Summary: They sent him to Azkaban with an unfair trial. A year later when Voldemort attacks they found out they were wrong. Then he disappears taking two of the people who believed him along with. What happens when he comes back? Will he forgive or will he hold a grudge?
Disclaimer: To J.K. Rowling for writing Harry Potter in the first place.
How to Lose Your Best Friend
Step #2: Don't Change
The Wizarding World went into an uproar when the three war heroes disappeared. Several articles appeared in the Daily Prophet asking for anyone with information on them. When Molly found out that Ginny had gone willingly with Harry and Severus she cried for days. The rest of the Weasley family had taken to writing letters hoping that one of the three would respond.
Bill had taken to writing about what had happened that day and adding an interesting newspaper clip. Charlie had taken to writing about all of the dragons and what was going on with them that day and how many near death experiences he had had. Percy had taken to writing about his job at the Ministry and all the chaos that their disappearances had caused.
Fred had taken to writing about the joke shop and how well it was doing. George had taken to writing about the goings on of his personal life along with Fred's. Ron had taken to writing about his everyday life and how well the Chudley Cannons were doing. Hermione, who had recently joined the family only a few months previous, had taken to writing about the research of everything from the moon to what a witch across the world had eaten that morning. The most interesting letters were from Arthur Weasley, who kept Harry updated on everything he knew that was going on in the Ministry and in the Order. Some of the letters came back with hexes but the rest came back with no reply, those were the worst.
They didn't know the reaction of Harry and this worried them. All of the Weasley's had decided that they could not mention Ginny, Harry, or Severus around Molly as she would get extremely upset and none of them were prepared to handle it. The day after what would have been Harry's 18th birthday was one of the days that were anything but normal.
"Where do you think they'll be?" Ginny asked as they approached the castle. Severus turned to look at her. In the time that they had been gone - 6 months - Ginny had grown up. Both Ginny and Harry had. In that time Severus had gained respect for the two.
When Harry told them to go back so that he could move on with his life they had both listened with unwavering faith knowing that Harry had had his reasons. He had promised that if anything big had happened (Ginny made him clarify that this included weddings, births, and deaths) he would tell them and he would bring them over to his house.
"Probably in Dumbledore's office for an Order of the Phoenix meeting," answered Severus as he kept his eyes directed on the castle. Ginny huffed in annoyance. The Order was still kept alive after Harry had defeated Voldemort because of the search for remaining death eaters.
"I don't see why they keep it alive," Ginny reasoned. "They hardly get anything done. The last person they caught was Lestrange and that was over 2 months ago." Severus eyed the red headed witch and nodded his agreement. He turned his attention to the aging gargoyle in front of him.
"Almond Joy." Severus snorted. Albus had gone to America the previous summer and had brought back with him the knowledge of several hundred candies that were from America. Most of the candies Severus wished that the Headmaster had never found. The gargoyle shifted open allowing Ginny and Severus to enter. Severus could hardly contain himself from running as he watched Ginny knock on the door. A loud distinct "come in" sounded through the door causing both Ginny and Severus to flinch. Ginny roughly pushed the door open and Severus was pleased to see that he was correct on his assumption. Sitting in the room was the Order of the Phoenix, or what remained of it. Molly, who was the nearest Weasley to the door, jumped up and rushed over and hugged her daughter. Ginny stood stiffly, not even returning her mothers' hug. She leveled a glare at the occupants of the room.
"Miss. Weasley I am glad that you can join us," Albus said from the head of the table as Molly pulled back; finally noticing that Ginny was not returning the hug. Ginny glared at him before she opened her Army green messenger bag and pulled out three thick envelopes.
"I will not be joining you," Ginny said calmly causing them all to flinch. "I am merely here with Severus to deliver these three envelopes." She pulled out the medium sized envelope and handed it to the headmaster. "One for you." She pulled out another and handed it to Tonks. "This will need to be delivered to the Daily Prophet." She pulled out the thickest envelope and turned her sad eyes on Sirius and Remus and handed the envelope to Sirius. "And the last envelope for Sirius and Remus." She closed her messenger bag and turned her eyes to Severus.
"I am here to deliver a message to the Order," Severus said causing all of the people to look around in shock. He pulled out the howler and placed it on the desk. "Good luck. It should go on for about an hour." Severus swept out of the room with a snickering Ginny following behind. As they went down the halls of Hogwarts they could hear the loud voice of Harry yelling at the Order.
Oh ye little faith, I will tread only carefully for the time is quick. Ye will pay for what ye have done.
"And what is your name sir?" the woman asked at the register table. Her gum slopped around her mouth as she pushed aside her hair that was attached to her forehead. Harry simply smiled and leaned over on the table and leveled a stare with the young woman in front of him. For a minute all he could hear was the beating of the fan overhead.
"Dave Matthews," He finally answered. He could hear her take in a deep breath as she reached for her pen and wrote his name down. She flicked her hair out of her way as she looked down to the next question.
"Do you have any scholarships?" She asked when she finished writing his name down.
"I don't need any," Harry responded dryly. She took only a moment to show the shock on her face before she filled in his response.
"Sign this and fill out the rest of the information and we will sign you up," She said handing him the clipboard.
"He should be here any minute," Albus said as he paced back and forth waiting in the ministers office. Fudge twisted his hands as he watched the older man pace back and forth. When Albus had told him that Harry had requested a visit to gather his compensation and to also speak of him possibly getting a job at the Ministry he had been elated. That was up until the point when Harry had entered in a black hooded cloak. At first Fudge had thought that he was a death eater but then he heard the headmaster greet him. "Welcome Mr. Potter." Harry gave them a curt nod and took the only empty chair.
"I was under the impression that I would be visiting with the Minister not the both of you," Harry said looking back and forth between the two men. Fudge squirmed in his chair while Albus looked slightly abashed. But only slightly noted Harry.
"I am here to talk about your education," Albus said when he noticed that Harry was staring at him trying to get him to leave.
"I already am in school," Harry said dismissively.
"That is not possible," Albus said turning to face Harry. "I have checked all Wizarding schools and you were not registered in any of them." Harry raised an eyebrow.
"I have spoken with my mothers' portrait and she and my father have agreed that it would be best that I continue my education elsewhere while the Wizarding world cleans it government up," Harry said dryly.
"Y-Y-your mothers' portrait," stammered Albus shocked. Harry grinned at his discomfort.
"She wasn't too thrilled with you Albus," Harry said wagging his finger at Albus playfully.
"Apparently you were supposed to have let me go with Sirius. She also added on that if this could not happen that I would live with a relative of hers in America. She told me that since I am now 17 that I am emancipated. The ministry has already accepted that." Fudge opened his mouth to argue but Harry shoved several pieces of parchment under his nose. Fudge looked at the parchment agape. Albus cast incendo on the parchments causing Harry to start laughing. The parchments remained untouched. "I had foreseen that happening and had decided it would be best if I had put some sort of protection on it. I am glad that I did; although it wouldn't have been a total loss because I have made several copies of these documents. Now on to what I was originally here for, if you would Cornelius." Harry gestured to the minister who stood and looked straight at Harry.
"Your compensation is 10,000 galleons for the year you were in Azkaban," Cornelius began. "100,000 galleons for the loss of time you were not able to have for your wrongful imprisonment. 1,000,000 galleons for the money that was withdrawn from your account during your imprisonment. 300,000,000 galleons from your inheritance. 301, 110, 00 galleons total." Harry nodded thoughtfully.
"Transfer that it into Muggle money with no interest," Harry said. "Make sure the letter to the Daily Prophet makes it in there tomorrow. Good luck in fixing everything." He stood and went to the door. He turned to look at the men one last time. "Start with taking out the Minister."
With that he left. Cornelius turned to look at Albus too shocked at what Harry said. Albus seemed to be contemplating something. Cornelius looked horrified.
"Y-Y-You can't seriously be considering his suggestion, can you," Cornelius stammered. Albus looked over at the stammering man in front of him.
"I have considered this before but it is not my position," Albus pointed out.
The classrooms were small. They looked to fit about 20 students nicely. 30 if they wanted a tight fit. The clock struck the hour and continued on just as the door swung open and then a moment later swung close. Rows of desk neatly placed in the room filed the medium sized room. Sitting up front at the desk next to a large desk, which was more than likely the teachers, was a young woman who was typing while drinking what appeared to be her morning coffee. Her long black curly hair was tied up into a sloppy bun and had several pens and pencils sticking in it. Her slightly tan face was scrunched up as she typed up something that looked extremely long. The man who had just entered the room hiked up his bag over his shoulder in more of a comfortable position and went over to the woman at her desk.
"What time does this class start?" he asked.
"In an hour," she answered not even bothering to look up. "What's your name?" She turned to a certain paper and looked up at him expectantly. She gasped suddenly when she noticed a large scar on his arm. The scar was long and nasty looking, ending just at the start of his palm.
"Dave Matthews," he answered ignoring her reaction to his only scar in her view. Harry mentally shuddered to think of what she would do if she saw all of the scars he had on his body from the long year he had suffered through. She checked his name.
"You can pick your seat," She said gesturing to the chairs at the tables in the medium room.
Harry nodded and took a seat up front. He sat his bag down and pulled out a laptop and placed it on the desk. He then pulled out a large book and opened the book from where his bookmark was placed. She raised an eyebrow when she read the title. How to forgive your best friends for betraying you.
"What happened to you?" He looked up from his book and gave her a confused look. "How did you get that scar?" Harry glanced down at his arm and sighed. He closed the book and placed it on the desk.
"Do you want the story from the beginning?" Harry asked with a raised eyebrow. She nodded and Harry shifted in his seat slightly. "When I was a year old my parents were killed by a mass murder. The headmaster of the school that my parents had gone to took me to live with my aunt and uncle from my mothers' side. They hated me. According to my moms' will I was supposed to go to my godfather and if that was not possible I was supposed to go to a relative of hers in America. That did not happen. As a child my uncle beat me, starved me, and forced me to do chores like a servant. I got hand me downs from my cousin.
"When I was eleven I was told that I was on the list for my parents' old boarding school. I was excited and went. There I meet my two best friends. Ron and Hermione. We went through school as normally as the three of us could until the summer before my sixth year. My uncle and my cousin along with his gang beat me up for trying to defend my aunt from my uncle. I managed to get out on my second attempt. I had only made it a few streets away from the house in a ditch when I collapsed. I was blamed for my aunt's and uncle's murder and my cousins' injuries.
"I spent a year in prison. My friends turned their backs on me along with all the people I had known from the time I had attended the boarding school. It was when they caught wind that the mass murder would attack the prison that they thought anything of me. I was brought out of the prison where the mass murder taunted me telling all of the people that I was innocent. He offered me the chance to join him. I refused and killed him. After he died I took two of the people out of the four who believed me, with me to one of my homes. They stayed with me for 6 months training. I got all of the scars I have on me from the time I was in prison." She nodded and looked up at the clock for a moment before she turned to look at Harry.
"How old are you?" She asked.
"Just turned 18 a month ago," Harry answered. She raised an eyebrow surprised.
"You suffered in prison at the age of 16," She asked shocked. Harry nodded. "I am so sorry Dave. No one should have to go through that." Harry nodded his agreement and then the first bell rang indicated the start of class. Before she turned around she said "By the way my name is Anna."
Dave stood in front of the door flattening his shirt and jeans just before he knocked on the door. He was met by a grinning woman he did not know.
"Er... I am here for Anna Walker," Dave said his heart beating fast thinking he had gotten the wrong address. The young woman's face lit up in recognition.
"She is still getting ready," She told him. "Come on in." She stepped aside allowing Dave to walk into the apartment. Dave was about to sit down when Anna rushed in looked hassled as she held the back of her dress closed together with her fingers. She turned red when she noticed Dave sitting on the couch. She went over to her friend.
"Could you zip me up?" She asked her friend. Her friend nodded and took the zipper from her friends fingers and attempted to jerk it up. She had no success.
"I am sorry Anna but it seems to be jammed," Her friend said apologetically. Anna sighed.
"It's all right," Anna said. "It's not your fault Amanda."
"I can try," Dave offered. Anna nodded and Dave took the zipper from Anna's' finger and pulled up the zipper with no problem. The women looked at him in awe. Dave laughed. "My uniform had a stubborn zipper so I managed to find many ways to make it work. One of my roommates had to have me zip it up for him every day because he could never get it." Dave's smile faltered a little. Anna noticed and she placed her petite hand on his arm and gave a small smile. He took her hand in his and gave it a small squeeze.
"Out you two," Amanda said as she brought them back to earth as she shooed them to the front door. "I need to study before my date gets here. Out." This caused Dave and Anna to laugh as Anna grabbed her purse and left with Dave.
Once in the restaurant Anna took to ask as many questions as possible about Dave and his life.
"What are you studying to do at college?" She asked.
"I will be a doctor," Dave said firmly. "Most likely a child's' doctor." Anna looked surprised.
"I didn't pin point you as the type to be a doctor," Anna said with a raised an eyebrow just before she shoved some food into her mouth.
"I didn't either," Dave said with a shake of his head as he finished the bite in his mouth. "But with my background I wanted a job where I could be in a position to help children out of situations much like the one I was in." Anna raised an eyebrow.
"My parents are so going to love you," Anna said wagging her finger in his face. Dave laughed.
"Why is that?" Dave asked just before he wiped his mouth with a napkin. Anna pretended to look thoughtful for a moment before she answered.
"You aren't working to be a doctor just because of the money," She began. "You have a much better reason. You did it because of not only your past because you wanted to help children out of the situation you once were in. They will just adore you." Dave grinned at her.
"Well that is good to know," Dave said grinning as he finished his last bite. Anna looked thoughtful.
"Would you like to come to my house and met my family?" Anna asked biting her lip. Dave raised an eyebrow but shrugged.
"Sure," Dave said grinning. "Now how many siblings do you have and what are their names? Should I worry about my health?" Anna couldn't help but laugh.
"I have two older brothers," Anna told him. "Aidan and Alex. Aidan 24 and Alex is 20. You won't have to worry about your health unless they are in a bad mood." Dave nodded. He helped her into her coat and they left the restaurant. Dave opened the door to his car and helped Anna into her seat before he got into his own.
They drove to her house while Anna chatted Dave's ear off about what life was like when she was growing up. How close the three were together when they were younger. Harry would laugh when she told him of the pranks that she had played on her brothers and the more interesting pranks they had played on her. Suddenly Anna jumped and pointed to a house on the corner of a street not too far down the street that he had just turned on.
He turned onto the street and parked in the street in front of the house. Dave jumped out of his seat and opened the door to Anna's side and helped her out of the car. She gave him a smile and took his hand as they went up to the house. Anna unlocked the door and went inside.
"Aidan! Alex! Mom! Dad! Where are you all?" Several loud thuds caused Dave to wince and for Anna to give him an apologetic look. Two boys around Dave's height appeared at the bottom of the stairs. Aidan seemed to have a muscular build but his hands seemed to be small compared to someone else his size. Alex looked a lot like Aidan but he seemed to be littler shorter. Standing in the kitchen doorway was her mother and father. Anna looked like her mother. It seemed as
though she got her fathers' eyes and height. "Mom, Dad, Aidan, and Alex this is my..."
"Boyfriend," supplied Dave. "It is nice to finally meet Anna's family." Aidan grinned along with Alex. Her parents exchanged looks.
"Mom, This is Dave Matthews," Anna said, who had finally found her voice. "He is a student up at the school. He is studying to be a child's doctor." Her mothers' face scrunched up in thought.
"Why would you do that?" her mother asked with a frown. The rest of the family was frozen.
"Because when I was a child I was abused and I do not wish for this to happen to another child," Dave answered. "My uncle and my cousin along with his gang took fun in making me suffer. I am becoming a child's doctor because I did not want what happened to me to happen to someone else. I could care less about the money seeing as I could support myself and generations after me." They looked at him awe struck. He broke the tension by laughing.
"It's been years. I had people around me who helped me grow past that." Dave took a shuddering breath and shifted a little. "Even though some of them betrayed me I have taken their past words to heart and have moved forward." Aidan seemed to be the first one to come out of his trance.
"How'd they betray you?" Aidan asked. Dave took in a deep breath and explained. It seemed as though hours had passed before someone else spoke.
"You aren't the only wizard we know," Aidan said to Dave. "Do you know a Charlie Weasley?" Dave cringed.
"Not really but he is the older brother of Ron and Ginny," Dave answered. "I am still friends with Ginny but I no longer talk to Ron and his wife, Hermione."
"Your real name isn't Dave Matthews is it," Anna asked softly. "You're Harry Potter. Everyone is looking for you but they can't find you." Dave grinned.
"Good," Dave said.
I have decided to leave the Wizarding world until it cleans its act up. I will be keeping in contact with a select few for some time. You all sentenced me to death when you turned on me. Feeding lies to the fire was not the best ideas and because of this I will be gone from this world until something is done about this absurd system you have. Until then I bid you farewell.
Harry James Potter,
The man you betrayed
Ginny snorted as she folded the paper up. She placed the paper on the seat beside her and pulled out a thick book and began reading. She only looked up from her book when an announcement came saying that the prefects meeting would be starting in 5 minutes. Ginny put her book back in her trunk and headed down to the heads' compartment. She gave the Slytherin a small nod when she noticed his head boy badge. He seemed surprised but he tried to not let it show when he opened the door for the prefects. This was going to be a long meeting.
When the train stopped Ginny couldn't help the feeling that all of the blood had just rushed from her face and out. Shaking she stepped off the train and smiled when a small amount wind hit her. She felt her insides freeze when she noticed Hermione and Ron ordering the first years to the boats. Ginny's eyes narrowed. This would be the first time she would see them since she and Severus had left the Order in the office with the howler. That had been amusing Ginny thought as she smirked.
She slicked up to carriages by Hermione and Ron narrowly avoiding them as she went up the path to the carriages. Once in the carriages she ignored the chattering Ravenclaw's around her as the carriages pulled them up to Hogwarts. Ginny could barely hold in the tears when she noticed the skeletal horses pulling the carriages. This is what it must have been like for Harry when he came back for fifth year. She couldn't help the shudder as one of them looked back at her. When the carriages stopped Ginny was all too glad to go out and head into the school.
Ginny immediately built up her mind barriers as she headed into the Great Hall. She could feel the headmaster staring at her and she looked up. She felt him ram at her wall with no success. He looked at her causing a small mischievous smile to spread across her face, one that would have made the Marauders and her twin brothers proud. Ginny smirked and took her seat at the Gryffindor table. She could barely contain her excitement when the new teachers were introduced. Severus was back along with Remus and the new addition of Sirius. Remus winked at her causing her to blush. This was going to be a year she would never forget.
"Ginny what are you doing here?" Dave questioned when she came into his view. She raised an eyebrow and plopped down in a seat across from him. Ginny leaned forward and plucked the book he was reading out of his hands. "Hey!" Ginny waved the book in front of him and then quickly hid it behind her back. "Why did you take my book?"
"I need to tell you what happened when I arrived at Hogwarts," She answered. Dave raised an eyebrow. He leaned back and then something seemed to register in his mind.
"Albus tried to use occlumency on you, didn't he?" Dave questioned. Ginny nodded.
"He couldn't get through," Ginny said causing Dave to smile widely.
"Do you know what he was searching for?" Dave asked as he snatched his book back from her and headed into the kitchen. Ginny sighed and rubbed her forehead.
"I think he was searching for your location," Ginny said annoyed with Albus. "Ron told him that Sirius, Severus, Remus, and I still have contact with you. I am glad you told Severus to train Sirius and Remus or this would be utter chaos." Dave nodded his agreement.
"Do you think he followed you here?" Dave asked. Ginny shook her head.
"Not possible," Ginny said smirking. "That old man is slow. I went a very complicated route to get here and I kept apparating randomly. His face was hilarious the first time I apparated. He looked like he had no idea that I knew how. Sometimes I -" Ginny suddenly stopped when she noticed that Harry was no longer paying attention.
Ginny turned around to see a girl around Dave's age standing in the door way. She had black curly hair, dark blue eyes, and she was petite. Ginny thought about her past conversations with Dave and she realized who it was. Anna. Ginny walked over to Anna. She offered her hand to the frozen woman. "My name is Ginny Weasley. I used to go to school with Dave. I came to give him an update on the deranged headmaster."
"Oh," Anna said when she came out of her shock. "Anna Walker." She shook Ginnys' hand and went over to where Dave was sitting.
"I'll see you two later," Ginny said as she headed to the door. "Old Dumbley might find me if I stay too long. That and I have rounds tonight. It was nice to meet you Anna. Goodbye." With that Ginny was gone and the door shut with a soft click. Anna and Dave sat on the couch staring at the door that had just shut. Anna's hand grabbed Dave's and for several minutes they just stared at the door.