- Ginny Weasley/Harry Potter Hermione Granger/Ron Weasley
- Ginny Weasley Harry Potter Hermione Granger Luna Lovegood Neville Longbottom Ron Weasley Remus Lupin Sirius Black Severus Snape
- Drama Adventure
- The Harry Potter at Hogwarts Years
- Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix Half-Blood Prince Quidditch Through the Ages Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them J.K. Rowling Interviews or Website
Published: 02/04/2006Updated: 09/22/2006Words: 120,316Chapters: 21Hits: 91,514
Harry Potter and the Daemon Sidhe
- Story Summary:
- In the aftermath of the events of the Ministry, Harry is in dire need of help. That help arrives in the form of six mysterious people, along with his friends and even foes, who give him the strength and support he will need to defeat Voldemort. Written post-OotP but will take some factors of HBP into account.
Chapter 11 - 11
- Chapter Summary:
- Dumbledore's reaction to the Daemon Sidhe surprises Harry. Some preparation work is put in place then Harry and his court return to the Veil Chamber where Remus discovers an ability that brings about remarkable results. And finally a long awaited trial is held.
Dumbledore looked at him with surprise then he became rather thoughtful. "Well, if I remember correctly, the Daemon Sidhe were a group of beings who came to aid Merlin in a time of great need. When they left they said they would be back when they were needed and that when they returned they would select a king to follow. There are rumours that they have returned a number of times over the years but none of those rumours have been substantiated." He looked at Harry with dawning realisation and pride. "They have returned, haven't they? And selected you as their king?"
Harry nodded slowly, still feeling a little awkward about that.
Dumbledore gave a sigh of relief. "That does change things, doesn't it? I believe congratulations are in order."
"You're not...angry?" Harry asked carefully.
"My dear boy, why would I be angry?" Dumbledore said with surprise. "This is wonderful news!" He paused. "Well, I suppose in some ways it isn't as it means that the situation is far more serious than even I had thought. I suppose this explains a lot of your and Remus' attitude in the last few weeks then?" he said shrewdly.
"Yes, I suppose it does," Harry replied. "Headmaster, I have a great deal of respect for you but I will no longer be dictated to by you. If this is going to work then you are going to have to treat me as an equal. I am the king the Daemon Sidhe were looking for. They will be standing behind me as will my court." He paused. "I'm not a little boy anymore, sir, and I am the one who will have to deal with Voldemort. I know I'm young but I have to be treated like an equal. I know what I'm doing, sir."
Dumbledore nodded slowly. "So I see. And this is your court?"
Harry nodded. "Se...Professor Snape and Remus are my Advisors of Dark and Light respectively. Ron is my Lord Marshall and my Captain of the Guard. Hermione is my Scholar, Neville is my Herbalist and Healer, Luna is my Seer and Ginny...er, Ginny is my...Queen."
Dumbledore raised an eyebrow at Harry's near slip with Snape's name and wondered what exactly had gone on between those two. He dismissed this for the moment. "I take it that though the names are somewhat ceremonial, the positions are not?"
Harry nodded. "But look, this is not why I came to see you today."
"You wish to return to the Veil Chamber in the Department of Mysteries," Albus stated. "Harry, Sirius is dead, he cannot return."
"Yes, he can," Harry said bluntly. "I...had a very odd dream last night. I thought it was going to be one of my usual nightmares but then I was dragged out of it and into...someplace else. Sirius was there and he told me that he was not dead and that we could get him out." He paused. "He also said that if we didn't do something soon, he would be dead."
"Are you sure this isn't a false vision of some kind?" Dumbledore asked kindly. "Voldemort would not be above trying the same trick twice."
"He can't do that anymore," Harry said firmly. "I'll still get visions when he is worked up or casting curses. Kolos says nothing can stop that with the kind of link that lies between the two of us. The only thing Occlumency can do is stop wilful manipulation of my mind by Voldemort. So no, this is not a false vision."
The Headmaster stared at Harry for a long moment then shifted his gaze to Severus. The Potions Master nodded once in confirmation.
"Very well," Dumbledore said slowly. "I will speak with Kingsley. He might be able to get us in."
"Tell him to try very hard," Harry said firmly. "I am going there, with the Ministry's permission or not. It'll just be easier if they are aware of what is going on."
We might want to make some arrangements about what we're going to do when we get Sirius out, Hermione said. The Ministry will be very reluctant to just let him walk out. They still think he's a murderer after all.
I will bring veritaserum along with a number of other potions me might need, Snape said. It will probably be necessary to conduct some kind of trial on the spot.
"You might want to suggest to Kingsley that he have a few friendly Aurors there as well," Harry said. "Getting Sirius out will be difficult but if we can prove to the Aurors and maybe some of the Wizengamot that Sirius is innocent, that will make life easier."
"I'm sure I can manage to find reasons why some members of the Wizengamot might be in the building and easy to locate," Dumbledore said, the twinkle returning to his eyes. "And I can even find reasons why some Wizengamot members might not be in the building."
"How long will this take?" Harry asked with a tight smile at the Headmaster's last comment.
"I shall go now and see what I can do," Dumbledore said as he rose from his chair. He quickly went back to his desk and picked up a few papers before heading straight for the fireplace.
Once the Headmaster was gone, Harry got up and turned to face his court. "Well?" he said.
"That went better than expected," Remus said. "I don't think he's going to be quite the obstacle we thought he might be. He seemed genuinely delighted that you had been selected by the Daemon Sidhe."
"You will undoubtedly have to remind him several more times that he is to take you seriously however," Severus warned. "And at least once will likely have to be forcefully."
Harry grimaced at that and nodded his acknowledgement. He turned to face the other members of his court. "Ron, I want you to make some loose plans on how we can get in there if the Ministry baulks. And make some plans about how we might get out of there if they refuse to listen to Sirius. Hermione, you remember a fair bit about our last trip in, don't you? The route we took and that?" Hermione nodded and Harry continued. "Good, help Ron then, will you? Neville, can you and Ginny get together and work out what you can do for Sirius medically with what you've already learnt. You might want to talk with Severus regarding potions. Luna, are you able to try and see anything?"
The blond Ravenclaw cocked her head to one side as she considered the question. "It's possible," she said finally. "I can try."
"Good, do so," Harry replied.
"What do you want me to do?" Remus asked with a small smile.
"Tell me everything you know about being the Guide of Souls," Harry said as the others got up and spread out around the room to carry out the tasks Harry had set them.
Remus sighed. "Not a lot. Kolos and Gwydion have both told me it's largely instinctive. That I will know what to do when I have to do it."
"That's...incredibly vague," Harry said with frustration.
"I know," Remus said dryly. He hesitated for a moment. "Harry, if we do get Sirius out, what do you want to do regarding your guardianship?"
Harry paused; he honestly hadn't thought about that. "Um, I...don't suppose you could both do it?"
Remus smiled, clearly surprised and delighted. "I...yes, I'm sure we could.
Harry looked at him narrowly for a moment then rolled his eyes. "You thought I was just going to throw you over because we got Sirius back, didn't you?" he said with exasperation. "Remus! I didn't ask you to be my guardian just because you were the last of parent's friends. I asked you to because I realised somewhere along the line that you do actually care about me and that...I care about you." He paused and gave a small laugh. "Hell, if Mum and Dad had lived you would have practically been my uncle anyway."
Remus blinked and then began to chuckle. "I shall consider myself officially told off then, shall I?" he said in a rather self-deprecating manner. "James and Sirius always did say I got too down on myself too often."
"They were right," Harry said firmly. He was just about to continue when Luna walked over.
"Harry," she said absently, her eyes distant. "I couldn't see much. I can't tell whether that's just because I'm not very well trained or because there's not much to see. But there is one thing. We don't have a lot of time to do this. I get the impression that we only have a few days before Sirius is lost for all time."
Harry quickly tamped down his anxiety and glanced at the fireplace. Remus placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Give him time," the werewolf said quietly. "He may need a few hours to organise something like this. You heard Luna; we have at least that much time."
Harry drew in a deep breath then let it out. "You're right," he said. "Thank you, Luna."
The blond Ravenclaw nodded and wandered over to where Ron and Hermione were deep in conversation, drawing a map of the Ministry as they remembered it.
Are you okay? Remus asked on a private thought.
Yes, no, Harry sighed. Actually I don't really know.
If he's there, we'll get him back, Remus said firmly.
You're not sure he is, Harry said.
I don't know, Remus replied hesitantly. You're...vision was very odd to watch from the outside. I'll admit you really did look like you were talking to Sirius but...
But what? Harry demanded.
I don't know, Remus admitted. Maybe it's just that I don't want to get my hopes up. I've lost Sirius twice now. I'm not sure I could stand losing him for a third time.
Harry leaned against Remus and the werewolf responded by putting an arm around his shoulders.
I understand, Harry said.
He was about to say more when the fire flared green and Dumbledore stepped out. Everyone turned and looked at him and he smiled benignly at them.
"My, I do seem to be popular today," he said with amusement.
"Sir," Harry said urgently.
"Ah yes," Dumbledore said. "I have spoken to Kingsley and he has spoken to some people he knows in the Department of Mysteries. We can go tonight, after hours. Any other time and we would draw far too much attention." He looked around the group. "Besides, I am sure you need to make some preparations. Now, as to how we will get Sirius out of the Ministry. Kingsley and I will organise for there to be a number of friendly people around so that we can perhaps stage a little trial."
"Will it be legal if we do that?" Harry asked bluntly.
"Oh yes," Dumbledore replied, his eyes twinkling. "As the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, I can declare a fair and legal hearing in any place I choose as long as there is the minimum number of Wizengamot members present."
Harry stared at the Headmaster for a moment then a smile slowly crept across his face.
It's always quite amusing when the old fool's clever manipulations aren't directed at you, isn't it? came Severus' quiet response.
Harry gave a small start then he considered the meaning behind Severus comment. Good point, he said in reply.
"Alright," he said aloud. "We might as well get out of your hair until this evening then."
"Very well," the Headmaster replied. "If you could come here at five o'clock this evening, we can make our way to the Ministry from here."
Harry nodded and gathered his court. They said their goodbyes and flooed back to Grimmauld Place. The moment they got back Harry walked straight upstairs to his room, closing the door behind him. The others watched him go with surprise then Ginny stepped forwards.
She took a deep breath, clearly gathering her courage. "Ron, Hermione, Remus, Luna, could the four of you continue making plans for possible circumstances we might encounter tonight. Professor Snape, Neville, can I leave organising possible medical aid in your hands?" The two men nodded though not before Snape had given both young Gryffindors a long look. "Good. I'm going to deal with Harry."
With that she walked out of the kitchen and headed up stairs. When she got to Harry's room, she placed one hand on the door.
Harry? she said gently. Can I come in?
There was silence for a long time then came Harry's quiet. Yeah, okay.
Ginny opened the door and slipped inside, closing the door behind her. Harry was sitting on the edge of the bed, a photo in his hands, and she walked over and sat down next to him. She let their shoulders gently touch and looked down at the photo. It was of Harry and Sirius and had obviously been taken the previous Christmas. Both of them looked happy and the Sirius in the photo was constantly ruffling the photo Harry's hair, making it stick up even more, then laughing when the photo Harry tried to smooth it down again.
"That's the best Christmas I've ever had," Harry said softly. "That I can remember anyway. Remus and Sirius say that my first Christmas was pretty good too but I can't remember that one."
"He was so happy to have you here," Ginny said. "I mean he hated this place but having you here made it bearable." She paused. "We'll get him back. You know Remus will do whatever it takes to get him back."
"I know but...what if it's a false vision," he whispered. "I've been fooled before. And the last one was about Sirius too."
"You said it yourself," Ginny said reasonably. "With the Occlumency training and the Mentat spell, Voldemort can't get in your mind to place any more false visions."
Harry stared down at the photo and swallowed. "I know but what if..."
He didn't get a chance to finish his sentence before Ginny grabbed his chin and turned his head to look at her. "No 'what ifs'," she said firmly. "We are going to get him back and we are going to make sure his name gets cleared. Then he and Remus can look after you and you'll never have to go back to those wretched Dursleys."
Harry stared at her for a moment then a ghost of a smile flitted across his face. "You're pretty sure about that, aren't you?" he said with a hint of humour.
Ginny let go of his chin. "Of course I am," she said tartly. "You are our king, we are your court and we're backed by the Daemon Sidhe. How can we not succeed?"
Harry slowly relaxed and gave a small laugh. "I guess you're right." He paused. "What are the others doing?"
"I told them to start getting organised for tonight," Ginny replied.
"You told them?" Harry said with a smile.
"Yes, me," Ginny said firmly. "I'm supposed to be your queen, aren't I? I thought it was about time I started acting like it. And I think that means taking charge when you can't and providing you with support when you need it."
Harry's smile was genuine this time. "You are my queen, aren't you?" he said softly, looking her in the eyes.
Ginny blushed as she realised how close they were sitting then mentally scolded herself and took his hand in both of hers.
"So it seems," she said tartly.
Harry blushed and swallowed hard before leaning forward and kissing her lightly on the lips. He pulled back after only a few seconds and looked at her a little nervously.
"Well, that was nice," Ginny said with a smile. "Longer would be nicer."
Harry blushed and hesitated before leaning forward and kissing her again. This one was longer and a little harder. When they broke apart, both of them were feeling a little light-headed.
"That was...okay?" Harry said a little anxiously. He really didn't know how to do this.
"Definitely okay," Ginny said with satisfaction. She looked at Harry curiously. "Haven't you done this before?"
Harry blushed. "Er, sort of. With Cho. But they weren't like this."
Ginny scowled at Cho's name. "How do you mean?" she asked archly.
"The...kisses with Cho felt...er, well, okay," Harry stammered. "These ones were...a lot better."
Ginny smiled smugly. "Well, that's good."
Harry grinned self-consciously. "Yes," was all he said then his gaze became more intent and he leaned forward and kissed the girl sitting next to him again. This time he was less tentative about it, as though the previous kisses had shown him something. This kiss was more demanding, more sure and when the two of them finally broke apart, they were both a little breathless.
"Better?" Harry said with a small smile, his eyes glowing.
Ginny licked her lips and nodded. "Definitely," she said impishly. "We should do that more often."
"Sounds good to me, my Queen," Harry said floridly and Ginny blushed.
Are you two busy? came the innocent sounding question from Remus.
Harry swallowed a growl. Why?
We've got a few things we ought to talk about with the two of you, Remus replied, sounding amused. It can wait though.
Harry sighed. No, it's alright. We'll be right down.
We're in the drawing room, was Remus' reply.
He felt Remus' presence leave his mind and looked wryly at Ginny. "I guess we'll have to take this up at a later date."
Ginny stood and pulled Harry to his feet. "I guess so," she said with a hint of reluctance.
The two of them headed towards the door. Just as they got there, Harry pulled Ginny into his arms and kissed her again...thoroughly. When he let her go they were both breathing hard and their lips were swollen.
"Well," was all Ginny could manage.
"I'm a quick learner," Harry replied with a grin.
"I'll say," Ginny said with an answering grin. "Lucky me."
Harry laughed and threw his arm around her shoulders before opening the door. The two of them headed downstairs and entered the drawing room. There were several quickly hidden grins at their appearance.
"Are you sure we weren't interrupting you?" came Remus' teasing question.
Harry growled at his godfather, garnering more amused looks. "Was there a point to asking us to come down?"
Remus chuckled then gestured for Harry and Ginny to join the rest of then around the table. "We wanted to check with you whether this map was accurate. Ron and the others have put in everything they remember and we thought we ought to get what you and Ginny remember of the Department of Mysteries."
Harry and Ginny nodded and perused the map.
"It looks fine to me," Ginny said after a while.
Harry nodded. "Yeah, it's accurate from what I can remember. The only thing to keep in mind is the revolving room with all the doors works on intent. So if we have to get out in a hurry I want everyone to remember that. Concentrate on getting out when we end up in that room."
The others nodded and Ron tapped his fingers against the map. "Right then," he said firmly. "Now we need to make some basic plans in case the Ministry really are the idiots we think they are."
A hint of amusement ran around the others and they began talking intently.
At five o'clock, Harry glanced around at his court and grabbed a handful of floo powder. He threw it into the fire and flooed through to the Headmaster's office, the others following him. Dumbledore was waiting for them and he greeted Harry with a deference that the Gryffindor found rather startling. He quickly dismissed it; he had bigger things to deal with tonight.
"Well?" he asked the Headmaster.
"Let's go," the older man said with a small smile.
He walked over to the fireplace and picked up the jar of floo powder, offering it to Harry.
"The destination is Department of Mysteries Foyer," he said and Harry flooed through before he could think twice about things. The rest of his court followed with the Headmaster bringing up the rear.
They found Kingsley Shacklebolt waiting for them. He did not say anything and led them deeper into the Department of Mysteries until they were once again in the Veil Chamber. Harry stared at the lightly waving Veil, listening to the voice he could just barely hear.
Don't, came the voice of Luna in his head. They aren't real; they are merely a product of our own minds. They are the voices of those we have lost, designed to drag us into the Veil as well.
How do you know? asked Harry.
Awena, came Luna's simple answer.
They were interrupted by the sound of Kingsley's deep voice. "Everything's ready, Albus," the Auror was saying. "I have Tonks standing by as the second Auror and the members of the Wizengamot are waiting in my office. They're a little confused but they trust that you wouldn't have called them together without a damn good reason." The bald Auror looked at the group in the room a little dubiously.
"Thank you, Kingsley," Albus replied with satisfaction. "I would like you to wait by the door for my signal then go and fetch everyone."
Kinglsey nodded and took his position, watching the others curiously. The Headmaster turned to Harry. "What needs to be done now?"
Harry didn't answer but turned to the werewolf. "Remus?" he asked softly.
Remus was staring at the Veil with a curious expression on his face. His head was cocked to one side in a curiously dog-like manner and it looked like he was listening carefully to someone or something. His face suddenly cleared and he stepped down to the Veil decisively. He paused for a moment in front of the Veil then determinedly stepped through. Strangled gasps burst from everyone's mouths and Harry made to leap down but was caught by Severus.
He knows what he is doing, the Potions Master said harshly to the entire court. Trust in his abilities.
Harry slowly nodded and Severus let him go and stepped aside for Ginny. The red-haired girl stood next to Harry, gently took his hand and they waited.
The waiting seemed endless and after half an hour Ron began to pace. He was joined in the next couple of hours by Neville, Hermione and Severus. Luna had taken a cross-legged position to one side of the pacing quartet and Harry and Ginny remained where they were standing in front of the Veil. Dumbledore had retreated to stand beside Kingsley, aware from the moment that Harry had reacted and been calmed without anyone speaking that he was not a part of this.
In the hour that followed, Hermione joined Luna in her cross-legged position while Ron and Severus had taken flanking positions next to Harry and Ginny. Neville was standing behind the two girls, his hands clasped tightly behind his back. Suddenly Harry gasped and his eyes closed. The others started and waited for Harry to tell them what was going on. It took some minutes but finally the explanation came.
He needs our help, Harry said absently. He's found Sirius but he needs our help getting back. Everyone reach for him!
There was a flurry of mental movement and at first they just clashed with each other then Harry exerted himself and maintained order. He drew them all together and grabbed hold of the link to Remus, pulling them all towards the werewolf. When they reached him they found his mind tightly closed but they could easily see what the problem was. He needed more energy, more power. Harry demanded the power from his court and quickly fed it and his own to Remus. They then waited to see what would happen.
Remus walked through the Veil and closed his eyes as a wave of nausea washed over him. He opened his eyes again and was surprised to see a vast green field in front of him. He looked around but all he could see was green grass waving slightly in a light breeze. He stood frowning for a moment then the same odd little voice that had told him what he needed to do in the Veil Chamber spoke again. He grinned and nodded to himself then concentrated on his role here. For a second he stood there, frozen, then he seemed to almost shimmer. A second later, there was a jackal standing where the man had been.
The jackal shivered for a second then shook itself and sniffed the air. Many scents flooded into his nose and he caught the distinctive scent of Sirius. The jackal yipped with delight and started running in the direction of the scent. As he ran, the scent got stronger and stronger and after what seemed like an hour of running he saw a man stumbling through the grass up ahead. The jackal put on a new burst of speed and leapt through the grass until he was only a few steps from the man. The jackal shimmered back into Remus and he made the last few steps as a man.
"Padfoot!" he gasped as he placed a hand on the other man's shoulder.
Sirius spun around and gaped at Remus. "Moony! What?"
Remus laughed and pulled the other man into a hug. Sirius slowly responded and when they parted he stared at his friend.
"Moony?" he whispered. "What...what are you doing here? You...didn't...follow me?"
Remus looked baffled. "Sirius? What are talking about? I'm here to get you. You told Harry that I could get you out. How did you know what happened?"
Sirius looked confused. "What are you talking about? I haven't spoken to anyone or seen anyone since I...got here." He paused and grabbed Remus' arm. "Harry! Is he alright?"
"He's missing you like hell," Remus said gently. "He blames himself for what happened."
"Damn!" Sirius said explosively, running his hand through his hair. "He's not to blame because I was stupid!"
Remus laughed. "Yeah, I know," he said roguishly. "You get to take the blame for your own idiot actions. Come on, we need to get out of here."
Sirius looked at Remus oddly. "How? I've been looking for a way out since I got here. All there is, is this grass."
Remus cocked his head to one side and listened again. Sirius watched him with growing alarm then surprise when Remus nodded again and grinned.
"Transform into Padfoot and follow me," he said cheerfully.
Sirius nodded slowly and obeyed. Padfoot gave a yelp of surprise when Remus shimmered and the jackal appeared again. The jackal sniffed the air and yipped excitedly, running off in one direction. He stopped when he realised that Padfoot wasn't following. He ran back then ran an excited circle around the large dog before heading off in the original direction again. This time Padfoot followed him though the dog didn't know what scent the jackal was following. The jackal ran on with the dog following until finally the little creature stopped and shimmered back into Remus. Padfoot followed suit and Sirius looked around nervously.
"What now?" he said quietly. "There's nothing here."
"The way out is here," Remus said absently. "I just need to figure out how to find it."
The werewolf cocked his head in that odd listening pose again but this time it seemed that no answers came. He looked around in frustration then concentrated hard. For just a brief moment the air in front of the two men seemed to solidify then it disappeared. Remus let out his breath explosively and tried again. Again the air seemed to solidify into what seemed to be a veil then it disappeared again. Remus staggered and was caught by a confused and worried Sirius.
"Moony, what the hell is going on?" he asked with frustration.
"It's there," Remus growled. "I just can't..." He swore. "Harry!"
"What?" Sirius asked urgently but Remus wasn't listening to him. His eyes were closed and he seemed to be concentrating hard.
As Sirius watched, Remus grew frustrated then relieved then he arched back and glowed for a brief second. His eyes flicked open and he stared at the spot where the air had solidified before. This time the air coalesced and solidified into a black veil and remained stable. Remus grabbed Sirius by the arm and pulled him towards the veil.
"Come on!" he yelled. "We don't have much time!"
The two men ran at the veil and leapt through it. A wave of nausea swept over both of them and they stumbled out into the Veil Chamber in the Department of Mysteries. Sirius heard someone shout his name then a body thumped into his and arms wrapped around him. He looked down in a daze and saw a messy head of black hair that he recognised and his arms came up almost automatically.
"Harry," he said hoarsely as he hugged his godson hard and buried his face in the young man's hair.
He didn't get a reply and he realised that Harry was sobbing into his shirt and he gently rubbed his godson's back.
"It's alright, Harry," he murmured. "I'm okay."
He looked up and saw all of Harry's friends standing in the room and smiling delightedly at him along with Remus. He was surprised and not a little suspicious to see Snape watching him neutrally and over by the door Dumbledore and Kingsley stood looking stunned and smiling.
He looked back down at Harry and gently prised the young man away just far enough to tip his head up. "How?" was all he said.
Harry looked confused through his tears. "But...but...you told me how. You told me that Remus would be able to get you out. You told me you were trapped and that you knew about the Daemon Sidhe. You said that Remus would be able to get you out. That we had to hurry."
Sirius looked stunned. "Harry, I haven't seen or spoken to anyone since I fell through the Veil."
Silence fell in the room then Harry shook his head.
"I don't think I care," he said with a slow smile. "It worked. That's all that matters."
A movement caught their attention and they turned to see Kingsley disappearing out of the room. Dumbledore came down to the floor and beamed at Sirius, his eyes twinkling.
"Welcome back, my boy," he said warmly. "We have a small...shall we say, administrative matter to take care of before we all head back home."
Sirius frowned. "Administrative matter?" he said dubiously. "What kind of administrative matter?"
The twinkle in Dumbledore's eyes increased. "It was pointed out to me that it would a touch difficult to get you out of here. It was also pointed out to me that you were never given a trial to aid you in proving your innocence. Then it occurred to me that as the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, I can see that a trial is carried out. Kingsley is doing me the very kind favour of collecting a second Auror, some veritaserum and enough members of the Wizengamot to constitute a legal hearing."
Sirius jaw dropped then he started to look worried. "How can you be sure..."
"Well, I suppose I have perhaps meddled a little in the choice of Wizengamot members," Dumbledore said benignly. "But what is good for Cornelius is undoubtedly good for me...and you."
The door to the Chamber opened again and Kingsley entered, followed by about twenty people including Tonks. The metamorphmagus grinned at her cousin and gave Harry and his friends a surreptitious thumbs up.
Dumbledore stepped forward and faced the newly arrived people while Sirius and Harry separated to allow a smiling Kingsley and Tonks to ostensibly 'take him into custody'.
"Thank you all for coming," Dumbledore was saying to the members of the Wizengamot. "I know the circumstances are somewhat unusual but I assure you this is a just and legal matter. Nearly fifteen years ago a man was sent to Azkaban without a trial. The time has now come for that trial to occur. The man in question has responsibilities that are going to become more and more important and he needs the chance to clear his name." He turned and said solemnly, "Auror Shacklebolt, Auror Tonks, please bring Sirius Black forward."
The three stepped forward and the members of the Wizengamot murmured amongst themselves. Harry swallowed and felt Ginny's hand slip into his while Remus' hand settled on his shoulder. The rest of his court gathered around him and he relaxed slightly.
"Sirius Black has requested the use of veritaserum," Dumbledore continued soberly. "Auror Shacklebolt has agreed to administer it."
The members of the Wizengamot nodded in agreement and Dumbledore pulled his wand out and created a chair. Kingsley escorted Sirius to the chair and sat him down before pulling a small vial out of his pocket. As Harry and his court watched tensely, Kingsley gestured for Sirius to open his mouth and allowed three drops to fall on the animagus' tongue. The was a pause while they waited for the veritaserum to take effect and when Sirius' face became calm and blank, Dumbledore stepped forward.
"What is your name?" he said gently.
"Sirius Orion Black," came the calm answer.
"I would like to take you back fifteen years," Dumbledore said gently. "James and Lily Potter were made aware of a threat to themselves and their young son."
"Yes," Sirius replied.
"It was decided that they would be protected under the Fidelius Charm."
Dumbledore turned to the Wizengamot. "As I'm sure you know, once the Fidelius Charm is established, only the Secret Keeper can reveal the location of those being protected." He turned back to Sirius. "Who was the Potters' Secret Keeper?"
"Peter Pettigrew," Sirius said calmly.
Murmurs came from the gathered Wizengamot members until Dumbledore held his hand up for silence.
"Was it originally meant to be you?" he asked.
"Why was it changed?"
"I thought it was too obvious. Everyone would think that I was the Secret Keeper but nobody would suspect Peter. He was always the weakest of the four of us, the most timid. I was sure no one would think that we would trust him with something so important. It seemed perfect. We could hide Peter somewhere safe and then, even if I was caught, I couldn't reveal James, Lily and Harry's location to anyone."
"Did James agree to this change?"
"Not initially. He wanted to use Remus but I convinced him to use Peter."
Dumbledore glanced at Remus before he asked his next question. "Why didn't you want to use Remus Lupin?"
"I'd been hearing some rumours about Voldemort approaching werewolves. I hadn't seen much of Remus in the couple of months before we used the Fidelius Charm because work was busy but Peter had told me that Remus had been evasive and quiet when he saw him."
Remus' eyes widened and his jaw sagged. He did not say anything however and Dumbledore continued his questioning.
"What happened on the night of October 31, 1981?"
The members of the Wizengamot leaned forward, listening intently to Sirius' reply.
"Peter was staying in a safe house in Scotland and I was due to check on him that evening. I ended up going early because something just felt wrong. I didn't know what but when I got to the house and found Peter missing I knew something was wrong. There was no sign of a struggle anywhere. I immediately headed towards Godric's Hollow but...I was too late. The house was partially destroyed and I found the bodies of James and Lily." Sirius' distress started to overcome the effects of the veritaserum and Kingsley leaned down and murmured into his ear. Sirius settled at whatever was said and continued. "Harry was alive. I don't know how but he was sitting in the remains of his crib near Lily's body. I was going to take him but Hagrid turned up saying that you had sent him for Harry. I hesitated for a moment but then I saw a chance. I knew you would keep Harry safe and I wanted to go after Peter. He didn't know that I had put a small locating charm on him just in case anything went wrong. I could tell he was in London. I was angry; I wanted to know why he'd betrayed us all. So I let Hagrid take Harry and gave him my motorbike so he would safe. I headed to London and tracked Peter down but when I confronted him he was ahead of me." Sirius gave a sour, barking laugh. "Who'd have thought he had it in him. Before I could get my anger under control enough to say anything, he yelled something about me betraying everyone. I could see blood on his hand and it looked like he was missing a finger though I didn't know why at that time. He yelled some kind of spell and the street just exploded and he transformed into a rat and ran down into the sewers. The Aurors turned up at that point and I...just fell apart. They were dead and he was going to get away with it."
Sirius' voice staggered to a halt and there was silence in the Chamber as everyone took in what had just been revealed.
"Why did you escape from Azkaban?" Dumbledore asked gently.
"Fudge came in one day and he had the paper with him," Sirius said slowly. "There was a picture on the front of a family. It looked like they were in Egypt. On the shoulder of one of the boys was a rat. I knew that rat; it was Peter. I asked Fudge for the paper and he gave it to me. The article said the children went to Hogwarts and all I could think was that Harry was there and that he was in danger from Peter."
"How did you escape?"
"I changed into my animagus form. I was pretty thin; there's not a lot of motivation to eat in Azkaban. I was able to get through the bars and escape the prison as the dog. The Dementors don't really pay any attention to animals. I swam to shore and headed for Hogwarts."
"You are an animagus?" Dumbledore asked in response to a murmured question from one of the members of the Wizengamot.
"Yes, a dog."
"Peter Pettigrew is an animagus?"
"Yes, a rat."
"Neither of you are registered?"
"We became animagi at school to help Remus. Werewolves are dangerous to people, not animals. We wanted to help him any way we could and James and I came up with the idea of becoming animagi. It took us a couple of years to master it. We knew the teachers would be angry at us so we kept it secret."
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled at this answer and there were some impressed looks on the faces of the Wizengamot.
"Did you find Peter Pettigrew after you escaped?"
"Yes, Remus and I finally cornered him in the Shrieking Shack."
Harry exchanged glances and grins with Ron and Hermione; Sirius had certainly glossed over a lot with that statement.
"You captured him," Dumbledore stated. "Why did you not kill him?"
"Harry asked us not to," Sirius replied. "He said he didn't think his father would have wanted us to become murderers, even if it was Peter. I...couldn't refuse him, he's my godson."
The Wizengamot looked surprised at this revelation and the muttering started again as their glances flicked between Sirius and Harry.
"How did Peter escape?" Dumbledore asked gently.
"In all the chaos, we forgot it was the night of the full moon and Remus forgot to take his Wolfsbane potion," Sirius said haltingly. "When we got back out of the Shrieking Shack, the moon was up and Remus...changed. Peter escaped in the aftermath."
"You weren't able to stop him?" Dumbledore asked, again in response to a question from the Wizengamot.
"I was too busy keeping the werewolf away from Harry and his friends," Sirius replied. "I had to choose. Harry was more important."
There were sympathetic looks from many of the members of the Wizengamot and Harry's heart lifted. Dumbledore looked over to the Wizengamot.
"Are there any further questions?" he asked soberly.
The members of the Wizengamot exchanged glances and shook their heads. One elderly man stood.
"Not at the moment, Albus," he said in a whispery voice. "There are many questions that need to be answered about this whole affair but I think we have enough to render a verdict regarding Sirius Black."
Dumbledore nodded and looked at the Wizengamot. "Are the representatives of the Wizengamot ready to deliver a verdict?"
The members gathered together and there were several minutes of quiet conversation. Finally they turned back to Dumbledore and nodded. A middle-aged man stepped forward.
"From the testimony that has been given to us under veritaserum by Sirius Orion Black, it is clear that a grave miscarriage of justice has occurred," he said sombrely. "It is quite clear to the Wizengamot that this man is innocent of the crimes he has been accused and that he has been wrongfully imprisoned. It is the verdict of the Wizengamot that he be immediately released and a full pardon given. The Ministry is directed to give full recompense though mere money cannot ever repair the damage that has been done." He paused and glanced at Harry before returning his gaze to Dumbledore and Sirius. "There is also another matter that this touches on; the guardianship of one Harry James Potter. It is the understanding of the Wizengamot that in the event of the deaths of James and Lily Potter that guardianship of their son was to be given to Sirius Black. It is also the understanding of the Wizengamot that the guardianship of Harry Potter has recently been awarded to Remus Lupin at the request of both Remus Lupin and Harry Potter. It is the suggestion of the Wizengamot that a joint guardianship be established including both Sirius Black and Remus Lupin since it seems cruel to expect the young man to choose." He looked over Harry and smiled. "I trust this is agreeable to you, Mr Potter?"
Harry nodded, tears in his eyes. "Yes, sir," he whispered.
"Good," the man said with satisfaction. "I trust we can rely on you to see that this is carried out, Albus?" Dumbledore nodded and the man continued. "Then I think nothing more needs to be done tonight. Sirius Black, you are free to go. The paperwork shall be filed tomorrow morning and announcements made subsequently. You have the profoundest apologies from both myself and my colleagues for the injustice that you have suffered. I hope that you can find it within yourself to forgive us. Good luck."
With that the Wizengamot swept out of the room, Dumbledore amongst them, leaving Kingsley and Tonks to sort things out on the Chamber. Sirius stood on shaky legs, the veritaserum having worn off, and turned to face Harry, a slow smile growing on his face. He looked about ten years younger and his shoulders were straight as though a weight had been taken off them. Harry paused for a second then threw himself into his godfather's arms, both of them with tears in their eyes.
"Merlin! Thank you, Harry," Sirius choked out. "Whatever the hell it was you and the others did, thank you!"