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Disclaimer: Again, as always, a waster of words for the NaNoWriMo, wherein I inform everyone reading that I make no claim whatsoever on any of the characters that you recognise within these electronic pages. Unless stated otherwise, they all belong to JK Rowling.

Note: as this is being written before the chapter really begins, I don't know where the character will show up, but as a prize for not only being the first to correctly guess who Basileus was but give correct reasoning, I have named a character after this individual. If this character doesn't show up in this chapter, then it will definitely be in the next.

Also, you may recognise certain references here and there. I hope the original writers will see tham as the nods to them that they are intended as.

Harry stared at Lawrence for a moment before turning to Amelia. "Do you have access to sketch artists, or a wizard or witch who can — hell with it, the Pensieve. Have him pull the memories and we can look at them and know who the soon-to-be dead Auror is."

Amelia looked sideways at Harry for a moment before nodding. She pulled out a sheet of parchment and a maroon quill, as well as an impressive looking cup that would not have looked too small if Hagrid were holding it as a drinking cup. "These are an Affidavit Quill and an Evidence Pensieve. When I activate it, it will take down every word said in this room, so please be quiet." She looked to Lawrence, who nodded. When she tapped the quill, it stood up over the parchment and waited.

"I, Amelia Bones, am interviewing Lawrence Lovegood in regard to the disappearance of his granddaughter, whom he states was kidnapped. Is that correct, Mr. Lovegood?"

"Yes, Madam Bones, that is correct."

"You have stated to me that you saw the face of one of the kidnappers, is that correct?"

"Yes it is."

"Did you recognise this individual?"

"Not at the time of the kidnapping, but I did see them again earlier today."

"Do I have your permission to place the memory of the attack and the memory of when you recognised the attacker into an Evidence Pensieve? The memories, once in there, can not be tampered with."

"Will I lose the memory?" he asked, worried.

"No. In fact, the Pensieve will copy and store the memory, and the original will be returned to you."

"I agree to the use of the Pensieve, Madam Bones."

"Excellent. I need you to concentrate upon the attack for me, and I will remove the memory. Once I have returned it to you, I will need you to concentrate upon the incident wherein you recognised one of the attackers."

"I understand," he said, and he began to concentrate.

With his agreement, she stated, "May it please the Court, there is a time gap between this statement and the next ones, since the incantation to remove the memories is a silent one." She held her wand to his temple and slowly extracted a silvery thread, which she carefully slipped into the Pensieve, stirred for a moment, and then lifted her wand, the memory still clinging to the wand. After a moment of new concentration, he nodded and she repeated the process.

"The memories have now been inserted into the Evidence Pensieve and will be examined." She tapped the Pensieve and looked within its depth, nodding occasionally and shaking her head once. She came out of the first memory and quickly entered the second. She exited equally as quickly with a look of deep anger on her face. "Let the record show that in both memories I have seen the face of Auror Michaela Pamir. End of record." The quill finished writing and then gently set itself down next to the parchment.

She stood and walked to the door of her office. "Linda?" she asked the woman sitting there. "I need to speak to Auror Michaela Pamir as soon as possible. She is to drop anything she is working on in order to come see me. It may be phrased to her as a request, but see to it that she is aware that it is in fact an order."

A few minutes later, Linda poked her head in the door. "Ah, Madam Bones? Director?"

"What is it, Linda?" she asked carefully.

"She's ... ah ... with the Minister right now, on her detail. The Minister won't release her to me — she insists that you phrase the request personally to her, the Minister."

"Ah, it seems that I shall have to remind Madam Umbridge of a simple fact — that I run the Aurors, not her."

Harry looked at Amelia Bones with a look that could freeze water. "You mean to tell me that the people elected Dolores Umbridge as Minister for Magic in that short a time?"

"No," she replied, "she was Fudge's second, so the job falls on her until an election can be held. We're hoping to get someone else — anyone else — over her. She's made a hash of things already."

"Treating the Ministry as her kingdom and the employees as her subjects?" Hermione asked, her attitude one that anyone who knew Minerva McGonagall would recognise.

"Exactly. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to inform both the Minister and a certain Auror that I will be interviewing her. Either the Minister allows it or I put her on administrative leave — or possibly fire her — and interview her once she is no longer on active duty. She is being interviewed today, however. No Auror of mine is going to be involved in this sort of operation."

A few minutes later, Amelia Bones returned to her office, the Auror in question in tow. Auror Pamir blanched when she saw the array of people waiting in the office. "They all are here for testimony purposes, Auror Pamir," Amelia said in a voice that scared Harry, even knowing that it wasn't aimed at him. "Mr Lawrence Lovegood gave the testimony that pointed to your involvement in the abduction and kidnapping of Lorelei Potter, age four. Mister Potter and his wives are here to deliver testimony as to what they know about the aforementioned abduction and kidnapping. So, to whom did you deliver Miss Potter?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," the woman said, but the wuaver in her voice told every one listening that she was lying.

Harry cleared his throat and looked to Amelia, who nodded. "I received a note, ostensibly from the so-called Lord Basileus, also known as Draco Malfoy. However, the aforementioned Malfoy had no idea what I was talking about when I questioned him regarding the whereabouts of my daughter. Considering I had given the coward the choice between extreme pain or a fairly safe journey to a Ministry cell, he spilled everything, including the contents of his intestines and bladder, much to the disgust of everyone there. This uncontrolled reaction leads me to believe that his story is thereby true, and that neither he nor his followers knew anything about her abduction. It was only when I returned from dealing with the self-styled Lord that I discovered that my father-in-law had seen someone that appears to be you, according to Director Bones, since she was able to put a name to the face in the memories."

"He is correct, Auror," Madam Bones said severely. "I recognised you. Do we drag the truth from you, or so you help us locate the missing child?"

Michaela Pamir looked at the group facing her. None of them were making any attempt to hide their contempt and anger. Potter himself looked as if he was going to kill her whether or not she helped him find the child. "Can you ... can you promise me some form of protection?" she asked.

"I take it that those who asked you to do this were highly placed within the Ministry?" Amelia Bones asked. Pamir nodded vigorously. "If your word helps us find the child, then yes, we will help you."

Michaela Pamir thought for a long moment before nodding and beginning to speak. "I helped grab the child from Mr Lovegood's place after the curse-breaker we hired helped to drop the wards."

"Who was the curse-breaker?" Amelia asked.

"William Weasley. He needed the money. To him, one of the selling points was that he might redeem his honour by working with the Ministry. We never told him the objective, since it was known that he would likely have a severe problem with the removal of any child from their family. It was also why he was not told whose home he was lowering the wards on. Our boss was fairly certain that he would have baulked, and we needed the best to lower the wards long enough to grab the child. Once we had her, we quickly returned and delivered her back to the Minister."

The room was silent for a moment. "Are we talking Fudge or Umbridge?" Harry finally asked.

"All right, to be precise, we gave her to the Undersecretary Umbridge, Cornelius Fudge's second in command. She said that word came from Fudge himself to pick up the child, since we would need your help to deal with Basileus. He wanted him out of the way before the public even knew that he existed."

"So his murder actually happened while the owl with the letter and the finger was in the air," Luna said carefully. "Fudge was still alive at that point."

"Yes, he was alive when the letter was sent, but what finger are you talking about?" she asked with more than a small amount of puzzlement.

No one spoke after the question was asked. They simply pushed a small ring box forward. She picked it up and opened it carefully.

A hastily created rubbish bin served nicely to capture Michaela Pamir's reaction to the sight of Lorelei's severed finger. Harry nodded as he watched her heave into receptacle, as if he were receiving an answer to a question as yet unasked.

When the Auror was able to sit up without needing to perform reverse peristalsis any longer, she looked to the assembled people, who now seemed slightly warmer to her presence. She stared at Harry for a very long moment, and then drew her wand and handed it to him, before pulling her badge and handing it to Amelia Bones. "I never knew that they intended to maim the child, Director. I am aware that I am complicit in the maiming, and therefore eligible for Azkaban. I figured that I'd save you the trouble of firing me and just quit. The wand is yours, Mr Potter. There is no way I can make up to you and yours for my part in allowing this to happen."

Pansy spoke next. "A bit over the top of a reaction for a confession, wouldn't you say?" she asked archly.

Pamir looked at her and said, "I grabbed her for the sole purpose of bringing her to Umbridge. If I'd known that they were going to slice off one of her fingers, then ... hell, I'd have killed the entire team to stop it, if I'd known. And I'll swear an Oath to that effect, if you want. I never intended the kid to be crippled; just picked up to get Mr Potter to deal with Basileus. So you might consider it over the top, but I consider it ... I've got a niece about Miss Potter's age. I can visualise little Dorothea missing a finger, and I know I'd kill anyone involved in doing that to her, so I figured I'd make your job easier, since I was involved in doing it to someone else's child." She leaned forward and started to cry gently into her hands.

The group shared a look and a nod. "Auror Pamir?" Amelia Bones asked, once again putting on her Director of Magical Law Enforcement hat. The woman looked up from her hands, eyes already quite red. "How would you like to be involved in recovering Lorelei from her captors and bringing them to justice? You'll end up still taking some heat from your part in this, and by necessity there must be some punishment, but you strike all of us as being truthful in your recitation."

She looked to Harry, who slid the wand back to Auror Pamir. "I swear by my life that the testimony that I have given here today before this group is truthful to the best of my knowledge. I swear that I had no knowledge of what would be done with Lorelei Potter and would have stopped it had I known. I swear this at the cost of my own life if I lie." A glow of silver flared out from the woman, who then put the wand back down and slid it toward Harry.

"Keep it, Miss Pamir. You'll need it as part of your job."

"I didn't swear that oath to keep my job," she protested.

"No, you swore something that could have killed you," he said. "That takes you off the Evil Overlord list and moves you into the Unwilling Dupe of the Evil Overlord column. It's happened before, and will happen again. I expect that Umbitch is going to continue trying things like this until she thinks she has me where she wants me."

When the others looked at his for an explanation, he gave one. "She grab my daughter and sliced off her finger, sending it to me as if the writer were Draco 'Lord Basalt' Malfoy. Had I thought about it, I would have realised that it had to come from the Ministry, because not even Tom 'I'm Shit With Anagrams' Riddle could get around owl post restrictions. But the point is that she got me angry at Draco, although I didn't know it was him at the time, to the point where I returned to England to clean up the Ministry's mess, as if it were their right to order me around. Now I'm betting that she's given Miss Pamir here up to the wolves, so to speak, expecting that we'll all pull an Umbitch manoeuvre and absolutely shred the young lady without really listening to her story. However much Umbridge is a barking little toad, though, she's canny, and will likely allow that we might get the real story, so I expect that any time in the next week, we'll get summons before the Wizengamot."

As if his words had been the trigger for a Summoning Charm, there was a tapping of many beaks at the window. Harry blinked. "We're underground. Why are there windows?"

Amelia laughed. "We have special windows for deliveries and such, and we like the scenery. Being able to look at the Alps is much better than looking at a bare wall." She stood. "Now let us see what all the owls are clamouring about." The window was opened, and all the owls flew in and landed before one of the people, including Michaela Pamir.

"All the letters are safe as far as any extra curses or spell-work of any kind. If they had spells on them, they would be redirected to a separate office where they would have the letters removed and disarmed," Amelia explained as they looked at their respective owls.

Harry was first to retrieve the letter, his owl flying off immediately. He opened the letter, looked at his watch, scowled and stood up. "It appears that I'm late for a meeting of the Wizengamot, before which I have been summarily summoned by Mistress of Magic Dolores Umbridge, to answer charges of assault and destruction of property of a valued citizen."

"In other words, like so many others, if she gets enough money from the right purebloods," Pansy said, "all is forgiven. As long as that money keeps coming in, of course. Mine, of course, demands that I appear before the court as well, although mine is for unspecified reasons."

Amelia growled. "Mine just warned me of an emergency meeting of the Wzengamot. Shall we join the party that they have planned?"

"Just a moment, Amelia," Harry said. "Do you have anything other than the Evidence Pensieve?"

"I have many Pensieves. Why?"

"I wouldn't put it past them to Obliviate Miss Pamir when she walks into the courtroom. I was thinking that she take the memory of that night and put it in the Pensieve, so that it can be returned to her if she is Obliviated." Amelia grinned.

The group entered Courtroom Ten in one group, with Amelia peeling off to join those on the bench, giving Dolores Umbridge an angry look. Umbridge saw it and ignored it.

"Mr Potter, if you would seat yourself in the chair down front, we can begin our proceedings?" spoke the sickly-sweet voice that he had loathed all these years.

He calmly walked down front and sat in the same stiff chair that he had been in years earlier. The golden chains rose and wrapped him tightly, and he merely smiled. He closed his eyes and felt the magic of the chair. Locating the spell that activated the chains, he released it, causing them to fall away from him.

"You are on trial here, Mr Potter!" she shrieked into the chamber. "You will not ignore Ministry rules, child, no matter what your old Headmaster might have taught you!"

The years have made you even stupider, you old toad," he growled, not moving from the chair. "And don't mistake this for contempt of court. It's purely contempt of you. Now before this hearing of yours goes anywhere, I want you to return my daughter to me."

Umbridge went from angry to triumphant in a split-second. "And what would make you assume that I had anything to do with your daughter's disappearance? If you're not a good enough parent to keep her from running away, don't blame that on me."

"How about I bring forth evidence that you had something to do with her disappearance then?" Harry asked with a nasty grin.

"Please do," came Umbridge's unctuous tone.

"Auror Michaela Pamir, would you please approach for testimony?" he asked. She looked at him blankly as she approached him. "Do you have any memory of the events of the last twenty-four to forty-eight hours?"

"No, sir," she said. "I worked and went home," she said calmly. "Nothing out of the ordinary."

Harry smirked. "Madame Bones?" he asked.

"Yes, Mr Potter," she replied, standing. "It was suspected that this might happen, so I have before me an Affidavit written by Affidavit Quill and signed with blood. This affidavit avers that the memory contained within this Evidence Pensieve is in fact a true memory, placed here in the circumstance that she was to avow no knowledge of her actions in the past forty-eight hours."

Umbridge scowled. "And what has this to do with this case and Potter's false claim?"

"Simply that according Auror Pamir's prior testimony to me, she has intimate knowledge of the situation. Auror Pamir, please approach me," she requested. The young Auror stepped forward to face Madam Bones. "This Pensieve contains a memory that you placed in before entering the courtroom. Do you permit me to return it to you?" The young woman nodded, and soon the silver thread was back inside the young Auror's head.

The woman stood and blinked for several seconds before scowling and looking back to Madam Bones. "If I knew who had done it, I'd bring them up on charges. I was Obliviated of the memories."

She turned to glare at Umbridge. "I was sent with a team of Aurors to the Lovegood home, along with curse-breaker William Weasley, who was not aware of whose home he was helping us get into. We had been told that we were rescuing a child, but not to take the man into custody — we were simply to get in and out, rescuing a young girl. Once we had her, we took her to Minister Umbridge."

"How do we know that the memory placed into the Auror's head wasn't tampered with?" Umbridge asked. "After all, Potter was able to disable the chair; perhaps he tampered with the memory to discredit me."

Harry raised an eyebrow at the woman. "If I'm as powerful as that, wouldn't you say that anyone trying to get on my bad side is making a stupid, if not fatal mistake?"

"Are you threatening me?" she shrieked.

"Are you in possession of my daughter?" he asked simply. "If you are, then I'm merely stating that I will do what is necessary to reunite my family. If you have nothing to do with her disappearance, then you have nothing to worry about."

He shook his head. "Now, I believe that the original charges that you demanded that I appear for were for harming a respected member of this community? Might I assume that you refer to the self-styled 'Lord Basileus', also known as Draco Malfoy?"

"While his parents had many of us in the Ministry fooled, Draco is not a Death Eater, and would not have had any reason to try to become a Dark Lord," Umbridge blustered. "You broke into his home and interrupted a party, severely injuring many of his guests."

"I suppose that I did this while naked and chained to a wall?" he asked dryly.

"I care nothing for your sexual perversions," she replied smarmily, rather obviously letting her eyes glide across all four of his wives.

"Might I call witnesses, or have you already got the verdict ready to be read?" he asked, anger tingeing his voice.

"You will watch your tone in this courtroom, young man, or you will be found in contempt of court!" an elderly Wizengamot member exclaimed.

He turned and bowed to her. "My apologies, Madam. I did not mean to imply that the Wizengamot was corrupt, or show contempt for this body. I merely intend to show my contempt for a specific person. You were never intended to be a target of my ire." She raised an eyebrow and nodded sharply at him.

He now faced Umbridge once again. "I wish to call Auror Kingsley Shacklebolt to the front, if I may?" Before Umbridge could say anything about it, Shacklebolt was stepping forward.

"I'm here. What do you wish to ask?"

"How was it that you were drawn to the place where you found Draco Malfoy and the others?"

"A large throne-like chair appeared in Auror headquarters, with a note stating that the chair was a Portkey that would lead us to Lord Basileus. We knew that it had to be someone in the know, because there was no one outside the Ministry who even knew of the name Basileus — the name was being kept under wraps in an attempt to prevent panic. The team, which included Madam Bones, found Mr Potter in conjured robes, with a number of people stuck to the walls, and three dead on the floor. One had been electrocuted and the other two had their necks broken. When we asked what had happened, Mr Potter stated, and I quote, 'Turns out that this new Lord Basselope was Draco Malfoy.' Mr Malfoy's response was, and again I quote, 'That's Basileus! At least get the name right!' After a moment of thought, Mr Malfoy was heard to say, 'And it took Harry Potter to bring me down!'" He paused. "That strikes me as an admission of guilt, and my team members agreed, I believe."

"You are correct, Auror Shacklebolt," Amelia Bones said. "It sounded like an admission to me as well, especially knowing no one outside the Ministry not involved with the burgeoning organisation of the new Dark Lord should have been aware of the name. Whether or not there was a leak to Mr Malfoy, the fact that he stated 'It took Harry Potter to bring me down' states guilt."

Umbridge scowled. "Can I assume that all your witnesses will be Aurors who were at this site and heard this conversation?"

"Yes," Harry replied.

"Very well," she said. "Charges are dismissed. You are free to go."

"Excellent," he replied. "Now that we have that out of the way, I wish to return to my daughter. Aurors under your command abducted her and delivered her to you. I want her back."

Umbridge sneered. "This special session of the Wizengamot is closed," she said, and banged the gavel. Before Harry could do anything to stop her, she had been whisked from the room.

"This will get quite ugly," he said.

When they returned to Amelia's office, Linda handed her a note. Amelia read it and then handed it to Harry, who raised an eyebrow. "Looks like we have a meeting with the goblins."

The group left the Ministry and headed straight for Gringott's Harry's wives flanking him as the warriors that they were. They stepped into the bank and were immediately whisked into Ragnok's office, where they found Ragnok, Griphook, and a broken down redhead. Bill Weasley looked as if he had not been in very good condition for a very long time. He had a long scraggly beard that had grey scattered throughout it, his once immaculate long hair was wild and untamed, and he looked as if he had perhaps not bathed in some time, although there was no obvious smell to verify that thought.

"As the note stated, we found out who had done the ward work," Griphook said. "Mr Weasley's work was quite familiar to us here in Gringott's."

Harry looked at the prematurely greying man and saw something that disturbed him — the man's eyes, which would not meet his, were dead. "Bill?"

"Mr Potter," he said softly. "Here, this is yours." He handed him the two halves of a wand. "It was bad enough what Charlie and I did to you five years ago, and we both paid for that through the loss of our jobs, and in my case my fiancée. I did small jobs here and there, and then someone in the Ministry came to me and offered me good money for a simple ward breaching. They told me that they'd bring me to the site. They told me that I would be helping to rescue a child from a bad situation. I was side-along Apparated to the site, where I was given my directions, and a Portkey to use once they were inside."

He looked Harry squarely in the eyes for the first time. "Then the goblins approach me and tell me that I hurt you once more, by helping the Ministry kidnap and mutilate the child Luna bore for you." He shook his head and looked at his hands. "I can't stop hurting you, and given what I did to you and Ginny all those years ago, you have no reason to trust anything I say to you."

Harry looked at the wand and then to his wives, and finally to the goblins. All made it clear that the decision was in his court. Nodding, he decided. "Bill, you hurt me badly five years ago. Really badly. At the time, I wanted you dead, and would gladly have killed you. The thing is, now I have a family, and I suddenly begin to understand a bit of what was going on. You were looking at family and not-family, and thinking that Ginny and I were too young to make a commitment of that sort. In a way, you were right. Ginny was, at least, and I simply can't say as far as I'm concerned, so I'll give the benefit of the doubt here."

"Where your problem came to was in your method of making the point, which ended up tearing apart your family. You ... the wizard world has a cruel streak that I don't think you really see when you grow up in it. You take some of the most interesting things for granted. I have never heard a single person raised in the wizarding world see anything wrong with Neville's uncle holding him out a window trying to see if he was a wizard. The uncle dropped him. If he'd been a Squib, that would have killed him. The wizarding world's reaction seems to be 'Who cares?' I played a sport that regularly puts people in the hospital wing at the school. A caretaker that can threaten bodily harm on a regular basis — and again no one reacts."

He breathed deeply for a second, trying to pull his thoughts together. "What I'm trying to say is that part of your upbringing teaches you that there are very few things that have lasting consequences. So you did to Ginny and I what you did, based on the thought that eventually magic could repair it, since it seems to be able to repair everything else." He laughed. "I love the guys, but some of what Fred and George did to you guys while growing up makes Dudley look like a piker."

"But then you have this reaction when you see that you hurt me again. You renounce the wizarding world by snapping your wand." He sighed. "I need you around, Bill. You're still damned good at what you do. I know this, because goblins put up those wards for a many a Galleon. You were still able to get through them. So we're going to go down to Ollivander's and buy you a new wand, and you'll help me try to get Lorelei back from Umbridge." He clapped him on the shoulder. "Maybe then you can get some of your feeling of self worth back."

Bill looked into Harry's eyes for a moment, and Harry could see the moment that Bill believed what Harry said, because he watched the life flow back into the man's eyes. "I will die before I hurt you again, Mr Potter," he said. "I owe that to you."

"And you owe it to your family to get back on your feet."

Griphook spoke. "Did you have any help in breaking through the wards, Mr Weasley?"

"No. It took me close to an hour to do it, I'll admit. You guys have gotten trickier." He suddenly blanched. "My apologies, sir. I did not -"

"No offence was intended or taken," Ragnok said. "Would you be willing to accept employment as a freelance teacher for the time being? If you made it through our wards in only an hour without setting off the alarms, then our best team needs to be taught how to get around that. You broke through some of the best wards we ever put on a household."

"You'd ... you'd hire me back, even for freelance work?" he asked hopefully.

"Our ally is willing to give you his trust, nominally. We choose to echo his decision."

"I accept," he said. "Please let me replace my wand and clean up, and then I can return to cover whatever you may need from me."

Ragnok smiled softly. "I believe that you would do best remaining with Mr Potter. The most interesting parts of the upcoming days will be at his side, so you are in an exciting place to be, Mr Weasley."

A short time later, after getting Bill a new wand that worked even better than his old one, they returned to Potter Manor. The reunion between family members was tense, but promised to improve once Harry told them that he had provisionally forgiven Bill, who begged off on a longer meeting until such point as he could get showered and shaved, and into the cleanest clothes that he could manage. This led to Harry asking Dobby and Winky to see what they might do about new clothes for the man.

"There are times that your 'saving people thing' makes me so proud of you I could burst," Hermione said thickly.

"How about screwing me senseless instead?" he asked with a grin, wiggling his eyebrows lasciviously.

"You may wish to wait on that," Severus said as he walked into the room carrying an envelope. "This just arrived from the Ministry, and seems somewhat urgent."

By Executive Order of Dolores Umbridge

Minister for Magic

Polygamous marriages are hereby outlawed within the British Isles, and all previous multiple marriages are declared null and void as of this date.

All children of said unions are hereby to be considered illegitimate, and should be brought to the Ministry for proper placement within wizarding families.

This Executive Order covers all illegitimate children. All illegitimate children shall be placed with proper families at soonest opportunity.

Dolores Umbridge

Minister for Magic

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