2nd August 1995
Fifteen-year-old Harry James Potter sat beside his godfather at the huge dining table in Number twelve Grimmauld Place, the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, with the other Weasleys and a few members of the Order occupying the places around the table. Harry had just been escorted to the headquarters from the Dursleys where he had spent his summer so far being miserable. Sirius was congratulating Harry on creating chaos in the wizarding world when Mrs. Weasley interrupted them.
"Harry, do you know how much hassle you have created with that stupid stunt of yours? Why would you do something like this? The Wizarding World is in a chaos right now and the Statue of Secrecy has been broken too many times." Molly Weasley stated.
"I did not do anything, Mrs. Weasley. I did not get any news as to what measures were being taken against Voldemort and its been more than a year since the headmaster has known about Sirius's innocence and he doesn't seem to be doing anything to clear Sirius's name. Pettigrew escaped a year back and see what he has done within a year. He went back to his bloody master and had him resurrected and killed a seventeen year old boy just because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. So I did what I could to make sure the rat was captured to prove my godfather's innocence as well as prove to the world and the Ministry that I am not a bloody attention seeker." Harry retorted in the silence that had settled in the room as soon as Mrs. Weasley asked her question.
"We are doing everything we can to spread the word about you-know-who. As for Sirius's innocence, You-Know-Who is more important right now." One of the order member who Harry had not seen before said defensively.
"And how many of them are believing you over the Daily Prophet? And although I am not saying that Voldemort is not important, proving my godfather's innocence is of equal importance to me. And with Pettigrew captured I can prove both to be true. As I already pointed out Dumbledore knew about Sirius's innocence for an entire year and does not seem to have taken any step to clear his name." Harry snapped.
"You are just a small boy. What do you know about fighting in the real world? We know what we are doing. You just do as you are told and don't interfere in things that do not concern you. You have no place in the war." Another order member snapped. Sirius stood up to retort but was held back by Harry's hand on his arm.
"I am the same small boy that along with my friends who had to save the philosophers stone from Volde-bloody-mort because the illustrious headmaster was absent from school as he had received an urgent owl from the Ministry of Magic. He in his infinite wisdom decided to forgo portkey because it was illegal to create one without the Ministry's permission, and for whatever reason decided to forgo floo travel and walking to Hogsmaede and apparating, which is also instantaneous. He instead decided to go to the ministry in which is in London by flying a broomstick for the apparent urgent business. When we informed the deputy head, she assured us that the stone was well protected without hearing our reasons as to why we suspected it was going to be stolen. Well, her idea of best protection is a three-headed dog that falls asleep when music is played, the Devils Snare which is mentioned in First year, a room full of flying keys, the correct key is among those, life sized wizarding chess, a troll, a logic riddle with the right potion to pass through to the final chamber and finally a mirror that shows our deepest desire. Dumbledore said that the mirror would only give the stone to the person who does not wish to use it. How long would it have taken Voldemort to understand that? Why not have the correct key under the fidelius charm? Why not enchant the opposite chess pieces to attack even if the person wins the game? Why not fill all the bottles with poison instead of the correct one?"
"This is the same small boy who went with his friend into the Chamber of Secrets to save a little girl that was being possessed by Voldemort and had to battle the basilisk down there by himself because the Defense professor was a fraud who only wanted fame and obliviated people to take credit for their achievements. This is the same small boy who fought off a hundred dementors to save his godfather. This is the same small boy who was kidnapped from the safest place in the world to have his blood taken for the resurrection of Voldemort, had to witness the death of a school mate and had to duel the snake-faced bastard in order to escape from there. Where were the adults in each of these situations? You tell me I have no place in this war and not to interfere with things that do not concern me, well tell that to Voldemort who came to kill me when I was a one-year old boy. Tell that to Voldemort and his bloody death eaters who captured me and killed my school mate and tried to kill me as well." Harry snapped back.
"Well said, Harry." Sirius clapped his godson on the back. "I have been trying to get them to come around, but I had no success. Come along, I will show you to your room." Sirius said as he led his furious godson out of the room.
3rd August 1995
Harry came down the next morning to find that most of the order members had left. Harry sat down and started his breakfast when Ginny Weasley interrupted his thoughts.
"Harry, I have just received a letter from my year mate and friend Luna Lovegood. Her father is the owner of a magazine called Quibbler. They do not follow the ministry and most people regard it as a rag. But since the Daily prophet is a piece of shit now-a-days, I can say that Quibbler is better. Luna wanted to know if you could answer a few questions for her father over the mail regarding the bounty you announced. Here is the most recent copy of Quibbler which has the press conference with the Minister, it has not yet been released." She said handing him a copy of the magazine.
Harry started to read the article as he ate and started to chock when he read the part about Xeno's question about Fudge's actions in taking over Gringotts. He swallowed the food in his mouth with a little difficulty before he started laughing in honest. The others around the table looked at him questioning why he was laughing like a loon. Harry got his laughter under control, before he read the article aloud to the table. Everyone guffawed when the part about Xeno asking Fudge about the name "Cornelius Goblin-crusher Fudge", the Gringotts take over, and finally everyone lost it when they read about Xeno's questions about Goblin-pies and the reaction of the Belgian Ambassador.
"Oh Merlin! I can't believe Xeno asked Fudge about Goblin pies and the Belgian ambassador created even more chaos with his hearing difficulty." Sirius said breaking into laughter again.
"We should only hope that the Goblins do not catch the news about Fudge thinking about more goblin restrictions. There would be a revolt." Bill said wiping his tears.
"If Mr. Lovegood would owl his list of questions, I can definitely answer them. Would you mind letting your friend know, Ginny?" Harry asked once he had calmed down.
Ginny nodded and penned a reply to Luna before she sent it with Ron's hyperactive owl Pig.
"Harry, do you think that is the wisest course of action? Think about what Dumbledore will say." Hermione said looking at him disapprovingly.
"Why should I think about what the headmaster would say? He is nothing but my headmaster. He has a say in what I do at school. But this is a summer vacation and he has no say in what I do during the summer. He has not cared before this. Why should he care now?" Harry asked before just getting up and leaving with Sirius, the twins and Ron following him.
That afternoon Ginny received a reply from Luna along with a charmed two-way parchment for Harry from Xenophilius Lovegood, through which Xeno could ask his questions and Harry could answer them.
4th August 1995
The table at Grimmauld Place was full once again as a few members had joined them for a breakfast before going to work. They were interrupted when an owl landed before Harry and offered its burden. Remus Lupin and Mad-Eye Moody cast several detection charms before allowing Harry to remove the package. He opened it to reveal the Quibbler, which had his picture on the cover. Harry did not know who had taken the picture but it was taken at the end of the third task where Harry lay on Cedric's body with the Tri-wizard Tournament cup clutched in his other hand, sobbing. "Harry Potter Answers Questions about the Bounty on Peter Pettigrew." was emblazoned in bold letters across the picture.
Harry opened the magazine to the page the article was printed on and read it silently. Sirius pried the magazine from Harry's hands and started to read it aloud.
"Harry James Potter Answers Questions about the Bounty on Peter Pettigrew."
"Ministry's Mistakes exposed!"
"An Innocent Man imprisoned at Azkaban without a Trial!"
"There was a press conference held by the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Oswald Fudge on the second of August 1995 about the bounty announced by the boy-who-lived, Harry James Potter who has recently completed his fourth year at Hogwarts. While the Minister, Madam Bones, the head of the DMLE and Rufus Scrimgeour, the Head Auror were present, this reporter noted the lack of the person who announced the bounty. So, I sent Mr. Potter a request for an interview, who agreed to it and answered my questions.
XL: Mr. Potter, It is well known that Mr. Black killed Peter Pettigrew immediately after the downfall of You-Know-Who. So, why are you putting up a bounty for a dead man?
HP: Mr. Lovegood, I can assure you that I have seen the so-called dead man at the end of my third year as well as at the end of the Tri-wizard Tournament. There are three other witnesses if you do not believe me.
XL: You saw him at the end of your third year? Why was no one alerted to this?
HP: (snorts) No one alerted? Minister Fudge was indeed alerted the same evening, Mr. Lovegood.
XL: Can you please explain Mr. Potter? If the Minister was alerted, why did he say nothing about it to the general public?
HP: It was after we had completed our final exams for the year. My friends and I had received a letter from our dear friend Hagrid, who informed us about the execution of one of the Hippogriffs. We had initially thought that there would be an appeal, but it seemed as though the Ministry had already made their mind up and the Minister was there along with the executioner.
XL: Pardon me for the interruption Mr. Potter, but why was the Hippogriff executed? They are a dying race if my research is correct.
HP: (Shrugs) Because of money!
XL: Er, Could you elaborate please?
HP: The incident happened during our Care of Magical Creatures class. Professor Hagrid is our teacher for that class. He wanted to keep us interested and impress us with magical creatures for the first class and so decided to show us one of the most interesting creatures in the magical world, the Hippogriffs instead of something boring like the bowtruckles. Professor Hagrid specifically instructed us that the Hippogriffs were a proud race and that they are not to be insulted. I was one of the first in my class to approach the hippogriff called Buckbeak and was actually allowed to fly him. One of my classmates Draco Malfoy approached the same hippogriff after I was done. Malfoy was determined to disrupt the class as he kept making rude comments about Professor Hagrid and how he was going to get the Professor sacked. When he approached Buckbeak, Buckbeak returned his bow. That was when Malfoy stated '"This is very easy, I knew it must have been, if Potter could do it... I bet you're not dangerous at all, are you? Are you, you great ugly brute?'
Naturally, as was his inherent nature, Buckbeak was offended and slashed Malfoy with his talons. The injury was not severe as it was a flesh wound, which Madam Pomfrey would have been able to heal within an hour at most. After all she healed my friend Neville Longbottom's broken wrist within a few minutes back in our first year and was also able to regrow all the bones in my right hand overnight after my defense professor, Gilderoy Lockhart vanished them. But Malfoy kept the bandage on and had his father file a complaint with the Ministry. The ministry officials who investigated the case did not ask any of the students for their version of what happened at the class. They might have asked a few of Malfoy's friends, but don't you think it would be biased? Why not get a memory of the incident and view it to see if Buckbeak had indeed gone wild? How can the hippogriff fly with me calmly but attack Malfoy in a space of few minutes? Does that not sound like money spoke to make sure Buckbeak was executed? Well, Draco Malfoy certainly indicated that Buckbeak wouldn't get away because his father was the Minister Fudge's close friend. And that seemed to be true, for why else would Minister Fudge be at Hogwarts to witness the execution of Buckbeak? Is it normal for the Minister of magic to attend the execution of all the magical creatures?
XL: That certainly seems fishy indeed, Mr. Potter. But I guess we have deviated from the true story of Peter Pettigrew.
HP: Indeed Mr. Lovegood. I am sorry for the rant, but the injustice done to a creature that was not able to defend himself just makes me frustrated.
Anyhow, My friends Hermione Granger, Ronald (Ron) Weasley and I went to Hagrid's hut for a few moments to support our friend in his time of need. That was where we found Ron's pet rat Scabbers, who we thought to be dead.
XL: I am sorry again for the interruption, but you thought Scabbers to be dead? Then how did you identify that the rat was indeed Scabbers?
HP: Yes. Ron found a bit of blood and some cat hair on the sheets with Scabbers nowhere to be found. There has never been an incident where Scabbers had run off from Ron ever since he got it in his first year. So we had assumed Scabbers had died. As to how we identified the rat was indeed Scabbers, it was because he was missing a toe in his front paw. So we had to leave because it was getting late and Hagrid did not want us to witness the horrible scene.
It was on our way back when my friend Ron was pulled into a tunnel by a huge dog. Hermione and I had no time to alert the teachers because we feared the dog might have injured Ron even more, so we followed them. It was there we found Sirius Black. Professor Lupin, our defense professor during the year, who had seen us go down the tunnel, soon followed us. Sirius soon told us the story about how my parents had switched secret keepers at the last minute so that while Sirius acted the decoy and attracted the Death Eaters to him, Peter, who was the true secret keeper would be very safe.
Unfortunately, none of them suspected Peter to be the true traitor, who went to Voldemort and gave him our location.
(Please read about the Fidelius charm and Secret Keepers in Page 6)
The rest is history, as you know where Voldemort killed my parents and was unable to kill me. What many do not know is that Sirius Black is my Godfather. When he found our house destroyed and I was taken to my relatives, Sirius wanted to capture the one responsible for his best friends' death. Hence he tracked Pettigrew down. Pettigrew outsmarted my godfather by shouting out that Sirius was the one to betray my parents, cut his own finger off, blast twelve muggles and transformed into his illegal animagus form, a rat, and escaped into a sewer.
Why did no one question why the only piece of Pettigrew they found was a finger whereas there were bodies of the other muggles? Why would a godfather, who swore to protect the baby on his own life and magic, try to harm said baby? Why were these questions never asked?
Professor Lupin asked Sirius how he had known that Scabbers was truly Pettigrew. Sirius showed us the photograph of the Weasley family in Egypt, which was published, in the Daily prophet. The Minister was the one to give the paper to Sirius. Sirius saw that Pettigrew was acting as a pet for Ron, who was with me at Hogwarts. So Sirius escaped to protect me from Pettigrew. To prove further, Professor Lupin and Sirius performed the animagus reversal spell on Scabbers and lo and behold Scabbers transformed into a rat faced man, Peter Pettigrew. Peter then confessed to his crimes.
XL: That… I do not have any words for that story. I applaud Sirius Black for trying to protect his godson. It is obvious that if Sirius Black escaped for Azkaban now, he was able to escape anytime before this. So, him escaping with the intention to protect his godson is something I think we should all praise. Mr. Potter, why then did the Minister not believe you?
HP: Ah! That is because of a person that still holds onto a childish grudge against my father and godfather. It was none other than Professor Snape. He wanted to give Sirius to the dementors without listening to his side of the story. So I disarmed him and I think I put a little too much power, as he was blasted against a wall and fell unconscious. When we were returning to the castle to turn Pettigrew over, the dementors started swarming in and Pettigrew escaped in the chaos by transforming into the rat he is. I was the only one other than Professor Lupin who knew the Patronus charm which Professor Lupin taught me. I performed the Patronus and drove away the dementors but lost consciousness after that. When I woke up, I found out that Professor Snape had convinced the Minister that Sirius had confounded us about his innocence. The Minister was not ready to admit that a mistake had been done and did not want to listen to three thirteen year olds.
I actually have a question for Minister Fudge. We were at the hospital wing, so why did you not ask madam Pomfrey to remove the confoundus charm? Or at least call in a healer from St. Mungo's to do so? If we were truly confounded why was the spell not removed? It is also very well known that Severus Snape hated my father and godfather, so why would his word be taken without any doubt over the one who actually has a right to hate Sirius Black, if he was indeed a traitor? Why are a former Death Eater's words more effective than that of Albus Dumbledore? Why was Sirius Black not questioned with Veritaserum? He was to receive the dementor's kiss directly. I can only thank my lucky stars that my godfather somehow escaped again.
XL: Why did none of this come out at Mr. Black's trial?
HP: That is an easy question. My godfather did not have a trial. He was arrested and put in Azkaban because the evidence was 'obvious'.
XL: But that's.. That's gross injustice.
HP: It's not the only time an innocent man was put in Azkaban without a trial. During my second year, the Chamber of Secrets was opened and Minister Fudge came to Hogwarts personally to escort Hagrid to Azkaban just because he was framed for the same crime and expelled from Hogwarts. Hagrid has been staying at Hogwarts for so long, why did he not open the Chamber before this if it was truly him who had first opened it? When Hagrid and the Headmaster tried to protest, Minister Fudge said, "The Ministry has got to be SEEN DOING something."
XL: Oh Merlin! Really? (Speechless) (Clears his throat) Can you tell us about Pettigrew's murder of Cedric Diggory and why the Ministry is denying it all as lies?
HP: At the end of the third task, Cedric and I took the cup together because we wanted to make it a Hogwarts win completely as we had helped each other out previously. We were transported to a graveyard where I was filled with pain and fell down. We heard a voice saying 'Kill the spare.' And with a jet of green light, Cedric fell down dead. I was then tied to a tombstone and my blood was forcibly taken to resurrect Voldemort. The Minister thinks that I am making up Voldemort's return because he wants to stay as the Minister. He had a perfect witness in Barty Crouch Junior who was a death eater, said to be dead in Azkaban. But, Crouch Sr. had smuggled him out a few months later. The Minister ordered a dementor brought into a school full of children and the kiss was performed before the death eater could give any evidence. What if the dementor was not satisfied with just one soul? Who could control a dementor fully if it had decided to feast on the students? Why did the Minister not think of the safety of the students? Why would I dishonor a fellow student by lying about his death? Why has there been no investigation into the murder of a seventeen-year-old boy?
That is why I have announced the bounty for the rat-faced bastard. If they capture him, then everyone will know that I tell the truth. I never asked the public to fight Voldemort. I only asked the Ministry to prepare. Why is the Minister insisting on keeping his head under the sand when he could caution the public to protect their homes? Why am I, a fifteen-year-old boy being slandered by the Daily Prophet and the Ministry? If they call me a liar, I am willing to take Veritaserum to prove my story. Why has that not been done?
XL: We can only hope that although the Ministry is denying everything, the readers would at least consider taking more precautions and protect their homes better. What do you think about the rumor about Minister Fudge trying to take control over Gringotts and impose more restrictions on the Goblins?
HP: Honestly, after seeing repeatedly what lengths Minister Fudge would go to keep his office, I would say it is more than likely, he has already started his efforts towards taking over Gringotts and imposing more restrictions. After all, this is the same person who is currently slandering a fifteen-year-old boy just because he does not want to believe the truth.
XL: Thank you Mr. Potter for your interview. I hope this article has clarified to the readers that Peter Pettigrew is indeed alive and roaming around in the public. I certainly hope that the death eater will be caught soon and the Minister might at least start caring more about the Magical population than his own position. I am also first of the citizens to demand Minister Fudge give the answers to Mr. Potter's questions."
There was a pin-drop silence for a few minutes before the noise started in the room. The youngsters and Sirius as well as a few order members were beaming at Harry and congratulating him on a job well done while others looked disapprovingly. Harry just shrugged off the disapproving looks. After all, you could never please everyone. He was satisfied with himself for giving Fudge more of a headache.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed it. Reviews Please!