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 17

Author's Note:
Harry is introduced to the Ministry and the Counsel is called to order. Hope you like it- thanks once more to Schnoogle and Schnooglemods!

The Counsel is convened

The Counsel chamber was a huge, long hall, with a U-Shaped table in the centre. From the high ceiling hung a massive crystal chandelier, and there was an ornate Georgian fireplace in the centre of the room.

Harry was also shown the court he had seen in Dumbledore’s Pensieve, which was in the basement of the Ministry facility, and also the Minister for Magic’s office, which was a large square room, with a royal blue carpet and antique furniture, with a large curved window overlooking the street below. The Press Room, also empty, was a platform with a desk, behind which the announcer would sit when giving briefings. There were no recording cameras or televisions screens here. Harry had never realised how many wizarding publications there were- he had previously only had exposure to the Daily Prophet. The Prophet was the main newspaper, but there was also the Goblin Gazette, the Scots Wizard, the Welsh Dragon, and hundreds of smaller, tabloids.

‘This is the Canteen, and here we conclude our tour!’ said Karen, finally. Harry clapped.

‘Can we get some lunch?’ he asked. He had been desperate for something to eat for a long time.

The Canteen was an L-Shaped room with a selection of tables seating 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. The long buffet, Harry thought dismally proved to be nothing but a selection of different kinds of potatoes, green vegetables and gravy. The food was horrible, and everyone in the canteen seemed to be munching on it with identical expressions on every face- disgust.

‘What time does the Counsel begin?’ asked Harry, as he and Karen forced the slimy shredded cabbage into their mouths.

‘Ten o’clock,’ replied Karen, ‘and it should finish at near enough three.’

‘In the morning?’ asked Harry. He hadn’t expected to be stuck in the Chambers for five hours.

‘There will be coffee breaks,’ said Karen.

They sat in silence for a while, eating.

‘Am I not a bit young for sitting on the Counsel?’ he asked suddenly, a thought which had been niggling at him all day.

‘Oh, no,’ said Karen. ‘The youngest member ever to sit was Flora Brown, a welsh girl. She was only six. There was also a 102 year old woman who sat on the Counsel of War once. There often are one or two people of your age on Counsels- don’t worry about that- Counsellors are used to dealing with people of all ages- it’s like a kind of jury service.

‘Come on, now, we’ve only got three hours to brief you and get you settled into your desk before you have to leave for the Obscurus Reception in Diagon Alley.’

‘George Greene,’ said Karen as she sat in a seat opposite Harry, giving him his briefing, ‘is the man you met in the corridor. He worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures upstairs, before transferring to the International Confederation ten years ago. He’s risen through the various levels of that to sit on the Dark Force Defence League Committee, which overseas the work of Aurors and whatnot throughout the world.

He’s married, with two adult children, one of who works here, Eliza. He divides his time between his penthouse in London and his maisonette in Geneva, which is where the Confederation Headquarters are.

‘Mildred Greymalkin used to be a theatre actress in Broadway, before transferring back to the wizarding world about twenty years ago, to run her own Dark Defence Materials shop in Diagon Alley. She closed the shop, however, to work for the Auror Academy, training students, even though she never qualified as an Auror herself. She left the Academy and came to work in the Ministerial Office, as principle aide to Gertrude Crofter. When Crofter resigned, she wrote her memoirs, The Ages of Man, and was offered a post on the Silversmith Defence Sector Executive. Silversmith is an international security firm, and Mildred became vice-president last July.

‘She married once when she was 16, but the marriage broke up nine months later. She has since maintained celibacy throughout her life, her favourite phrase being, ‘I’m the only one allowed to have balls in my relationships.’ I don’t think anyone’s quite worked out what that means exactly.’ She smirked.

‘Jorg Schilthorn is a Swiss member of the European Wizards Convention, which was set up after the defeat of Grindelwald in 1945. Schilthorn went in as a clerk straight after leaving school, and has risen to sit on the Head panel. He is the only member of the Convention who has been with it throughout its history.

Some sources defame him as boring, dull and lacklustre, but, as a mere aide, I am not allowed to comment.’ She shot Harry another smirk, which he returned with a smile.

‘Carlotta, the Deputy Minister, is only twenty three and incredibly smart. She’s also incredibly small, by the way, and goes at three hundred miles an hour. Her nickname is the Hamster on amphetamines. She became an underminister five years ago, and in March she’ll have been Deputy Minister for two years. She’s got herself a keen intellect, but sometimes she misses the blindingly obvious.

‘The final counsel member is Melissa Muddy-Duck,’ said Karen, sighing. ‘She’s about sixty, the typical feminist with a chip on her bra strap. She makes enemies easily and she doesn’t take prisoners- as a journalist she was responsible for the demise of thirteen executive careers. She once gave her assistant a heart attack she was shouting so loud. Very witty, dry sense of humour, and can tear people to shreds with one cutting remark. Don’t get on the wrong side of her.’

‘I’m totally nervous now,’ said Harry.

‘Don’t be,’ said Karen. ‘Dumbledore and yourself are working from the same agenda. He’ll drive down the points, all you really have to do is placate and agree.’

She made it sound much more simple than Harry suspected it would be.

The office door opened, and a woman with grey hair, hanging everywhere walked in. She was wearing black robes with a red shirt underneath, looked to be about sixty, and had a pair of thin spectacles on the tip of her nose.

‘Melissa,’ said Karen, jumping to her feet.

‘Is this my desk?’ she barked, sitting down and opening her leather briefcase.

‘Erm, no, that’s Jorg’s. Yours is over there.’

‘Tough Shit,’ she said. ‘Can someone get me a cup of coffee?’ she asked. Then she spied Harry. ‘Who the hell are you?’ she asked, politely.

‘I’m Harry Potter, I’ll be on the Counsel with you.’ She surveyed him for a few moments, before extending a wrinkled hand.

‘I’m Melissa Muddy-Duck, how do you do?’ she asked.

‘Very well, thank you,’ replied Harry. ‘How do you do?’

‘I’d be a lot better if someone could get me A BLOODY COFFEE!’ She bawled the last few words out.

‘I’ll get it!’ cried Karen nervously, and dashed out the room. Melissa returned to sorting out the papers in her briefcase, before the door opened once more. A short man with grey hair, wearing earth-brown robes, hobbled in.

‘Hello there, young chap,’ he said, spotting Harry. ‘Hello, Melissa.’

‘Jorg.’ Melissa didn’t look up from her paperwork.

‘I think that’s my desk you’re sitting at,’ said Jorg, with a slight undertone of German to his voice, as he tapped the sign on the desk reading his name.

‘WHY DON’T YOU,’ she shouted, almost giving Harry a heart attack, ‘GO AND SIT AT ANOTHER BLOODY DESK, AND STOP BOTHERING ME!’

Jorg stood silently for a moment.

‘Okay, then, Melissa.’

The door opened once more, and Karen reappeared, carrying a mug of steaming coffee.

‘About fucking time!’ cried Melissa, seizing the cup. ‘What the bloody hell kept you?’

‘Sorry about the lateness,’ said Karen. ‘Harry, you’re car’s waiting.’

‘Oh, right,’ said Harry, jumping to his feet. ‘Well, it was nice to meet you, Melissa and Jorg,’ he said, trying to be polite.

‘The same, young sir, it was a pleasure,’ said Jorg. Melissa merely grunted.

‘This coffee’s too damn weak!’ she said.

‘Karen, will you show me the way to the car?’ asked Harry,

‘Certainly,’ she replied, and they both exited the room.

‘I see what you mean about Melissa Muddy-Duck,’ said Harry, as they walked down the hallway. ‘She’s not what you’d call courteous, is she?’

‘She’s extremely smart, though,’ said Karen. They pushed through a pair of double-doors, and found themselves in the reception room.

‘See you in a few hours,’ said Harry.

‘Don’t be late!’ called Karen, and Harry walked off through the revolving doors.

A car pulled up, and a porter opened the door. Harry climbed in, and immediately the door was closed.

‘Have a good day, sir?’ asked Freddy, as the car glided effortlessly out into the street, currently lit by streetlamps.

‘It was…’ Harry paused, searching for the word. ‘Interesting. It was interesting, Freddy.’

‘Very good, sir,’ relied Freddy, as the car headed for Diagon Alley.

‘Cars aren’t allowed in Diagon Alley without a permit, sir,’ said Freddy, as he pulled to a stop outside the Leaky Cauldron. ‘I’m sure you’ll find Obscurus, though.’ He leapt out the car and opened Harry’s door for him.

‘I told you! You don’t need to do that!’ said Harry.

‘Of course, sir, of course,’ said Freddy, as he shut the door. ‘See you later, sir. Have a nice evening.’

‘Enjoy yourself!’ Harry waved as the car departed.

‘Harry!’ called Hermione. She and Ron were standing on a terrace in the middle of Diagon Alley. They were illuminated by the dancing flames of the street lights, just like the ones in Hogsmeade.

‘Hi!’ called Harry, as he climbed the wrought iron staircase leading to the terrace where Hermione and Ron were sitting. Ron was wearing his dress robes, and Hermione had put on an awful lot of makeup.

‘Have a good day?’ he asked.

‘Ron got a new broom,’ Hermione said simply.

‘Really? What kind?’ asked Harry.

‘A Firebolt!’ he said, incredulously. ‘Hermione got it for me as a present, with the money she made.’

‘You got him a Firebolt?’ he asked.

‘Well, since he’s on the team- I can’t have him playing on one of those Cleansweeps against Ravenclaw next month, can I?’

They sound as if they’re a married couple, thought Harry gloomily.

‘What are you going to get?’ asked Ron.

‘I don’t know…’ said Harry. ‘You don’t have to get me anything,’ he said to Hermione.

‘Of course I do! I got you these, to start off with.’ She handed him a bag from Madam Malkin’s.

‘Oh, Hermione!’ said Harry, as he pulled out a set of black velvet robes, lined with grey on the inside. ‘These must have cost a fortune!’

‘I made a fortune with the book!’ she said.

‘All right, rub it in,’ said Harry, smiling.

‘I can tonight, at least!’ The three of them laughed. ‘They’re for the Counsel tonight. How did that go?’

‘It was interesting, and I’m the youngest person on it. Melissa Muddy-Duck’s on it as well.’

‘Melissa Muddy-Duck?’ asked Ron. ‘Dad told me about her- she’s a dragon, he says.’

‘Well, I met her, and she is.’ He told them all about his encounter with Muddy-Duck, the Counsel member from Hell.

They were sitting chatting about the match against Ravenclaw, which was coming up at the end of January, (they all agreed that they would win, especially if they ad two players on Firebolts), when a set of doors opened and flooded them with bright light. Somewhere inside, a voice called.

‘Ladies and Gentleman, tonight’s star, Hermione Granger!’ There was a torrent of clapping, and Hermione got to her feet.

‘That’s my cue!’ she said, nervously. ‘Come on, I need some support.’

They walked in the doors, Hermione in front, and into a brightly lit, large room.

‘Thank you,’ said Hermione, waving slightly. She looked nervous, thought Harry.

‘Thank you for coming tonight. I won’t have a long speech, I’d just like to thank everyone who’s worked so hard on the book, the people at Obscurus, Nigel, my publisher, Rita Skeeter, Albus Dumbledore and other Hogwarts staff, and my two best friends, Ron Weasley and Harry Potter. Thanks a lot, everyone.’

Another flood of applause, during which Hermione blushed bright red.

‘Well done,’ said Harry, hugging her.

‘You deserve it,’ said Ron, hugging her also.

‘If I might make one little addition?’ said Dumbledore. Everyone stopped clapping and turned to him. ‘I would like to announce that, next year, Hogwarts School will be adding Miss. Granger’s book to it’s student booklist.’ There was a burst of spontaneous applause. ‘Also, I’d like to buy thirty copies of the book, please, for the School Library and myself! Thank you!’

‘Oh my god!’ said Hermione, as Harry and Ron both put their arms round her shoulders. A camera flashed somewhere. ‘I don’t believe it!’

There was a great deal of festivities that night at the reception. Harry, Ron and Hermione mingled with the crowd of publishers, booksellers, teachers, journalists and other persons of eminence. A buffet was unveiled at nine o’clock. Fortunately, Harry noted, it proved to be much better than the food at the Ministry canteen.

‘Harry,’ said Dumbledore. ‘Have you tried the crab puffs?’

‘No, I don’t really like crab,’ said Harry.

‘Nor do I, normally, but these are simply splendid!’ He leaned closer to Harry. ‘I hear you met Melissa?’ His moustache quivered.

‘Um, in a manner of speaking, yes,’ said Harry. ‘Is she always so…’

‘Genial?’ Dumbledore finished his sentence for him. ‘Yes, I’m afraid so. I don’t think there’s many wizards in the country she hasn’t clashed swords with at some point. I suspect your turn may come up soon.’

‘Oh, don’t say that!’ said Harry, shuddering.

‘Hermione has done rather well, hasn’t she?’ said Dumbledore, as he watched Hermione socialize with Nigel, the publisher, who was wearing flamboyant robes of bright pink, with a lime green scarf flung round his neck.

‘She had, hasn’t she,’ agreed Harry. ‘Ron thinks so too. Where is Ron, by the way?’

‘I think he and Professor Janney were talking a while ago,’ said Dumbledore, in his usual placid tone. ‘I don’t know where they are now.’ He spotted someone he knew. ‘Excuse me,’ he said. ‘Oliver!’

Harry looked at his watch- quarter to ten. He had fifteen minutes before the car would pick him up again.

‘Harry, have you met Dorothy?’ asked Hermione.

‘Hello,’ said Dorothy, a dark-haired woman of about thirty, wearing black V-shaped glasses and carrying a cane.

‘Hello,’ said Harry, shaking her hand.

‘Harry, Dorothy is the director of Obscurus,’ said Hermione.

‘Really?’ asked Harry. Hermione wandered over to get some more food with the buffet.

‘You’re the Harry Potter, aren’t you?’ inquired Dorothy. ‘The Boy Who Lived, yes?’

Harry pulled up his fringe, revealing the scar.

‘Have you ever thought about writing?’ she asked. ‘We would be happy to publish your memoirs, about the Godfather who tried to kill you, and the Tournament.’

‘I don’t think that’s really my scene,’ he said. ‘I was never much good at English.’

‘You don’t have to be!’ exclaimed Dorothy excitedly. ‘We could get you a ghost writer to finesse your points. You tell the story, we write it down.’

‘I’ve had some bad experiences with those kinds of things.’ Harry cast his mind back to the Quick Quotes Quill.

At that moment, Freddy entered the room, beside another man in an identical suit whom Harry didn’t recognise.

‘Excuse me,’ said Harry. ‘I have to leave.’

‘Oh, it was nice meeting you. Here,’ she pressed a card into his hand. ‘Call me sometime- we could fix something up.’

‘I’ll keep it in mind,’ said Harry, putting the card in his pocket without reading it. ‘Bye, now!’

‘Good luck!’ called Hermione, as he followed Freddy down to the Leaky Cauldron.

‘Did you enjoy the reception, sir?’ asked Freddy, as he opened the car door.

‘Yes, it was good,’ said Harry. ‘I met a lot of interesting people.’

‘We better hurry, sir,’ said Freddy, as he revved the engine up and pulled onto the road. Behind him, Harry saw Dumbledore climb into a Ministry car. ‘Don’t want to be late.’

‘This way,’ said Karen, as Harry followed her briskly down the corridor at Ministry HQ towards the Counsel Chambers.

‘Here we are,’ she said, as a security guard opened the door for them. Inside, the large chandelier was alight, and there were some candles on a small Christmas tree in the corner of the room. Harry sat down in a leather seat, with his name written on a sign beside it. He poured himself a glass of water from the jug provided.

He waited as the other Counsel members arrived. Melissa Muddy-Duck came barging in after about five minutes, shouting and bawling.

‘I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE TO ASK FOR THE BLOODY THING! WILL SOMEONE GET ME A FUCKING COPY OF THE 1654 ACT ON REBELLION QUASHING!’ she roared, as about five assistants fluttered nervously around her.

‘I got you a cup of coffee, Ms Muddy-Duck,’ said one of them, carrying a mug of tea.

‘Did I ask for a cup of coffee?’ she asked icily.

‘No,’ said the aide, shaking.


The aide whimpered nervously, and scurried out the room.

‘Bloody hell,’ she said, sitting in her seat. ‘Where’s the rest?’ The present company only included Jorg, Dumbledore, Harry, Fudge and Melissa. Mildred, Carlotta and George Greene were still missing.

‘They’ll be along in a moment, I’m sure,’ said Dumbledore calmly.

‘They better be,’ hissed Melissa.

Slowly, the rest of the Counsel appeared.

‘Sorry I’m late, everyone,’ said a small woman in bottle green robes, as she hurried in. (Harry had changed into his new robes) She smiled around at them all, and positioned herself in her seat.

‘What kept you?’ asked Melissa.

‘Now, now,’ interrupted Fudge, from his position at the head of the table. ‘I hereby call the Counsel of Distress to order.’ He banged his hammer on a stump.