Harry Escapes

By Wolfwalker

Chapter 6

 

Grudgingly handing over his key when asked, Lucius stood and climbed out of the cart and smoothed his robes. These creatures evidently were uncivilized, if they could not even control the speed of their own carts. Sneering at the creature as he walked by as it pulled the door to his vault open, he skidded to an abrupt stop as he caught sight of an almost empty vault. "Where?" he said in horror as he spun on the spot and looked around the vault. About to demand to know why he was taken to the wrong vault, he spotted the family heirlooms on the shelves in the corner.

Rounding on the Goblin, he demanded, his voice rising, "Where is my MONEY!?"

Pointing to the small pile of coins to one side, Griphook said in his most bored tone, "Right there Wizard, are you blind?"

"I've been robbed you imbecile," Lucius growled out in rage.

"I remind you Wizard" Griphook sneered as he silently enjoyed himself, "Gringotts has not had a successful robbery in our long history."

"What do you call this then," Lucius snapped out as he motioned at his vault.

"Penalties," Griphook shrugged. "As Black family law calls for."

Stilling, hand half-raised, Lucius blinked as his mind raced to see if he could remember who the next head of the Black family was. And while he liked to boast his son would be the next Black, he knew that was an outside chance at best. At least until he tracked down the rest of the heirs and killed them off. "Take me..." controlling his rage he said, "take me to my account manager."

Stomping towards the door, he remembered why he was here and went back to the pitiful pile and filled his money pouch before exiting his vault. Silent all through the cart ride back, he tried to pull up every memory of the marriage contract his father had signed. The problem was, he never got to read it.

"Wait here," Griphook said as he stopped the wizard from barging in on Gravelthorn’s office. Exiting a minute later he said, "Enter."

Storming through the door, Lucius scowled as he spotted a different Goblin sitting behind the desk than expected, "Where is my account manager, Slipknife?”

"Reassigned," Gravelthorn said with enjoyment. "As your account no longer has the liquid capitol it has had in the past, you no longer need a full-time manager." Clasping his fingers he asked, though he knew exactly why the man was here, "Why have you demanded to speak with a manager, Wizard?"

"My fortune is missing,” Lucius hissed out in displeasure. "I want to know why? And what you are going to do to get it back?"

"Why is easy Wizard," Gravelthorn said as he pulled a folder out of a drawer. Opening it up he pulled the marriage clause out and slid it over. "All liquid capital at the time of the penalty being enacted was forfeit to the Black to do with as he wished. And he wished you to be punished for your heir’s transgressions against him."

"Draco?" Lucius blinked as his tone turned from rage-filled to confused. "What does my son have to do with anything?" he demanded in an imperious tone.

"Your son, your heir has attacked, multiple times mind you, and attempted to injure the Black." Gravelthorn told the wizard, "As such, the secondary penalty clause was activated. Be thankful, Wizard, that the Black was feeling merciful, he could have called for your heir’s head along with your liquid capital."

"My son has not even met the head of my wife’s family," Lucius stated before saying with narrowed eyes, "as far as I know, the next head of the Black family is in Azkaban."

"Not true, Wizard," Gravelthorn collected the documents and placed them in the folder. "The current Black has taken over due to the previous Black not taking control in the past five years. As Black law states." Touching a rock, causing it to glow he told the wizard as the door opened, "The guards will escort you out of the bank, Wizard."

Once the door closed behind the buffoon Gravelthorn laughed as he rubbed his hands together. He couldn't wait, he got to do this six more times. Then it hit him and he wanted to cry, the Potter haggled like no other and he barely made any money off the brat.

#

"Lucius, you called for this session," Cornelius said as he gazed at the Wizengamot behind his friend.

Standing in the middle of the floor, against his wife’s consul, Lucius tugged on the front of his robes and prepared himself, "It has come to my attention that there is a new head of the Black family. It has also come to my attention they are punishing all lines that have married into the Black family."

"This is beyond the Wizengamot's writ Lucius," Amelia Bones called out when he paused.

"That I know," Lucius put on the face of the aggrieved. "What is within the jurisdiction of the Wizengamot is the ability to call forth any Wizard they so choose." Before he could lay out his reasonings, Bartemius Crouch stormed into the chambers fuming mad, his voice echoing off the walls as he cursed everything Black.

"Bartemius," Amelia scolded from her seat. "No matter what, this is the Wizengamot, compose yourself."

"No matter what?" Bartemius said incredulously. "No matter what? I'll tell you what. All my gold has been taken. Penalties the thieving Goblins told me." In a rage, he forgot where he was and who he was talking to. "Told me the current head of the Black family, called in the penalties allowed due to my grandfather marrying into that blasted family. Told me if I had given the previous head of the family a trial instead of chucking him where he belongs..." trailing off as he suddenly realized where he was and what he said he paled as he saw Amelia rise from her seat.

"Are you admitting, here in front of the Wizengamot," Amelia said in a tone that broached no arguments, "that you sent the heir to an Ancient and Noble house to Azkaban without a TRIAL?"

"What does it matter," Bartemius countered. "We all know he is guilty. What does it matter if I saved us some time and..."

BANG!

Gavel breaking in half, Amelia growled out in rage, "Aurors take that man, Crouch, into custody." Looking at the Auror stationed near the door she ordered, "Send a team to bring Sirius Black from Azkaban, I want him standing here in front of us in less than an hour, or you'll be looking for new jobs."

"Amelia," Cornelius objected as he stood up, "everyone knows he's guilty. Why take the chance of making the Ministry look bad...er," he whimpered as that gaze was directed his way.

"Why?" Amelia said in a deadly tone as she glared the fool of a minster down. "I'll tell you why Minister. How would you like it if we sent You to Azkaban just because we heard rumors you would accept, donations," she sneered the word, "just to get your political backing. I would think you would like a chance to defend yourself against rumors, wouldn't you?" she said in a deceptive tone, "After all if everyone HEARS these rumors, who are they to believe without knowing the truth?"

Sitting down and slumping into himself, Cornelius refused to say another word.

Sitting down when no one said anything else, Amelia told everyone, "We will reconvene in one hour, I will send my Aurors after anyone who does not return for that session. Have I made myself clear?" she glared at the assembled. Seeing that most of the members look away from her gaze she settled back in her chair, eyes narrowed in anger she spat out when she saw one of her Aurors walk in, "Send for an Unspeakable and Veritruserum. We have need for a good supply.”

An hour later, with most, if not all of the Wizengamot members sitting or entering, Amelia stopped staring at the chained and silenced Crouch as an Unspeakable walked in. "Did you bring the Veritruserum as ordered?" she asked in a clipped tone.

"Yes," the magically disguised voice of the Unspeakable answered as they opened their palm to show the small vial of crystal clear liquid.

"We will start with him," Amelia said as she pointed to the bound prisoner.

Moving over to the prisoner, the Unspeakable waved their wand and dispelled all spells on Crouch except for the chains holding him in place. When the man started to protest, they grabbed his jaw and forced it open and administered the truth drug. Moving back as the drug took effect, they turned and nodded as the prisoner’s eyes glazed over and his head tilted to the side as if he was a puppet and his strings had been cut. "He is under the effects, he will answer all questions posed to him for one hour."

"Good," Amelia said as she rose from her seat and walked down to the floor and faced Crouch. "So there is no chance of someone saying we have the wrong person,” she said as she moved in front of Crouch and demanded, "what is your name?"

"Bartemius Crouch Senior," Crouch replied in a toneless voice.

Looking up at the ceiling as she worded the question just right, Amelia finally said, "Why did you send Sirius Black to Azkaban without a trial?"

"I could not take the chance he would be elevated to head of the Black family before my wife died," Crouch replied.

"Why, were you worried if Sirius Black became head of the Black family?" Amelia said slowly as she formulated her next question.

"Because we hated each other and I could not chance him having any control over me due to my wife’s lineage and my grandmother being a Black," Crouch told her.

Looking around the chamber at the shocked faces, Amelia asked, "Did you have proof Sirius Black was the Potter’s secret keeper?"

"No," Crouch said as he frowned. A sure sign he was fighting to say anything else.

"Do you have proof that Sirius Black betrayed the Potters?" Amelia asked as she tried to zero in on what Crouch did not want to say.

"No, there is no proof," Crouch said, again with a frown.

"Do you have knowledge that Sirius Black did not betray the Potters?" Amelia asked as she watched Crouch's facial expressions.

"Yes," Crouch frowned heavily as he replied.

Like a shark attacking a floundering tuna, Amelia asked, "What proof do you have that Sirius Black did not betray the Potters?"

"I was present when Sirius Black made a vow to protect his godson with his life," Crouch spat out as he started to sweat. "I know the Potters’ true secret keeper was Peter Pettigrew."

BANG!

Amelia lowered her wand as she glared the chamber silent. Gaze ending on Fudge, she sneered at his whimpering. Turning back to face Crouch she asked one final question, "Are you or are you not hiding anyone that is a death eater?"

"Yes," Crouch said as he tried desperately to fight the Veritruserum.

"WHO?" Amelia demanded as she looked at the darker elements in the chambers.

"My son," Crouch said as he started to fade out.

"Your son died, did he not?" Amelia fired back.

"No, I replaced him with my dying poly-juiced wife," Crouch admitted

"Where is he?" Amelia demanded as she tightened the grip on her wand.

"Home..." Crouch trailed off as he went unconscious.

Looking at the two Aurors stationed at the door to keep people out, Amelia hissed out, "Take the ready response teams to Crouch's home and tear it apart. Don't let Junior escape. GO," she yelled when they did not move fast enough for her.

The urge to hex the man strong, Amelia turned in place slowly so she could spear each member of the Wizengamot in the eye. "Have you heard enough to render a verdict?" she demanded coldly. With no one daring to say anything she spat out, "All those in favor of sending Crouch Senior and Junior when he is recaptured through the veil stand up." Looking around as more than three quarters of the members stood up she said, "So be it."

Looking at the Unspeakable, Amelia told them, "Send for one of your fellows, see that the sentence is carried out immediately. I would send you, but we still need the services of the Veritruserum, even though it is obvious an innocent man was sent to prison." As the Unspeakable tapped their badge with their wand, she added, "And we will want pensive memories to prove he went through the veil."

"Of course," the Unspeakable said with a slight bow.

"Where is Black," Amelia demanded when she spotted the Auror she sent to get him walk in.

Feeling trapped, Johnson stuttered as he looked at his boss in a rage, "He's...he's, coming. They wanted to give him a chance to shower some of the filth off."

Eyes flashing in rage, Amelia spat out as she leaned forward, wand in her hand, "I don't care if he is bare-arsed naked, but he better be in that chair in under two minutes or you are going to be the first to find out if Dementors have genders as you find yourself waking up in one of their BEDS. HAVE I MADE MYSELF CLEAR?"

"Ma'am," Johnson about fainted before running out of the room.

Tapping the top of her desk with one finger, belonging to the hand holding her wand, Amelia fumed.

"Amelia," Cornelius found some courage and tried to assert his authority. "We know Black is guilty of murdering those Muggles, so I see no reason to..."

"Minister," Amelia hissed out in displeasure. "If you even hint of finishing what you were about to say, I will have you in that chair spilling all of your secrets, no matter how minor. And if you even think about retaliating against me or my department, as head of the Bones family, I will call for a vote of no confidence." Without looking at the minister she bellowed, at the end of her patience, "So SHUT THE FUCK UP."

"Amelia," Sirius Black rasped as he was escorted into the room and instead of being dropped into the chair eased down.

"Black," Amelia said unemotionally. Looking at the Unspeakable she ordered, "Do it." Seeing Black smile as he caught sight of the vial, she knew his answers were going to set their world on its head. Getting up from her seat, she made her way down to the chamber floor and waited for the Unspeakable to tell her they were ready.

Getting the go ahead Amelia asked, "What is your name?"

"Sirius Orion Black," Sirius rasped out, then coughed from not using his voice in so long.

"Were you the Potters’ secret keeper?" Amelia asked, already knowing the answer, but wanting confirmation.

"No," Sirius answered even though it hurt to do so.

"Did you kill any Muggles when you killed Pettigrew?" Amelia asked as she considered rewording the question.

"No," Sirius rasped before falling into another coughing fit.

Looking around the chambers at those muttering, Amelia asked, "Did you kill Peter Pettigrew?"

"No," Sirius rasped as his head fell forward.

A quick wave of her wand had a silencing field around Black as she scowled at the shocked faces. Moving back towards her seat, she stopped when she heard a yell.

"WAIT," Lucius yelled out as he saw the questioning was finished. "I demand you ask him who is the current Black. I want to know who his heir is."

Looking at the Unspeakable, Amelia told them, "Give Black the antidote." Looking up at Lucius she told him, "As we have already stomped all over his rights, as he was thrown in prison without a trial or even being charged," she saw several winces at her statement, "Then the question can be asked while he is NOT under the effects of Veritruserum," seeing Lucius about to protest she countered, "unless you would like to undergo the same?" Seeing Lucius return to his seat she nodded before resuming her climb to her seat.

Coming out of his drug induced stupor, Sirius looked at Amelia and saw the hint of sadness in her expression. "Water," he rasped out in the hope of being given something to soothe his throat. Taking a sip as the rim of a glass touched his lips, he sighed in pleasure as the cool liquid put the fire out in his throat.

As she watched Black drink, Amelia told him and the rest of the Wizengamot members, "It came to our attention during the questioning of another that you had been thrown into Azkaban without a trial, or even being charged with a crime," she looked at Fudge with distaste as she saw him nervously crushing his hat. "Unlike others, I wished to ensure proper procedures and the law was followed. As such you were brought here, to be questioned by Veritruserum, in front of the Wizengamot and the Ministry leadership. As such what we discovered has rocked our world and I will make sure there is a proper counting of those in Azkaban with trial records, stating the verdict to incarcerate them from a legal seated Wizengamot court." Looking around the room and the expressions which she cataloged for future investigation she called out, "There is no need to call for a vote of guilt or innocence as there never were any charges. So I call for restitution, I call for a vote to liquidate everything Crouch had and hand it over to Sirius Black. I also call for the Ministry to pay Sirius Orion Black, the sum of a Minister’s pay for each of the years he was unjustly imprisoned. All those in favor..."

"Amelia," Cornelius jumped up from his seat and bellowed, "how dare you suggest that..."

"Sit down," Amelia hissed out as she watched Fudge cringe as her rage hit him. "Another word, another word Cornelius and the next vote I call for will not be for a vote of no confidence, but a prison term for illegally imprisoning innocent people."

"All those in favor, stand," Amelia said as she glared the coward down. Taking a glance around the room to count the votes, she said as she banged her gavel down, "Motion carries." Looking at Sirius Black she softened her voice, "I sincerely apologize for what happened to you, Sirius." Looking at the Unspeakable she asked, "Do the Unspeakables have the means to heal Sirius Black from long term Dementor exposure?"

"We do," the genderless voice nodded its cloaked head.

"It is so ordered that the Unspeakables do everything in their power to return Sirius Black to full health." Amelia once again banged her gavel. Seeing, out of the corner of her eye, Lucius fuming and about to stand she asked, "Sirius, now that you are not being influenced by truth serum and under no obligation to tell us, will you tell us who the new head of Black is, who your heir is?"

"My heir," Sirius said as his emotions went all over the place. "Amelia?" Sirius questioned as he considered the question, shrugging his shoulders as his godson was protected by Frank and Alice, "My godson. Harry Potter. Why?"

Seeing Lucius wince as he fell back in his seat, Amelia explained, "It had come up that the new head of the Black family was making waves in our world. The new head was calling in penalties to those families that married into the Black family." Seeing, Sirius laughing she asked, "Why is that funny, your godson cannot be the head of Black he is too young."

Becoming serious, Sirius told her and everyone here, "Wrong, Amelia. Black family law states, that after five years without a head or a head that cannot take up the duties of Black, the next heir is installed no matter the age. And if that was not good enough, Potter family law states, the last Potter male is the Potter, no matter age or education upon eleven years from the date of their birth."

Looking up at Lucius, Amelia asked in a tone that demanded an answer, "Lucius, which clause was invoked when the Black called in the penalty?"

"Twenty-six, subsection nine," Lucius said fuming at having to answer.

"WHAT!?" Sirius shouted as he tried to stand and failed.

"SIRIUS," Amelia raised her voice and glared the man back into his chair. "What is so angering about that clause?"

"It can only be enacted if the non-Black family or heir attempt to kill the heir or head of the Black family they owe fealty to from marrying into our family," Sirius spit out in rage as he tried to swivel around to look at Lucius. Oh, how he wanted to get his hands around the neck and squeeze, of that prick.

"I see," Amelia narrowed her eyes as she speared Lucius with her gaze. They would be having words it seemed. And she would be getting answers or else.

Glancing around at his fellows, Lucius swore under his breath, his wife was right, he should not have brought the issue up at the Wizengamot. It ended in disaster for his family. Seeing support for his plight fall to nothing he tried to become invisible until he could come up with a plan to get even.

"Well, Lucius will just have to hire a lawyer to..." Cornelius tried to soothe ruffled feathers and was interrupted by mad laughter.

Falling into hysterical laughter, Sirius shook his head as he gulped for air. Catching his breath, he looked at Fudge and told him, "Lucius doesn't have a Knut to his name. That clause would see all his liquid capitol removed and returned to the Black family. He's broke."

Glancing up at the embarrassed and caught out Lucius Malfoy, Amelia smiled as she saw Sirius was right. Oh, the talk she was going to have with Lucius later was so going to be fun she thought.

"I'm glad Frank and Alice taught Harry what to do what, what is necessary to remove threats," Sirius mumbled, but was heard. Looking around at the sudden still faces and uncomfortable looks he asked, "Just where was my godson raised, if not with Frank and Alice, his godmother?"

Not relishing the news she was about to impart, Amelia said carefully, "Dumbledore sealed the Potters’ wills. And he placed Harry with relatives in the Muggle World, to protect him."

"WHAT!?" Sirius shouted as he succeeded this time in rising up out of his chair. "To violate our laws to that extent," he practically shouted as he looked at the people he could see. "And you let him???" falling back into his chair he shook his head, energy about spent, "You'll be lucky if Harry only invokes the penalty clauses of the marriage contracts. There are far sinister passages buried in those things he can invoke if you piss him off."



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