Hey friends and fans! Kairomaru is bringing you another chapter of Harry Potter and the Artificer Legacy! Voldemort's trial is now set and the time draws near for him to be sentenced by the Muggles that he despises so much. But what did he expect when he unleashed a massive demon upon England and took the lives of thousands of innocent people? Harry and Family, along with the rest of the Magical World, will have to watch as the interaction between the Magical and Non-Magical begins again, and in a not so great way. Regardless, people have to continue moving forward. Harry has construction to do for his Artifact House, while others continue their own work and plans.
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Chapter 66 – Construction, Trial, and Response
"All the granite slabs are good." Harry double-checked each one, just in case. "The work area is well within the boundaries of the array as well." The Artificer nodded to the area where he'd build the Artifact House. "My new tools have come out well too." He grinned as he looked over at his newly forged construction tools: sledgehammer, shovel, spade, chisel, and hammer. All forged and etched with runic sequences to make working with stone, soil, and masonry much easier. He'd gone to Diagon Alley to purchase other enchanted tools that already existed, like a magical measuring tape, a magical ladder that could change its height at his will, thick dragonhide gloves to protect his hands, and a few other supplies that he'd need for the project he was starting.
The granite slabs that Harry had erected and carved a series of runic sequences into were all set in a perfectly measured perimeter around the site. He'd done the Arithmancy three times, and then had both Fleur and Penny check it over as well. Harry was now sure that the placement couldn't be any better. With all of the slabs set up, they linked together to form a massive version of his anvil's stasis effect that was much more powerful. Where his anvil could maintain an in-progress Artifact's stasis for twelve hours, this array could maintain it for seven days, so long as they were properly empowered. Harry could spare the mana to charge them every couple of days without issue, so that wasn't a big deal for the Artificer.
"Alright, time to work!" Harry grinned as he used the Reducto Charm to start blasting out the last remnants of the old foundation. The scorched and half-melted slag that had been left behind became tiny fragments under Harry's spells. All of the small pieces were then easily removed with a simple Levitation Charm and a wave of Harry's hand. "Now let's dig a nice deep hole for a solid foundation and basement." He was getting excited as he finally got to bring this project to life after having been working on the plans for over a year now in his free time.
While the prodigious Artificer worked, the rest of the world was still having to cope with the fall of the Statute of Secrecy. Some places were handling it better than others, while many people wanted (or demanded) more information about the world that had been hidden from them for the last three centuries.
-MACUSA ~ United States-
"No, I can't just blow off a meeting with the No-Maj President!" Ashton Hall, the current President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America, stated plainly to the Head of the Department for No-Maj Misinformation. "The Statute is destroyed, Robert, we can't do anything about it now. I'd rather make a good first impression on my counterpart than to risk open hostility."
"But sir…" Robert worried over the mingling between the Magical and the No-Maj's again. "We segregated ourselves for so long, and only in the last few decades have we slowly been easing some restrictions. Our people aren't prepared to suddenly be exposed to the Non-Magical World."
"I understand that, Robert, really, I do." Ashton sighed heavily and rubbed his temples. "But it's out of our hands now. We should do everything we can to make and keep amicable relations." It would be better in the long run for the wizards and witches of the States to go along with peaceful coexistence as much as possible. "We don't have to give them anything." He looked Robert in the eye. "I will not hand over the names and addresses of every witch and wizard in America. Our people will be protected to the absolute best of the MACUSA's ability to do so. However, the U.S. is massive and we can't predict the reactions of the entire population. We don't need another Salem to happen." Ashton was firmly against the Witch Burnings coming back, as were all wizards and witches with half a brain.
"I'd also be concerned with Scourers becoming a thing again, sir." Robert looked grave at the thought of wizards and witches basically hunting each other like they had in the turbulent times of the country's beginning.
"We will not allow that." Ashton stated firmly, his face a stone cold mask of seriousness. Some would forget that the current President was a well-decorated former-Auror, but anyone that knew Ashton Hall's previous occupation also knew just how formidable of a Wizard he was.
"Mr. President?" A voice came through the office door after a polite knock.
"Come in, Marissa." Ashton called out, recognizing the voice as the Head of the Office for Magic Relations and Education.
Marissa entered, a rather lovely witch with long, raven black hair and pale skin, with pretty gray-blue eyes. "I have the information you'll need for your meeting with the No-Maj President, sir." She walked across the office and placed a folder onto Ashton's desk. "It was compiled from the Federal Bureau of Covert Vigilance and No-Maj Obliviation and the Surveillance Wizarding Resources Department, so we're sure that we've got everything."
"Are you the only Office Head available, Marissa?" Robert asked curiously, the MACUSA was indeed being run ragged trying to keep things from getting out of hand. The sudden fall of the Statute of Secrecy had made more than a few American wizards and witches worried, while others saw it as a free pass to do whatever they wanted.
"Unfortunately." Marissa confirmed; she herself had been working on managing the new information and how it would affect the Education System for the students of Ilvermorny, as well as their relations abroad.
Ashton picked up the folder and flipped it open, he needed to memorize this information before his meeting later today. "President is Bill Clinton; his First Lady is Hillary Clinton. The Vice-President is Al Gore. They're part of the Democratic Party… No outward hostility towards Magic has been shown yet…"
-Vatican City ~ Rome ~ Italy-
"Look at them all." A woman spoke to another woman as they both watched the large crowd of people.
"So many wanting protection from us, and we haven't done anything." The second woman let out a sigh.
"Well, quite a few religions don't take well to Magic." The first witch mentioned as the crowd only grew larger over time.
"This won't become some violent thing, I hope." The other witch was vaguely aware of how far-reaching the Christian faith was. "They have millions and millions of faithful, right?"
"They do indeed." The first witch confirmed. "We'll have to wait and see what happens in the coming days, weeks, and months. Then all we can do is hope for the best."
"I hope we don't have to move." The second witch grumbled out. "I've got a friend that's really good at Warding; would you like me to contact him for you?"
"That would be nice, thank you." The first witch smiled at her friend. "Can't be too careful now that the Statute has fallen."
The crowd below only continued to get larger as the two witches watched on.
-Beijing ~ China-
A large line of military vehicles moved through the street, a message playing over a loudspeaker on loop. It was a message to remain calm as the government dealt with the sudden exposure of Magic. The second half of the loop, however, was for anyone with knowledge or suspicion of Magic happening anywhere to report it.
"Quite worried, aren't they?" An old man playing Xiangqi (similar to chess) with another old man commented.
"You aren't?" His friend asked him as he looked over the board and contemplated his move.
The other old man shrugged. "Unless they're going to cause us harm, I don't see the issue." He had a small grin when his friend made his move. "Imagine how helpful actual magic could be." He moved one of his pieces and chuckled when his friend realized he'd walked into a trap.
"Hah… Should've moved the other one." His old friend grimaced at the bad position that he was in now. "Not to scare you, but if you're imagining the good that could be done with magic, you must also consider the harm that it could do."
"True enough." The old man agreed as his friend moved a piece on the board. "I suppose we can only wait and see, for now." He made his move and captured one of his friend's pieces, removing it from the board.
"The leaders are assuredly worried about their power and what magic could do to it." The second old man mentioned as he moved a piece and captured the piece that had just taken one of his own. "Without knowing anything about magic, they can only fear it, I guess."
"A fear that any leader or government has, indeed." The first old man nodded, looking over the board for a long moment. "What moves are made now will more than likely determine the relationship that China and magic will have, going forward."
"We have a long history with magic, if you believe the records and tales." His friend chuckled, reaching for his tea and taking a sip.
-Trial of Tom Marvolo Riddle-
"With the danger that Tom Marvolo Riddle's followers, known as the Death Eaters, pose, it has been decided that the man's trial will take place in his secure holding facility. This marks the first trial under English Law that a wizard will face in just over three-hundred years." A TV News anchor reported as the feed from inside the facility was shown on one side of the screen.
Inside the large room, the Anti-Magic cage still sat in the center of it, a group of people had set up a makeshift courtroom. Everything was being accounted for, this would be a proper trial, though not a single person believed that the verdict would be anything but guilty. The cameras that had been brought into the room were broadcasting the trial to the country at large. Many people that had lost family members to Voldemort's rampage watched with rapt attention, some holding pictures of their lost family members.
"I doubt this will take long." Harry mentioned as he watched the TV at Penny's house with the entire family. Being Half-Bloods that didn't care about blood purity, the Clearwater Family home wasn't entirely magical, and therefore they could have electronics without issue.
The jury, the clerk of the court, the stenographer, and the barrister were present. As the judge entered the room, the clerk announced "All rise." And everyone, barring the chained and caged Voldemort, did so. Once the judge was seated, everyone sat down as well.
From there the judge read off the list of charges against Voldemort, which took a bit of time and ranged from theft, to assault, to murder, to treason against the Crown. When asked how he pleaded, Voldemort only sneered at the judge, and then called him a 'Filthy Muggle', which was noted down and the trial began.
The evidence was, of course, overwhelming. Voldemort didn't try to defend himself, merely glaring at the people that dared to think that they could judge him.
The barrister for the United Kingdom used the lack of defense as further evidence that not only did Tom Marvolo Riddle commit the crimes that he was accused of, he showed no remorse for doing so, and would clearly do so again if he was able.
When asked if he had anything to say for himself again. Voldemort merely glared and told the court at large that he'd kill them all.
The jury took almost no time to deliberate on the case.
"Tom Marvolo Riddle, you are hereby sentenced to death for the crimes that you have been accused of." The judge declared and the vast majority of the audience throughout the United Kingdom all agreed.
This was the first time that the death penalty had been used in just over thirty years. There had been calls to abolish the death penalty for a long time in the United Kingdom, many believed that it would be abolished in the next few years, in fact. But it was currently late Nineteen-Ninety-Five, and capital punishment was still a legal punishment that could be handed down for crimes of this nature, especially with the number of charges against Voldemort.
-Death Eater Safehouse ~ The Next Day-
"NOOOO!" Bellatrix howled in rage and madness at seeing the headline on the Daily Prophet of Voldemort being sentenced to death by the muggle courts. "I'll kill them all!"
"Bellatrix!" Rodolphus grabbed his wife by the arm when she attempted to rush to the front door. "We don't even know where the Dark Lord is yet!"
"I'll just burn down the Daily Prophet first!" Bellatrix cried out, her eyes alight with violence. "Then I'll start killing the filthy Muggles until they free the Dark Lord!"
"How is that supposed to work?!" Travers demanded of the half-mad witch. "All you're going to do is get us caught!"
"You coward!" Bellatrix screamed at Travers, reaching for her wand and only prevented from grabbing it by Rodolphus restraining her. "Our Lord is going to be killed by filthy Muggles and you're too scared to help him!"
"I'm just not mad enough to think that throwing curses around is going to solve this!" Travers barked back, his own temper rising now.
The impending fight was stopped by a loud bang from Rookwood's wand.
Everyone in the safehouse turned to look at the former Unspeakable as he put his wand away.
"I've found the general location of the Dark Lord." Rookwood announced once he was sure that he had their attention. "Some Obscuration Magic is preventing me from pinpointing our Lord's location, but through checking out the general area with Apparation, I've concluded that there is only one facility that it could be."
"Where is it?!" Bellatrix forced her way out of her husband's hold and nearly rushed to Rookwood.
"I'll show you all." Rookwood informed as he motioned for the rest of the Inner Circle to follow him.
The group entered the room that had become Rookwood's research area. On the table in the middle of the room was a huge map of the United Kingdom. A few odd devices were around the large map, all of them pointing to roughly the same spot on the map, though each was off from any of the others by a small amount.
Rookwood pointed at the spot on the map. "The Dark Lord is here. After checking the location, I discovered that a single facility is in this general area. That is where they're holding him. It has a heavy presence of soldiers though, so we'll need to plan carefully to get in, free the Dark Lord, and then get out."
"Plan? They're just filthy Muggles! We can kill them all and offer their heads to the Dark Lord when we free him!" Bellatrix scoffed at the idea of planning for mere Muggles.
"Listen to him, Lestrange." Thorfinn Rowle looked at Bellatrix with an annoyed sneer.
Not seeing anyone on her side, at least none openly, Bellatrix had little choice but to agree to a plan for the assault on the facility.
-The Next Night ~ Secure Facility-
Unseen figures glided just above the ground, heading towards the facility. Both they and the brooms they rode were under Disillusionment Charms, making them invisible in the dark of night. They silently flew over the large wall topped with razor wire, and then glided down to the nearest entrance.
"Imperio." Two voices whispered and both guards went slack as the spells cast on them took hold.
"Open the doors and lead us to the Wizard." Rookwood instructed first, followed by Rabastan echoing his words to the soldier that he held under the Imperius Curse.
The two soldiers did so, opening the doors and walking into the facility with the invisible wizards (and one witch) following them with silenced feet. What the Magicals didn't know, however, was that this behavior from the two soldiers was already HIGHLY abnormal. The CCTV cameras throughout the hallway they were walking through recorded everything.
"We've got two soldiers, Wilkins and Miller, leaving their posts and walking through the facility." One of the people in the control room informed the rest.
"Magical influence?" Another questioned quickly, already flipping open a small binder with procedures for just such things inside.
"Most likely." The first man nodded.
"Keep track of them, have the soldiers guarding the door to Riddle's room retreat into the room, leave the door unlatched." The second man read off the procedure, though it was clear he thought it was odd.
"Copy that." The other man confirmed and contacted the two soldiers standing guard outside of the room.
-Corridor to Voldemort's Cell-
"Is that the door?" Rookwood demanded of the soldier under his Imperius Curse.
"Yes." The man answered absently.
"How many guards are inside?" Rookwood questioned again.
"Four." The soldier replied.
"Where are they?" Rookwood wanted a bit more information. They'd need to go in with Protego Charms at the ready to block the Muggle weapons.
"In each corner." The Imperiused man's vacant look never wavered as he answered.
"You heard him. Protego Charms up as soon as we enter, then kill the Muggles." Rookwood instructed the Inner Circle.
"What about these two?" Rabastan mentioned to the soldier that he currently held under the Imperius Curse.
"Leave them outside for now, we'll use them as hostages on the way out if necessary." Rookwood came up with a quick plan. "They'll at least be of some middling use as shields." He mocked the two men, seeing them as nothing more than Muggles, which put them barely above animals in the eyes of the Death Eaters.
Not a single Death Eater questioned that plan. Nor did a single one of them even think that it was odd how easy they'd gained access to the facility. Their disdain for Muggles led them to simply accept that there was nothing these men could do to stop them. So overconfident in their Magic, they failed to even consider that this could be a trap. As far as they were aware, the only reason that their Lord was even able to be held here was because of whatever Harry Potter had done to him. As soon as they freed him, the Dark Lord would be able to do away with whatever the boy had done to him; then he'd be the powerful Wizard that they all followed once more.
The unlatched door was thrown open wide as the Inner Circle charged into the room.
"Protego!" Four of them cast the Shield Charm to stop the annoying Muggle weapons from hitting them.
But the Charms failed.
Nary a wisp of Magic came from the raised wands, much to the wide-eyed shock of the eight Magicals.
Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang
A hail of automatic rifle fire tore through the stunned and defenseless Death Eaters.
Blood flew and wands fell to the ground. All the while a gagged Voldemort could do nothing but watch his Inner Circle die. The radios on the soldiers' vests had alerted them well in advance of the arrival of his Death Eaters. The six soldiers, counting the two guards that had entered the room when the call had come in from the Control Room, were quick to gag Voldemort to prevent him from trying to warn his people. The eight Inner Circle Members that had been sent to Azkaban rather than plea for deals or mercy, showing the greatest loyalty to Voldemort out of all others, were gunned down right in front of the helpless Dark Lord.
It was at that moment that a cold fear settled in Tom Marvolo Riddle.
The ice cold fear that came along with a sudden surety that he was going to die, and that no one was coming to get him out of this place.
"Infiltrators neutralized." One of the soldiers spoke into his radio.
"Copy that." The Control Room replied a moment later. "Check on Wilkins and Miller, we think it was the…Imperius Curse?" The man in the Control Room seemed unsure if he was saying it right, but he continued on. "That was used on them. It may or may not be in effect still, so be cautious."
"Copy." The soldier confirmed as the two soldiers that had been guarding the door earlier slowly exited and got their colleagues' attention.
This attempted breakout of Voldemort proved two things. The first was the effectiveness of Penelope Clearwater's Anti-Magic Area. The second was that, just as Harry Potter and Sirius Black had stated, the Death Eaters would come, and they'd completely underestimate the Non-Magical, making it easy to lure them into the Anti-Magic Area.
-Stinchcombe ~ The Next Day-
"Hup!" Harry packed down the dirt in the massive rectangular hole that he'd dug in the ground. His forged and rune-inscribed sledgehammer easily compressed the dirt and smoothed it out into a sheer wall, just as he'd designed it to do. "Just a bit more of this and we'll be ready to start working the stone into the foundation." He wiped his brow and pulled back for another swing.
Once the stonework that made up the foundation was done, he'd inscribe it with the base of the runic array that he'd worked out for the Artifact House. He was planning to use all of his skills and knowledge on this project. He'd use the best material that he could transmute, the most magical and best quality wood, and even have the masonry be part of the overall Artifact, similar to how the Dwarves inlaid their own Runes into the walls of their mountain halls.
"Harry!" Sirius suddenly yelling down to him startled the Artificer, making him lose grip on his sledgehammer. The enchanted item hit the wall, compacting and smoothing it out, and then fell to the ground.
"Sirius! You nearly gave me a bloody heart attack!" Harry yelled up at his godfather.
"Sorry, but we ended up being right!" Sirius called down to him. "The remaining Death Eaters tried to break Voldemort out of the facility last night!"
"Tried? That means they failed, right?" Harry questioned, hoping that Voldemort hadn't somehow gotten loose. Hell, he'd tried to prevent that by making sure that the Anti-Magic cage didn't have a door!
"They failed, thankfully." Sirius confirmed with a nod. "The eight Death Eaters are dead. That should be all of the Inner Circle, outside of a few that're suspected, but pleaded 'Imperius' back in the day."
"Are they still letting them run around?!" Harry nearly yelled up at Sirius. That was beyond stupid!
"The one's remaining are Yaxley and Macnair, both who work for the Ministry." Sirius informed his godson. "But since the Statute of Secrecy has fallen, a lot of things have been shoved aside to try and deal with that."
"You'd think Death Eaters wandering free would be something that the Ministry would want to correct." Harry stepped onto the magical ladder and had it increase its height, slowly lifting him upwards towards the top of his huge hole. "Then again, this is the same Ministry that let them off with that flimsy Imperius excuse in the first place."
"I wish we could get Snivellus in front of the Wizengamot again, without Dumbledore vouching for him this time." Sirius held his hand out to Harry and helped him out of the hole.
"I don't see Dumbledore letting that happen." Harry sighed as he wandlessly summoned a bottle of water to his hand and took a drink.
"Unfortunately." Sirius grimaced a bit, knowing for sure that Snape had done the same things as the other Death Eaters, and only got cold feet when Lily had been targeted.
"Are we needed for anything?" Harry questioned, getting back on the topic of the attempted rescue of Voldemort.
"I think Penny is going to get a lot more commission work soon, since her Anti-Magic Area worked so perfectly. But we don't directly have to do anything, at least not yet." Sirius chuckled. "I just wanted to make sure that you knew about what happened, since you're leaving the house before the Prophet arrives in the mornings nowadays."
"Thanks for letting me know." Harry nodded to his godfather and took another drink of water. "As long as Voldemort is still locked up, then I'm satisfied for now."
"They haven't set a date for his execution." Sirius picked up on Harry's 'for now' line and knew what his godson was hinting at. "But after this attempt to free him, they're definitely not going to wait very long. I'm sure we'll be informed whenever they decide to put the rabid bastard down."
"I'll just be happy to NOT have some Dark Lord after my life." Harry stretched a bit, feeling some small pops. "I can focus on my future without having to worry about that at least."
"Just have to worry about the new mixing of Magical and Non-Magical that's going to be happening from now on." Sirius patted Harry's shoulder. "But we'll face that together as a family."
"Absolutely." Harry smiled as he and Sirius looked at the progress that had been made so far in rebuilding the Potter Family home. "As a family."
Sirius and Harry were quiet for a moment.
"So… How much would an Artifact House cost for me and Marlie?" Sirius asked, not looking at Harry.
"One-hundred-thousand Galleons." Harry answered back simply.
"I'm your favorite godfather!" Sirius looked at Harry in faux shock.
"Two-hundred-thousand Galleons!" Harry increased the price with a laugh.
"Oi!" Sirius pulled Harry into a headlock playfully.
Regardless of what the future held; their family would be together to face it head-on.
Do NOT pass 'Go'! Do not collect two-hundred dollars!
The Inner Circle spent their entire lives looking down on Muggles. Underestimating them and not suspecting them of being capable of setting a trap is not only reasonable, it's kinda expected.
Too bad that ended up being their undoing!
Now Voldemort is all alone in the world. No Horcruxes, no Inner Circle, and the only remaining Death Eaters are his two Ministry plants that can't do much since they're under the eyes of the Ministry at almost all times.
The clock is ticking down on Tom Marvolo Riddle now.
Changes are starting to happen in the wider world as well. Across the globe governments are mobilizing, whether it's in peaceful ways to get to know their Magical neighbors, or in hostile ways to find them and do who knows what.
There's also still the secret group that has their own plan too.
What's next in a world without the Statute of Secrecy?
Keep reading to find out!
Current Mana Levels
Harry – 32,406
Tonks – 26,254
Penelope – 20,772
Fleur – 21,598
No change after just a few days…but wait until Harry finishes the Artifact house! Kek!
Until I get your reviews, later!