“Ah Ms. Coulson, the American liaison man told me I could find you here. Mr. Hardinger” he greeted them when his view fell on Hadrian who leaned against his father.
Dumbledore narrowed his eyes surely contemplating something when his face brightened up his grandfatherly composure returning. “And who might you be, my son?”
Hadrian just wanted to snap back that he was not `his son´ when Salazar spoke up.
“He is my son…” he snarled when he was interrupted.
“Hadrian Hardinger, Sir, and I would ask you to not refer to me with `my son´ because I’m most definitely not” he replied coolly.
“My, my, why so hostile? I only asked you for your name. I wonder how old you are” Dumbledore put on his best smile but Hadrian flinched because his aura spoke an entirely different volume.
“I can feel the anger radiating you and it frightens me” he nearly whispered while pressing himself even more against his father who now draped an arm around him. “And I’m six if you have to know.”
Dumbledore looked at him curiously before he strengthened his Occlumency barriers so that his anger didn’t leak out anymore before he continued.
“Ah six, what a nice age. So you’re American? I have to admit that I never found the time to visit it but I heard it is a nice country and lead by one of the best Ministries. Your father worked there if I remember correctly. Wasn’t it the Department for Magical Human-Creature Registration?”
Salazar hold his breath. This was a tricky question and he didn’t doubt that Dumbledore planned it that way but his son handled it without any problem.
“As far as I know he was a Hit Wizard but he never told me any details so I don’t know whether he worked at that Department to.”
Dumbledore hummed while nodding. “Sure, it was over a decade ago after all that he resigned. Though another thing, you don’t happen to know a boy about your age with the name Harry Potter? Your father told me he knows him.”
Hadrian’s face brightened up upon hearing that. “Oh so you know Harry to?” Dumbledore nodded. “Why didn’t you say so earlier?”
Salazar had to supress the urge to look at his son in disbelieve. He could only hope that he knew what he did and wouldn’t give anything away.
“Yes I met Harry a few days ago. He came by with a strange looking man…I don’t know he gives me the creeps, Jim…James…no…John, yes that was the name. John Smith” he shuddered. “Really strange man but Harry was nice. We played and chatted a lot” he added before turning on a sad face. “Unfortunately he had to leave though he didn’t seem to be very happy about it.”
“Did he mention where he would live?”
“I think he mentioned something about New York but I don’t know whether he lives there or not” Hadrian answered with a thoughtful face. “Do you think you can find him? He really seemed uncomfortable having to live in America.”
“I will do my best I promise you that and I really have to thank you. You gave me vital information in order to find him” he told him before turning around. “Henrietta the reason I came here is that I wanted to ask you whether you could give me access to the register of American Wizards so that I can find out where this Mr. Smith lives” he looked at her expectantly.
“Albus, you know that this isn’t that easy especially with such sensible information. You have to go through the official channels and even I can’t help you with that. I also would ask you to not bother me with that now because this is my well-deserved vacation. Contact me on Monday ten o’clock then I’ll be back in my office and I will see what I can do for you.”
His face darkened and his anger started to leak out again which startled Hadrian.
“Henrietta, you just heard the boy. It is urgent and I have no time to loose. Harry might be in grave danger and you hide behind your bureaucracy.”
Henrietta just wanted to retort something when Salazar spoke up. “Mr. Dumbledore, you come in here, disturb our conversation, question Hadrian, demand help from Henrietta who is on her vacation and on top of that you frighten my son. Enough is enough. You heard her. She is back at her office on Monday and shouldn’t you want to wait that long take the official way. Now leave before I inform Ms. Bones about this” he growled.
Dumbledore’s head snapped towards him. “Hardinger, I’m glad when you’re back in America. You did more damage in one week than others do in their entire life. But I know that you know where John Smith lives. I give you now the opportunity to do us both a favour and tell me where he is” he growled his rage now clearly showing.
Hadrian whimpered before he hit Dumbledore with a wave of magic and catapulted him through a window out and into the lobby where he came with screeching sound to a halt. He just wanted to draw his wand when suddenly with two cracks Bones and another Auror appeared right next to him. Salazar and Henrietta in the meantime looked incredulous at Hadrian.
“What happened here?” Bones demanded to know.
The waiter that served them that evening went over and talked to her for a few minutes seemingly explaining what happened. When he finished Bones gestured the other Auror to stay with Dumbledore while she went over to Salazar, Henrietta and Hadrian.
“The waiter just told me that Dumbledore came in here and started to harass you. Is that correct?”
“Yes he came here, questioned my son before he demanded Ms. Coulson to help him finding Harry Potter and when he started to scare my son he took the short way out of the room through the window.”
Henrietta nodded to signal that she seconded that story.
Bones turned to Hadrian. “So you were the one to throw him through the window?” she asked him cautiously but he started to cry.
“I-I didn’t want to…but…he frightened me so much…and then he started to shout” he told her between his sobbing. “And…and then…I only know that I felt something and he flew through the window. Am I in trouble now?”
She knelt down in front of him and smiled. “Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble. You know every magical child from time to time performs magic accidentally when frightened or has otherwise strong emotions. No need to be frightened of it.”
“But…but I hurt someone” he now looked her straight into the eyes tears running down his cheek.
“Hey, he will be ok. I think the worst thing you did was putting a dent into his overly big ego but he will survive it, no doubt” she smiled at him for a last time before she returned back to Dumbledore.
“Albus Dumbledore, I warn you this one time. Should I get any more complaints about you harassing people or frightening children you get to know what it means to mess with the DMLE. Did I make myself clear?”
Dumbledore just wanted to say something but Bones interrupted him.
“I don’t care about your reasoning. You scared a child and you can be happy that nothing more severe happened. Now get lost or I have to arrest you for the night for civil disorder” she gave him a glare that told him how serious she was. She had been on her way out of office and back home when the call came so she was not very happy.
Dumbledore growled before he flooed back to Hogwarts. Bones also bid her farewell before she and the other Auror apparated back to the ministry.
The waiter approached them with a round of drinks after he finished repairing the broken glass.
“I have to apologize for the inconvenience and I hope that this incident didn’t dampen your stay at our house. As a compensation please accept this round of drinks on the house.”
“Were you the one who called for the Aurors?”
“Yes, Sir, I took the liberty when it looked like the situation might grow out of hands.”
“Thank you very much, I don’t know what might have happened didn’t they arrive at the time they did” Salazar sighed. He would give the waiter a large tip for his quick thinking.
“Is there anything else I can do for you at the moment?”
“No thanks” the waiter left.
Now that finally peace was reinstated and they were alone again Hadrian stopped sobbing and cleaned his face with a napkin.
“What if the accidental magic wasn’t that accidental?” he deadpanned.
Salazar who was just about to take a sip from his wine nearly choked and coughed heavily.
“What?” he looked at his son as if he saw him for the first time.
“Well it seems that a less bright and more solid version of my light ball is quite effective in throwing someone through a window when said person is hit hard enough” he snickered. “Okay I have to admit that I didn’t intend to hit him that hard, only enough to knock him of the feet…”
Salazar blinked a few times before he started to laugh. “So this entire behaviour was played?”
Hadrian nodded. “Most of it. He really frightened me though…”
“You know you nearly gave me a heart attack when you started to talk about Harry.”
“I just thought that it was a good way to fool him and you mentioned that Mr. Black told him something about America so I just used that. Was that wrong?”
“Wrong? My dear that was brilliant. I mean it seems that you were even able to fool you father with your act and that really means something. Though you piqued my interest. You said that you hit him willingly with your magic?” Hadrian nodded. “How?”
“Well when dad got me he let Mr. Reichard check me upon spells and he found a spell that did something with my magic…”
“A magic dampening spell” Salazar supplied.
“Are you serious? Who on earth and in his right mind puts such a spell on a child?”
“Dumbledore and it seemed that not only a small part was cut off but far over the half” he growled.
Henrietta just wanted to start saying some very vile things about the man when an idea occurred to her.
“He wants to get information from my ministry?” she said with a ferocious grin. “He will get to know how long bureaucracy can take.”
Hadrian felt a shiver going down his spine. Now he understood what his father meant when he said that woman could be intimidating. He would have to remember to never get on her bad side.
“But you didn’t answer my question yet” she now was again as friendly as before.
“Ah yes. When that spell was removed…I don’t know how to describe it but I could feel the power within me. A few days later then I experimented a bit and sometime later I managed to conjure up a small light. I practised it and now it takes nearly no effort for me” he slightly narrowed his eyes and not a second later a small light in the size of a firefly hovered in front of Henrietta. “And when Dumby started to shout earlier I just wanted to make the ball not a light but something solid enough to knock him over.”
He started to concentrate again and tried to knock over the pepper mill but nothing happened. Hadrian cocked his head in curiosity.
“Strange it doesn’t work anymore.”
“I think that is because you are exhausted and calmed down now. There is a reason why children have accidental magic when they have strong feelings. Magic reacts to those feelings. An adult has control over the magic so that it doesn’t react violently but children normally don’t have such a control. I’m astonished about your amount of control especially since you have no wand. Normally a wizard needs years of training to achieve what you did and most even then would never manage to do magic wandlessly” Henrietta told him.
They talked a bit further about what happened and it was about half past nine when Hadrian suddenly started to yawn.
“I think we should go home” Salazar said.
“But I don’t want to…this is so interesting” he moaned.
“Hadrian, I can see that you’re tired and you also should get used to a more regular sleeping rhythm” his father scolded him. “Don’t try those puppy dog eyes that won’t work.”
Hadrian huffed but nodded in the end while Henrietta chuckled lowly.
“Perhaps if you’re a good boy we can meet again. Your father could take you on a vacation to America and I show you a few things” Henrietta suggested.
Hadrian’s face brightened up upon that and he expectantly looked at Salazar.
“Was that the not very subtle try to tell me I should come over for a visit sometime soon?” he snickered.
“As I told you in my letter I miss our conversations and we meet far too infrequently.”
Salazar laughed. “I see if I can arrange something in the near future.”
His son started to yawn again and so he paid for the meal and the drinks and gave the waiter two Galleons as a tip for his aid with Dumbledore before they bid their farewell and got back home. Salazar’s observation proved right because Hadrian was asleep the moment he laid in his bed.
Salazar used the time until he went to bed himself to manage some of his business. After giving a few instructions to James for the next morning he then also went to sleep.
The next day at eight o’clock when Salazar entered the kitchen he saw that his son was already there but he somehow looked frustrated.
“Good morning” he greeted him.
“Morning” Hadrian growled while staring at his glass.
“What’s wrong?” Salazar picked up a cup of tea and the newspaper and sat opposite at the table.
“I try to repeat what I did yesterday but it is not working” he threw up his hand in desperation.
Salazar smiled. “Perhaps you’re doing it the wrong way. Magic is all about imagination and visualization. You have to picture exactly what you want to do. With your problem for example you have to envision how you gather your magic and hit the object with it. Do you understand what I mean?”
Hadrian hummed lowly before staring at the glass again. It took some time but suddenly a silver ball of the size of an orange appeared in front of him before it fell on the table with a loud thud.
Salazar’s eyes went wide. “Whoa” he dropped his paper and jumped up to round the table because Hadrian suddenly began to sway before falling unconscious.
He would have fallen onto the floor hadn’t Salazar caught him in time. After carefully picking him up he laid him onto the floor and knelt next to him before casting an examination charm. Right at that time Sylvia entered the kitchen.
When she saw Hadrian lying on the floor she instantly came running.
“What’s wrong? What happened?” she asked casting a few diagnostic charms on her own.
Salazar pointed at the silver ball. “He tried to repeat something he did yesterday but it was not working. When I told him how to do it properly he conjured up the silver ball. I think he just drained his magic too quickly so he fell unconscious.”
“How could you do that? You know how draining conjuring up solid material can be especially without a wand not to mention when you’re not used to it” she scolded him.
“To my defence I didn’t think that he would or even could conjure up a ball of solid metal. Yesterday he pushed Dumbledore through a window with a wave of magic…on purpose…well at least partly and he wanted to repeat it. I thought he would use an energetic wave again not something solid” he looked at his son in worry. “Will he be okay?”
“Yes he should wake up in a few minutes. As you said he just drained too much of his magic in a too short amount of time” with a flick of her wand she conjured up a pillow and draped it under his head. “Did I understand you right? He threw Dumbledore threw a window?”
Salazar snickered. “Dumbledore suddenly showed up yesterday evening at our meeting with Ms. Coulson. He frightened Hadrian with the anger that radiated from him and when he started to shout at me he took a flight through a window.”
Sylvia use a little Legilimency to watch that scene before she started to laugh. “Hadrian really is remarkable but you should train him properly and soon. Merlin knows what might happen if he continues to experiment with his magic unguided. You can be glad that up to now nothing more serious happened.”
Salazar thought about it, she was right. “Well today I have to attend a Wizengamot meeting where a new Minister will be elected but that should be the last appointment for hopefully a long time. So I should be able to train him beginning next week. He also was eager to start brewing but I think we can work something out.”
“Wait what date do we have today?” Sylvia looked at him remembering something.
“June, 27th why?” he asked curiously.
“Oh damned. Thanks to all the chaos and stress I totally forgot my vacation next week. But I can’t leave now…” She growled.
“Yes you mentioned that. I’m truly sorry I didn’t meant to ruin your holidays but might I ask why you can’t leave? Hadrian is well and you said that Sirius can leave St. Mungo’s today so where is the problem?” he now remembered that she mentioned the holidays and was curious.
“Sure Sirius is well enough to leave but he is far from being fully recovered and I’d like to watch him for some more time. Then there are also the Longbottoms which also will be released today but need more constant surveillance” she sighed her vacation will have to wait.
Salazar made a thoughtful face. “Might I ask whether you already booked something?”
She rose an eyebrow. “No, why do you ask?”
“I might have a solution that not only would solve your problem but also should benefit all of us…under one condition.”
“And what condition would that be?” she now looked interested.
“What would you say if we accompany you on your vacation?” Sylvia looked at him in a mix of disbelieve and curiosity so he started to explain what he meant. “I mean I would have to ask Sirius and the Longbottoms about it first but I think they could use a vacation to. You know I have a huge mansion in China that easily could host us all and you wouldn’t have to pay a rent. Despite that you could do whatever you like and at the same time see them regularly to check on their wellbeing. That way you could enjoy your well-deserved vacation without having to worry that any of them would suffer under it.”
“I-I…” she didn’t know what to say upon that. On the one hand it was better than no vacation at all but on the other…was it really a vacation then? But maybe she could also enjoy their vacation together with them. When she was honest she had to admit that yes she needed the time away from her job but visiting a foreign country alone was despite being interesting quite lonely to.
“Can I think about that offer for a bit?”
“No problem but please don’t take too much time. I would have to prepare quite a few things in case you agree” he replied.
Just at that moment Hadrian started to move.
“Ouch. What was that?” he asked while trying to sit up.
“Hey, hey. Don’t try to sit up yet. You drained much of your magic in a short amount of time” Sylvia explained.
“I’m sorry that is my fault. I didn’t think you would try to conjure up a solid object” his father said with a concerned face. “How do you feel?”
“A bit dizzy but despite that…” he paused for a bit. “Quite well.”
“Do you think you can sit up now?” Sylvia helped him and a minute later he sat back at the table with a cup of tea in front of him.
“What happened? I remember that I tried to knock over the glass when that silver sphere appeared. After that…nothing” now that he felt well again he was curious.
“As I said that was my fault because I should have told you beforehand. The thing is every time you perform magic it drains you and the more advanced the magic the more draining it is. I think you experienced that before when you first conjured up the light sphere on will” Hadrian nodded. “But there is a difference between conjuring up something insubstantial like the light and a solid object especially if you do it without a wand and training. While the light is quite easy to maintain since you only need the power that is needed for it to shine a solid object is a complete other story.
There are three ways to conjure up a solid object and everyone is more draining and complex as the previous one. The first way is to kind of teleport the object from A to B. It is far more complex than that but I doubt you would understand that now so the basic is that the object vanishes and appears somewhere else. Most people are able to do that with a wand and very little effort when they are used to it.
The second method is a form of transfiguration. You draw in particles of the surrounding area and change it into the material and form you want. Much more draining but quite useful if you don’t know from where to summon the object.
The third one is the most advanced one I know of. In that case you create the object purely through the usage of magical energy and willpower. You have to understand that conjuring up an object is always an equivalent exchange. You `pay´ with one thing to get the thing you want meaning that you can’t create something out of nothing even if it looks that way. With the first method it’s the same object only in another place, with the second the same amount of particles and with the third…well a huge amount of energy” he explained.
“Conjuring up something with only the use of energy? I never heard of such a thing” Sylvia said incredulous.
“Because up to now there were only two people who were able to do that. Merlin and I myself though I don’t use that method if not necessary and since I’m not used to it…I might not end like Hadrian unconscious but significantly weakened.”
“The next thing is that you tell me you’re Merlin himself…” Sylvia shook his head but Salazar started to laugh.
“No definitely not but I trained him personally. He was in my house after all.”
“Wait…Merlin was in Slytherin?”
“Yes but most tend to forget that small part when they talk about him” he huffed before he took a look at the clock on the wall it was shortly before nine. “Oh damned time is running and I wanted to talk to Sirius before the Wizengamot meeting. Hadrian I would ask you to not experiment any further with your magic as long as I’m not present. It can be very dangerous and I don’t want you to get hurt, alright?”
Hadrian nodded. “Yes, I think you’re right. But what about the light?”
“You can use that since it doesn’t seem to trouble you but nothing else until I allow it. Now come on. I have to bring you to the Longbottoms.”
Before they left the kitchen Sylvia asked one last question. “What method did Hadrian use?”
Salazar looked at her before he answered. “From what I could see and feel…the third.”
They left behind a dumbstruck Sylvia. Luckily Hadrian was already dressed and only had to fetch his bag. Five minutes later he and his father flooed over to the Longbottom manor where Neville was already waiting with his granny.
“Good morning Augusta and thank you that Hadrian can stay with your grandson again” Salazar greeted her.
“As I told you yesterday it is no problem and I’m glad my grandson gets along so well with Hadrian. He normally doesn’t play with other children because he is quite shy” Neville who heard that blushed furiously.
He looked at his granny for approval and she nodded. Hadrian gave his father a hug and then the two boys left the room.
“I assume we will see each other at the meeting later?” Augusta asked.
Salazar nodded. “Sure but I have to talk to Mr. Black and Ms. Bones beforehand so I have to leave now.”
They bid their farewell before he flooed over to St. Mungo’s. Unfortunately Dumbledore was there at the moment and so he wasn’t able to talk to Sirius. Therefore he just left Sylvia a short note and flooed over to the Ministry after taking the necessary potions for his disguise.
He went straight to Bones office despite not being expected before ten. But fortunately she was already there and glad that he was early.
“Did you have a look at today’s issue of the Prophet?” Bones asked.
“Unfortunately I got interrupted before I had the chance to read it. Why do you ask?”
“Look for yourself” she handed him the newspaper that laid on her desk.
Salazar looked on the front page before a grin appeared on his face and he began to read.
Harry Potter hiding in America
The Prophet yesterday received a hint about the whereabouts of Harry Potter. So reported a witness that she was able to listen to a conversation between two people I unfortunately cannot name here. In this conversation, they mentioned that John Smith who adopted Harry Potter lives in an apartment in New York. One of said persons validated this piece of information when he found an eavesdropping charm on the other person and instantly rushed out to inform Mr. Smith. Though it is unclear who placed the charm and for what purpose.
One thing is clear. Harry Potter is not in the country anymore. However, what does that mean for the Boy-who-lived? Is he safe and well? We do not know at the moment but we at the Prophet are determined to find out even if it means a trip to America.
For more about the abduction of Harry Potter see page 2
“That actually explains a lot” Salazar mused looking at the author of the article.
Bones looked at him in curiosity. “It seems that you have me at a loss.”
“Do you remember the article about the waking up of the Longbottoms?” Bones nodded. “There was also a passage about how a witness observed that the Longbottoms referred to Hadrian, who was present at that time, as their godson. That time I wondered who said witness could be because the only persons who were there were Hadrian, the Longbottoms, Sylvia Pye and I myself. But this article answered that question” Bones looked confused. “Yesterday before I had that conversation with Sirius I took a look around and found a beetle animagus on one of the room divider.”
It took Bones a few seconds before realisation hit her.
“You want to say that Skeeter is that bug animagus? I didn’t know that she was one” she replied. “But on the other hand I doubt that she would have registered. That way she can eavesdrop on everyone she likes without being noticed.”
“Do you have to report her?”
“Why do you ask?”
“This information might be useful…she might be useful.”
“Well I have to report her but you know how it is with all this bureaucracy. Everything takes its time and from time to time documents and the like get lost…” she smiled but Salazar rose an eyebrow questioningly. “The Animagus Registration Law is nice but do you really think that people follow it? I mean we have eight registered animagi at the moment of how many thousand witches and wizards?” she laughed. “I’m not delusional enough to think that it works and as long as people aren’t caught doing something illegal I could care less. Though it is a nice law to add some more years in Azkaban if necessary should they be caught.”
“Try to imagine Lucius Malfoy marching into the Ministry announcing that he is an animagus” Salazar snickered.
“I could imagine him as an albino ferret.”
“Or a white crow.”
They both snickered before Bones gave Salazar a calculating look. “Hmmm you I’d say are a snake, black with emerald green eyes.”
“Another proof of your analytic skills. You’re right my form is an extinct version of the black mamba about 4’11” long. But I doubt that it was that hard to guess” he laughed.
“What do you think is Dumbledore’s form?”
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he were some kind of spider if not actually an Acromantula. His whole working manner…spinning his webs and sitting in the centre waiting patiently for his victim to get caught” he shuddered. “Or a goat…that depends whether his physical or mental aspects are more dominant” they both started to laugh.
After that they talked about what to expect at the meeting and what they could do against any attempt Dumbledore might start to get him out of the meeting when Bones had an idea.
“What would be if you’d work for the DMLE officially as a legal advisor and advocate?” she asked.
Salazar looked at her confused.
“I mean you wanted to help me revising the cases anyway so what if you were under contract? Dumbledore then would have no hold upon you since you are a Ministry worker and couldn’t throw you out of Wizengamot meetings either.”
He thought about that. “I think that might work but under the condition that I can refuse to plead someone’s case because I don’t want to end up helping someone getting free who is dangerous.”
“You would always represent the Ministry so that shouldn’t be a problem” she complied with his request.
After taking a second thought about it he shrugged. “Why not. It isn’t that I don’t have the time and this way I can have an eye on Mr. Dumbledore. Though I have to inform you that I might not be in the country for the next two weeks because of a vacation but I will supply you with a method to contact me in case there is a problem.”
She nodded. It shouldn’t prove to be a problem because she would need time to look through the files of the other convicted and filter out those who could be problematic. So she went to her secretary and ordered him to bring her a contract. A few minutes later and Salazar or in this case Jack Hardinger was a proud new staff member of the DMLE.
Bones took a look on the clock and frowned.
“We should go to the plenary hall. The meeting will begin in fifteen minutes” she said.
Salazar nodded and they went out of the office and up to level one of the Ministry.
While certain courts were hold in front of the `whole´ Wizengamot it was in truth only a small part consisting of the oldest and most powerful families. But in case a new Minister was elected, a huge law had to be passed or to share and discuss important information said Wizengamot was extended so that the Head of every established family line attended. To become an established Family line said line has to at least consist of three generations of witches and wizards. Therefore at the moment about five hundred families were allowed to vote. Before the war it had been more but thanks to Voldemort’s actions several lines were extinct.
The entire thing would take place in the plenary hall on the first level right next to the office of the Minister and that’s where Salazar and Bones headed now. When they arrived they saw that a lot of people already arrived and chatted excitedly. They ignored them and entered the huge round room.
On the sides were in steps rows of seats for the members while straight on was a huge chair behind a desk. This was the place the Minister sat at. Bones walked up to the left side of said seat where she would sit while Salazar would sit a row beneath her.
It was arranged that the different Departments were seated on the left and right side of the Minister in their own compartments. The more important Departments for the certain meeting sat in the front while the less sat in the upper ranks. Within the sections for the distinct Departments the Head sat at the top while beneath sat the employees who had to attend in order to show the ranking.
The seating of the family Heads was arranged similarly. The older and more powerful a family was the further it sat in the front while the youngest took the last rows.
Slightly on the right in front of the seating rows were two separate desks. One for the Chief Warlock who would preside over the meeting and a smaller one for the court scriber.
Salazar and Bones took their seats in the front left compartment shortly after Dumbledore showed up and threw them a glare.
“It seems that Dumbledore will question your seating here” Bones commented with a snicker.
“Let him try. We have the law on our side and he should know it.”
A few minutes later the ranks started to fill. Salazar could see Augusta enter as well as a bit later Sirius. The latter seem to feel a bit uncomfortable with what was to come while Augusta only showed a regal face.
“Are you sure that it will work out with Mr. Finnigan as Harry’s substitute?” Bones asked when said man entered and sat right next to Augusta.
“Again, we have the law on our side and he knows what to do” Salazar replied.
“I wonder who Dumbledore will nominate…” she mused but Salazar only grinned. “You know who it is, don’t you?”
“Yes I know it but I can’t tell you in advance or my source of information might get busted.”
Now that everyone took his place the Minister entered through a side door and also took her place. Dumbledore stood up.
“Welcome ladies and gentleman to this extraordinary extended Wizengamot meeting. As many of you know certain recent events made this advanced meeting necessary. Though before we come to the main reason of this meeting does anyone want to submit a supernumerary application?” he introduced.
After Dumbledore finished Minister Bagnold stood up. She looked tired and had dark rings beneath her eyes but Salazar felt no remorse for her. It had been her own fault and hers alone.
“I hereby step down from my post as Minister of Magic” she said with a hollow voice.
She knew what was to come and she didn’t want to see the proof of her downfall at the vote of no confidence. For that she had too much pride left and perhaps she could salvage at least a small part of her reputation when she showed that she stepped down voluntarily and didn’t struggle against the inevitable.
With one last bow she stepped down from her post and went out through the main entrance. She didn’t stop by her former office since she already packed everything when it became clear that she wouldn’t survive this politically. So she left the Ministry through the floo straight to the Leaky Cauldron to bath her despair in Firewhiskey.
In the plenary hall in the meantime rose a murmuring through the ranks about what they just witnessed. It took Dumbledore a few seconds before he pulled himself together and called everyone to order.
“Are there any other supernumerary applications?” he again asked but everyone stayed silent. “I have one question through. Mr. Hardinger, why are you here? You have no right to attend a Wizengamot meeting as an American citizen.”
Salazar who anticipated that smiled at the old man. “Sir, I have to inform you that I am a Ministry worker in the DMLE since this morning and as such I have every right to attend this meeting should Ms. Bones wish it.”
A gasping went through the room and Dumbledore looked like someone told him that every production of lemon sherbets was stopped instantly.
“That is impossible. You can’t become a Ministry worker without being a British citizen and despite that it is impossible to do a proper background check that quickly.”
“First I can assure you that Ms. Coulson supplied me with every needed information even before Mr. Black’s trial and second why would he have to be a British citizen?” now Bones spoke up.
It seemed that Dumbledore not only didn’t want to repeat the disaster at the press conference but also was at a loss how to answer that question and so he took the way around it.
“May that as it be we have more important things at hand. Since there weren’t any more applications I’ll go on with the protocol” with that he continued to announce the several Heads of the Departments as well as any other important person attending. When he finished he went over to the real part of the meeting.
“We originally came here together today to charge a vote of no confidence against our former Minster Ms. Bagnold but since she already resigned we will skip that part and continue straight with the nomination of the candidates for the Minister post. Are there any nominations?” he asked.
Lucius Malfoy stood up. “In the name of the Noble House of Malfoy I, Lucius Malfoy, nominate Cornelius Fudge for the post of Minister” he said with a loud and clear voice before he sat down again. Dumbledore nodded.
After that it was James who stood up which earned him a rumouring because everyone asked himself why an unknown person sat in the front row.
“I, James Finnigan, as a substitute of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Potter nominate Augusta Longbottom for the post Minister of Magic” he announced which earned him even more rumouring.
Bones was right. Many people questioned the correctness of this.
“Quite please” Dumbledore called out. “Mr. Finnigan, you claim to be the substitute for the Potter family but who tells us that this is correct?”
“I have here a document signed by Mr. Smith that gives me allowance to sit in for Mr. Potter in any Wizengamot meeting as well as the right to vote in his name as long as Mr. Potter isn’t emancipated” a bailiff appeared and brought said document over to Dumbledore.
He examined it. “And who tells us that you didn’t forge this?”
“I do” Bones interrupted. “I had the possibility to confirm his claim right after Mr. Black’s trial because I was suspicious to but I was able to smooth them out.”
It was right, after the trial she asked Salazar to show her said document only so that she could eliminate any fault from her side and reject such accusations.
“So you were able to talk to Mr. Smith?” Dumbledore insisted.
“No unfortunately not but I could confirm that this document is valid and hasn’t been tampered with. It even contains a free given drop of Mr. Potter’s blood to confirm its authenticity.”
That was a small detail Salazar had added to make the whole thing fool proof. Dumbledore growled but there was nothing he could do so he gave back the document. It looked like that he tried to lie a low profile since the happenings the last days.
“It seems that everything is in order” he said but a slight growling wasn’t to be overheard. “Continuing with the nomination for the office of Minister I, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore” he continued before starting to list every single title he possessed. “…nominate Sirius Black, Head of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.”
After that announcement a silence befell the entire room. No one said anything and only stared at Dumbledore except Sirius himself who looked like he wanted to be somewhere else preferably far, far away from here.
“Now I know why you didn’t say anything” Bones whispered into Salazar’s ear.
“Does anyone else want to announce someone?” Dumbledore continued but only got silence as an answer. “Okay. Does any of the nominated persons want to decline their nomination?” again silence. “Good. Should no one have any objections then I would ask the nominees to hold their speeches beginning with Mr. Fudge. Would you please?”
With that every nominee hold a five minutes long speech about what their respective assets are and why they should be elected for the Ministers office. Sirius was last and Salazar had to admit that Dumbledore was very good with words and how to sway opinions in his favour. He doubted that this was Sirius own speech since he wouldn’t have had the time nor the necessary background information to prepare this.
When Sirius finished Dumbledore stood up again. “You all now have five more minutes to contemplate the just heard before you will vote.”
After these five minutes of rumouring and discussions everybody voted. When the last one finished the results were shown in the centre hovering in the air. The count was shown beneath the respective name. It seemed that Fudge only received three votes which wasn’t very surprising to Salazar. The other two competitors on the other hand were something entirely different.
“With four votes difference and therefore having the needed fifty percent majority the new Minister of Magic is…” Dumbledore called out.