Author's Notes: DON'T BE A GIT. READ THIS. Got your attention? Good. You're not a git. :grins: I feel I need to explain something. I'm trying to work some of the elements of the fifth book into this fic for the sake of the Wizengamot trial, and I found it necessary to list things that happened in Harry's fifth year -the year before Duo and (eventually) the other pilots showed up. Obviously, Sirius Black isn't dead; Dumbledore paid more attention to what was going on in Harry's life and pried the whole "I'm having dreams of this, that, and the other that might involve something behind a door and blah blah blah" fiasco out of Harry before Voldemort could lure him to the Department of Mysteries. Harry was told of the prophecy, and Dumbledore made some spot-on assumptions as to why Voldemort was trying to lead Harry there.

Dolores Umbridge didn't take over Hogwarts in the name of the Ministry, so Dumbledore was present when Harry came running to him about Sirius being tortured at the Department of Mysteries. He was there to calm Harry down enough to call Sirius through the Floo and show him that Sirius was perfectly alright.

Again, I would like to point out that I changed things a little not because of my own arrogant need to have a relatively interesting character to play with, but because I started HPatSL long before the release of the fifth book, and I didn't feel like rewriting Harry as a sulky git. Sirius gets on my nerves more often than he entertains me, especially when it comes to Severus Snape. Sirius never expresses any remorse for almost getting Snape infected, or worse, torn to shreds by a werewolf who is supposed to be one of his best friends. He could have gotten Remus expelled and probably executed for the stunt he pulled, had it not been for James Potter.

(Mwahah! Sneaked in a rant about how Sirius pisses me off! Score!)

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to review! Keep 'em coming, my lovelies -they fuel the fire of my artistic SOUL.

Okay, you can stop paying attention to me now. :grins: ONWARD!

Harry Potter and the Forgotten Heirs Part 7

Minister Cornelius Oswald Fudge was not worried. Why would he feel the need to be concerned? Despite the hearing that required the presence of everyone on the Wizengamot at the request of one Albus Dumbledore, the trouble-making Headmaster of Hogwarts both politely declined to be involved in the hearing for it was something that he had requested on the behalf of his students, and the wizen man had been very implicit when he explained that he hadn't wanted to create a conflict of interest.

Of course, Cornelius almost declined to permit the hearing in the first place, but the students in question were... well, muggle-raised! It was further to his benefit that the eventual seventh years were only accepted into Hogwarts a year ago. What would they know of how the laws of the wizarding world were interpreted? Much like that meddlesome Vice Foreign Minister, these boys wouldn't be able to fully understand the way the Ministry and the wizarding world worked. (The Minister of Magic flinched in irritation at the memory of being slighted by the teenaged upstart that still belonged in school herself. Really! Muggles!)

Cornelius did have a small niggling sense of doubt about the hearing. That meddling Headmaster hadn't been very forthcoming with what this supposed important matter was about, but he was confident that he would be able to head off any unsavory press. He was, after all, the Minister of Magic, and his word was law to the wizards of Great Britain.

Fifteen minutes before the hearing was to start, several Aurors walked in, carrying a slender box marked with the seal of the Ministry. Behind the Aurors (Shacklebolt and Tonks, if memory served correctly) came a young man Cornelius assumed was one of the students involved with whatever case that involved the Wizengamot's full attention.

The boy could have taken the time to do something about that wild hair, Cornelius noted absently. Otherwise, the boy certainly dressed appropriately, with his simple but clearly expensive white button-up dress shirt, unwrinkled black slacks, and glossy black loafers. His face revealed nothing of his intentions, and his piercing blue eyes seemed to be making note of every member of Wizengamot with cool, analytical interest.

Beside him, the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement Amelia Susan Bones leaned forward in her seat, her interest piqued. "This should be interesting," she murmured softly. Despite the purposely lowered pitch of her voice, her words almost echoed amongst those of the Wizengamot.

"He's just a student," Dolores Umbridge replied sweetly; Cornelius could always rely on his Senior Undersecretary to side with him. "How interesting could this false hearing possibly be?"

"And what has inspired you to believe this hearing was false, Senior Undersecretary Umbridge?" Bones asked, her voice without infliction as she glanced to the Undersecretary. "I was under the impression we were all to approach this as we would any other hearing."

Dolores laughed shrilly. "Why, what important matter could a boy who has just been introduced into the wizarding world have that would require the attention of the Wizengamot, unless it is to show him an example of how wizarding justice is handled?"

Bones clearly didn't agree with Dolores, but she didn't pursue the matter further. Instead, she said knowingly, "That lad has the eyes of a seasoned Auror. As does his friend."


Sure enough, when Cornelius looked toward the back of the room again, there was another student -a young man who definitely had Oriental ancestry, his black hair slicked back into a severe ponytail and his slanted ebony eyes only made even more striking by the pair of simple bifocals resting on the bridge of his nose. Unlike his companion, he wore an outfit of all white; white slacks that were tight around his ankles and a long-sleeved button-up coat, the style firmly screaming Asian.(1)

The moment Cornelius noticed that nuisance Boy Who Lived, his two lackeys, and Draco bloody Black sweep into the room as if they bloody owned the place, the Minister of Magic began to believe that he'd made a terrible mistake. That feeling increased tenfold when Albus Dumbledore casually ambled in right after them.


"What is the meaning of this!" the man in the bowler hat bellowed, standing in his seat and pointing accusingly at Dumbledore. "You said you weren't going to be involved!"

Wufei, face expressionless, turned to look inquiringly at Yuy. The stoic Japanese boy nodded curtly once before turning his attention back to organizing his notes. So that was the Minister of Magic...

Wufei snorted derisively. Of course.

"I'm afraid you misunderstood me, Cornelius," Dumbledore said gaily, easily accepting a seat that one of his Order members, an Auror with bright orange hair and a slender, pointy nose, offered him. "I said I would abstain myself from the Wizengamot for this hearing to avoid a conflict of interest. I fully intend to support my students in their self-appointed task."

The Minister, clearly grasping at straws, turned his accusing finger to Potter. "And him? What's his involvement with this?"

Wufei cut in, his voice severe and unwavering when he responded, "Harry Potter is present as a witness, as is Ronald Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Draco Black." Wufei sneered when he added, "We cannot be blamed for your ignorance in this matter, Minister Fudge. We provided your office with a list of those who would be present for this hearing."

The man's face turned purple in outrage. The simpering twit that resembled a frog spoke up in defense of her Minister, saying, "Mr... Wufei, is it? You shouldn't speak to the Minister with such disrespect. It's rude." She spoke as if she was reprimanding a mere child.

Oh, this was going to be fun. "Chang is my surname," Wufei said coldly, lifting his nose to the woman. Considering she was at a much higher elevation than he, this was quite a feat. "I am the head of the Chang Clan of L5, and I conduct myself just as the head of my clan would. Minister Fudge is not behaving with as much dignity as one of his position should by throwing around wild accusations that impugn the honor of myself, my companions, and Headmaster Dumbledore.

"Furthermore," Wufei added pointedly, staring directly at the frog-faced woman, "you are showing me disrespect by speaking to me as if I'm nothing but a child. It would do you well to rid yourself of the ridiculous notion that I cannot string together a perfectly cohesive sentence, Senior Undersecretary Umbridge, especially considering how you've neglected to introduce yourself beforehand."

The woman's wide, slack mouth dropped open, the color bleeding from her face as she stared wordlessly at Wufei. Some of the members of the Wizengamot shifted; others hid their amused smiles behind their hands.

The monocle-wearing middle-aged woman on the other side of Fudge wore a look on her face that lead Wufei to believe she was knew exactly what to expect. The volume of her voice almost startled him when she said, "Senior Undersecretary Umbridge's rudeness aside, Mr. Chang, I can't help but to notice you already knew both her name and position." Her smile was razor sharp when she added, "I am Madam Bones."

Ah. A sign of intelligence. Maybe the wizarding world wasn't so hopeless after all.

Wufei bowed at the waist, as was the custom for his culture. He showed nothing but the utmost respect when he replied humbly, "An astute observation; I would expect no less from the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Madam Bones."

"You cannot sway members of the Wizengamot with simple flattery, sir," Fudge bumbled angrily, still scrambling to save face at being spoken to in such a manner.

Wufei narrowed his eyes at the man and straightened his spine immediately. "Flattery!" he spat, offended. "Flattery is a coward's tool, Minister, and I'm no coward! There is no dishonor in showing respect towards one of Madam Bones' position. She carries herself as one of her stature should, and she is to be honored for it." Unlike you, was the unvoiced addition. Unvoiced, but certainly implied.

"Please be seated, Minister Fudge," Bones' voice boomed, her face calm and unreadable. "Mr. Chang's culture is very different from ours. Throwing around such accusations is insulting to him, and provides the wrong impression on the Wizengamot. If you continue to behave in such a manner, I'll be forced to call for a vote as to whether you should be excluded from this hearing."

The fool began making some empty protest ("I'm the Minister of Magic! You can't exclude me from this!") when Bones cut him off with a stern, "Minister, you will carry yourself with the dignity of the Wizengamot. Your reputation won't be the only one to be called into question if you continue to blunder through this like a spoiled child."

The Minister fell silent before loudly throwing himself back into his seat, clearly intent on making his displeasure known through his stubborn silence.

"Wipe those smirks from your faces," Yuy whispered lowly, his lips barely moving. Potter and Weasley's smirks melted away, replaced by faint surprise that the Japanese Slytherin hadn't even looked at them to know they had been grinning so widely at Wufei's bold approach to the Wizengamot.

A chime echoed around the room, and Wufei automatically glanced at his watch to assure the meaning of the sound. It had just turned ten; it was time for the trial to officially begin.

Fudge, finicky and clearly frustrated, tried to suppress his anger when he calmly asked, "What is this hearing all about, Dumbledore?"

This guy was making it entirely too easy to insult him. "You will be addressing either myself or my companion Heero Yuy on this matter," Wufei said stiffly, clasping his hands behind his back with his shoulders bared back. "The Headmaster has nothing to do with our case." He narrowed his eyes behind his glasses. "Did you not receive our report, Minister Fudge? It was sent to you on the morning of August 1st."

Wufei knew exactly where that report had ended up, if Shacklebolt's testimony was to be believed. It remained at the very bottom of a staggering pile of files that the Minister had been neglecting in favor of campaigning for his next election.

The man's face reddened again, and he said haughtily, "I don't believe my office received your report, Mr. Chang."

"Lying git," Potter whispered lowly, unnoticed to the Wizengamot.

Wufei didn't bother to pursue the matter. He motioned toward Yuy, who stood from his seat behind the table and replied tonelessly, "This hearing is held solely for the benefit of the escaped felon Sirius Black, who we believe was unjustly convicted of crimes he did not commit."

The Wizengamot exploded.


Meanwhile, an unexpected guest shrouded in dark blue traveling robes was resolutely marching up the steps that lead to the entrance of Black Manor. The woman -for she was clearly woman, as her jaunty humming was light and melodious- had nothing with her that would indicate anything more than a lost traveler. However, judging by the way she elegantly swept through the threshold of the door and calmly shut it behind her said differently.

Almost immediately, two wands were trained on the unknown interloper. The figure hardly twitched to belay concern for her state; in fact, her wand was also poised in the air, pointing right back at the two boys. Her mouth -perhaps the only visible part of her face, as her hood obscured most of everything else- was painted red and tilted back in a small smirk.

"My, how rude. Didn't either of your mothers ever teach you any manners?" she asked casually, revealing a row of perfectly straight, pearly white teeth.

"Can't see how they could've," the boy with the braid delivered just as casually, his easy-going smile hinting at the depths of the regret she would be feeling if she made a move he deemed inappropriate, "seeing as how both our moms died giving birth to us."


"Funny you should mention mothers," she said meaningfully, only to be cut off from further reply when the little blond one politely (but sternly) interrupted.

"I'm sorry, but I believe you were the one who brought mothers into question, Miss...?"

Fair enough. She reached up with her empty hand slowly and pulled back her hood. Her perfect flaxen curls tumbled from their confines, falling about her perfectly sculptured cheeks and the slim line of her jaw. Her eyes were icy blue and cutting with intelligence, shadowed with a light coat of powdery blue eyeshadow.

"Ms.," she said, correcting the boy casually. "Ms. Narcissa Black."

"Hey," the American said laughingly, "she's dragon boy's mom!" She noticed, vaguely amused, that his wand did not waver at his own announcement.

And then her water broke, splashing wetly all over the marble floor.


"I don't suppose either of you know how to deliver a baby," Narcissa said nonchalantly a moment later, enjoying the slow realization that seemed to dawn to the boys at the same time despite the sudden contraction that followed. The blond one's eyes widened, focused almost entirely on the protruding stomach that was almost hidden underneath her robes. The loud American's jaw went slack with both surprise, the corners of his anxious amethyst eyes tightening worriedly.

As one, the boys turned to each other helplessly. Narcissa almost laughed, as both had seemed too dumbfounded by their current predicament to have the presence of mind to lower their wands.

"I'm the youngest," the blond whispered immediately.

"I know more about taking care of kids than delivering them," the American hissed. That was good to know; with him around, she could probably convince him to babysit while she worked on her neglected tan.

As one, they reached the same conclusion. "Trowa!"

Narcissa was surprised when a taller boy... fell from the ceiling. Damn, missed that one. Then, How in the world was he clinging to the -oh. Chandelier.

One calm green eye met hers, the other hidden by a tuft of light brown hair that fell over almost half of his face. "Quatre, you need to inform the house-elves. We'll need towels, warm water, and a fresh set of sheets need to be present for afterwards. Duo, go to Draco's potion lab and find the strongest painkilling potions. Bring them all."

Oh, good. Someone who knew what he was doing.

"I take it you've done this before," Narcissa said idly as the other boys scrambled to do what they were told.

"I've helped several lionesses deliver their kits," he said quietly, finally turning to her. "I hope you forgive us for the state of your room, Ms. Black. Draco recently convinced Duo to wear some of your clothes, and it took him some time to find a proper outfit."

That's my boy. "The American? He would look good in a dress," Narcissa mused, taking the boy's offered arm as he led her toward the staircase. She raised an eyebrow curiously. "You're not going to carry me up the stairs?"

"Walking will speed up the birthing process," the boy said solemnly. "It should also dull the pain of labor."

It appeared this one wasn't going to be so easy to manipulate. Drat. And why the hell didn't the midwife I used for Draco tell me something useful like that? If the old crone weren't already dead, I'd make her wish she was.


It took less time than he'd originally thought to convince the Wizengamot that their case was worthy of the court's time. The only real trouble they had was get that idiot Fudge to stop blubbering about how the Ministry didn't make mistakes so the hearing could finally be underway.

"Minister!" Bones bellowed sharply.

The moron made an irate noise in the back of his throat before finally giving up, sitting down in defeat.

"Now if we can officially open this hearing," Bones said meaningfully, her eyes daring the Minister to make even more of a spectacle of himself. Several reporters from respectable newspapers had filed into the courtroom in the middle of Fudge's tirade, and all were eagerly taking notes of what had happened thus far. Bones was clearly displeased by the lack of professionalism, as were almost all the members of the Wizengamot.

Grumbling, the Minister said snootily, "Hearing of the third of August, into offenses committed by one Sirius Black on the morning of November 1st, AC 181, that include conspiring with the Dark Lord, breaking his oath as the Secret Keeper of Lily and James Potter, resulting in their deaths; the murder of the wizard Peter Pettigrew, as well as twelve muggles; and blatantly using magic in front of and around muggles; all crimes of which the convict Sirius Black has already been sentenced to a lifetime in Azkaban.

"Interrogators: Cornelius Oswald Fudge, Minister of Magic; Amelia Susan Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement; Dolores Jane Umbridge, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister. Court Scribe, Percy Ignatius Weasley."

"Relative of yours?" Wufei murmured from the corner of his mouth, directed to the simmering redhead that sat behind him and to the right.

"No relative of mine betrays his family," Weasley replied, seething in his seat and glaring at the older redhead who was busily writing down the proceedings of the trial.

"Solicitors for the defense, Chang Wufei, seventh year Ravenclaw at Hogwarts; and Heero Yuy, seventh year Slytherin at Hogwarts.

"Witnesses for the defense, Hermione Anne Granger, Ronald Bilius Weasley, Draco Julius Daemon Monroe Black, and Harry James Potter."

One of the reporters in the back of the courtroom murmured excitedly to his associate upon the grudgingly bitter announcement of Potter's presence. The interruption went largely ignored, save for a stern glance from behind a monocle.

The toad woman leaned forward, and Fudge immediately announced, "The Chair recognizes Dolores Jane Umbridge, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister."

"Please forgive my early interruption," the woman tittered sweetly, "but how are we supposed to pass judgement on a convict that cannot be present for his own hearing?"

"As Sirius Black is currently on the run," Wufei said solemnly, all traces of earlier derision having left both his posture and voice, "we have no way of contacting someone who does not want to be found. We were intrigued about the process of the previous conviction of Sirius Black when we heard of it. No justice can be met if a man is deprived of a proper trial, no matter how guilty he appears."

The woman tittered again. "But Mr. Chang, this very hearing seems to indicate to me that you have at least briefly met the convict."

"That would be against the law, Madam Umbridge," Wufei said quietly. "To suggest I would so readily break laws that have been established far before my time would be an insult to my honor."

A warning look from Bones successfully quailed anything the toad would say about that matter. Satisfied, the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement boomed, "Proceed."(2)

Wufei straightened his posture once more. "I would like to remind the Wizengamot that all of our witnesses have volunteered their testimony under contracts which explicitly state that they are to be asked questions pertaining to this case and only this case. It's very important to observe this fact, as all of them have sworn to deliver their testimony under the effects of the truth serum known as Veritaserum. Mr. Yuy will be prepared to magically silence any of the witnesses should any of the questions stray from our original purpose -to prove that Sirius Black is innocent beyond a shadow of a doubt."

The members of Wizengamot shifted restlessly for a moment; most eyes were focused particularly on Draco Black.

"Noted," Fudge said grudgingly. "Continue."

Wufei nodded curtly. "The first witness to call is Draco Julius Daemon Monroe Black."

Black stood from his seat beside Potter and stepped into the isle before resolutely making his way to the front of the Wizengamot. He was swiftly administered three drops of Veritaserum by the orange-haired Auror. Wufei watched carefully as the tension visibly left the former Malfoy heir's shoulders. He visibly struggled to remain aware of what was happening, which Wufei approved of wholeheartedly.

"State your name for the record," Fudge called.

Black replied almost absently, "Draco Julius Daemon Monroe Black."

After receiving a motion from Fudge, Wufei continued, "Mr. Black, what happened on the day of February 14th, AC 197?"

"I was kidnapped by Death Eaters while visiting Hogsmeade with a friend," Draco replied, still sounding oddly vacant.

"Who was already with the Dark Lord when you were presented to him?"

"A man with a false arm made of adamant," Draco said vaguely.

"Did you learn his name?"

"They called him Wormtail."

"Did the name sound familiar to you?"


"Who told you about a man named Wormtail?"

"Harry briefly mentioned one of his father's friends went by the nickname of Wormtail," Draco replied.

"Did you know why he was known as Wormtail to his father's friends?"

"Not at the time."

"So you found out later?"


"Why is he called Wormtail?"

"He is an illegal Animagus," Draco said, still vacant, "that can transform into a rat."

Wufei pulled a picture from the thick file that rested on the table that had been provided and showed it to Black. "Is this a picture of Wormtail?"

Draco glanced at it for a moment before replying, "Yes."

Wufei held the picture for all of the Wizengamot to see. "Let the records show that the picture is a presumably dead man known as Peter Pettigrew."

For the second time in an hour, the Wizengamot exploded into furious whispers. The reporters, too, seemed to be particularly enthralled by the news as their quills scratched erratically at parchments set out before them. Wufei calmly handed Shacklebolt the picture, who then passed it to a nameless woman in the first row. She eagerly studied the picture for what it was as those around her eagerly leaned over her shoulder or closer to her side.

"It is!" a man behind the woman exclaimed. "That's Peter Pettigrew, all right!"

"Preposterous!" Fudge bellowed. "Peter Pettigrew is dead - killed by Sirius Black alongside twelve muggles!"

"Then how is it that a man identified as Peter Pettigrew is among the Death Eaters that kidnapped Mr. Black?" Bones' voice boomed over the ruckus. "It certainly calls for reasonable doubt, Minister Fudge."

"And another thing," Fudge trampled on, "You Know Who is most certainly dead! How could this dead man be in the presence of another? It's preposterous!"

"Mr. Black," Bones began, "did you see the Dark Lord yourself?"


"He is most certainly alive?"


Bones leaned back in her chair, frowning severely. "It's impossible to lie under the effects of Veritaserum, Minister Fudge. For all intent and purposes, Draco Black has seen both Peter Pettigrew and the Dark Lord, alive and well."

Pandemonium followed her announcement.

"Settle down," Bones demanded loudly. The room immediately plunged into silence. "This hearing will continue for the sake of justice. Such matters will be dealt with outside of the Wizengamot.

"Mr. Black," she addressed the boy again, "there was another boy taken on the previously mentioned evening. What's his name?"

Some flicker of awareness was back in Black's eyes when he replied, "Duo Maxwell."

"What's your relationship with Mr. Maxwell?"

"He's the aforementioned friend that was with me in Hogsmeade."

"Why isn't he here as well?" Fudge demanded hotly.

Yuy was already tightening his grip around the handle of his wand when Draco flawlessly replied, "He doesn't like talking about what happened."

Wufei scowled at the man. "Duo Maxwell, as far as anyone is aware, is a halfblood. While Death Eaters reportedly only hold so much against halfbloods, his defiant nature didn't hold well with the Death Eaters he persisted to fight against. He was also responsible for the injury of three of their companions and the death of two others." It didn't hurt to imply that Maxwell had been tortured by Death Eaters for his actions.

"You may go back to your seat, Mr. Black," Bones announced. Black nodded once and immediately went back to his seat.

"As my second witness, I call Harry James Potter."

With silent, reassuring glances from his friends, Potter inhaled deeply before slowly coming to his feet and stepping forward. Like Black, Shacklebolt administered the proper dosage of the truth serum before backing away, and Bones requested that Potter state his full name for the record.

"Mr. Potter," Wufei began, "What happened on the eve of June 3rd, AC 193?"

"My friend Ron Weasley was taken to the Shrieking Shack by Sirius Black," Potter replied dazedly. Wufei silently hoped that Potter would be able to withhold as much incriminating evidence against himself as Black had done for his father and Maxwell.

"And you followed him?"


"Who else?"

"Hermione Granger."

"Weasley was taken on Hogwarts' grounds?"


"How did he drag Weasley all the way to the Shrieking Shack without being seen?"

"There's a secret tunnel under the Whomping Willow."

"Did he happen to mention why he took Weasley and not you?"

"He was after Ron's rat."

Some of the members of the Wizengamot -including Bones- seemed to make the connection, or began to suspect where Potter's testimony was leading.

"Why Weasley's rat?"

"He claimed that the rat was actually a man named Peter Pettigrew."

Several people exploded into whispers, only to be silence by another stern glare from Bones.

"Did he explain the significance of this accusation?"


"What did he say?"

"That Peter Pettigrew was my parents Secret Keeper. That he covered his tracks by turning his wand on a street full of muggles, cut off his own finger, and fled in his Animagus form."

"Did you believe him?"


"Did Black explain how he knew Weasley would be in the possession of the rat?"

"An article in the Daily Prophet provided to him by the Minister," Potter said quietly.

"Do you remember the article in question?"

"Ron's family had won a large sum of money. They were going to Egypt to visit his brother. Scabbers was in the picture with Ron and his family."

"What made him think Weasley's pet was actually Peter Pettigrew?"

"The rat was missing a finger."

Wufei signaled Yuy, who stood and pulled another picture from the file. He handed it to Shacklebolt to pass on to the Wizengamot as Wufei said, "Let the record show that the Wizengamot is being presented a picture of Peter Pettigrew's severed finger."

"What is the point of this?" Fudge demanded irritably, his eyelid twitching nervously. Obviously the man was starting to realize he was fighting a losing battle.

"I'll allow Yuy to explain," Wufei replied, backing away and allowing Yuy to take the floor.

"There are several things wrong with the only physical evidence that Pettigrew was harmed," Yuy said emotionlessly. "For one, the cut at the joint is very deliberate, as if administered with a very sharp knife. If Pettigrew had been incinerated as reports claimed, the cut should have been jagged. The flesh around the cut also isn't singed as it should be.

"If the blast was weak enough to leave a finger behind," Yuy continued, "the logical conclusion would be that there should have been something else left behind. I went over the Aurors' reports carefully; none of them mentioned anything of blood spatter around the area that Pettigrew was standing when the blast reached the victims. Likewise, they found no other evidence that Pettigrew had actually been killed in the blast. It's highly probable that Black was telling Harry the truth about what happened November 1st, AC 181."

"But Black had been laughing like a madman when the Aurors showed up," a member of the Wizengamot loudly protested.

Yuy already had an answer for Black's suspicious behavior. "A man he trusted betrayed not only the Potters, but Black himself. It's likely that Sirius Black had a mild psychotic break down when he realized the implications of what Pettigrew had done."

"I have more questions for Mr. Potter while he is under the potion's influence," Wufei announced.

"It hardly seems necessary at this point," someone mumbled, but Bones nodded curtly and urged Wufei to continue.

"Did he ever explain why he escaped Azkaban?"

"To kill Peter Pettigrew."

"For betraying his friends?"


"Was the rat in question revealed to be Peter Pettigrew?"


"Did Pettigrew admit to being the Potters' Secret Keeper?"

"Yes." Potter's eyebrow notably ticked, the only sign of his potion-suppressed anger.

"Did he admit to killing all twelve muggles?"


"What was his excuse?"

"That Voldemort," more than half of those present gasped and cringed at the mention of the Dark Lord's name, "was powerful and would have killed him if he hadn't agreed."

"What happened to Peter Pettigrew after that?"

"I convinced Sirius to take him to Dumbledore as proof of his innocence."

"What happened in the process of this?"

"Pettigrew escaped."

"Did you try to explain this to the Minister?"

"He was under the impression that I'd been Confunded."

"Did you ever see Pettigrew again?"



"In my fourth year, the day Cedric Diggory died."

"Who killed Cedric Diggory?"

"Peter Pettigrew, under the order of Voldemort."

"Then what happened?"

"He cut off his own arm to bring Voldemort back."

"Did he succeed?"


"When you escaped, did you try to tell anyone about what happened?"


"Did anyone believe you?"

"Dumbledore believed me."

"Did anyone in the Ministry believe you?"

"Not anyone with authority."

"Who was the most vocal doubter?"

"Minister Fudge."

When Wufei saw that the idiot Minister was beginning to protest the mention of his name, the Chinese youth quickly asked, "Why did he believed you were lying?"

"I'd been receiving bad press because of the Triwizard Tournament," Potter said absently.

"Why were you receiving bad press?"

"Rita Skeeter slandered me because I wouldn't give her the story that she wanted."

There, Wufei thought viciously, sending the Minister a pointed glare. I saved you this much face. Don't make me regret it. Thankfully, the man wasn't as stupid as Wufei originally thought, which didn't automatically mean that the Minister of Magic wasn't the idiot he was.

"I have no more questions," Wufei announced solemnly.

Apparently, the toad woman wasn't as inclined to give up the ghost of the matter as the rest of her companions. "Mr. Potter," she said simperingly, "wasn't there another... man... with you when Sirius Black was apprehended after your first encounter with him?"

"Professor Lupin."

"Remus Lupin, who was outed as a werewolf at the end of your third year?"


"Did he help Sirius Black?"

"Not at first."

"Oh?" The woman smiled triumphantly. "So he eventually came to the aid of the convict?"

"Professor Lupin didn't help Sirius until he saw Pettigrew with his own eyes," Potter said, his green eyes blazing with a little more clarity than before.

"Professor Severus Snape was there, too, wasn't he?"


"What happened to him?"

"I stupified him."

"Oh, my," the woman tisked. "Why ever would you do that to a professor of Severus Snape's caliber?"

"He allowed a childhood rivalry to overshadow reason. I wanted proof that Pettigrew was still alive. Snape wasn't willing to allow the situation to progress any further."

"So you yourself aided the convict?"

Potter gritted his teeth. "Yes."

"Before you had evidence that Pettigrew was still alive?"


Wufei stepped forward, glowering at the woman. Bitch! "Harry Potter was thirteen years old at the time. You cannot honestly suggest he should pay for a crime committed at a time in which he wouldn't have understood the full implications of his actions, especially when it involved casting doubt over who really betrayed his parents! Potter's hasty actions were at the interest of justice!"

"Of course not," Bones replied firmly, glaring at the toad on the other side of Fudge. "Unless you have something more to say, Senior Undersecretary, I suggest you drop this line of questioning."

The woman's wide lips thinned, upset that her goal had been thwarted. At least it shut the bitch up.

"Mr. Potter," Bones said solemnly, "you may return to your seat."

Harry nodded shakily and hurried back to his seat. Black, a little more aware than before, merely brushed his hand comfortingly with Harry's while Granger gave his shoulder a consoling squeeze. Weasley reached around Granger's back and clapped his friend's back, whispering, "Good job, mate."

"Mr. Chang," Bones voice boomed, "unless Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger have more important testimony to add that is different from the statements we've already heard, I don't believe it's necessary to hear anymore."

"No, Madam Bones," Wufei said, smothering his triumphant smirk successfully. "I have one other matter to bring to the attention of the Wizengamot; physical evidence that we are positive will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sirius Black did not kill twelve innocent bystanders."

Bones eyebrows rose, and Wufei caught a glimpse of the red line her monocle had imprinted in the skin of her lower brow. "I see."

Wufei motioned silently toward orange-haired Auror, who presented the slim, sealed box to the Wizengamot. "Here is Sirius Black's wand, collected and immediately sealed by the previous Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Only the Head of the DMLE can unseal the box. All it would take is one Priori Incantantem to prove that the spell used to kill the same aforementioned muggles did not come from Sirius Black's wand."

Bones nodded sharply and summoned the box to her. The tip of her wand pressed against the lid, the woman murmured a quiet phrase that didn't seem to carry as far as one with her voice would. The box shimmered, and Bones removed the wand from its box and held it for all to see.

"Priori Incantantem," her voice boomed, setting off an immediate reaction. "Let the records show that the spells from Black's wand are as followed: Apparate, Nox, Lumos, Finite Incantantem, Wingardium Leviosa..." It continued for quite a while before the Head of the DMLE cancelled her spell.

The courtroom was oddly silent.

"Those in favor of clearing the defendant Sirius Black of all charges?"

Countless hands rose confidently in the air.

"And those in favor of relying on Black's previous conviction?"

No one. Not even Fudge could defend his actions if he raised his hand. When it became clear to Bones that Fudge wasn't going to say anything else on the matter, she glared shortly at the man before bellowing, "Very well. Sirius Black is cleared of all charges. His innocence is to be made known to both wizards and muggles alike, and he is to be generously compensated for the grave injustice against him. The amount will be discussed later when he is able to be present. This hearing is now adjourned."(3)

Dumbledore, silent all of this time, smiled softly. "And justice has been finally served."

Wufei couldn't keep the triumphant smirk from his face as he gathered the files resting on the table, very aware of Potter and his friends' jubilant celebration. What was that phrase Black was so insistent on nattering about? Oh, yes. Victory is sweet.

That was, until Weasley got a little overexcited and flung his arms around Wufei. "You are the coolest!"

"Get off me!"

And damn Yuy for laughing.


The party of teenagers that came through the Floo of Black Manor were certainly high-spirited.

"Did you see Wufei's face when the Weasel hugged him?" Draco crowed gleefully, much to the irritation of the Chinese Ravenclaw. "Brilliant! I almost don't hate Weasley right now!"

"Judging by the look on Wufei's face now, you'll be singing a different tune during your morning workout," Harry replied pointedly, still grinning from the euphoria the hearing left behind. Sirius was free! Sirius was actually free! Being there to witness it was like no other feeling.

He didn't know why Heero, Wufei, and on some part, Duo, Quatre, and Trowa decided to mount a defense for Sirius. If he had to guess, he would assume it was because Sirius helped them save Duo and Draco last February. Whatever made them decide didn't matter, though. Harry was just glad that they did it.

"Um," Quatre began hesitantly. "So... we won?"

"Un," Heero grunted, taking their folders and neatly filing them away in a desk drawer that he locked immediately after.

"That's good," Quatre said, glancing at Draco uncertainly. "Draco, your mother arrived earlier this evening."

Harry blinked. Draco absolutely froze in place for all but a moment before he shot out of the room like the very hounds of hell were nipping at his heels. Quatre called for him to wait, but the former Malfoy heir didn't even slow down.

Instinctively, Harry ran after his boyfriend, arriving at the staircase just in time to hear Draco impatiently ask Trowa, who had been making his way down the winding staircase, where his mother was.

"Her room," Trowa replied. "Duo's with her right now."

"What the hell -Trowa! You left her alone with Duo? They're conspiring against me as we speak!" Draco wailed before continuing up the stairs at a dead run.

"I don't really think she's in the condition to do much in the way of conspiring," Harry heard Trowa murmur idly as he swept passed the Slytherin, clearly speaking to himself. (What Harry didn't hear was Trowa's next comment, made as an afterthought, "Then again, I could be wrong.")

Harry rounded the corner just in time to see his boyfriend fling open a door and rush into the room with a cry of, "Mother! What are you-"

And then Draco froze again. Only this time, it took him quite a while to recover.

Finally, the boy flatly said, "You bloody bitch."

Harry stared at Draco incredulously. Who in the world talked to their mother that way?

"I can't believe you did this to me," Draco continued, sounding more and more irate as he spoke. "Mother, how could you?"

Harry peered over Draco's shoulder, blinking at the scene laid out before him. Duo appeared to be keeping the bed-ridden woman company; however, that wasn't what really caught Harry's attention. No, it was the small, wriggling bundle of cloth that the woman cradled in her arms that drew Harry's stare.

Clearly in the middle of nursing, Narcissa Black raised her head to lift a single eyebrow at her firstborn son. "Honestly, Draco -at your age, must I really explain how these things work? Insert tab A into slot B -beginning to ring any bells yet?"

Oh, God, there were two of them. The sly smirk, the cooly raised eyebrow of doom, the subtle lack of tact and the annoying predilection to speak in that all-knowing, ever-sarcastic tone of voice... Harry always thought that Draco was most like his father, but he was quickly beginning to realize that his boyfriend was almost all Narcissa Black.

Duo snickered, grinning playfully at Harry. "I don't know, Harry. Do you think your boyfriend needs a lecture about the birds and the bees?"

Harry felt his entire face heat up with embarrassment. His humiliation over being called out in front of his boyfriend's mother only increased when her attention turned to him, and her other eyebrow shot to the same height as the first.

Finally, she said, "Let me rephrase that. Draco, when you pleasure your man, be sure to swallow. Spitting is so undignified."(4)

Draco audibly choked on his indignation. Harry didn't blame him; he was overwhelmed by a strong desire to crawl under a damp rock and marinate in his mortification, and Harry imagined the sensation must have been much worse for his boyfriend.

Duo, on the other hand, was clearly enjoying the family reunion. The second Narcissa's so-called advice was fully realized, the braided boy slapped his hands over his mouth as he feebly attempted to keep his roaring guffaws muffled, if only for the benefit of the tiny infant in Narcissa's arms.

"Dude, your mom is so cool," Duo said reverently once he managed to hold himself in a more collected manner. Narcissa visibly preened under the American's praised, obviously pleased that someone was so willing to compliment her.


Narcissa Black had been having a terrible time. Simply awful! For the last five months she was left alone, to her own devises -pregnant and firmly within her right to verbally lash out at any ignorant git willing to even attempt to look her in the eye without visibly cowering. No matter how spiteful she would get, no matter how much she verbally trounced the weak-witted dullards that she came across, nothing could have replaced the aching emptiness left as bare in her heart as the space on her finger, now adorned with nothing, that had once indicated there was someone in her heart in the first place.

She had so been looking forward to making Lucy suffer for getting her in this condition in the first place. There were very specific reasons why Draco was to remain an only child; Narcissa Black did not handle pregnancy very well. Her cravings were swift, vicious, disturbing, and oftentimes required Lucy to go to Knockturn Alley at the witching hour, cursing under his breath as he scoured the dangerous street for some exotic (possibly illegal) ingredient for his wife's favorite ice cream sundae with pickles concoction. Her mood swings were a force to be reckoned with, as Narcissa never wasted her time with tears and whimpering self-doubt over her expanding stomach. She was Narcissa effing Black, and she bared her belly to no one. Instead, she used her limitless supply of caustic barbs and scathing retorts to let anyone within hearing distance know exactly what she was thinking, and sod all who were offended. Again, Lucius had been there the first time around to withstand the full gale of what he later referred to as Narcissa's Pregnant Bitching.

That little comment, of course, left him locked in his precious Malfoy Mausoleum for a week... without bathroom breaks.

There had been one thing she had been looking forward to when she first realized her condition, and that was the hope that Draco would share in Lucius' torment. Oh, she valued her son above even her own soul, but that did not excuse the little bratling for forcing her through ten and a half hours of labor pain, thank you very much.

The small infant in her arms emitted a coo of sleepy contentment, drawing her attention down to the swaddled bundle almost magnetically. Small, wrinkly hands with stubby little fingers waved in the air slowly before his squinty blue eyes finally slid shut. His skin was almost purple, and he was quite the runty thing -only about six pounds and several ounces in weight; lengthwise, he was a bit on the short side as well.

Her lips curling in amusement, she murmured laughingly, "He looks like a house-elf."

Her son snorted, obviously still upset about his sudden big brother status. Narcissa glanced at him slyly from under hooded eyelids, adding lazily, "Why, he looks just like you when you were born, darling. A runty, prune-esque house-elf."

Potter had a difficult time hiding his snort of amusement, much to her son's petulant distress.

She didn't know what to think about Draco's sudden predilection for man meat; it wasn't as if she hadn't expected it -dear spirits, she was the boy's mother, after all. She mightn't have been the best woman for the job (though that opinion was reserved by the witless morons that married her husband's friends, and Narcissa Black certainly didn't think much of those dull-witted cows), but her fierce love and loyalty for her son was powerful, almost overwhelmingly so. She made it her business to know everything about Draco -what was going on in his life, who his friends were, whether he was content... Everything. She would have been lying to herself if she honestly hadn't expected that attraction to the male persuasion was a strong possibility.

In retrospect, it wasn't that her son had a boyfriend that bothered her. It was the fact that her son's boyfriend happened to be Harry Potter, Boy Who Lived and number one on the Dark Lord's People I Seriously Want To Obliterate List. She could honestly care less about what that ruddy old blowhard of a Dark Lord thought about Potter, but she could almost imagine the rage Lucy would fly into the moment he received word that Draco was cornering Potter in a dark, abandoned corridor on business other than proving his own worth as a pureblood to the Golden Boy Gryffindor.

Narcissa snorted faintly. And that should have been their first clue. She'd been suspicious that Draco's obsession with Potter had a lot less to do with harming the Boy Who Lived and a lot more to do with getting in the boy hero's pants. It had been acceptable when Draco was younger, but when the obsession only seemed to worsen after fourth year, the beautiful woman had taken it upon herself to prod the subject of Draco being attracted to a Gryffindor with her husband.

When Lucy had laughed at her, however, she felt a lot less inclined to bring her suspicions to her son's attention; in fact, the entire subject seemed to fall to the wayside as she devised countless plots of vengeance geared toward her husband for daring to mock Narcissa Black. She wasn't an empty-headed trophy wife, damn it all. She didn't accomplish so much in her lifetime to be so casually sorted into a slot typically reserved for common livestock meant solely for breeding.

Stupid chauvinistic patriarchal bastards. At least Lucy made damn sure to treat her like an intelligent, worthy significant other and not something that merely warmed his bed at night.

At least... Before the divorce...

"Mother," her son's petulant complaint startled her from her contemplations, as if silently imploring her to please stop embarrassing him in front of his friends lest he decide to take offensive measures.

Narcissa snorted. Well, for the glory of the spirits, the last thing she wanted to do was catapult her precious bratling into a snit of epic proportion. Still... "There's no reason to whine, luv, and wipe that expression off of your face. You don't want to wrinkle prematurely, do you?"

"You tend to have that effect on people," her son retorted sourly, his expression relaxing from its sour expression. Narcissa preened under her son's unwitting praise, happy that he'd noted she went to so much trouble to make an impact on the lives of random victims she met daily.

"Says the little ingrate who has yet to give his precious mother even a hint of a warm hello," Narcissa said to her son with a sweetly mocking smile. "Really, the concern you hold for your loving mum after almost an entire year of separation is dismally low. I always knew you were an ungrateful brat."

Draco sighed in irritation and said dryly, "Hello, Mum. I apologize for my lack of decorum, but as you can see, I didn't expect you. Or..." Oooh, there was that nervous tick under Draco's left eye that she enjoyed seeing so much. He made an irritable wave toward her, more specifically, the bundle in her arms. "... that."

"That happens to be your new baby brother," Narcissa said smugly. "I'm sure you are absolutely ecstatic about him. Now, be a cordial little brat and introduce me to your new friends. I'm sure you've been dying for them to meet me."

"Not exactly the phrase I would use," Draco mumbled sullenly. "Mum, the charming idiot beside you is Duo Maxwell, and I'm sure you've at least heard of the awkwardly quiet guy standing behind me. You know -Harry Potter, Boy Who Lived, Guy That The Braided Idiot Outed As My Boyfriend Not Moments Ago?"

"We've met," Potter said hesitantly, clearly uncomfortable and perhaps slightly timid. E gads, no wonder Draco was head over heels for the runt; the poor boy had all of the composure of a frequently kicked puppy. She supposed being the number one enemy of Voldemort did that to a person.

Of course she remembered the only moment she had been graced with Harry Potter's presence; however, she didn't like thinking about that time because she bloody despised Quidditch and large groups of people, and the Quidditch World Cup was almost like a yearly death sentence for her, without the actual 'death' part. (Narcissa, wanted to point out that she wasn't opposed to being executed, as long as it spared her from yet another year of attending the Quidditch World Cup.) She probably hadn't made a very good impression on the Boy Who Lived, as she had been fuming over several devious schemes to submit her family to for forcing her to attend something she would rather die to miss.

"That doesn't count," Narcissa pointed out firmly, watching as the boy stood a little straighter with surprise. "I hate Quidditch."

Potter tilted his head to the side in absolute bafflement several seconds after it became clear that Narcissa wasn't going to embellish any further than how much she loathed the most popular sport known to wizardkind. "Okay?..."

Draco rolled his eyes in exasperation. "Mum doesn't meet," he lifted his hands in the air, forming aerial quotation marks around the word, "people at the Quidditch World Cup. She's there under protest and doesn't see the point in pretending she's enjoying herself. You're actually lucky she acknowledged the one time you saw her in the first place. She once got into a scathing row with the Bulgarian Minister's wife when the woman tried to speak to her without introducing herself first."

"It was rude and tacky and I hope that bint's eyebrows grew back crooked, if they ever grew back at all," Narcissa said spitefully.

"Oooh, foxy," Duo said gleefully, his eyes gleaming with mischief. "You know what, Ms. Black? You are the answer to all my prayers. I've been saying all along that there needs to be some sort of strong-willed female figure in this house full of rowdy, stubborn guys, and look! You're here!" He cried, lifting his hands and spreading them, palms up, to indicate her presence. With a devilish wink, he added slyly, "And, might I add, you're looking fabulously beautiful right now? Absolutely stunning."

Oh, she liked this one.

She also knew damn well who he was. Duo Maxwell, after all, held an uncanny resemblance to Angelica Proud, a woman Narcissa had been overwhelmingly pleased to call her best friend and close confidant. Angelica had been the only pureblooded woman who had ever earned Narcissa's respect. She always stood with her shoulders back and her head held high, her challenging amethyst eyes daring anyone to underestimate her intelligence. When she spoke, her voice was soft and melodious but could be heard above the roar of a crowded room. Likewise, many would stop whatever they were doing and fall silent to hear exactly what the young woman had to say. Angelica Proud was no fool, and her very presence forced everyone to realize that.

Then she met Tom Riddle...

"Aren't you the charming young man?" Narcissa crooned fondly, reaching out to touch the boy's cheek. Maxwell almost seemed wary for a brief moment, but he immediately banished the emotion away with a happy grin as she placed her warm palm along the side of his face. "Forgive me, but how old are you again?"

"Mother!" Draco snapped incredulously.

"I'm seventeen," Maxwell replied with a sexy wink. "But I subscribe to the theory that age is just a number."

"Duo!" her son shrieked indignantly.

Narcissa almost lost it; she was lucky only the corner of her mouth twitched. She hadn't heard such a high-pitch screech emit from her son's vocal chords for quite some time. She'd forgotten how much she adored her son being beside himself with repulsion and outrage.

"Isn't it marvelous that I happen to believe in the very same theory, darling? It must be destiny," Narcissa went on, purposefully announcing her intentions to molest the long-haired teenage sex god in the pitch of her voice; low, sultry, and filled with insincere lust.

Duo was poised to continue the baiting game, and Narcissa was positive whatever reply he had would have been flawlessly delivered. However, there had been a barely audible grunt from the doorway that didn't sound anything like Draco or the Potter boy. Duo immediately turned his head, his eyes widening marginally as the sultry smirk on his face transformed into a pleased smile.



Narcissa turned to the doorway, finally paying attention to her other visitors. Draco had stepped further in the room and closer to her bed, clearly intent on yelling at his mother and his friend at a closer range. Probably annoyed that we ignored him in the first place, Narcissa thought in amusement. Potter had also ventured a little further in the room, staying close to Draco's side, probably so he could be in a better position to stop the raging blond if the little brat actually lunged at the long-haired American.

However, there was a new boy standing on the threshold, cooly leaning against the doorframe with his arms and legs crossed while his messy hair obscured the upper portion of his face. Narcissa noticed that the boy had a very kissable mouth, and she wondered if that would be a trait all of her son's house mates shared. The hunky youth in the turtleneck and the beautiful fey in the purple vest had certainly been pleasurable eye-candy during her surprisingly short and almost painless labor.

"Hail to the spirits, you're here," Draco said reverently. "Make them stop having sex with each other!"

"Draco," Potter hissed, appearing a little worried that Draco was making such an allegation in front of the unmoving boy in the doorway. "You're overreacting. They're hardly in the position to have sex. She just had a baby, for God's sake!"

"Watching them flirt is disgusting and wrong," Draco insisted roughly, crossing his arms stubbornly.

"Hee-chan, look! A woman!" Duo cried like an exuberant child, waving his hand in the air again. Apparently the long-haired boy was content in ignoring whatever Draco had to say. "A beautiful woman! With a baby! Do you have any idea what this means?"

The boy snorted. "Wufei will be pleased."

"Exactly!" And then Duo threw his head back and cackled wickedly.


(1) Word to the wise: Don't EVER call someone of Asian ancestry "Oriental." I know it's not easy for the untrained eye to correctly assume someone's race -Korean, Japanese, Chinese, whatever- but it's best to stick with Asian until you can find a polite way to ask. (I use their language as a vague point of reference, but I have a good ear for accents and different languages all together.) Referring to Asians as a bloody flavor of ramen won't win you a friend, especially if they care so much about their heritage. Fudge does it in this scene because he doesn't know any better.

(2) I'm giving Bones a lot more power than she obviously has. To be fair, I think of Fudge as an incompetent ninny who would probably need stern prompting from Bones to behave; thus, her behavior.

(3) Eat your collective hearts out, cast of Law & Order. (God, I'm such a crime show nerd...) I know everything in the court scene is almost mainly dialogue, but seriously; who actually wanted me to embellish on that? The chapter runs long enough as it is!

(4) God, I just love Narcissa bloody Black. :sighs happily: Girl power. :snickers:

END NOTE: I have a forum! Saints preserve us, somewhere to voice my rants inspired by this story and bitch about the difficulties I sometimes have in finding inspiration! (I feel so sorry for you. Now go check it out. Please. :grins:)


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