Disclaimer: I'm too young to be Rowling so there is sadly no way Harry Potter is mine…
Thank you for all your reviews! I loved them!
A/N: Dear guest-reviewer Leo,
Thank you very much for showing me how bad your reading abilities are. I might suggest a few classes to work on them a bit more? Oh, if you don't know what I'm talking about, here some examples from your reviews (augmented with my comments):
1) You wrote: "Tom Marvolo Riddle is not the Dark Lord. The Dark Lord is his son . Tom Marvolo Riddle Jr. Read the book."
This nice review I got a few times from different people, this time around. So, let me answer that with a few facts, because obviously, you are the one who has to read the book:
"Voldemort is my past, present and future."(..) TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE (waves the wand and the letters rearrange themselves into) I AM LORD VOLDEMORT." (HP2 – Chamber of Secrets)
"'I remember she said to me, "I hope he looks like his papa", and I won't lie, she was right to hope it, because she was no beauty – and then she told me he was to be named Tom, for his father, and Marvolo for her father (…)" (The Secret Riddle, HP6 – Half-Blood Prince)
Also, in case that's the problem: The definition of Jr.: "A man with the same name as his father uses "Jr." after his name as long as his father is alive."
Now, returning to your review: if Tom Riddle is the father, Marvolo Gaunt the grandfather from his mother's side and Tom Marvolo Riddle *Voldemort's* name… meaning he *DOESN'T* share a name with his father – why do you correct me that he *IS* one?! Because clearly, by definition, he *ISN'T*!
In other words, I'm giving YOU the same advice you gave me: READ THE BOOKS!
3) You wrote: "A Vampire average life is not 300 if not killed can live over 4,000 years easy.300 years average that's"
Er… really? 4,000? I mean, there are a *lot* of vampires in Harry Potter, and that age is stated *everywhere* I'm sure, I'll just have to go and reread the book… oh! Wait! I have a better idea, how about using Potterwikia and take a look! There *are* some information there, after all:
"Vampires seem to be able to live much longer than Muggles. Carmilla Sanguina died aged 196, and Amarillo Lestoat died aged 201." (from Potterwikia, article "Vampire" – my source)
In other words: I want YOU to do the same here, please, state YOUR Harry Potter-based source for vampire age, otherwise, stop making up stuff and try to tell my you know better!
2) You wrote: "The Magical world and the Muggle world? Thier both on Earth. Thier both on the same world. Earth. The Magical country and The Muggle country? THE SAME COUNTRY. WHY DO AUTHORS THINK IT'S DIFFERENT?LOL" – "It's one being. So why do you say them?You are a very confused writer." – etc. etc…
Honestly, I'm not even sure what I should comment when it comes to some of your reviews because the only thing my mind thinks there is: WHAT?! I mean, I understood that you think a supernatural, genderless being that's not just one person but everything and nothing isn't plural… or do you just want to tell me that I should call you 'it' since where I come from, the name you used is *female* and *male* which makes you genderless… and since I can't be bothered to write 'he/she' or 'he or she' everytime, I gathered that you prefer 'it' for yourself, right?
In other words, DEAR LEO, either write things that you can back-up with *evidence* or just stop writing reviews, because, honestly, I can do without your comments (oh, and if you think I'm done after this, look forward to my next update for Why To Sort A Student Is A Horrible Job. I think you will be… pleased to see *my* comments to your own…)
With all my sarcasm,
To the rest of my readers (baring those few guest-reviewers who commented that it's Tom Marvolo Riddle Jr as well and who couldn't be bothered to be anything but rude in their ignorance):
I'm sorry for the rant at the start, but this one reviewer has been bothering me (in various stories) for weeks now, and I'm honestly done with IT and *needed* to let IT know that.
(PS: I normally wouldn't use 'it' for a person in any way or form, but since that reader told me 'they is only for plural and that I'm (quoting) "very confused writer" because I used it for a single being' and I'm not willing to write he/she whatever, I'm using 'IT' for this person - and only for this person.)
Now, on with the story:
"House Emrys demands accountability from the Ministry for its breach of its own laws," Sal said, his voice echoing some more through the Chamber.
And then, chaos broke out and people started to shout, to discuss and to accuse Sal as a liar.
The loudest of them was the Minister himself.
When the young Lord uttered those words in the Wizengamot, Cornelius Fudge stood up, basically frothing at the mouth.
"This… what are you saying, boy?" he spluttered, interrupting the young-looking Lord of Emrys-LeFay before he could say another word. "The Ministry didn't breach its laws in any way or form!"
The glance Emrys-LeFay threw him could have been poisonous.
Amelia Bones was impressed.
"Then please, Minister, tell me how your current actions at Haugh's Wards, Academia of Witchcraft and Wizardry, better known as Hogwarts, can be arranged with the laws – if said laws state that no magical Government has any right to influence the school," Emrys-LeFay countered, unimpressed. "And don't try to tell me I'm lying. You and I both know that those laws are still effective and will continuing to be no matter what you do, because they were written to be unchangeable."
The Minister spluttered while Amelia raised an eyebrow.
She remembered vaguely that Harry Potter – at that thought, she corrected herself mentally – Lord Emrys-LeFay had mentioned those laws already in the summer while defending himself.
She wondered what had happened at Hogwarts that he felt the need to bring them up in the January meeting of the Wizengamot as well.
"The Ministry has done its duty," Fudge countered in that moment with fury in his eyes. "Why do you even go and bring that up?! It's not as if you have anything to do with Hogwarts!"
Emrys-LeFay just raised an unimpressed eyebrow at the Minister while Amelia stared at the man in question with disbelief in her eyes.
Slytherin had nothing to do with Hogwarts?!
"You are aware that Hogwarts is my family manor, aren't you?" Emrys-LeFay stated dryly, in a tone of voice that implied that he expected what he said to be common knowledge, not caring that his words ensured furious whispers to sweep through the Chamber. "It has never been given up, which means that up until today, Hogwarts and its grounds are still privately owned."
Fudge spluttered and then drew himself up to his whole height.
"Hogwarts has been our school for the better part of a millennia," he said. "I am pretty sure that after all this time, we can say that the school is property of the Ministry of Magic."
"The Ministry of Magic came only into being in the late 1700," Emrys-LeFay countered with ice in his voice. "There were two other governments before that while Hogwarts stayed the same – which means that not one of the governments has been in effect as long as the school exists, so claiming that a government that has existed not even a quarter of the time Hogwarts stood, has a claim on Hogwarts because it was used as a school by said government, sounds unreasonable, don't you think so, too?"
Fudge turned red at that retribution.
"It doesn't matter," he spluttered. "Hogwarts has been considered the property of the Ministry since it came into being–"
"The laws that state that Hogwarts isn't governed by the Ministry show otherwise," the younger-looking Lord countered. "Hogwarts belongs to my family. And my family closed it down after the Ministry decided to breach its own laws concerning it."
"That's just a rumour!" Fudge immediately countered. "Hogwarts hasn't been closed! The Ministry decides–"
"Oh, but it has, Minister," Zabini interjected calmly. "The students of Hogwarts have it in writing that the laws concerning Hogwarts have been broken and therefore Hogwarts was closed."
"Not to mention the article in the newspaper," Greengrass added dryly.
For a moment, silence reigned after those words.
Fudge meanwhile was turning redder and redder.
"Those articles are a lie! They're slander!" he countered. "They're… they're most likely conducted by the Potter-boy and Dumbledore to make you doubt!"
Emrys-LeFay looked amused at that.
Amelia frowned, scrutinizing the young-looking Lord.
He had leaned back and she was sure that she could see slight amusement in his features.
Suddenly she wondered if Fudge was actually right somehow and the newspaper articles were written by the boy who was once Harry James Potter.
Her gaze travelled to Dumbledore who was frowning.
Clearly, he at last, didn't know who wrote those articles…
"There was an article that speaks up against Albus Dumbledore," Xenophilius Lovegood spoke up, clearly unbothered by the accusations of Fudge.
"That's true," Minerva McGonagall agreed. "There was also a not so flattering article about some teachers at Hogwarts."
"There's also the fact that not one of those articles ever stated that He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named is back," Augusta added regally. "If you really want to pin those articles on Albus Dumbledore and Lord Potter… to discredit you and to spread their beliefs, don't you think that at least one article would have contained a clear 'He's back!' somewhere?"
Amelia raised an eyebrow at Augusta's wording.
Obviously, she also knew that Emrys-LeFay was Harry James Potter, because otherwise, she would have used 'Heir Potter' and not Lord. The Wizengamot was one official way to claim Lordship, after all.
Fudge just turned redder and redder with every comment.
"I… I don't care what that spluttering old fool Dumbledore tells people!" he finally burst out, in Amelia's opinion he was getting slightly off topic, but it seemed that Fudge at least didn't think so. "Madam Umbridge is Headmistress at Hogwarts now – and Hogwarts will continue!"
"Ah," Emrys-LeFay countered and his eerie green eyes seemed to be glowing in the dimmed light of the Chamber. "I fear I have to tell you this decision has nothing at all to do with Hogwarts' former Headmaster Dumbledore. It was the former Headmistress Dolores Umbridge herself that ensured that she was judged for her deeds at Hogwarts."
The answer was a disbelieving snort coming from the Minister.
Amelia on the other hand, sat up and leaned forward in her chair to look at the young-looking Lord.
"Judged?" She repeated with a frown.
She remembered her niece saying that something had happened the day she had left Hogwarts with the train. She also remembered that article – an article that Fudge had stated was nothing but lies and slander.
People had believed him back then, but now…
She didn't know exactly what happened at Hogwarts because Susan hadn't known everything. But that didn't mean that she didn't know things.
She knew that Susan had told her that Umbridge had planned to change Hogwarts, that Umbridge had told them that they'd be forced into a magical oath to the Ministry if the students wanted to return to school after Christmas.
Susan also told her that Umbridge had collapsed from blood-loss at the last day.
And then there was the article – an article which had been decried by the Minister through the Wizarding Wireless after it had been published.
Amelia hadn't known what to think of it.
The article spoke of torture, yet, there was – according to Fudge – no evidence to be found…
And now there was Emrys-LeFay, telling them that Madam Umbridge had been judged – most likely judged for crimes that didn't have any evidence… well, at least not in the Ministry.
"Judged," Emrys-LeFay repeated calmly, now looking at Amelia. "She committed crimes on the grounds of Hogwarts – and therefore it was the duty of the Master of Hogwarts to judge her."
"Judged her how?" Amelia wanted to know with a frown.
It was the first time she had heard about a Master of Hogwarts judging anybody.
The cool gaze that met her own told her that she might not like the answer.
"In the same way it was done before," Emrys-LeFay answered her calmly, his eyes showing knowledge of a kind that Amelia couldn't combine with the fact that Emrys-LeFay, for all his different looks – had to be Potter.
And she knew she wasn't wrong.
She didn't know how many had recognized the Potter crest when he claimed Grim, but Amelia had – and she, unlike some of the other Lords, was well aware that not every family going by a certain last name, actually had that last name by magic.
The moment Emrys-LeFay had named his family 'Grim' instead of Potter… well, it had explained some things. Potter was quite a mundane name, especially for a House that was as old as Potter was rumoured to be… Grim on the other hand… that name was a statement.
It spoke of a heritage that few could claim.
Grim blood – creature blood.
And maybe Amelia was wrong with her guess, but she doubted it.
Grim had the Potter crest.
And the Heir of Potter was Harry James Potter… or Salvazsahar Serendu Harryjames Salvatio Amethyst Emrys-LeFay.
And for a moment, Amelia wondered if the Lord of Emrys-LeFay had been adopted. Five first names – three were traditional… but with an adoption it was usual to have added another two to three…
She dismissed the thought before it could fully form, concentrating instead on the young-looking Lord's answer about Umbridge's punishment.
"Hogwarts has a precedence when it comes to teachers hurting or endangering those under their care," Emrys-LeFay continued unbothered.
Albus Dumbledore on the other hand grimaced.
It seemed that he knew or at least could guess what the young-looking Lord was talking about.
"Precendence?" Amelia asked with a frown. "What kind of precendence?"
Sharp teeth could be seen for a moment when a harsh and blood-thirsty smile graced Emrys-LeFay's face.
"Erasure," he said, "She has been judged, she won't return – and soon, she will be forgotten."
Amelia shuddered at his words.
Erasure, he had said, but she had heard a different word hidden beneath it.
Umbridge had died.
And if the way the Lord of Emrys-LeFay had formulated it implied anything, then that wouldn't be all. In the end, Umbridge would end up forgotten.
Amelia wondered if that fate wasn't worse than just being killed…
"By the Laws of Hogwarts, that's her fate," Emrys-LeFay told her. "So by the Laws of Hogwarts, she was judged."
At that, Emrys-LeFay's eyes wandered to Albus Dumbledore.
His look was judgemental.
"Because unlike the former Headmaster, the actual Master of Hogwarts knows what to do when confronted with the torture of children," it sounded like a condemnation.
Amelia turned and looked at Dumbledore as well who frowned, his face not showing the grimace he had sported before anymore.
"I'm not actually sure what you're talking about, my boy," he said and Amelia winced when the young Lord's face turned stony.
It… wasn't really a good idea to use 'my boy' in an official sitting like a Wizengamot meeting…
"I am not your boy, Lord Dumbledore," Emrys-LeFay countered, his voice even colder than before. "And no matter your words or whatever excuses you made up: I am talking about this!"
He reached inside his robes and pulled out a thick file, before gesturing at it.
The file multiplicated in just the same way other Lords had distributed their concerns and then distributed themselves throughout the Wizengamot members.
Amelia reached for the file that had shown up in front of her and opened it curiously.
The next moment, she wished she hadn't.
The file was an evidence file, showing pictures of the hands of students as well as official reports that named the times said students had been in detention with Dolores Umbridge as well as a magical reading that connected Umbridge with the blood quills used for said detentions.
The evidence was gathered with expertise.
Healer documents, impressed with the oath the healer in question had taken to ensure its correctness, statements from the victims… even a statement from Hogwarts' nurse and potions master about a girl who had come to grievous harm thanks to the blood quill.
"This is the evidence of the torture the former Headmistress of Hogwarts conducted as well as the evidence of the Minister's involvement in it," Lord Emrys-LeFay elaborated stonily. "It contains not only the documentation of the torture, but also the orders of the Minister and the allowances he sent her that enabled her."
He looked up and around.
Most of the Wizengamot had skimmed at least part of the file he had given them and more than half of them looked a bit green around the nose.
"By the Laws of the Ministry concerning Hogwarts," the young-looking Lord told them. "This is also the reason why the school closed its doors indefinitely."
There were some uneasy glances all around when he said that.
"Any way we can countermand the closure of Hogwarts?" Amelia asked the young-looking Lord who was also looking around, taking in the other Lords' and Ladies' reactions.
The Lord slowly inclined his head.
"Ensure justice and maybe the Master of Hogwarts will be lenient," he answered, his poisonous green eyes piercing her own.
She wasn't fooled by his wording in third person.
He was the Master of Hogwarts.
He had stated it before, after all.
Hogwarts was his family manor – which, no matter the Headmaster – made him the Master of the lands and therefore of the school.
She decided not to say anything about that and instead chose to ask another question.
"So, if we agree to the return of Headmaster Dumbled–"
"He won't be able to hold the wards ever again," Emrys-LeFay interrupted her calmly. "Any other, it might be possible, but not him."
Because he already failed once.
But he didn't say those words even if Amelia heard them clearly in the silence following his last sentence.
Amelia looked at the young Lord who returned her gaze gravely, before she looked at the Minister.
Justice, he had said.
Evidence of the Minister's involvement, he had told them.
He didn't need to say what he wanted; Amelia understood.
She turned towards the Minister who had started to sweat while looking through the file in front of him.
"Care to explain, Minister," she said coolly and held up the copy of a document that stated that Dolores Umbridge had free reign in Hogwarts as long as she kept the students in line and ensured that Potter's lies wouldn't be spread. It was signed with the Minister's signature and imprinted with his magic.
Amelia had to admit that she was a bit impressed by the spell the young Lord had used. Normally, the copy-spell Amelia knew, only had hints of the original magic contained on the parchments on it – but in his copy, the magical imprint was nearly as clear as in the original, with the single difference, that it also contained something akin to a 'truth-promise', like a healer's or potions master's oath.
A way, to ensure that people knew the documents in their hands hadn't been forged in any way or form.
Yes, Amelia was really, really impressed and she definitely wanted to know that spell.
But that was for a different time.
At the moment, she was watching the Minister who was sweating now.
"It's… that's… it's a lie!" he finally exclaimed. "That file… it's all based on lies!"
Severus Snape – no, Prince – snorted.
"It's embodied with an oath," he countered. "You can't forge evidence and then embody the parchment containing the forgery with an oath like that. There's a reason why oaths like that are typical in medical practice."
Fudge spluttered, clearly caught off-guard.
"And how would you know?" he squeaked, half-furious, half-nervous.
Lord Prince just stared at the Minister as if he had lost his head.
"Every healer in St. Mungo's and every potions master knows how to imbed an oath like that, even though most that do it use a more basic one," he said with a sneer. "I'm a potions master – of course I would know!"
That statement ensured that the Chamber was silenced.
People looked at each other, not whispering with their neighbours anymore.
Amelia looked around and saw that a few of them – all of them either known potions masters or healers – nodded in agreement to Lord Prince's statement.
Obviously, Amelia could have had such a way to ensure the correctness of her reports years ago if she had ever bothered to ask a healer or a potions master.
She felt a bit dismayed at that thought, but put it aside for the present.
Instead, she focused on something more important.
"I'm still waiting for an explanation, Minister," she said, now feeling quite a bit irritated.
The Minister floundered.
"This…," he spluttered before he sat up and frowned at all of them.
"Potter is a liar," he stated. "I will not watch him manipulate and lie to the whole magical world just because he wants attention!"
Amelia stared at the Minister as if he had lost his mind.
It was Augusta Longbottom who said what a lot of them were thinking.
"Are you telling me, Minister," she said slowly, leaning forward in her seat while her grandson next to her did the same. "That you allowed a woman to torture students just because a boy told you that You-Know-Who is back?!"
"You-Know-Who isn't back!" Fudge immediately objected.
"That's what you focus on, Minister?" Emrys-LeFay growled, his green eyes seemingly lightening into a more poisonous green. "You want to tell me that you want us – some of us who are potions masters and healers – to ignore what your choice in a Defence teacher did to the school just because a fifteen-year-old who might or might not have been telling tales says something you don't like to hear?"
"Do you really think this is the right way to speak with the Minister, my boy?" Dumbledore intercepted before Fudge could say anything else, surprising Amelia.
She hadn't expected Dumbledore to basically take Fudge's side.
After all, Fudge had ensured that Dumbledore was thrown out of Hogwarts and he had also ensured that Dumbledore's status was currently in limbo between being a wanted criminal and a normal citizen.
On the other hand, the former Headmaster of Hogwarts had always been able to take his chances to get back in the good graces of people – and helping Fudge would help with that at least a bit…
Political move, then, Amelia decided.
Her eyes turned towards the Emrys-LeFay when he stiffened at Dumbledore's words.
For a second, his eyes flashed a poisonous green, then he closed them, clearly praying for patience. He didn't answer, didn't even look at Dumbledore, but his unhappiness with the man could be seen in every line of his body.
It took her a moment to understand his reaction.
Amelia gritted her teeth. Albus Dumbledore had always had a habit to circumvent the normal protocols of the Wizengamot that asked for a formal address used for any of the participants. Most people, used to Dumbledore's eccentrics, didn't care his slightly more informal approach – but not matter how used people were to Dumbledore, Amelia also understood Emrys-LeFay's reason to be formally addressed.
That Dumbledore ignored it… like Emrys-LeFay, it rubbed Amelia the wrong way.
She fully expected the younger-looking Lord to reprimand Albus Dumbledore again, but before he could, Fudge spoke up.
"It's not just the Potter-boy!" he spluttered. "Albus Dumbledore is aiding that boy in his illusions as well!"
Clearly, the man hadn't noticed that Dumbledore had just taken his side in the argument…
Emrys-LeFay snorted, his eyes sliding towards the former Headmaster of Hogwarts for a moment.
There was something… nasty on his face for a second, before he replied to the Minister's words with an icy voice, heavily laced with sarcasm.
"Oh, well," he said, coolly. "So, instead of one little boy who might be telling tales, there are two. I can see the danger you're in, Minister!"
Albus Dumbledore spluttered.
Others snickered and Augusta looked as if Yule had come early.
"I'm not a boy!" Albus Dumbledore finally exclaimed, his eyes not twinkling at all anymore.
Emrys-LeFay just regarded him with distain.
"I remember telling you the same," he countered coolly. "It might even have been more than once, on my side, Lord Dumbledore."
He gave the other man a pointed look.
"And yet, you've been ignoring my words until now," he added. "So why shouldn't I do the same?"
In that moment, the Minister decided to add to the conversation again.
"Both Potter and Dumbledore have an unusual amount of influence!" he spluttered, ignoring the side-play between Emrys-LeFay and Dumbledore. "Their words need to be curbed before people believe them and panic!"
Emrys-LeFay just snorted.
"I see," he said coolly. "I guess that sending Dementors after a minor in the summer was part of that? Basically, the first play before trying to intimidate him in Hogwarts?"
"The trial back then had nothing to do with it!" Fudge countered furiously. "The Potter-boy broke the law back then and–"
Emrys-LeFay just snorted.
"Don't lie to yourself, Minister," he countered. "There was evidence that countered your claim back then and there's evidence that supports my claim today. Tell me, what did you want to assure by sending someone to Hogwarts who was not only willing but basically gleeful to allow and conduct the torture of students in your name?"
Amelia could see Fudge sweating. He was clearly out of his depth and it was also clear that Emrys-LeFay saw no reason to back off.
Instead, the man seemed to be willing to confront the Minister even further.
"That's not what happened!" Fudge finally forced out.
Emrys-LeFay raised a judgemental eyebrow.
"Then, please, tell me what happened, Minister?" he asked, his voice cool.
"She did what was expected of her!" Fudge countered. "She disciplined the students!"
"By using a blood quill?" Emrys-LeFay asked coolly. "Sometimes to such an extent that not only scaring ensured but also injury thanks to being weakened from blood-loss?"
For a moment, Emrys-LeFay's gaze swept through the room.
"If that's what the Ministry calls disciplining, I wonder what it calls a Cruciatus Curse… clearly it can't be torture, after all…"
More than one Lord or Lady winced and refused to meet Emrys-LeFay's gaze.
Others looked angry at Fudge.
"This… this… she's not been using a blood quill!" Fudge spluttered. "She wouldn't! Madam Umbridge knows not to step over the line!"
"Oh, but she did," Emrys-LeFay countered coolly. "The blood quill is documented evidence. Or are you implying I lied?"
The last word was spoken sharply.
Fudge glared at Emrys-LeFay.
"Obviously," he countered, clearly unwilling to budge from his stance.
For a moment Emrys-LeFay scrutinized him icily.
"The evidence speaks for itself, I'd say," he finally said, his voice turning low and threatening. "And Minister? Don't you dare and try to make me a liar with the press as well. I'm not an attention seeking brat. I'm not a liar. And no matter what you think, everything I brought to you today, I've brought to you after making sure that it was true!"
For a moment, there was silence in the room.
"He's got him there," Amelia could hear a gleeful Moody nearly silently comment to Dumbledore who didn't look gleeful at all.
Then, Fudge spluttered.
"You… you're in cahoots with the Potter-boy and Dumbledore!" Fudge finally said, standing up tall. "You just want to discredit me! The whole thing with Madam Umbridge! It's all a li–"
"Didn't I just tell you not to call me a liar?" the younger-looking Lord countered and his hand slammed down on the file he had collected. "Or do you call me a liar the same way you call a fifteen-year-old a liar who might have witnessed the return of a dark wizard and then tried to bring it to people's attention?"
Fudge's eyes nearly bugged out, clearly taking the young-looking Lord's words as confirmation for his accusation.
"You are in cahoots with them!" he cried. "You have the same insane idea that You-Know-Who is back and–"
"Oh," Emrys-LeFay interrupted him, his face thoughtful and Amelia wondered who he was deceiving. That man, no matter his House in Hogwarts, was a Slytherin by blood and it damn well showed...
"But I never actually stated that he's back," Emrys-LeFay continued, his eyes gleaming with cunning. "I just asked if the way you accused a fifteen-year-old as a liar is the same you accused me as one – and don't forget…" He tapped the file in front of him. "The so-called lie I am spreading is backed by hard facts."
Amelia could see a lot of the Lords and Ladies nod. They all had the files, after all – and they had the statement of a lot of potion's masters and healers that there was no way to falsify what had been written in those files.
She wondered if Fudge knew that he was about to dig his own grave right now.
She looked at him.
Fudge looked furious.
She guessed not.
"Of course, you declared he's back!" Fudge denied in that moment. "I heard what you said! You declared He's back! You are one of those who are working with Dumbledore and the Potter-boy to discredit me! You–"
"I might do a lot, Minister," the Lord interrupted him, not even looking at the former Headmaster. "But what I will never do, is to work with somebody who has no regard for human life. I am a Healer, Minister. And I've been a Healer for nearly my whole life. I won't work with somebody who doesn't see people, but chess pieces."
A murmuration swept through the chamber.
Amelia was taken aback.
No regard for human life?
Her eyes wandered to Dumbledore who was frowning as well.
She wondered how accurate his description was and why he had judged Dumbledore that harshly. She guessed he had his reasons… she just wasn't sure if she wanted to know them as well…
People all around the Chamber looked at each other, confused by the words of Emrys-LeFay.
Even Fudge was obviously taken aback by the word the younger-looking Lord had uttered.
It was Amelia who leaned forward and asked what other wanted to know.
"What exactly are you implying, Lord Emrys-LeFay?" she asked with a frown.
The Lord just shrugged.
"I'm not implying anything," he said, but before he could say more, someone else spoke up.
"I have to agree, there, actually," Sirius Black told them, leaning forward in his chair. "I might have been blinded by a bit of hero-worship as a child, but looking back – and remembering my family's history, I have to say that I agree with Salvazsahar."
Which made the judgement even more damning.
Because while Emrys-LeFay's knowledge of Dumbledore might be influenced by Dumbledore's tenure as a Headmaster, Sirius Black had worked with him in the last war… and therefore had known him.
At the Black Lord's words, she saw Dumbledore's head snap up to look first at Sirius Black and then at Emrys-LeFay.
Something in his face told Amelia that he had connected some dots right now – and couldn't believe what he had suddenly found after connecting them.
"Salazar?" he asked with a frown, as if he hadn't heard the younger-looking Lord's name when he claimed his place. "You're the boy from the first war with Tom who dared to name himself after the Slytherin Founder?!"
The answer was an annoyed look from Emrys-LeFay.
"Sal-va-zsa-har," he repeated slowly. "My name is Sal-va-zsa-har – not Salazar. And no, I named myself after no-one. You might have forgotten, but I stated my full name when I accepted my placing in the Wizengamot. And Salvazsahar is the name I was given by my father."
Well, at least that more or less confirmed Amelia's assumption that he had been adopted.
Normally, it was the mother who chose the first name of her children, after all…
Emrys-LeFay sent a pointed look at the former Headmaster.
"There's also the fact that we're currently at the first meeting of the Wizengamot in January. Who I am or who I was when we last saw each other, doesn't matter, here," it was said with another pointed look at the Headmaster who frowned.
"You can't be that boy. You're too young," Dumbledore stated, clearly ignoring Emrys-LeFay's words.
Augusta Longbottom snorted.
"Too young is the last thing I would call him," somebody else spoke up and leaned forward in his seat.
Amelia watched amused when more than one person did a double-take at Ollivander, clearly having missed that the man was in attendance today.
"I would also like to get on with the meeting before my granddaughter's best friend decides to wreak havoc in the Ministry," Ollivander added, throwing a reprimanding look at Dumbledore as well.
Emrys-LeFay on the other hand sat up and turned his full attention to Ollivander.
"Dare I ask, old friend, what you know about my son's exploits?" he asked, his eyes narrowing.
"Everything you don't want to know," Ollivander easily countered.
Dumbledore frowned, and Fudge had narrowed his eyes at Emrys-LeFay.
"You know him, Garrick?" the former Headmaster said, but was stopped from asking more by the Minister.
"If you are as old as Dumbledore implied right now – who says you aren't an imposter, here to sow discord between us? I mean, you would have had time to forge a good identity and use it for a while," he said clearly grasping at straws, while ignoring Dumbledore's line of question with a gleam in his eyes. "We already established that you work with Dumbledore – so, how do you prove that you have a right to be here?! This is the Wizengamot!"
"Exactly," the Lord Emrys with narrowed eyes. "And I proved who I am in front of everyone today. The stone doesn't accept a hustled claim. And it knows. It always does – which everybody here knows as well."
Then he leaned forward.
"And now, Minister Fudge, tell me why I shouldn't just ask for a vote of no confidence today?" he said. "After all, you, as the Minister, have the duty to accept all evidence given – especially true-proven evidence – and then ensure justice. And yet, here we are, discussing something that has been proven true… no, worse, you ignore what has been proven true to utter unproven accusations against me and my House, seeking to discredit me not once, but twice, and not just in words, but in deeds as well."
Fudge opened his mouth, and then closed it again, staring at the other Lord as if he was insane.
Fudge hadn't done himself a favour with the way he was trying to handle the younger-looking Lord's claim and evidence. If he wasn't careful, the man would have to abdicate before this night was over.
For a moment, Fudge gawked.
Then his face reddened with fury.
"You can't accuse me of trying to discredit you in any way or form!" he countered spluttering. "My concerns are valid!"
"Your concerns have nothing to do with the evidence at hand," Ollivander intercepted calmy. "Please return to it, Minister."
Amelia's lips twitched in dry amusement at those words.
Fudge's head snapped around and stared at the Ollivander Lord.
"The evidence, Minister," Emrys-LeFay said. He sounded as if he was gritting his teeth. "Accuses Madam Umbridge of torture of children. It also details your involvement and the fact that you broke your laws to get your hands on a fifteen-year-old boy who was already wrongly accused by you in the summer. That… sounds a bit like abuse of your position, don't you think so, Minister?"
Poisonous eyes watched Fudge like he was prey.
Amelia wondered if Fudge could fall even deeper.
For a moment, there was silence in the Wizengamot, then the young Lord leaned back.
"I think, considering the evidence, Minister Fudge should be temporally removed from his position until a proper trial can be conducted," he finally said calmly.
There was some affirmative murmuring around the room.
Albus Dumbledore on the other hand frowned at the younger-looking Lord.
"Do you really think this is the right time to do this, my boy?" he asked, obviously not willing to learn anything.
This time around, the other Lord didn't even react to 'my boy'.
Instead he raised an eyebrow at Dumbledore.
"Do you really think this is the wrong time for it, child?" he countered, emphasising the diminutive icily.
Amelia guessed that this was another way to counter Dumbledore's habits.
Dumbledore frowned, clearly neither happy with Emrys-LeFay countering him, nor with the name given to him.
"Respect your elders," he pointed out towards the other Lord, before continuing. "And I doubt that now, with Voldemort on the rise, is the right time to fight among us."
Emrys-LeFay raised an eyebrow at Dumbledore, but it was Ollivander who took real offence to Albus Dumbledore's words.
"You are aware, Sal went to school with Henry Potter, aren't you Albus?" he asked, the question sounding more rhetoric than anything else.
She had connected Emrys-LeFay with the young Heir Potter – but if what Ollivander said was the truth, that couldn't be.
And yet, she was sure that she was right…
The face of the younger-looking Lord was unreadable, but he didn't even try to stop Ollivander or refute his claim.
"You should know that, you met him before, in the war with Grindelwald!" Ollivander added, staring at Dumbledore.
The former Headmaster furrowed his eyesbrows.
"I'm pretty sure that he would look older if–"
"It doesn't matter," Emrys-LeFay interrupted. "My age is irrelevant. The rest of your statement, on the other hand, isn't, Lord Dumbledore."
The two men's gazes met – twinkling blue and poisonous green.
For a moment, the two men just looked at each other, then Emrys-LeFay spoke up again.
"You might be right that fighting among us might be the last thing we want to do right now considering the threat we are under–"
"There is no threat!" Fudge interrupted him immediately. "You-Know-Who is not back!"
The Emrys-LeFay Lord's eyes returned to Fudge.
"And what if I had evidence?" he asked coolly. "Irrefutable evidence? Memories – not just from me, but from others? Will you still deny that he's back if you see them?"
Then, with a nod towards them from Emrys-LeFay, both, Severus Prince and Lucius Malfoy stood up.
Both looked grim.
Fudge looked from one to the other.
"What… what are you doing?" he asked when it looked as if the two men were about to descent.
"We are the ones who hold the most memories of the Dark Lord's return," Lucius Malfoy said calmly. "It seems just prudent to show it, don't you think so, too, Minister?"
Fudge's eyes went from one to the other, before he reddened even further.
Amelia wondered for a moment if they would have a medical emergency soon if that continued.
"HE-WHO-MUST-NOT-BE-NAMED IS NOT BACK!" Fudge finally roared. "Sit back down! You can't give evidence for something that DIDN'T happen!"
But this time around, instead of looking furious, Fudge looked afraid.
Some others exchanged uncomfortable glances, again some others looked at the Prince-Lord and the Head of House Malfoy with loathing.
Amelia made a point of remembering the later.
Chances were high that they were either Death Eaters or sympathisers.
Emrys-LeFay's eyes gleamed.
"Are you refuting evidence again, Minister?" he asked calmly. "Just like you try to do with the evidence I gathered about Hogwarts?"
Fudge leaned forward.
His whole body was tense.
"I told you before: The Potter-boy is lying!" he said, but now, even those few who had looked as if they believed him, looked at each other uncomfortably.
It seemed that having two other people stand up and claim to have seen Voldemort – especially two lords – had made them wary.
"And I'm definitely not believing it because a couple of former Death Eaters testify it!" Fudge continued.
"It seems, if you want to you can actually use unproven and disproven rumours to further your agenda," he said calmly and leaned back in his chair.
Amelia looked at him in surprise.
Unproven and disproven rumours?
Well, Lucius Malfoy had had a trial that ended with him being put down as imperioused – but Amelia had always been sure that if he just lifted his sleeve, she would find the same Dark Mark covering it, that covered the arm of proven Death Eaters.
She had just never been allowed to lift that sleeve.
The same with Severus Prince.
He didn't even have a trial, instead Albus Dumbledore had vouched for him – nevertheless, Amelia was sure that his arm was marred by Voldemort's sign as well.
"How did you say the whole time, Lord Emrys-LeFay?" Fudge asked sweetly. "Evidence."
There was triumph in the Minister's eyes.
It was clear that he, like Amelia, believed that both of the men were marked – which meant he had won that round.
Amelia's eyes drifted towards Dumbledore who had closed his eyes in defeat.
Clearly, he knew as well.
And as marked Death Eaters, both of the men might be able to prove that Voldemort was back – but at the same time their claim would be discredited because as Death Eaters they most likely wanted to sow discord and therefore would be dismissed.
She was surprised when both men who had been accused of being Death Eater's first looked at each other, then, at the same time, raised their sleeves to show off unblemished skin.
"Accusation of being a Death Eater or not," Prince said coolly. "It's the evidence that counts."
He stroked his unblemished forearm as if to point out what was missing.
"Nevertheless, we have memories that show without a doubt that the Dark Lord is back," he added, his eyes gliding towards Emrys-LeFay for a moment before settling on a gawking Dumbledore with a smirk.
Fudge stared at the Prince-Lord as if he couldn't believe what he saw.
"You… you have the mark! I saw it in the past!"
Severus Prince just raised an eyebrow at him.
"You must have imagined it," he countered dismissively. "Are you sure, that between Potter and you, you aren't the one who is disturbed and insane, Minister?"
Fudge paled for a moment, then he reddened again when his fury returned.
"You… you're a liar… you're under cohorts with Dumbledore… you and Emrys-LeFay.., you all work together to destroy the magical world… Emrys-LeFay–"
"I wouldn't say anything further, Minister, or you might regret it," Emrys-LeFay intercepted him.
Fudge turned to look at the lord and sneered.
"I know what you're trying to do," he declared. "You try to make me look like a liar! You try to make me look deranged!"
"You're already managing that quite well on your own," Amelia heard Minerva McGonagall murmur derisively.
"But you won't succeed!" Fudge continued. "I'm the Minister of Magic! I have the right to act if I think that the magical world is in danger from certain individuals! I have the right to–"
"I'm not stupid, Minister," the Emrys-LeFay intercepted Fudge before he could say anything further, his voice icy. "Don't try to embellish what you wanted to do, and don't you dare to make it look like anything else than it was! What you tried to do right now and at the beginning of the year, in that false trial of underaged magic, was a power play. One, you expected to work."
The younger Lord's eyes were piercing, while Fudge's eyes nearly popped out of his head.
He was clearly thrown by the younger-looking Lord's conclusion, something that Emrys-LeFay took to his advantage.
"You went and decided to accuse a boy of lying because his words didn't fit with your agenda. You went, and decided to try and frighten a boy by forcing him to be on trial in front of the whole Wizengamot and you hoped to not only discredit him, but to frighten him into silence. You wanted to play politics against Albus Dumbledore – and you used a child to accomplish that. You did a power play – and you still try for one even now!"
There were murmurs all around and for a second Fudge's eyes wandered from one side of the room to the other.
"No!" he protested, but the way he paled told an entirely different story. "I would never–"
"You would never try to ignore anything inconvenient by any means possible?" Emrys-LeFay asked with a false calm in his voice.
He stared at the Minister, his eyes still like ice.
"You went and tried to undermine the former Headmaster of Hogwarts," he added, his voice calming further, bringing the whole Wizengamot under his spell. "And all because you preferred sticking your head in the sand to accepting the truth and acting on it!"
"I did no such a thing!" he denied furiously. "The Potter-boy is a liar! You are a liar! Madam Umbridge would never do anything to undermine my position! What I did was necessary! I had to stop the lies from spreading! I had to stop it!"
Emrys-LeFay just stared at the Minister; the Lord's eyes gleaming with phoenix's fire.
"Don't take us for fools!" the younger-looking Lord countered. "It was a power play! You decided to stick your head in the sand and you tried to ensure that you could keep it there – even if that meant to torture children and to dismiss evidence that's clearly been offered! No, instead, you decided to use your power to deny and to discredit! You decided to play games when you should have started to prepare for a possible war!"
"There is no war coming!" Fudge interrupted him and Amelia wondered if he really still believed that or if he clung to it like a child to their blanket. "There is no danger! No matter what Dumbledore says – nothing is coming! I… I proved the Potter-boy was a liar in the summer with the bogus Dementor-attack thing he played! I–"
"Forget it, Fudge," Emrys-LeFay countered. "I have enough of your games. Everyone here can see that you're trying to play out your power against me and the former Headmaster. The trouble you're in now, though, is that you believed Albus Dumbledore your opponent – while you actually played against me – and unlike Dumbledore, I've always been far less inclined to let things go or ignore what is inconvenient for me!"
He leaned forward in his seat; his eyes still trained on the Minister who had paled considerably.
"This is my last warning, Fudge, this is me saying: until here and not further," Emrys-LeFay declared. "You've stepped over the line and you lost. Don't try anything further, because I'm done with your machinations. I'm done."
He didn't add 'with you', but the implications were there.
For a moment, Emrys-LeFay's gaze roamed the Wizengamot.
People all around him shifted in their seats, but was clear that it was over.
Fudge had lost.
Not only that.
From the way Fudge himself acted, he had proven that he had lied to them.
It was the way his eyes roamed, the way he sweated and the way he looked – pale and clammy – that convinced even the last few people who had been on his side that Fudge had deliberately stuck his head into the sand.
Emrys-LeFay was right.
It was over.
Fudge was done for.
And he seemed to understand that as well, because instead of saying something else, he collapsed into his chair as if his strings had been cut.
"I think we've seen and heard enough," Augusta Longbottom spoke up coolly in that moment. "Clearly, the good Minister isn't in any condition to keep his position for the moment."
"I agree," more than one other person said.
Amelia leaned forward, looking around the Wizengamot while Fudge spluttered, clearly trying to regain his bearings but not there, yet.
"Anyone carrying the motion for the immediate removal of Cornelius Fudge from his post as Minister of Magic?" she asked.
"I carry," more than one person agreed.
Amelia reached for the gravel in front of her – there since she was third in the hierarchy of the Wizengamot and clearly Albus Dumbledore wasn't willing to act – and tapped her desk.
"Motion is carried," she said. "Cornelius Fudge, you are removed as Minister of Magic until further notice."
There would still be evidence to gather and a trial to conduct but Amelia doubted that Fudge would regain his post – not after Emrys-LeFay basically ensured that Fudge dug his own grave…
"No!" Fudge cried and leaned forward, clearly a last attempt to struggle against the irreversible.
"You can't do that! You CAN'T!" he screamed. "I'm the Minister of Magic! I–"
In that moment, magic unleashed and then the doors banged open.
Anastasius Sanguini was humming while slipping into the Ministry of Magic.
Oh, he knew that theoretically, he had promised his Pater that he would stay away from the Ministry that day – but, after all that excitement in Diagon Alley, Ana was also sure that his father would forgive him if he came to the Ministry anyway.
His father always forgave him, in the end, after all.
"And at least I didn't take my Moon with me," he reasoned while he skipped down the empty hallways following a path he had taken once already, not too long ago. "And I really want to know how my dear friend is doing."
Oh, Ana knew that his arguments wouldn't get him out of trouble if his Pater found out that he had broken his word – something that Ana rarely did and never without any reason… any reason, that didn't mean it had to be a good reason and Ana was well aware of that distinction – but it was better to have them now instead of having to try and think them up later.
"I also cannot not finish the game I started," Ana reasoned. "Not to mention that I'm a grown ass adult and I can go wherever I want when I want!"
Ana guessed that the last reason was the best he had, actually. At least, it was a reason his father always accepted.
It was Ana's decision – and as much as he liked to defer to his father, in the end, Ana, no matter how childish he liked to act and how much he liked to be his father's son, was still grown and had been so for centuries.
And Sal, no matter how often he treated Ana like a child, knew that.
In that moment, Voldemort and Bellatrix rounded the corner.
"I hate when they're early," Ana complained to himself and then, before Voldemort could react, he flung himself at the other man.
Voldemort was a trained wizard with fast reflexes – and the same could be said for Bellatrix.
Yet, not one of them could react in time when Ana with reflexes honed throughout centuries came at them and then, without actually touching the sphere, took the prophecy from Voldemort's hands.
Holding it with his hands covered in the black cloth of his robes, Ana stepped backwards out of Voldemort's reach before looking at the crystal ball.
"Huh," he said with interest in his voice. "I wonder why you would want that. I think I have seen better ones with nearly every moderately good seer I came across before."
Voldemort stopped and stared at Ana for a second before his face twisted with rage.
"Give that back, vampire," he said coolly. "Or you will regret it."
Ana hummed for a moment thoughtfully and then decided that a bratty teenager response was the best thing he could do.
"Nope," he said popping the 'p' and showed his fangs.
"Give it back, traitor!" Bellatrix screeched.
"If you want it, come and get it!" Ana countered before singsonging, taunting Bellatrix with her disownment. "No-Name!"
And with that, he turned and ducked just in time to escape one of Voldemort's curses.
"What? Didn't like the present I left you with the glow-ball-thingy?" he asked Voldemort amused.
And there he had taken so much extra care to arrange Nagini's body just to his liking – not to mention his soul-felt note!
Voldemort sent another curse at him and Ana ducked, cackled and then fled.
"Get him!" he could hear Voldemort demanding behind him. "I need the prophecy!"
For a moment, Ana dared to look over his shoulder, amused that Bellatrix had immediately reacted to Voldemort's order and was chasing him now.
Oh, Ana wasn't stupid.
He knew that Bellatrix would chase him and the moment she had cornered him, she would call Voldemort to herself.
But it didn't matter.
Ana already had what he wanted.
He flung himself down the corridors, twisting and turning this way and that way, ducking beneath spells and cackling whenever Bellatrix missed him while trying one of her tricks.
Three corridors to go.
And then, Bellatrix had him cornered against a closed door.
Ana grinned, showing her his fangs while she called Voldemort to herself.
The man appeared next to her.
"Give me the prophecy!" he demanded.
Ana's grin widened.
"Bite me!" he countered.
And Voldemort aimed his wand at him to cast another spell.
The spell hit the closed door and it burst out of its hinges.
Ana's smile turned positively feral.
"Say cheese!" he told the two of them and flung himself backwards into the room behind him – right in the middle of the gawking members of the Wizengamot.
The people behind him gawked.
But it was his Pater's reaction that caught Ana's attention.
His father's eyes met his own and then closed slowly as if in pain.
Then Pater buried his head in his hands and Ana knew what he thought.
It was the same his father had always thought when it came to Ana and taunting dark wizards.
There existed just one reason why a Dark Lord like Tom Riddle would lose control while obviously being on a mission in enemy territory... and that reason had a very well-known name for Salvazsahar Emrys-LeFay.
"Ana," he groaned barely audible, but audible enough that Ana could hear him nevertheless – or maybe Ana just knew him good enough to know what his father was currently murmuring. "By wind and water, Ana, childe!"
Because as wilfully blind Sal sometimes liked to be when it came to his son, he had never had enough hands to cover his ears and eyes to be able to ignore when Ana was about to goad another dark lord into insanity… again.
It seemed like his Pater liked the present he brought…
Well, continuation of the meeting (and I'm only a few weeks after the two I hoped for *winces* ^^'). Not sure how it turned out, but I hope you liked it anyway.
It's also a bit shorter than usual... but... that's the price for getting a chapter earlier than usual? ^^'
Stay healthy, everyone! (And those who aren't: I hope you get it soon!)
'Till next time.
PS: Dear Claude Amelia Song,
I'm sorry, it's not Why To Sort... but I didn't manage to get it done in time for Christmas morning. But... are you willing to take *this* fic as a consolation gift? *puppy-dog-eyes*
Master Tease. ;-)