. ‘Isn’t that wonderful?’ said Ron sarcastically.

‘Isn’t it. I’m going to bed. I’ll see you in the morning. Goodnight,’ said Harry swiftly, and he made his way up to bed. These days he found his bed the only place where he could escape from the world. When he drew the curtains of the four poster around his bed, he shut his eyes to the drama and the pain that surrounded him everywhere.

The rest of the week passed in relative peace for Harry. There were no shock announcements or freak letters. He finished his Animagus lessons with McGonagall- she was pleased with his progress. They spent the week in Defence Against the Dark Arts going over points from the Simulation they needed to extend and improve upon. Hermione still didn’t mention anything about her out-of-character kiss in the hallway, and Harry wasn’t keen to bring up the topic as well. He loved Hermione as a friend, and he would never refuse if she asked him out, but he wasn’t going to dig himself into yet another hole.

In Herbology, they were studying the various Christmas plants, such as Angelwood; a plant that looked like a combination of holly and ivy, and was used in many Christmas decorations due to it’s easily charmable and aura enlightening properties. The Charms and Herbology departments joined together to create a task for the fifth, sixth and seventh year pupils that year. Rather than have the teachers go to the expense of decorating the castle for Christmas, when they were so busy organizing the Yule Ball, the fifth, sixth and seventh years were given the task of attiring the castle suitably for Christmas.

‘Potter!’ called Professor Flitwick, standing atop a chair in the Entrance Hall. ‘Potter! You, Weasley and Granger have to do the Marble Staircase and the West Courtyard. Malfoy, you, Parkinson and Zabini are charged with decorating the rest of the Entrance Hall and Dungeons Five and Six. Fawcett…’

Harry, Ron and Hermione exited the Great Hall, followed closely by Malfoy and his band of Slytherins.

‘Watch it!’ spat Malfoy, as he barged past them. Zabini and Pansy Parkinson guffawed with laughter behind him.

‘Get to, Malfoy,’ said Ron. ‘Come on,’ he said to Harry and Hermione. ‘Let’s get away from that smell!’

‘What did you say, Weasley?’ asked Malfoy, looking dangerous.

‘I said we’re leaving you alone now, unless you want us to stay?’ Ron answered snappily.

Malfoy ignored them, and instead began to order the Slytherins about.

‘I think we should have leprechauns,’ said Hermione. The three of them were standing in the middle of the snow-encrusted West courtyard, discussing their plans.

‘What do Leprechauns have to do with Christmas?’ asked Ron.

‘I just think they’re cute,’ said Hermione, shrugging.

‘How about an ice-statue?’ put Ron.

‘Or a gazebo?’ asked Hermione.

‘What about the trees?’ suggested Harry.

‘We need organization!’ snapped Hermione. ‘Harry, you’re job is trees and streamers. Ron, you can be in charge of special features. No more than three. I’ll do another two special features, and it’s my job to organize. Now go get your stuff! We only have two days before the delegations arrive!’

Harry and Ron both clipped their heels and marched off to follow Hermione’s orders. Ron constructed a massive dragon made of ice to stand in the middle of the courtyard, and two smaller ones of a merman and a mermaid. Hermione procured some stone bowls that stood atop pedestals and filled them with Angelwood, which she charmed to sing hymns.

Harry, with the help of Hagrid, placed three giant trees, which he decorated with glass icicles, parrot pasties and canary creams, cleverly concealed to look like candy canes, and about a million different other magical things. Professor Flitwick had a large selection of charmed decorations for trees available in the Great Hall, and Harry took a bit of everything for his tree.

Streamer-wise, Hermione and Ron helped him tie streamers to fairies, who Harry had to subdue with his Hashish Seneritous spell. The fairies were enchanted so they culd only fly around the courtyard, and not out of it.

They had three hours left on Friday to complete the Entrance Hall, which they did with surprising speed. Harry and Ron laid a carpet down the staircase, and Hermione hung mistletoe all over the banister. At the foot of the staircase, they erected an arch of Angelwood, which they charmed to so that anyone who passed under it would suddenly find himself or herself feeling happy and contented, a spell which Hermione had read about in the Library.

‘It wears off after about two days,’ she told Harry and Ron. ‘And it’s a lot of work, so we’ll just put it on again before the Ball and that’ll be it.’

‘Excellent work!’ said a voice behind them, and they turned to see Professors Janney and Dumbledore surveying the newly-decorated staircase. ‘You really have done well. Congratulations! Felicitations! Don’t you agree, Professor Janney?’

‘Indeed. Jubilations!’

Dumbledore chucked merrily. ‘Harry, I need to see you for a moment.’

‘Yes, Ron, can I see you in my office in ten minutes?’ asked Professor Janney.

Harry followed Professor Dumbledore to a corner of the Entrance Hall.

‘The Counsel of Distress is meeting on Christmas Eve, at the Ministry Headquarters in London. You’ll have to take the train, if that’s okay.’

‘Er…’ said Harry. He had been wondering how he was going to bring this up with Dumbledore. ‘I won’t be going. I don’t want to sit on the Counsel of Distress.’

Dumbledore looked at him for a moment. Even though his face was wrinkled and aged, and his hair and beard long and bright white, it was his eyes which revealed his personality- they were like diamonds, sparkling in the sun, alive with bright blue colour.

‘I had suspected this would be your answer,’ he said. ‘And it is my job to tell you, Harry, that you must sit on the Counsel of Distress.’

‘But I can’t,’ protested Harry. ‘I don’t want to sit on any Counsel. I’m not qualified, I don’t know enough about the world yet, I don’t have the time- I’ve got too many things on my plate, like the OWLs and Quidditch…’

‘And your romantic life?’ asked Dumbledore, his moustache quivering.

‘Yes,’ said Harry, blushing furiously, ‘that as well, and above all; I’m still at school. I’m sure there are hundreds of people far better suited to this than I am.’

‘Indeed there are, Harry,’ said Dumbledore. ‘In my opinion, Remus Lupin would make an excellent addition to the Counsel, but he is a werewolf. So would Sirius, but he is a fugitive. But it is not my place to choose- the Red Box chooses, not me, or Fudge, or God.’

‘The Red Box?’ enquired Harry.

‘Ministers in the muggle government have a red box, which contains all their policy documents and draft bills and committee papers and whatnot. When the post of Minister for Magic was added to the Government, the Minister at the time was given a Red Box. Of course, in the wizarding world we don’t have committee papers for ministers to read, so the box was given the role of Holder of Magical Names. People in the United Kingdom of magical ability have their name and personal details written on a slip of parchment inside the box. When the Minister calls a Counsel of Distress, the red box produces a list of members. They can come from all walks of life, and it is these people who the box deems to be the best for the job. That is why it didn’t choose Sirius- as far as the box is concerned, Sirius is a Death Eater. It didn’t choose Luscius Malfoy because his name has been connected with unsavoury sources before. It chose you.’

‘Oh,’ said Harry. ‘So I have no choice, then. Brilliant.’

‘You have a choice,’ said Dumbledore. ‘When a person refuses to fulfil the task the box has set them, their Death Warrant is produced.’

‘I think I’ll choose the Counsel,’ said Harry. ‘Just.’

‘An excellent idea,’ said Dumbledore, smiling, his eyes all of a twinkle. ‘You will be given a desk at the Ministry which you are supposed to use to conduct your business while you are in London. You are also entitled to travelling expenses and you may hire an administrator and a researcher, who will be your staff for the duration of your term on the Counsel.’

‘Really?’ asked Harry. ‘Expenses? Staff? Really?’

‘Oh, yes,’ said Dumbledore. ‘It’s standard throughout the Ministry for members of committees and other bodies.’ He withdrew a pocket watch from a pocket in his cloak, and examined it closely. ‘I think we better prepare to greet the delegations, Harry,’ he said. ‘Let me just get the rest of the school assembled.’

Harry walked back up to Ron and Hermione, who were sitting on the marble staircase.

‘What was Dumbledore asking you about?’ asked Hermione.

‘I’ve got to run, Harry, but you can tell me later,’ said Ron, and he jogged off in the direction of Professor Janney’s office. That’s odd, thought Harry. Ron was never usually one for being too cut up about lateness, especially where teachers where concerned. Hermione put the thought out his head, however.

‘What did Dumbledore want, Harry?’ she enquired eagerly.

‘Have you ever heard of the Counsel of Distress?’ asked Harry.

‘Of course I have. It’s a body within the Ministry, which is called by the Minister when he or she decides the country is in a state of distress. It’s like a step down from declaring a State of Emergency. The Counsel of Distress last sat during You-Know-Who’s previous rise to power, and hasn’t been called back. Why?’

‘Fudge finally admitted Voldemort’s back and has called me to sit on the Counsel,’ said Harry soberly, as he sat down on the newly-carpeted step beside her.

Hermione’s jaw dropped, and she covered it quickly with her hands.

Really?’ she asked, looking shocked. ‘Are you going to go? When is it?’

‘It’s on Christmas Eve. I have to get the train to London.’ Hermione’s shocked face became, if it were possible, even more shocked-looking.

She looked at him for a few minutes, saying nothing.

‘What made Fudge admit he’s finally returned?’ she asked, eventually.

‘There was a plane that went missing, and a train, and three helicopters ages ago. They found them this morning. I won’t tell you what happened, but the evidence points to Death Eater involvement.’

Hermione looked slightly nauseous, but recomposed herself.

‘When’s the announcement?’ she asked.

‘Announcement?’ asked Harry, nonplussed.

‘Yes, the announcement. When will they announce the list of who’s going to sit on the Counsel?’

‘They aren’t going to,’ said Harry. ‘They were going to, but I warned them against it. It would create a national panic.’

Hermione looked at Harry, shaking her head.

‘They can’t just not announce it, Harry. The 1799 Decree for Wizarding Privacy and Information says that the Ministry must announce all sittings of the Counsels of Distress, Emergency and War. They have to announce it- they just have to.’

Harry shrugged his shoulders.

‘They’ll find a loophole in it somewhere,’ he said. He didn’t really want to think of the politics involved.

They sat on the stairs for a while, in silence. Harry was enjoying being next to Hermione.

‘Harry!’ she said suddenly. ‘I can come with you to London!’

He looked at her, nonplussed.

‘My book! I have to go to meetings at Obscurus on Christmas Eve for the publication!’ She clapped her hands enthusiastically. ‘There’s going to be a reception at the Obscurus offices! You can come! Oh, can Ron come too? This’ll be so much fun!’

‘Excellent!’ said Harry, relieved. ‘I wasn’t looking forward to going to London alone.’

‘That’s a date, then!’ said Hermione. Harry felt his heart flutter.

‘Will Ron come too?’ he asked.

‘Of course Ron can come. He can see Percy and his dad while you’re at the Counsel! I can’t believe it!’ Hermione waved her hands wildly. ‘Isn’t that a wonderful coincidence. Wait till we tell Ron!’

‘Yeah!’ said Harry. ‘It’s going to be soooo cool! The three of us again! It seems like ages!’

‘Yeah, it does, doesn’t it!’ Hermione responded.

At that moment, Dumbledore’s voice boomed out across the school.