I own nothing but the plot, and not even all of that.

Awareness returned slowly. Like eyes adjusting to a suddenly dark room, details began to fill in. He was Toma. He was in a bed. It seemed very odd to him that he should be in a bed. There was a sense of wrongness about being in a bed. He felt like a Padawan who had fallen asleep during a lesson. His arms tingled like they had fallen asleep. With a wave of painful pinpricks that made him feel as his limbs were made of static, his awareness expanded to his entire body.

Everything was still dark, but he could hear voices. He couldn't understand what they were saying, though. They sounded muffled and distant, like they were in another room. The absolute darkness suddenly seemed less absolute. It was still pitch black, but it felt more like an absence of light than a presence of dark. He fell asleep again.

With a start, he came awake. Everything was a blur of black and white, but as he looked around him, sepia tones began to color his vision as his eyes focused. With a feeling of panic he had not felt since his own Jedi Trials, he remembered Harry. They were walking down a Hogwarts corridor on patrol when something happened. He couldn't remember what it was, but he had a feeling of intense danger.

"Harry! Run!" he yelled out, lifting his head off the pillow and struggling to sit up.

"Please relax," a soothing female voice with an Earth accent said as hands pushed him back down. It was a woman with long black hair, wearing robes with an emblem on the breast. "You are not in danger. Do not get up. We are here to help you." Whomever it was, they were strong enough to keep him down as he fought to rise.

"Where is Harry?" he demanded. He was still only seeing blurry images, but they were in full color now.

"I'm here, Master," his Padawan said. Harry's blurry head appeared in his field of view, then was pushed back by the woman. "Please, don't get up," Harry said. "The healers say you need to rest."

"What happened?" Toma asked.

"We were attacked by a Gorgon," Harry answered.

"This is not the time," the woman said. "Suffice it to say, you were petrified and unconscious. We've restored you, but it will take several hours until you've recovered enough to ask questions."

"Who are you?" Toma asked.

"That is a question," the woman scolded. "I'm a healer from Saint Mungo's Hospital," she answered in a softer tone. "You may call me Healer Tonks."

"Rest, Master," Harry said. "I'll give you a full report when you've recovered."

With that reassurance, Toma stopped trying to fight Healer Tonks and laid his head back down. The pins and needles were still racing up and down his body.

"How are you feeling?" Healer Tonks asked.

"It is of no consequence," Toma said. He flexed the muscles in his arms and legs and was pleased to find the painful tingling had greatly subsided.

"Oh, so you're one of that sort, are you?" asked Healer Tonks with a smile that did not reach her eyes. "I know you're not from around here, but I'm quite sure the Healers from wherever it is you come from wouldn't accept that as an answer. It's certainly not going to work with me. Now, how are you feeling?"

"As it happens," Toma said, "you are correct about the Jedi Healers. They are also quite persistent. I believe you would get along with them very well."

"Isn't that nice?" Healer Tonks said, sweetly. "Don't think for a moment you're going to get away with that, though." She pierced him with a glare and asked again in a tone that brooked no arguments. "How are you feeling?"

Toma sighed and relented. Healer Tonks wrote some orders in a book adjusting the medications Toma was to receive and gave instructions to an assistant to make him comfortable.

"Whom do you have in custody?" Cornelius asked, incredulously.

"Lucius Malfoy," Amelia answered. They were in the Minister's office, and Amelia had just dropped this bombshell in Cornelius's lap.

"Surely, you cannot be serious," Cornelius protested. "He is an upstanding member of our society. That's not even to mention his incredibly generous donations to St. Mungo's, the Ministry Building Repair Fund, and many other worthy causes!"

"He was also," Amelia responded, "just caught red handed trying to resurrect You-Know-Who."

Cornelius's face went white.

"That is not possible," he mumbled. "You can't bring anyone back from the dead. Everyone knows that you can't do that!"

"Dumbledore says he's not really dead," Amelia said.

"Poppycock," Cornelius retorted. "Everybody knows Harry Potter killed him on the same night You-Know-Who killed little Harry's parents."

"Even if that's so," Amelia countered, "Lucius still made the attempt, regardless of whether or not he would have succeeded."

"Well," Cornelius said weakly, "perhaps a fine."

"He was also responsible," Amelia said, reading from a parchment of charges, "for the petrification of Toma Kendet, guardian to Harry Potter, the petrification of nine of the Troopers assigned to protect Harry Potter, the deaths of three additional Troopers, grievous injuries suffered by the Heir of the House of Longbottom, the petrification of five students including his own son, and the death of Gilderoy Lockhart."

"Oh, my goodness," Cornelius groaned, holding his head in his hands. He turned to face the wall. "This is a disaster."

"Minister," Amelia said, "I know Lucius Malfoy is a donor to your campaign, but you need to cut him loose. We have the votes needed to question him under Veritaserum. If he's not really responsible for it, the truth will come out."

Cornelius thought as quickly as he could. He was more terrified of You-Know-Who than he could even put into words. He was also terrified of the damage a freely talking Lucius Malfoy with a grudge against him could cause. It was time to do some damage control.

"We need to do this quietly," Cornelius said, his voice shaking. "I'll call for a closed session of the court. Talk with these votes you say you have. I want the questioning done in private. The court scribe will be present to keep everything legal. I do not want him able to speak at the trial. His Veritaserum testimony will have to suffice."

"Minister?" Amelia asked, shocked.

"I do not want to believe that You-Know-Who can come back," he said, getting his voice under control. He turned to face Amelia again. "But if it's at all possible, as Dumbledore apparently believes, then I don't want to give Lucius the chance to tell anyone else how to do it."

"What is your full name?" Madam Bones asked him.

"Lucius Abraxas Malfoy," he said in a monotone.

"What is your profession?" she asked.

"I have never needed to work," he answered.

"Are you a Death Eater?" she asked.

"Yes," he answered.

"Do you support You-Know-Who willingly?" she asked.

"Yes," he answered.

"Did you attempt to resurrect You-Know-Who?" she asked.

"Yes," he answered.

"Do you believe your attempt would have succeeded?" she asked.

"Yes," he answered.

"Was it your intention for people to die while attempting to resurrect You-Know-Who?"

"Yes," he answered.

"Was it your intention for people to be injured while attempting to resurrect You-Know-Who?" she asked.

"I was hoping for death, but injury was also acceptable," he answered.

"That will be enough," a voice that sounded like a disgusted Cornelius Fudge said. "Give him the antidote and then gag him. We have more than enough to go to trial.

"Witches and Wizards of the Wizengamot," Cornelius Fudge said to the assembled men and women in plum colored robes, "This court is now in session. Today we will be hearing two trials. Neither should take a great deal of time. Mr. Clerk?"

"The Wizengamot Vs. Lucius Malfoy," the court clerk called out.

"Bring out the accused," Fudge said. A door opened, and four Auror's escorted Lucius Malfoy in and sat him down in an iron chair with rattling chains that wrapped their way around him as he sat. The gag over his mouth could not be removed by trying to rub it off.

"Read the charges," Cornelius said. Lucius continued to glare at Fudge as Amelia Bones read out the lengthy list of charges.

"Read the testimony," Cornelius continued. Amelia read the questions and answers that Lucius had provided under the truth serum.

"Court Scribe," Cornelius asked, "is the reading accurate?"

"Yes, Minister," the scribe said.

"Please lift your wands and light them if you vote to accept the testimony as presented in the reading of the questioning during Veritaserum," the Minister called out. More than three quarters of the Wizengamot lit their wands.

"Very good," Fudge said. "Let the record show that the testimony is accepted. As there is no further testimony required, we will now vote on whether he is guilty or innocent of these charges. If he is found innocent, then he is to be released with our apology. If he is found guilty, he will be sentenced to life in prison for the murder of the outstanding author and teacher of the Defense Against the Dark Arts, Gilderoy Lockhart, as well as the other charges. Please lift and light your wands if you believe Lucius Malfoy is innocent of these charges."

About a quarter of the Wizengamot lit their wands.

"Please lift and light your wands if you believe Lucius Malfoy is guilty of these charges," Fudge said.

Again, three quarters of the Wizengamot lit their wands. Lucius glowered murderously at them.

"Very well," Minister Fudge said, banging a small gavel. "Lucius Abraxas Malfoy, you have been found guilty of murder in an attempt to resurrect the dark wizard known as You-Know-Who, as well as related lesser charges. You are hereby sentenced to life imprisonment at the Azkaban prison, sentence to begin immediately.

Lucius Malfoy was dragged out of the court by the four Aurors that had brought him in. His muffled screaming could be heard until the door to the chamber slammed shut once more.

"Court Clerk," Fudge called out. "Next case, please."

"The Wizengamot Vs. Sirius Black," the clerk called out.

Draco had never been so confused or conflicted in his life. Up until now, his father had always been the primary parent in his family. Father was the one who taught him about the major players in the Wizengamot. By the time Draco was ten he could tell you where each of the most influential members stood on the main issues of the day. He learned who had money and who needed it. Father taught him how much to give to achieve the results he desired.

Father was the one who set the rules, and father was the one to punish Draco if he were caught breaking them. He was never punished if he got away with breaking the rules, even if Father found out after the fact. The lesson was that rules only mattered if you got caught.

Mother was different. She was a daughter of the house of Black, which meant she was used to wealth and respect from her name alone. She usually only concerned herself with the most trivial aspects of Draco's upbringing. She bought his clothes, his broom, his toys and his treats. Mother set his diet (with plenty of the candies and sweets he loved) and was generally in charge of pampering and fretting over him.

His education of Pure-blood politics and worldview was entirely set by his father. Now his father was as good as gone. Lucius Malfoy was sentenced to a lifetime in Azkaban for attempting to resurrect the Dark Lord. It was a quick trial, and closed to the public. Once Fudge had realized how much damage Father could lay at the Minister's feet, a very quick and damning investigation was pushed through. Father was arrested, tried, and convicted within a day and a half. Fudge, fearing the damage a freely talking Lucius Malfoy could cause him, even made sure Father was not allowed to speak on his own behalf. Veritaserum was administered in a private interrogation and the relevant answers were played back to the court after the fact.

Father wasn't the only loss for the Malfoy family that day. Once Draco's Grandfather had heard about the all too quick conviction, he rose from his bed for the first time in over a year. Abraxas Malfoy was one hundred and three and in extremely poor health. For several years it seemed that he was holding onto life with an iron will alone. Mother had begged her Father-in-Law to go back to bed, but he demanded an audience with the Wizengamot to protest the imprisonment of his heir. He had hobbled into the chamber, screamed obscenities at them for a full minute, and then dropped dead of a massive heart attack.

The rumor mill of the British Magical World was fueled by the rhetoric of The Daily Prophet. It took only half a day for word to reach every magical home in England that old Abraxas Malfoy was in the middle of declaring a blood feud on the Houses of Black and Potter when Magic itself judged him as unworthy and struck him dead.

Thus, Draco was now the Head of his House. Oh, his mother held the regency, but Draco was actually named as Head. He couldn't be forced into a marriage anymore. He was no longer shackled by his father's rules. He honestly didn't know if he should thank Potter and Black or try to kill them.

He considered his actions. He had followed Potter. Zabini would likely be hounding him for months after this. Named as Head of House, even with Mother holding the regency, should lessen how much people could complain and harass him, but it wouldn't stop it entirely. He would have to think about how to frame this.

Harry Potter sat in the Gryffindor Common Room. Tonks, having declared that things were now calm enough, was presumably off yelling at Professor McGonagall for bringing Harry back to the castle without his Auror guard. That's what she was threatening to do when she left Gryffindor Tower several hours earlier, at any rate. Auror Dawlish was sitting in a chair near the fire, watching Harry. Apparently Dawlish now considered the young Jedi to be a flight risk.

Master Toma was awake at last, but the Healers were insisting that he rest. He wanted to stay with Hermione, but they were adamant that he leave the Hospital Wing. There were too many patients, and not enough Healers, and so he had been unceremoniously shown the door. It felt odd to be in the castle when it was this empty. The vast majority of the students had been evacuated and were now at home. Most of the students who had been left behind were now in the Hospital Wing. The Professors were busy cleaning up the mess from the battle.

Tonks entered the Common Room with a disgruntled look on her face.

"How did it go?" Harry asked.

"She gave me detention for using bad language," Tonks sulked.

Dawlish rolled his eyes.

"Can she do that?" Harry asked. "You're no longer a student."

"As it turns out," Tonks said, "she can. You see, she's on very good terms with my Stealth Professor at the Auror Academy, and as I'm barely holding on in that class by a thread..."

"I'd think you'd do very well in stealth," Harry said, "since you can shape-shift."

"No," Tonks said. "That's Concealment. I'm aces at that. Stealth is all sneaking around and everything. I've go two left feet, so I'm really clumsy."

"You don't have two left feet," Dawlish said, "you just don't pay attention to what your limbs are doing."

"Oh yeah?" Tonks disagreed. She kicked her boots off, revealing that she really did have two left feet." She winked at Harry, then changed her right foot back to normal.

Dawlish rolled his eyes again.

"So you have to do detention at the Academy?" Harry asked.

"Oh, no," Tonks answered, putting her boots back on. "It's just that my Stealth Professor will fail me unless I did the detention with McGonagall."

"You've already done it?" Harry asked. What did you have to do?"

"Lines!" Tonks protested. "I had to write "My mouth is not a toilet" like five hundred times. It's insulting."

"What did you say to her?" Harry asked.

"Oh no," Tonks said. "If I corrupt you she'll just make it worse. You'll have to just use your imagination."

Sirius Black sat back in his chair and just focused on breathing. He was free. He could just walk down the street now, as himself, and no one could stop him. He was in a room that he had had rented at the Leaky Cauldron.

Amelia had him taken into custody and brought straight to the ministry under armed guard. His trial had been very nearly a formality. Amelia had administered the Veritaserum herself, and had asked all of the questions. The only thing he couldn't answer about that mess of a Halloween night so long ago was what had happened to Peter Pettigrew. Now that the Ministry knew he was the real traitor, they'd be keeping an eye out. He'd told them about all their Animagus forms, but rats were so common it would be hard to find the traitor. That was, if he was even still alive.

He was now aware that his mother had died several years previously. He was astounded to learn that his father had never disowned him. He was the head of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black. The exonerated head. The house he hated so much as a child was his. He was hesitant to go there, hence his renting this room.

"You look terrible," a voice said. Sirius turned to find Remus Lupin standing in the doorway.

"Remus!" Sirius exclaimed. He crossed the room and the two friends hugged.

"We've got a lot to catch up to do," Remus said.

Green Squad had been decimated. Red Sarge was acting as the commander till the actual commander was unthawed and active again. He wasn't anticipating Commander Dameron to remain as Commander, though. The Republic wasn't in the habit of retaining Commanders who got more than half the squad killed or incapacitated on what should have been a simple protection mission. Of the twenty troopers in the squad, one was injured, eight were petrified, and three were dead.

He wasn't safe himself. Red team was down 3 petrified troopers. He hoped he didn't lose his lead position. Blue team was even worse off, with Beast being the only healthy member of that team. Shooter was injured, but would recover soon. Trance had looked at the giant snake in the eye, and it was apparently more lethal than the snake people called Gorgons who had petrified so many of them. The damned thing had actually eaten Meilo.

The word from the magic healers was that everyone who was prettified was finally thawed out, but Doc was the only one on her feet yet. He had served with her for a while, and knew there was no one in the galaxy capable of keeping her in bed if there was a trooper down she could be working on.

Wings was a wreck, and Blondie had taken over as lead pilot. That wasn't official yet, but he was sure it would be soon. Whether Wings would be staying in Green Squad at all or not remained to be seen.

"Sarge?" a female voice called him. He looked up and saw that Ice had come to see him. She must have come here straight from the Hospital Wing.

"Ice," Sarge said. "You alright?"

"I'm good," Ice said, as taciturn as she ever was. "I have a request."

"Master Toma," the blue hologram said. "We are pleased you are finally awake, but are most disturbed by your report."

"Master Meringus," Toma replied, "I would like an explanation."

"An explanation for what?" the small image asked, glowing blue on the desk he was projected onto.

"For why my Padawan was was left without support for over 4 months," Toma answered.

"No support?" Meringus asked. "He had the Troopers with him almost immediately."

"No Jedi support," Toma clarified. "We spoke about this prior to our departure. You, especially, were concerned that Harry was to continue his Jedi training during this critical time. You then left him with no guidance when he needed it most."

Toma stopped short of accusing Master Meringus of hoping Harry would fail, but the accusation was strongly implied. Master Meringus had always opposed Harry being in the order, but had never actively tried to act on his objections before.

"You do not know what has been happening," Meringus protested.

"Since you gave my Padawan no information at all, how could I?" countered Toma.

"Other situations of higher priority required the full attention of the Jedi," explained Meringus.

"Where is Master Yoda?" Toma asked. "I find it difficult to believe that he would classify a Padawan being left to his own devices for this long without support as a low priority."

"Master Toma," Meringus stopped him. "Master Yoda is in a healing coma."

"What?" Toma exclaimed. "What has happened?"

"There was an attack during a trade dispute in the Christoph system," Meringus explained. "A military coup has taken over the elected government of Christophsis and stopped the flow of kyber crystals from that system to the republic. Two Jedi Knights and their Padawans were present at the time, on quests to find lightsaber crystals for the younglings. They were captured and were being held hostage by the deposers. Master Yoda led a team to recover them himself. He was successful in rescuing the hostages, but was gravely injured in the attempt. He was holding off a large number of attackers when they triggered a kyber overload in the chamber he was fighting in. He was recovered, but has been in a healing coma ever since."

Toma could understand why the Council might consider Harry's situation of lesser importance, but he still wasn't happy about it.

"When did this happen?" he asked.

"Not long after you were attacked," Meringus answered.

"When is he expected to recover?" Toma asked.

"Over a month ago," Meringus said in a grim voice..

"We will return at once," Toma said.

"No," Meringus countered. "If your report is accurate, then it would be better for you to remain on Earth for the foreseeable future. Your Padawan has brushed with the Dark Side of the Force and emerged victorious, but it would still be best if he were not thrust into combat until you have had the time to help him process how close he came to falling."

"Combat is still ongoing?" Toma asked.

"Yes," Meringus answered. "All available Jedi are leading troopers to reclaim Christophis and the surrounding systems. It is turning into a very laborious task. The deposers have embedded themselves amongst the citizens. Any determined assault will hurt innocents, and that would exacerbate the political attempts to end this."

"As the Council wishes," Toma acknowledged, "we will remain. Please inform me when Master Yoda awakens, or if there is anything I can do to help."

"There are two other matters to discuss," Meringus said. "First, we require your detachment of troopers if you feel they can be spared. We've actually needed them for some time, but did not wish to recall them until you had recovered. Will you be able to manage without them?"

"Of course," Toma answered, not allowing his annoyance at the not so very veiled insult. "They have sustained some casualties, but are otherwise recovered."

"Very good," Meringus said. "That leaves us with the most delicate matter remaining. Your Padawan appears to be rather attached to this human girl. Your report says he lost control of himself when she was attacked. I am deeply concerned with this attachment. They should be separated immediately."

"No," Toma objected.

"I beg your pardon?" Meringus asked in surprise. "I know you are aware that such attachments are both dangerous and forbidden."

"Under normal circumstances, I would not argue this with you," Toma replied, "but in this case it would be more dangerous to sever this attachment than it would be to allow it to run its course. Unless it is your intention to lose Harry to us forever, then we cannot ask him to choose at this time."

"He should have never been sent there," Meringus grumbled. He was frowning, and was clearly unhappy with the situation.

"That was Master Yoda's choice," Toma said. He would ever admit it, but he took a small amount of pleasure from Meringus's disgruntled grumblings.

"Very well," Meringus grudgingly admitted. "We will continue to wait and see, but I have grave doubts about this situation. It is not traditional." Without waiting for a reply, he terminated the connection.

"I'm so sorry!" Hermione cried. She was hugging Harry tightly, and didn't appear to have any intention of letting go anytime soon.

"It wasn't your fault," Harry reassured her.

"If I'd only gone to the Quidditch match you, Meilo and Trance would still be alive. And Professor Lockhart!"

"We also still wouldn't know where the chamber was," Harry said, "and all of this would still be going on." He patted her back and disengaged from the hug. He took her hand and held it while he looked her in the eye. "I'm not going back to Coruscant," he said. "At least, not for a while."

He filled her in on their orders, and showed her the letter he had received from her parents while she was recovering. He suddenly found himself being hugged again, even harder than before.

Ron Weasley was searching under his bed. Once he had woken up, he was immediately set upon by his mother. She was sobbing, saying over and over again how proud he was to try to protect his little sister. He'd been released from the Hospital Wing and had to tell the story of seeing the snake girl come in and attack him over and over again. First to Dumbledore and a bunch of Aurors, and then to his parents. He told it to Harry, Hermione, and Neville, too, but they had stories of their own to tell.

Now, he was finishing packing. They were going home, and he was looking for Scabbers.

"Ron?" Harry's voiced asked. He sounded muffled, since Ron had half his body stuffed under his bed. He pulled himself out.

"Hey, Harry," he said. " You haven't seen Scabbers anywhere, have you?"

"No," Harry answered. "Not since before all this happened. I'm sorry I didn't think to look for him."

"He was in my pocket in the Hospital Wing," Ron said, worried. "I hope that thing didn't eat him."

"The Gorgan?" Harry asked. "I don't know. Maybe."

"I bet she did," Ron said, glumly.

"I'm sorry," Harry said. He knew he'd be devastated if anything had happened to Hedwig. He helped Ron search, and even enlisted Hermione and Neville to help, but Scabbers was nowhere to be found.

"I seem to have missed a most eventful time," Toma said. He was sitting in one of the chairs opposite the Headmaster's desk.

"Indeed," Dumbledore replied. "There are a few outstanding issues I'd like to clear up before Harry is released for his summer break."

"Of course," Toma said. "I'm sure the first is where Harry will be staying."

"Yes," Dumbledore said.

"The Council has ordered us to remain on Earth for now," Toma said. "There is a situation in the Republic that we would very much like to keep him out of. We will be staying with the Granger family, at least initially."

"Excellent," Dumbledore said. "I'm sure they will be happy to have you. On a less happy note, please be prepared for possible consequences regarding Harry's actions in acquiring the Mandrake Restorative Draught. While I don't anticipate any action being taken, I cannot guarantee it. The Wizengamot can be stubborn about these things. I will, of course, do my best to head off any inquiries."

"The Troopers, for the most part, will be returning to their duties in the Republic," Toma said. "None of the troopers who participated in the action to obtain the draught will be remaining on Earth. Harry did not actually obtain it himself."

"That is an interesting point," Dumbledore said, a bemused expression crossing his face. "As it turns out, it is only the act of importing the draught that is considered illegal. Seen in that light, Harry broke no laws in simply using what the troopers obtained. With the troopers off world, they are beyond the law's reach."

"Not all of them will be leaving," Toma corrected. "None of the troopers staying will have participated in the mission to obtain the draught, though."

"Some of them will be staying?" Dumbledore asked.

"Doc will be remaining with us," Toma answered. "She is very curious about magical medicine, and wishes to study it. She has volunteered to stay and provide us with medical support should the need arise."

"I am pleased you'll have her with you," Dumbledore said. "I was most impressed with her."

"Shooter will also be staying," Toma added. "He will be providing tactical support for Doc. Finally, Ice has chosen to resign from her position and has requested early detachment from the service. She wishes to remain on Earth."

"If you will forgive my curiosity," Dumbledore asked, "why will she be remaining behind?"

"Personal reasons," Toma answered. "That's the only reason she would give."

"Well," Dumbledore said, contemplating the information, "with Dr. Silva and... Ice, I believe, having been petrified and Mr. Shooter involved in the action in the Chamber at the time, there should be no problems. That leaves us only with Dobby's disposition to deal with."

"I believe he is still being kept unconscious?" Toma asked.

"Yes," Dumbledore confirmed. "With Lucius Malfoy in Azkaban, his bond to Dobby will have transferred to young Draco. I do, however, have an idea that might prove to be advantageous to everyone."

Draco stood at the foot of Dobby's bed. He stared at the metal caps that covered the stumps where his legs used to be. He had always delighted in making Dobby punish himself. He felt very bad about that as he saw the state his father had left the elf in.

"What do you want from me?" Draco asked.

"I want you to release him," Headmaster Dumbledore said, softly.

"He'll just die if I do," Draco protested.

"Not necessarily," Dumbledore corrected him. "While it is commonly believed that house elves will die if set free, there are options available. He can bond to Hogwarts."

"What would he do here?" Draco asked. "He has no legs!"

"I'm sure we can find something to occupy him," answered Dumbledore.

Draco thought about it. They had plenty of other elves. Now that he saw what his father had done, he didn't think he'd be having nearly as many punishments for them, either. He considered the losses his family had sustained just in the last week. His father in Azkaban. His Grandfather dead. A small portion of his inheritance had been confiscated as a fine for Father's crimes. That money had been used to pay Gringotts to recover that Trooper of Potter's who'd been eaten by the Basilisk.

"Wake him," Draco said, making a decision.

Madam Pomfrey looked to Dumbledore for confirmation, and the Headmaster nodded at her. She waved her wand to remove the stasis charm that had kept the house elf unconscious. Dobby's eyes slid open. He shuddered, then started beating his own face with his hands as he started to scream.

"Bad Dobby! Bad Dobby!"

"Dobby, stop!" Draco yelled. Dobby choked and spluttered as he obeyed the command from his master. His eyes opened wide in wonder as he felt the bond with Great Master had been severed. He looked and saw Little Master standing by his bedside. Tears filled his eyes and he began to sob. He tried to apologize, but he couldn't do anything till Little Master told him he could.

"Dobby," Draco said. "I'm going to give you one, last order. First though, I wanted to say I'm sorry."

Dobby gasped. Never had Little Master said he was sorry before.

"You're going to a new home, Dobby," Draco said as he removed his Slytherin tie. He handed it to Dobby, who ran it in between his long fingers. He felt the bond to the Malfoy family break. Dobby reeled back as the constant flow of magic and information he received from the bond ceased.

"You are free," Little Master said, curtly. "Find somewhere else to be."

Draco quickly turned and began to leave the room. He turned back at the door and said "You might try Potter." He quickly walked out turned the corner as fast as he could. He began to run. He needed to get somewhere private before anyone could question the tears that were forming in his eyes.

"So," Cornelius said, "there's just this matter of the illegal import of a dangerous substance to deal with. I had quite the interesting time explaining that part to the Muggle Prime Minister, I can tell you. The Americans were upon arms about it."

"I think we should let that go," Amelia said. "From what Dumbledore said, none of the troopers involved will be remaining on the planet anyway."

The Minister hummed as he considered the matter.

"I don't suppose it would do much good, even if we did press charges," he agreed. "Besides, we had such a narrow miss with the whole Black affair, we don't want to be seen as picking on The Boy Who Lived."

"Of course not," Amelia said. "What of Sirius Black? Will the ministry be compensating him for the false imprisonment?"

"Has he asked for any?" Cornelius asked.

"Not yet," Amelia answered, "but I think it would be prudent to offer him something before he feels like he has to ask."

"Very well," the Minister grumbled. "The ministry will provide an apology and a one hundred fifty thousand galleon payment to Sirius Black in compensation for his unlawful detention and lack of a speedy trial."

His secretary noted this and began the wording of the apology the minister would deliver when it was awarded.

"I trust there were no further inmates being held without trial?" Cornelius asked.

"Actually," Amelia said with a frown, "the audit was completed yesterday. Unfortunately, there is one other case."

"Whom?" Cornelius asked, frowning.

"Brannigan Mulciber," Amelia answered. "He was caught performing the Imperius Curse on an Auror. He was sent to Azkaban around the same time as Sirius. There is no record of a trial."

"There is evidence against him?" Cornelius asked.

"Yes," Amelia answered, consulting the file. "In this case, the suspect was questioned with Veritaserum first. There is no doubt as to his guilt."

"I see," said Cornelius. "I will handle this one, Amelia."

"I think I should," Amelia said, frowning.

"Oh, no," Cornelius said. "You deserve a nice vacation after all your hard work this year. I insist."

"It's really my job to..." Amelia began.

"No, no, no," Cornelius interrupted. "This one I think we can handle much more quietly. In fact, why don't you start your vacation tomorrow.."

Amelia found herself being shown the door. Her vacation paperwork was delivered to her at her desk within an hour. A month's paid vacation for her and Susan at a ministry owned vacation home in Majorca. She opened the folder with Mulciber's interrogation in it and found it was now almost empty. It only contained a small business card sized piece of parchment that simply said 'REDACTED.'

As soon as Amelia had left his office, Cornelius turned to his secretary.

"Amanda," he said, "please get the Azkaban warden on the floo for me, and then get yourself a nice cup of tea. In fact, why don't you take off for the rest of the day. I need to have a quiet word with him. Alone."

Mulciber sat on the floor of his cell. His mouth hung open and a ribbon of drool hung from his mouth. For most of the nearly twelve years he had been locked in prison he had sat here. He felt the rising of despair that meant a dementor was once again passing by his cell door. This happened so frequently that he barely noticed when it failed to back off to the low level that was always present.

He only reacted when the clacking sound of his cell door being unlocked rang through the small room. He looked up in horror as the flowing black robes of a dementor glided into the cell. He began to scream as a slimy, decayed hand drew back it's hood to reveal the scabbed face and sunken eyeholes of the demon. It's lipless mouth opened and the air whistled as it was sucked into the gaping maw. Mulciber tried to back away, but his back was already against the wall. The dementor bent down to him and his screaming abruptly stopped.

"I don't want to hear a word about this when we're done," Sirius grumbled.

"This was your idea," Remus protested. "Clearing up loose ends, and all."

"I know," Sirius said, checking up and down the street to make sure no one could see. "This does need to happen, but I can read your mind. You're planning to embarrass me about this later."

"You're paranoid," Remus said. He checked his pocket to make sure the camera he had stashed in there earlier was still there.

"You're sure you remember everything?" Sirius asked. "You'll be doing all the talking, you know."

"For the hundredth time, yes," Remus confirmed. "Now change."

Sirius checked that the way was clear one last time, then shifted into Padfoot. He stood still while Remus affixed a collar around his neck. The dog rolled his eyes as Remus clipped a leash to it and began to walk down the walkway. With a sigh, Padfoot trotted along with him.

Jenny was home by herself. Roger was at work, and was making good enough money that she hadn't felt pressured to get another job yet. She felt the bump in her middle with her hands and knew she would have her hands full enough when the baby arrived.

She had just been tidying up when the phone rang. It was some man named Remus who said he had some information regarding a flyer he'd seen downtown. There was only one flyer that could be about, so she had invited him over at once.

Ding dong! She put her tea down and went to the door. Opening it, she saw a man standing there with...


"Not a word," Sirius growled.

"Not one word," Remus agreed, smiling. "She was quite taken with you, Boomer."

"She's a nice person," Sirius said. "She deserved to know."

"Yes," said Remus. "She was very upset to learn that not only did 'Boomer' escape to return to his former master, but also that we were moving to the States."

"You know she'd be pressing for visitation rights otherwise," Sirius said. "It's better this way. A clean break. At least she got to say goodbye."

"I think you just wanted another cuddle," Remus said with a chuckle.

"That is not true!" Sirius protested. "She's just a very loving person."

"You're not sleeping in my bed," said Remus.

"I'm never going to live this down, am I?" asked Sirius, with a sigh.

"No, Boomer," answered Remus, "you're not."

In the black depths of interstellar space, an automated relay station floated. Large flat panels spread out from the central structure. These were fitted with numerous antennae pointed in every direction. It was part of a network of similar stations. They were all connected and allowed communications to be nearly instantly transmitted across the galaxy. It was usually an uninhabited station.

There was currently a small, grey ship beside it. A probe extended from the ship into a hole that it had drilled into the station. In the center of the ship, two beings sat huddled around a console.

They were bipedal, but smaller than an average human. They had arms that seemed to be too long in proportion to their round bodies. Their hands were tipped with delicate fingers which they used to type at keyboards as they stared at data flickering past on large monitors.

"A coded Jedi message?' The first one asked. "Are you sure?

"Yes," the second one answered. "See the symbol in the upper right corner? That's the packet address for the Jedi Temple."

"It could be anything going to them, though," the first suggested. "Food requisitions, perhaps."

"No, "the second one disagreed. "Requisitions for food and normal supplies aren't coded. They don't care who knows what they have for breakfast. Only the Jedi Knights code their messages like this."

"Will they know we've seen it?" The first one worried.

"No," the second answered. There was silence for a few minutes, broken only by the tapping of keyboards as the two worked on decoding the message. Finally, they stopped and read the message.

"Forward this to Christoph, top priority," the second one ordered. "General Kaabacus will be most interested in this."

"Why does he care about one Jedi report?" The first one asked, tapping at his panel to send the intercepted report on.

"It's not just any Jedi report," the second one replied, reading it again. "It's a very specific Jedi's report."

To be continued.

A/N - Well, that's second year finished. This was the most difficult chapter I've ever had to write.

Book 3 will be started immediately. I have some ideas, and a general plot line, but there is much to do before anything is released. I have now completed destroyed the canon plot-line for the third book, (on purpose to make myself write something more original,) so it will have to be more carefully thought out. Thank you for reading, and for sticking with me as I muddle my way towards the end of this story.