"Harry, you have to do it. It is considered a great honour."
"Come on mate, now you are here it is probably worth listening to what they have to say."
"I am sorry to say, Mr Potter, that your friends are quite right, it is an honour and one to which a refusal will be looked upon most harshly. You must listen to what we have to tell you."
"Typical Potter behaviour – I should have known that this is how you would react."
"You leave me with no choice, Harry, I will have to call the Auror's if you don't change your tune young man."
"Very well, Professor Snape, please call the Ministry, and ask that someone from the relevant department accompanies the Aurors."
"Of cause, Headmaster."
Moments later the Floo turned green and out stepped Tonks, Moody and Percy Weasley.
"What seems to be the trouble – I am terribly busy," said Percy.
"Mr Potter declines the claim that has been made on him by Mr Malfoy.
"Have you explained the situation and what the punishment will be?" Enquired Percy.
"Yes, but we thought that it would be better if it came from someone how knew the 'in's and out's' of the situation."
"Of course – well it is quite simple really, Potter, either you agree to be claimed be Mr Malfoy or you will go to Azkaban for 6 months."
"What does the claiming entail," asked Harry casually.
"You will be to all intense and purpose his property and will be under his rule – of course you will, by the very nature of the relationship be the one to carry the children and I am quite sure that Mr Malfoy will give you access to them as they get older."
"Can you explain to me why I should wish to enter into this slavery?" Gasped Harry.
"Slavery – what are you talking about it is an honour to be chosen."
"Really – what would you call having all of your rights as a person taken away from you and expected to bow to the whim of another, and 'possibly' be given access to your children?"
Several people in the rapidly filling office shifted uncomfortably.
"Can you also explain to me why now – why after I have finished of the Dark Lord for you all am I being used yet again?"
"Used," Percy spluttered, "it is an honour."
"Really, then you do it, Percy, you give up your life, and your job and your dreams to become a Malfoy play thing."
"That is enough, Mr Potter – if you do not submit to this then you will go to Azkaban for 6 months."
"And after that what happens then?"
"Well nothing, there cannot be more than one claim per person but that person will be all but shunned, they will probably have to live a reclusive life."
"That is of cause beside the point – 6 months in Azkaban, who would want that – you didn't explain 'why me' though."
"Well Mr Malfoy wants the best for his son and as Draco has the Veela genes it seems that Draco has chosen you to be the best."
"Why is Malfoy in any position to 'ask' for anything he is a death eater."
"No he wasn't, he was under the imperious curse."
"He used that excuse again? He must be very weak willed then mustn't he."
"Mr Potter, that is quite enough! What have you decided Azkaban or Mr Malfoy?"
"Well, there really is no choice is there, I trust that I will be allowed to sort out some things before we leave," Harry said looking at Percy.
"Of cause," said Percy graciously, "1 hour, Harry, that is all."
"You won't try and leave will you, Harry." Put in the Headmaster, his eyes positively glowing.
As Harry went to leave the room his 'friends' moved to go with him.
"If you could stay behind, Miss Granger?"
Harry rushed off to the Griffindor tower and thought back to what had happened that very morning.
At breakfast in the Great Hall a letter was delivered to Harry by eagle owl. Harry became apprehensive when he noticed the Ministry seal. Ron continued to eat his breakfast but Hermione being Hermione wanted to know what the letter said.
Dear Mr Potter,
We at the Ministry have decided to acknowledge a claim by Mr Lucius Malfoy on behalf of his son Mr Draco Malfoy.
We at the Ministry expect you to you to submit your-self to this wonderful honour and to behave accordingly.
Mr Draco Malfoy will be at Hogwarts later today to collect you; you may take a few personal positions.
Yours, with congratulations,
Harry could not believe it. Yet again the Ministry were trying to pull a fast one. Looking to the Headmaster Harry was very disturbed to see the twinkling glee in his eyes as he to read a copy of the letter from the Ministry, he would get no help there he decided.
Looking to Ron who was now looking at Harry, Harry said, "I have to get out of here. The old goat is not going to help me, after breakfast I will go out on of the passages into Hogsmead."
"All right mate, I will do my best to cover for you."
Harry looked to Hermione who was looking up to the top table where the teachers sat.
When she looked back to him she said, "you must do what you believe to be right, Harry." She turned back to the head table.
Ron and Harry just looked at each other and shrugged.
After breakfast as the boys went to leave the Great Hall they were intercepted by their head of house and the grounds keeper, who informed Harry that the Headmaster wanted a quick word. Harry hadn't realised that it was an ambush until he had arrived at the Headmasters office.
End Flash Back.
Quickly Harry wrote several letters and sent them off with a parcel. Before sending them Harry told Hedwig to stay with Sirius until he called for her. He packed a few things and went down to the Great Hall, as it was lunchtime.
Sitting at the table Harry had a good look around the hall other than the Slytherin's who were smirking at him no one seemed to know what was happening, yet Harry was sure that it was a set up.
When Hermione arrived at the table she was flushed and excited, on her robe was the 'Head Girl' badge.
Harry couldn't take it anymore; he stared at the badge in disbelief. Just then Percy, the Headmaster and the Aurors arrived.
Show time, thought Harry, "wow Hermione, Head Girl can I see your badge?"
Proudly she took of the badge and handed it to Harry.
By now most people in the hall were looking to see what was happening.
Harry had a good look at the badge and stood up and as he went to walk away he throw the badge back and said in a loud voice. "I thought it would have weighed more."
Hermione looked puzzled, "what should have weighted more, Harry?"
"Your badge of cause – I always thought that 30 pieces of silver would have weighted more."
There was a gasp from the collective students that were muggle born and or muggle raised.
"Yes, Hermione," Harry continued, "30 pieces of silver for the betrayer, that is how it goes, isn't it?"
Hermione stood with tears trickling down her face, "what are you talking about?"
"You told the old coot that I was planning on leaving and instead of helping me you went to him – you will help a house elf beat slavery but not your best mate?"
By now everyone in the hall is watching what is happening.
"It's not slavery."
"What would you call being tied to someone who hates you and has spent their time here making your life as miserable as possible and to have no rights at all – to anything, even your own children and to have to give up everything that you had ever hoped for?"
At that moment the doors opened again and in strode Malfoy dressed up to the nines, and what appeared to be a dog collar and lead in his hands.
A whisper of disbelief went around the hall – the thought of Harry in slavery to Malfoy made even the Slytherins look green.
After a brief consultation Percy called, "it is time to go now Harry."
Harry walked over to the Aurors and said, "I am ready."
Percy blustered, "no, not with them, over here."
"No," said Harry.
"What do you mean no?"
"No, I won't go over there – should I make this clearer for you?" he looked Draco in the eyes and said, "I choose Azkaban."
Looking to the Aurors, he said, "let's go."
With that the three of them turned and left the hall.
Behind them the hall exploded with noise and chaos.
Hermione was being by turn being berated and ignored.
The Headmaster was looked at with a great deal of miss trust and suspicion, though he personally could not believe what Harry had just done.
Percy quickly left muttering about getting back to work.
Malfoy just stood there, how could his plan have failed? He would have to speak to his father about getting the laws changed so he could reclaim Harry when he left Azkaban. Not to worry though he had six months. 'Plenty of time,' he thought.