Dora and Scrimgour entered a stone block cell, lit weakly with sputtering torches.
Manacled and wild-eyed Barty Crouch Jr. sat in a chair.
"Well, it seems your protests were untrue for it was you who helped torture the Longbottoms." Scrimgour glowered menacingly.
Dora stayed behind the Head Auror.
"Do we need the Veritaserum or will you confess?"
"The Dark Lord LIVES! His Wrath is great! All shall tremble before him! He shall rise greater and more terrible then before. His servants will be ordered to attack as never before! He shall eliminate the boy after utilizing him. It was my Master's will that Harry Potter be entered into the tournament. I was to quietly, unobtrusively guide him through the tasks so that he remained first. Then Malfoy that cowardly traitor exposed a flaw in my Master's plans and Potter was disqualified as a Champion. I haven't been able to slip away to tell my Master that Potter is no longer in the Tournament. I hoped that our Daily Prophet didn't inform him." Barty laughed almost manically.
Scrimgour was furious, he slapped the prisoner, "Tell me how you were involved with the attack on Auror Longbottom and his wife?"
Still laughing Barty replied, "Found memo in dad's office. Said the Aurors had arrested someone who had information regarding my Master's whereabouts. That the person's identity had been classified. We, Lady Lestrange, Lord Lestrange and Mr. Lestrange followed Longbottom and captured him while he was meeting his wife. Pity the boy wasn't around or we'd have used him to force the Auror to talk like we did his wife. We,"
Scrimgour stiffened, his voice low but vibrating with barely restrained anger, "That's my godson you're talking about."
"Oh?" Barty sneered, "he's quite the coward. Couldn't take a little screaming. Mark my words, Longbottom Heir he might be but he'll never sire a child."
Scrimgour glared, "I've heard enough. You're to be sent back to Azkaban. You are a menace. How could you think about using the Cruciatus on a baby?"
Barty shrugged, "Same way my Master planned to use it on Potter. You do what must be done."
"I don't know where you went wrong. You should have grown up to be a decent person." Dora said to herself.
"I grew up torturing and killing animals. Joined the Death Eaters at eighteen. I was Lady Lestrange's favourite. I'd agree to anything."
Dora did not want to know what he meant by that.
Scrimgour was disgusted; he turned and stalked out, yelling at a passing Auror, "Whiteside! Get that worm out of my dungeon! I want him returned to Azkaban. I don't care if he'd been declared dead. His sentence stands."
"Sure, send me back! My Master will rise. He'll come free those who are loyal to him. I'll be rewarded! Just like the Lestranges!"
"And silence him! I don't want to hear his voice." He gestured for Dora to follow him. After she'd shut his office door, he glared at her, "Any chance he's not just crazy? Fudge would just want him Kissed. He'd want to pretend all is well."
"I've heard too much in the last few weeks to believe he is quite as gone as we'd like to believe. I don't believe he's very powerful at the moment. As far as I could guess he's only got one or two servants. Most of his Death Eaters are content to be good wizards as far as the Ministry can tell. I'll stake my career that Lucius and Severus aren't Death Eaters. They do worry that Dumbledore is a possible danger. They wanted me to investigate because as an Auror I have special training in investigation. I've told you what I've learned."
There came a loud voice from the Head Auror's secretary's desk or thereabouts.
"I demand to speak to the Head Auror. I wish to complain about the ludicrous charges against me. It's all lies. Its that stupid old man stirring up trouble."
Dora glanced at her boss, "That's Molly Prewett."
Scrimgour chuckled, "Send someone to relieve Kingsley. I'm sure he'd like to be present when we interview her. Go escort her to an interview room."
Dora slipped out, finding an Auror she deemed trustworthy she sent him to inform Kingsley Shacklebolt that he was needed at the Ministry and told him that he was to remain with Moody. Informing him that only Healers Smythe and Tonks were to attend him. Then advanced to Molly, "Ms. Prewett? The Head Auror is quite busy at the moment,"
Molly's face was red with anger, "My name is Molly Weasley."
Dora shook her head, "It is not. Your bonding to Mr. Arthur Weasley is invalid. I'll address you as is proper. Now Ms. Prewett, the Head Auror and Auror Shacklebolt are being informed of your arrival. If you follow me I'll escort you to an interview room."
"I'm a lady. I'll not be treated like some common criminal." Molly glared.
If this woman were a lady then Dora'd eat one of Dobby's socks. "If you'll follow me," Dora said stiffly, her Auror robes trailing behind her.
Molly stalked off after her.
Dora realized this would be a VERY, very long day…
Draco had received favourable reports from his messengers Vince, Greg and Neville. His date plan was proceeding as planned. He asked Neville to represent him and asked if he would march in his place to breakfast with the others. Some of the House had left earlier but most were late risers and had chosen to wait for their court.
Harry had been dressed in warm but flattering clothing inherited from Draco, a cloak lined with fur, its interior cast with permanent warming charms while the exterior was a kind of leather and was thick with impervious charms.
Blaise was wearing a dragon hide jacket with a fur lining over warm but fashionable clothing for his 'first date'.
Greg and Vince were properly dressed as well.
Theo was practically glowing and seemed to be in good humour, which was out of sorts with his usual behaviour.
Draco waited for the rest of the House to leave promising a nervous Greg and Vince they'd be along shortly. He laughed, "I doubt they'll eat everything. Besides, we're going to Honeydukes. You can pick up any number of snacks there."
Greg shifted nervously, he was more interested in planning out his future then stuffing his face like the immature boy he had been.
Vince was of a more indolent nature and did not perceive he was being reprimanded.
Draco led them first out of their dormitory and then out of the Slytherin Dungeon's proper. Making his way to his papa's private apartments, he knocked once and then let himself in.
Remus was lying in front of the fire surround by books, Severus' potions journals to be precise. He still hadn't manages to finish even one school year's worth of his mate's journals. He glanced up at the boys. "About time you made an appearance. I half thought your fathers would prove wrong and you wouldn't be going on some sort of date today."
Draco looked surprised, "So they did leave? I expected as much. I doubt they'll be back anytime soon. I take it you are supposed to chaperone us?"
Remus nodded standing and stretching before going to retrieve a worn jacket, "I might as well get used to supervising a group of hormonal teenagers. I just know Severus is going to put my name down for Hogsmeade's weekends."
"For all his protests he really doesn't mind them." Draco laughed.
Harry realized that Remus' jacket was a bit thin and threadbare. He decided then that his guardian needed a warm coat for Christmas.
Remus gestured at the door, "Have you eaten breakfast yet?"
Draco shook his head; "We're heading up to breakfast now. Thought we'd talk a bit and then meet with the rest of our companions."
Remus shrugged, "Might as well join you. I could do with a snack. I ate early, sometime after your fathers left." He tried not to appear worried, he was. Talented wizard and double agent Severus might be but 'Dark Lord Hunting' was not his idea of a good plan.
They made their way to the Slytherin table, Remus keeping an eye on their flank as well as warily watching out for his back. He'd learned that even the supposedly safest places have hidden dangers.
Breakfast was a light-hearted affair of sorts with much excitement because it was a Hogsmeade weekend.
The Durmstrang students were still a bit lost without their leader but seemed to be still sure of their welcome. They had reacted with shock to be invited to eat with Slytherin by the King of the Snakes rather then their prince but most were silent not really understanding the complexities of Slytherin politics.
Then again who did understand such things? Even some snakes failed such as Parkinson, whose eyes glittered with hatred at Draco and malice towards Harry.
There were cries of shock and surprise when Severus and Lucius flooed into the Ministry.
To eliminate temptation Lucius had taken Pettigrew himself and left Crouch for his mate. He glared icily at the twittering crowds, "We have business with the Head Auror."
His tone brokered no objections at a path to the elevators emerged.
The two Lords and former Death Eaters had returned from their Dark Lord hunting expedition perhaps more victorious then any Auror. They were politicians, scholars and Philosophers not as a rule Battle Wizards.
Their reception at their destination was of shock.
Kingsley stared having just arrived moments ahead and was about to join the Head Auror and Tonks with Molly Prewett. He was nearly speechless, it was only thing to see Peter Pettigrew alive and well in Potter's memories and quite another to see him in person. "Lord Malfoy? Professor?"
Lucius smirked, "It is not usually a habit of mine to attempt to do the job of an Auror. I prefer duels of words and opinions rather then wands truth be told. I woke with a vague idea of where certain persons might be hiding. I found to my amusement the person truly responsible for the Potters' death." He dropped the bound body of Wormtail on the stone floor; "I have cast a spell that will prevent him from transforming. I cannot be sure how long it will last but I expect you'll take precautions."
Severus relinquished his burden, "This one should be questioned. He facilitated the escape of a Prisoner from Azkaban and kept them imprisoned for years. I'm sure if questioned both Crouches would admit that the younger cast the Dark Mark during the riot. I suspect he most likely used the Imperious on his son to control him.
"You bring me two prisoners? Where did you find them?" Kingsley shocked and a bit embarrassed that such persons had outdone Aurors.
"At Crouch's home. We thought an early morning assault would catch them off guard. We considered the possibility that they might move after finding out Barty Jr. was arrested." Severus said with a shrug.
Lucius laughed, "We told our mate we were going "Dark Lord Hunting.'"
"It would seem you were unsuccessful."
Severus sneered, "Actually, we were quite successful. We had him in our grasp. Then we discovered he was a member of a race of Magical Creatures that has agreement with all Ministries to police their own. We informed their leader and he will be facing justice."
"That's convenient. He's got monster blood." Some Auror whispered to a companion.
"Probably get off easy."
Lucius' voice was cold, "I know this individual. He had disowned all members of his family who fought on the Dark Lord's side. He will be judging the Dark Lord on crimes he committed and those he ordered large and small. He has little reason to allow a person with such blood on his hands to walk free. I would not say at present the Dark Lord lacks a conscience. He knows the faces of everyone whose life he took. Only once did he hesitate. After cursing Potter he found he could not kill him. He took the curse for him and that is why he vanished. It was he not Harry who survived a killing curse. I am his follower no longer. I still believe in the old ways, I see no reason to allow our heritage to be sullied or to allow Muggleborns to treat our magical brethren ill because they aren't human and are therefore lesser beings."
"I'll have these to miscreants imprisoned in cells. We'll interview them later. I'm on my way to meet Tonks and Scrimgour. Molly Prewett showed up to have it out with me." Shacklebolt said glaring at the Aurors who'd spoken out of turn.
"We'll leave you to finish." Lucius said politely, his mask in place. The Dark Lord may have done monstrous things but to call him a monster because of a Creature inheritance was childish and pathetic. It was also indirectly calling him a monster, which he disagreed with. Although placing the Diary, a Horcrux in the possession of a child making her a vessel of Dark Deeds could be considered monstrous.
Severus glared at Pettigrew, "Knowing what you did, that you betrayed the sweetest, more forgiving woman I want to hate you. A part of me wished I could kill you. From the moment I heard it was you I wanted to kill you. It took great pains not to. Like Harry said, James wouldn't have wanted Remus and Black to become killers because of you. Likewise Lily would not have approved of me doing it either. I'd prefer not to have my hands stained with your blood."
Crouch still glared at them as if he wanted to see them fall over dead.
Pettigrew twitched, as if he knew that Severus Snape meant it when he said he wanted him dead. He looked furious that he had to be grateful to Malfoy for not giving the slimy dungeon bat a chance to kill him. It was odd to be 'saved' by the very people he was trying to hide from.
Lucius wanted nothing more then to wash the filth of Crouch and Pettigrew away. He turned knowing Severus would follow. "Tell the Head Auror we had no intent to imply that he couldn't dispatch Aurors to apprehend these two. We merely wished to prevent them from having a chance to escape. It was merely a 'citizens' arrest'. We did no harm to them nor did we question them. We felt those were better left to experts."
Before Shacklebolt could thank them properly, the two former Death Eaters were gone. He stared after them, had they really gone searching for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named to turn him over to the authorities? Though he hadn't read the transcripts of Barty Crouch Jr. interrogation yet no doubt his father had some hand in his escape so he would insist the man remain in custody. Until all the facts were in he would insist the man's 'arrest' remain within the Department. Trusting the prisoners would be taken to their cells made his way to the interrogation where Molly Prewett was being detained for questioning. Upon reaching the room in question he knocked twice and let himself in.
Inside Ms. Prewett and Auror Nymphadora Tonks were sitting on opposite sides of a table. Dora was tapping a file with her forefinger, a scroll of parchment, quill and inkpot beside her left hand. Ms. Prewett appeared defiant and angry.
Head Auror Scrimgour who was neither slinking in the shadows nor was he lounging against the wall but was present in the unique manner that made different from other Aurors.
Shacklebolt sighed, "Sorry to keep you waiting. I was detained on Auror business."
Ms. Prewett sniffed, "It's bad form to keep a lady waiting."
A lady was someone like Amelia Bones, Augusta Longbottom or Andromeda Tonks nee Black. Molly Prewett was no lady but out of courtesy, Shacklebolt said nothing, "I am here now so we may begin."
"A Report was filed against you by Lord Weasley on behalf of his son and grandsons. It called for the immediate annulment of your Bonding due to its invalid nature. You are also accused of filing false records of birth for children claimed to be born for the House of Weasley. You are accused of being an accomplice in kidnapping of six individuals. You are accused of use of illegal memory charms and use of Amortentia illegally."
"Lies, all of it." Molly glared, arms crossed, "That senile old man hates me. He turned his back on his own son and left his own grandchildren to starve."
"You would be willing to take Veritaserum to enter evidence in your own defense?" Shacklebolt asked politely.
Molly swallowed nervously and nodded.
Scrimgour smelled lies and treachery. "Examine her for the antidote to Veritaserum. I suspect she's taken it."
"Head Auror!" Molly protested, seemingly outraged.
Scrimgour gave her an insincere smile,"If you have done nothing wrong then it would merely be a slight inconvenience to prove your testimony and evidence would truthful."
"It's not even admissible in court!" Molly stammered.
"It's not as if you got anything to hide. Is it?" Dora asked sweetly, bile rising in her throat.
Molly swallowed, "Of…of course not."
"Then surely you wouldn't mind us verifying that you haven't taken anything that would make Veritaserum ineffective." Shacklebolt said politely, though he was disliking her more annoyed with her.
Molly bit her lip, uncertainty in her eyes.
"We have a fresh supply sent in from our potioneer." Dora smirked, knowing of course that Severus had sent a batch of very strong Veritaserum recently.
"Who would that be?" Molly asked through pursed lips.
"That Ms. Prewett is privileged information." Scrimgour said evenly.
"If it's Professor Snape I wouldn't trust him." Molly said sharply. "He is a Death Eater."
Kingsley glanced at his boss, "I object to such generalizations. Lord Malfoy and Lord Prince-Malfoy have down us a great service. They tracked down He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. He will face judgment. They also delivered the person responsible for the murders of the Potters and someone responsible for an escape from Azkaban."
Scrimgour was momentarily speechless, "They did what? He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is here?"
Molly looked frightened. "They betrayed their master?"
Shacklebolt shook his head, "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had magical creature status. As per our agreement with his race he was turned over to the Head of their people for Judgment. They assure me that this August Person will not judge him lightly."
"So they let him escape." Molly sneered.
"No, they were quite adamant that he was in the custody of someone capable of judging him for crimes he actively committed as well as those he ordered. He maybe held responsible for crimes done in his name such as the Torture of the Longbottom couple." Shacklebolt added knowing that Scrimgour had been close to Auror Longbottom having trained him.
Scrimgour was both embarrassed that two Death Eaters accomplished something his own Aurors couldn't. "So Pettigrew is alive as Potter's pensive evidence suggested?"
"Alive and sitting in one of our cells as we speak. As is Crouch."
"Of course Crouch is in our cells. Auror Tonks brought him in last night." Scrimgour said tightly.
"My apologies for not being clear," Shacklebolt said apologetically, "I was referring to the elder Crouch, who was discovered imprisoned in his own home I assume by Pettigrew and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."
"Well it saves us the trouble of tracking him down." Dora muttered, a bit annoyed that they hadn't taxed her to retrieve him.
"Well just because they said they captured He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named doesn't mean they did. They're Death Eaters!" Molly protested as if they'd lost their minds.
"They are apparently fine citizens, we would be proud to have more like them." Scrimgour said pleasantly.
"They'd make anyone embarrassed. Death eaters and homosexuals. I'm surprised anyone is willing to tolerate their disgusting behaviours. " Molly muttered.
"I supposed you had similar opinions regarding your own brother and Arthur." Dora said pleasantly.
"That person was an embarrassment. Arthur was supposed to be mine! He had no right to pervert him like that. Inciting him to unnatural behaviours."
"I suppose he deserved to be kidnapped." Dora said quietly.
"If it would get him away from Arthur long enough to learn how to be a real man. I don't know what sort of Dark Magic that person used on my Arthur. He is unable to sexually aroused or attracted to anyone else. The Curse also drained his magic."
Dora burst out laughing, "Dark Curse? Are you completely unintelligent or something? You just described a Soul Bond."
"Soul Bonds are lies. I have that on the best authority."
Dora snorted, "You mean Dumbledore?"
"You should treat him with more respect."
"I have no reason to." Dora flicked her wand and a sliver stream flowed from her mind into a vial. She handed it back to Shacklebolt, "I'm tired of nonsense."
Shacklebolt poured it into a pensieve with a screen and the memory began.
Molly turned whiter and whiter as it continued to play, "It's lies. All fabrication. That isn't me!"
"You admitted to numerous crimes, including passing off two children as Weasleys. Would you like to change your statement?" Scrimgour said pleasantly.
Molly looked faint and ill, "I…I refuse to speak. You've…obviously made up your minds already. I am not a criminal."
"Would you like to divulge who the father of your children are?"
Molly laughed, "Its someone you would least expect. I see no reason to divulge that information."
"You do realize you will be imprisoned for some period of time because of the charges. If not in Azkaban then in the prison beneath Gringotts." Shacklebolt said glaring at her, "The Weasley family as well as the Prewett refuse to take responsibility for your children."
"I took in that person's children and raised them like my own and they can't do the same for my poor innocent children."
Dora sorted, "Innocent? Your son in the course of a week assaulted two fellow Gryffindors."
"That lying cheater Harry Potter and that pathetic Muggle Granger. To think I was going to let that wench become betrothed to my Ronald. How dare she claim he hit her?" Molly snapped.
Dora rolled her eyes, "He physically assaulted Potter and Granger as well as attempting to hex Fred Weasley who wasn't even facing him."
"The events were witnessed hundreds of students. George took the hex for Fred and never raised his wand. He is getting progressively more violent." Dora said shaking her head.
Molly muttered, "Should have considered that considering his blood relations. Too bad I had little choice. I wanted a child and Arthur wouldn't give me one. The father as you call him has no idea he has children."
"Are you admitting to rape?"
Molly snorted, "Of course not. He doesn't know whom he slept with. I don't even know if he remembers the incidents happened."
"Sounds like rape to me." Shacklebolt said thoughtfully.
"He's the freak. Seriously, only insisting on having sex with someone wearing a glamour of some dead girl!"
Dora blinked, she felt cold. "Ariana?"
"Yeah," Molly shivered, "that's what he kept calling me the whole time."
Dora snorted, "I would never have guessed. No wonder Ronald is violent. He's a Dumbledore."
Scrimgour looked vaguely ill, "They're the Headmaster's children?"
"No," Molly looked shocked, "I wouldn't sleep with him. Besides, he's incapable of fathering children."
"They're the children of a person imprisoned in Azkaban for inappropriate charms on goats and a grandfather who murdered three children." Dora a bit shocked, "Aberforth was in love with his sister. He sleeps with whores Glamoured to look like his dead crazy teenage sister?"
“I am no whore! I am the daughter of Lord Prewett!” Molly glared.
"No wonder Ronald hadn't been expelled for his brutish behaviour." Shacklebolt murmured, "I suppose he'd best be told while Molly's case is being fought over for who has more jurisdiction due to worse crimes."
"Too bad the Head of the Dumbledore Family is the Headmaster. I supposed I can pass the information to Lord Prewett and Lord Weasley. I am sure they'll be informing him that they are his responsibility." Dora said with a shrug, "Since Molly, Ronald and Ginevra Prewett have been disowned by the Prewett family."
"This is all that nosy old man's fault!" Molly muttered.
"Actually, its thanks to a nosy rat." Dora smirked, "They overheard your conversation with Dumbledore regarding Gideon and your supposed children. As if that rat hadn't already overheard that Gideon Prewett was possibly dying."
"You did it! You bitch! You've ruined my life!" Molly screamed and her wand leapt into her hand.
"Expelliarmus." Scrimgour said flatly. "Attacking an Auror is illegal."
Shacklebolt cast a series of spells to keep Molly restrained but not gagged.
"What did I ever do to you Tonks? Why couldn't you leave it alone?" Molly cursed at her.
"He was possibly dying, my honour as an Auror wouldn't allow me to turn a blind eye to injustice." Dora shrugged.
Rather productive weekend, Scrimgour mused; a Dark Lord captured, an escaped prisoner, the true betrayer of the Potters and one self-destructive Dark Arts hating former rising star all in custody.
Molly was escorted out by Shacklebolt.
Scrimgour glanced up, "My apologies for not believing you could pass the training. You are truly one of my best. I know that Shacklebolt's investigation into the Potters as well as Molly Prewett would not have gone as well. I suspect we'll be announcing that Black was unfairly treated. It wouldn't have gone so well without you." He chuckled, "Not bad…for a Hufflepuff."
Dora smirked, "I had a good mentor. I am sure that Auror Longbottom would have said the same about you."
Scrimgour nodded, "He did at that. He made me godfather to his firstborn son."
Dora nodded, "If Moody had been as honourable as you no doubt I might have offered him the same honour." She said stacking up the file, "I am sure you can have Shacklebolt write an adequate report. I'll go relieve the Auror watching Moody."
"Keep me posted on your investigation of Dumbledore." Scrimgour nodded taking the file.