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SIYE Time:6:21 on 29th November 2021


Black & Red
By CharmHazel

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Category: Alternate Universe
Characters:Dumbledore, Harry/Ginny, Minerva McGonagall, Sirius Black
Genres: Drama, General, Romance
Warnings: None
Rating: PG
Reviews: 70
Summary: Raised by his godfather, following the events of Halloween 1981, Harry spends his childhood, hidden from the Wizarding World, preparing to face his destiny. However, his world is turned upside down when he reunites with the beautiful redhead he rescued down in the Chamber.
Hitcount: Story Total: 15695; Chapter Total: 656
Awards: View Trophy Room




Author's Notes:
Thank you to my beta, Arnel, for your response to this chapter!




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A month had passed since Ginny had completed her detentions with Professor Umbridge. Thankfully, she had managed to avoid being handed more by keeping her temper in check, while holding onto the hope that the awful woman would soon be removed from the school. Harry had informed her that Sirius had gone to the Aurors and told them of the cruel punishment that Umbridge used on the students in detention. It was now just a case of waiting for the Aurors to come and arrest her for her crime.

Ginny was eating breakfast, trying to keep her feelings in check ahead of her morning class with Umbridge, when the unexpected happened. A group of Aurors entered the Great Hall and marched directly up to the teachers’ table. It did not surprise Ginny when silence fell over the hall as every person present turned their attention to the Aurors, who had come to a stop in front of the toad-faced witch.

“Madam Umbridge,” the lead Auror that Ginny recognised as Kingsley Shacklebolt, “you are under arrest for the illegal use of a Blood Quill on minors, an illegal attempt to use Dementors for your own personal gain and abuse of power.”

“Do you know who I am?” the witch screeched in response, ignoring the excited whispers of the students. “I am the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic. I do not believe that Cornelius would have agreed to this when it is obvious that these are false allegations.”

“The warrant for your arrest, Madam, comes from the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Amelia Bones,” Kingsley calmly responded. “There is firm evidence to support your arrest. You will surrender your wand and accompany us to the Ministry for questioning. Any resistance will result in you being Stunned and additional charges being added to those already held against you.”

“I shall not be going anywhere with you,” Umbridge said defiantly as she went to pick up her wand from the table. However, before her fingers even made contact, she collapsed back into her chair, all thanks to the fast movements of one of the Aurors Stunning her.

Ginny was not surprised to hear a loud, deafening cheer rise up from three of the four house tables as they watched the woman who had terrorised them be bound with ropes before her body was levitated out of her seat and out of the hall. The fact that Sirius and Harry had kept their promise to have the witch removed from the school made the moment even more joyous for the red head.

“It would appear that I am in need of a new Defence professor once again,” Dumbledore said once the students had settled down. “Therefore, Defence Against the Dark Arts classes shall be cancelled until a suitable replacement can be found. For now, however, I would like to ask all those who have been a victim of Madam Umbridge’s detentions or other punishments to remain behind after breakfast so they can provide a statement to the Aurors.”

With her first period now free, all thanks to the cancellation of Defence classes, Ginny was pleased that she could remain behind to give her statement without worrying about the need to catch up with any work she missed.

“How did the Aurors find out about the Blood Quill?” Hermione asked as the noise levels rose in the hall once again.

“The father of a certain friend of mine,” Ginny replied cryptically to avoid anyone figuring out that she was friends with Harry. “He approached the Aurors on my behalf before I was asked to find out a rough estimate of the number of students who had been subjected to the Blood Quill.”

It had not been hard to discover just how many people had been affected by the witch’s cruel idea of discipline as many of them were a part of the DA. Ginny had quietly spoken to each member of the group to ask if they had been in detention at any point with Professor Umbridge and if they were aware of any one in their year who had also been affected. Everyone she had spoken to had agreed to give sworn testimony to what had been done to them, especially if it meant that the witch was punished for her crimes. The number of students impacted had been expected to be in single digits, but it had been quickly discovered that there had been far more punished by Umbridge than had originally been estimated.

“How many have been forced to use a Blood Quill?” Hermione asked.

“Seventeen,” Ginny admitted, having not been able to forget the number or the names of those who had been left with permanent scars on their hands. “Nine people from Gryffindor, four from both Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw and no one from Slytherin. There may be more who have yet to come forward and hopefully will when everyone leaves for lessons.”

“I cannot believe I am saying this,” Ron said, interrupting the conversation between the two witches, “but we need to make a move if we are going to get to Potions on time.”

Ginny pulled a face at the words, knowing the pair would lose points if they were late.

“Go,” she told them. “I’ll tell you how it all goes at lunch.”

HP&GW

Ginny entered the chamber from the Great Hall, unable to keep a smile from appearing on her face when she saw Tonks sitting at a small table with a pile of parchment, a couple of quills, an inkpot and a camera.

“Miss Weasley,” Tonks formally greeted the red head, “please take a seat.”

It was immediately obvious how serious Tonks was taking her job and that there would be no time for playing catch up with her. However, Ginny knew that Tonks would make sure she felt at ease while giving her statement and would know how to phrase the questions so that no mention of Harry or Sirius came up.

“What I would like you to do is to just give me a statement of your interactions with Delores Umbridge,” the Auror said as Ginny took a seat opposite her. “I am specifically looking for the situations that led to you being given detentions and also what happened during the detentions themselves. Please give as much detail as you can, but do not worry if you miss anything as you can contact us if you think of anything else that you feel will be of importance to the case.”

Ginny nodded, grateful that she was not being asked about informing Harry and Sirius of what had happened to her. From what Harry had told her, the Aurors were going to say that it was an anonymous tip that had led them to investigating the Ministry Official. Unfortunately, he had not been able to tell her why it had taken so long for them to complete the investigation before they even came to Hogwarts. Given that there were two additional charges that she had not been aware of, Ginny had to wonder what else the Aurors had discovered.

“Can you tell me about the first time you received detention from Delores Umbridge?” the Auror asked in a calm voice that made Ginny feel much more relaxed about answering the questions. “What was the reason that led to your detention?”

“It was during our second Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson,” Ginny began to explain before carefully telling her older friend about what had happened with as much detail as possible. As she explained how she had spoken back to the teacher, she knew that the detention had been warranted as no other teacher in the school would have accepted her outburst either. However, Ginny did not regret her actions, because she hadn’t been able to stand there and listen to the lies that the witch had been willing to spread.

“What precisely was the reason given for the detentions? Was it the talking back to her or the lies she accused you of telling?”

“The lies she claimed I was telling. She claimed that they were dangerous and unacceptable,” Ginny clarified for the Auror. “It led to her having me write I must not tell lies with a Blood Quill repeatedly until she felt the message had sunk in.”

Ginny held out her right hand to reveal the permanent scar with the words I must not tell lies clear for the Auror to see.

“May I ask how long each detention was and how many times it took for the words to become permanently etched into your hand?” Tonks gently asked, masking the horror she felt at her young friend being harmed by such an awful woman.

Ginny thought back to the very first detention she’d had with Umbridge as she tried to recall how long she had remained in the older witch’s office as the Blood Quill continued to carve deeply into her skin. She couldn’t remember how long she had remained there, but it had been dark by the time Umbridge had deemed she had written enough lines for the night.

“I honestly cannot remember how long each detention was,” Ginny admitted, hating herself for not being able to recall such an important detail. “I would go to her office immediately after dinner and by the time that she would let me return to my common room, it was always dark.”

“It is fine that you cannot remember the length,” Tonks kindly said to her. “What you have told me will be enough for us to work out a rough estimate of the minimum amount of time you spent in each detention.”

Ginny nodded in acceptance, thankful that she had not let anyone down by forgetting such a detail.

“What about the scarring on your hand?” the Auror asked once more, prompting Ginny to reveal the state of her hand again.

“After the first couple of detentions, it was red and irritable, but faded with the use of Murtlap Essence. However, after my third or fourth detention, it remained red, and you could begin to see the words on the back of my hand that I had written over and over again.”

Tonks gently took a hold of Ginny’s right hand and carefully examined the scar that the red head would be forced to live with for the rest of her life.

“I managed to avoid detention after I completed the weeks’ worth that she originally set me,” Ginny explained as the Auror continued examining the scarring. “The redness had faded, and the scar was light enough that it wasn’t noticeable unless you were purposefully looking for it on the back of my hand.”

Placing Ginny’s hand onto the table, Tonks picked up the camera and took a couple of photos of the words scarred into the back of the red head’s hand.

“You received a second set of detentions on your return to school after Christmas I believe,” she said as she placed the camera back on the table and indicated that Ginny could remove her hand.

“I did,” Ginny confirmed. “It was the morning after we had returned, and I had received a copy of latest issue of The Quibbler. I was reading the main article, which was an interview with Harry Potter about Voldemort’s return in June, and Umbridge ripped it out of my hands, saying that it was full of lies and unsuitable material to be reading. Admittedly, I did talk back when I shouldn’t have, but I felt the need to point out how she was contradicting herself in saying it was unsuitable for us when Harry Potter is only a year older than me.”

“I can only assume that she did not respond well to that comment,” Tonks said with a cheeky grin on her face, imagining just how irate the woman would have been.

“No, not at all. I ended up with detention again, which lasted an additional week to what she originally set me. She banned anyone from reading the interview, which only served to encourage people to get their hands on a copy.”

Tonks held back the smile that was threatening to form on her face. She knew Sirius had been delighted with the response from the public in regard to the article, especially when he discovered that more copies had been printed due to unprecedented demand.

“I just want to clarify a couple of more things with you, and then you are free to leave. May I ask why you did not report what happened in your detentions to your Head of House?”

Ginny had not expected this question, but she could understand why it needed to be asked. The Aurors obviously needed to understand how Umbridge had managed to get away with using a Blood Quill on minors for as long as she did. Looking down at her scarred hand, she knew she couldn’t make up a false excuse. She had to tell the truth, so it could be known just how much of an impact the woman had had on the school.

“I felt like if I did, then she would win. I didn’t want her believing that I was willing to fall in line with what the Ministry was saying about Voldemort not being back. I didn’t want her to think that I accepted that I had been telling lies when I had not done that. Even then, if I had gone to Professor McGonagall, I doubt there would have been much she would have been able to do as it has been obvious from the moment that she was introduced at the Welcome Feast that she was intent on interfering at Hogwarts.”

“That is similar to what most of the students I have spoken to have said as well,” Tonks explained, pointing to the pile of parchment of the statements she had already taken. “It sounds like most of you were not sure who to turn to, fearful of what the repercussions would be for admitting what was happening to them. That leads me to my final question. The Auror Department are aware that you are the one who notified our source of what Delores Umbridge was doing to the students, so may I ask how you informed the source?”

Ginny took a deep breath, knowing she needed to be careful how she answered the question. She would have to twist the truth, though it seemed she could keep names out of the answer based on how Tonks had asked for the information.

“I told a friend of mine who does not attend Hogwarts,” the red head explained, knowing there were a handful of children who were home-schooled like Harry was. “I was lucky enough to see them on a Hogsmeade weekend in October and I saw them during the Christmas Holidays, so I didn’t need to send a letter to them. My friend’s dad overheard the conversation and said he would speak to a friend of his about how to approach the situation, which led to me being asked to find out how many students had suffered at the hands of Umbridge.”

Tonks nodded, knowing she would need to inform Sirius and Harry of the story their mutual friend had given to explain how the information was passed onto them. Based on what she knew, the story given was not too far off the truth and probably wouldn’t be checked further by the department.

“Thank you for speaking to me, Miss Weasley. If we have any further questions, we will contact your Head of House before speaking to you. Due to you being underage, your presence will not be required at the trial.”

Ginny stood and made to leave the chamber before she paused and turned back to face the Auror.

“Thank you for taking this seriously,” she said graciously. “I dread to think how far Umbridge would have gone had her behaviour gone unchecked by the Ministry.”

“Off the record,” Tonks said, dropping her serious demeanour as she stood and went over to her young friend, “the Ministry should never have interfered with recruiting for the position to begin with, let alone interfering at the school. The fact you had the courage to speak up, even if it was through an unusual route, meant we have been able to remove her before she causes further damage.”

Tonks hugged Ginny tightly, proud of her young friend for speaking up and searching out others who had also found themselves in her position.

“I think it is probably a good thing a certain mutual friend of ours doesn’t attend school here as I dread to think how badly he would have been punished by Umbridge for just existing,” Ginny carefully said as the two witches pulled back from the hug. “I know you are probably going to speak to them later about what I said. Please do as I don’t want our stories not matching and then being questioned, because you know Umbridge will attempt to use it to get the charges dropped.”

“Trust me, it wouldn’t help, given the additional victims we have discovered at the Ministry,” the Auror admitted, knowing that Ginny would be given the details later on by Harry if he was aware of the new charges that had been made against the Ministry Official. “Not that I should have told you that, but something tells me a certain person will bring you up to date on the situation when you speak to them next.”

This only served to make Ginny more intrigued by the additional charges received by Umbridge. She knew she would be impatient all day until she could speak to Harry over the mirrors and find out just what was going on.

“Thank you for telling me,” Ginny replied gratefully. “I better go now as I need to at least get to my next lesson, which is unfortunately with Snape. He will only be too happy to dock me points for being late, despite having a good reason for doing so if I am.”

Ginny waved goodbye and quickly left the chamber, picking up her pace to hopefully make it down to the dungeons before Snape could find an excuse to take more points from Gryffindor.

HP&GW

The news of Delores Umbridge’s arrest sent shockwaves throughout the Ministry and the public. As Harry and Sirius had expected, Fudge attempted to use his position as Minister to overrule and dismiss the charges against her, stating she was a respected and trusted member of the Ministry. Unfortunately, for him, his attempt backfired when he was presented with evidence that he, himself, had not only known about many of the woman’s crimes, but had, in fact, encouraged her to do what was necessary to bring order to Hogwarts and the wizarding world. It didn’t help that Umbridge had also revealed, when questioned under Veritaserum, just how far he was willing to go to keep hold of his power as Minister for Magic, even if it meant denying the evidence that Voldemort was back while discrediting Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter in the process. He was subsequently sacked by the Wizengamot and arrested for aiding and abetting his Senior Undersecretary and for his abuse of power.

Amelia Bones was appointed by Wizengamot to take over as Minister with the aim of holding elections to confirm her role within six months. She wasted no time in stepping up to do what was needed by immediately announcing the return of Lord Voldemort and making a formal and public apology to both Dumbledore and Harry in the treatment they had received from the Ministry. She also announced that she had ordered arrest warrants for all people named by Harry as having been at the graveyard the night Voldemort regained his body and made clear that anyone found to have the Dark Mark would be taken into custody for questioning. It was clear to everyone that Amelia Bones meant business and would not be easily swayed from her opinions in what the path forward was.

HP&GW

“The Minister will see you now, Mr Black.”

It had been barely a few hours since the announcement was made about Amelia Bones being appointed Minister for Magic and Sirius had wasted no time in reaching out to her for a meeting as soon as possible. He had been surprised to receive a quick response, inviting him to come into her office that evening, which was where he was at that moment.

“Thank you,” he said to the Minister’s assistant as he stood from the chair he had been sitting in and walked over to the door that was being held open for him.

Walking into the office, Sirius was not surprised to discover the walls were bare and files were piled high on the desk. It seemed Amelia had thrown herself straight into the necessary work needed to prepare for the fight against Voldemort.

“Mr Black,” the Minister said, acknowledging Sirius’ presence. “Please, take a seat.”

Sirius took the only available seat in front of the desk, making himself as comfortable as he could ahead of the serious discussion that he knew would be coming.

“I have to admit I was surprised to receive a request for a meeting from you,” she continued without waiting for any sort of response from Sirius. “However, given who your godson is and the situation we now find ourselves in, I felt it was prudent to accept the request as I could assume that you have information for me that could impact the future of the wizarding world.”

If it had been anyone else, Sirius would have been impressed by how quickly they had come to that conclusion. However, he was not surprised that Amelia had put the pieces together so quickly. She had not risen through the ranks and become the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement for nothing. He didn’t think he would have approached the new Minister about the information he had and needed, had Amelia Bones not been appointed.

“Straight to the point, then,” Sirius replied, receiving a nod of the head from the new Minister. “I know you are aiming to put in place measures to help and prepare our world for what is coming, and I am happy to provide essential details for that. However, in return, I require your assistance as well.”

“I will do my best to assist, but I cannot make any promises.”

Sirius had expected as much. He knew the meeting he would be pushing for might not be possible, but he had to try and asking the Minister for Magic was his best chance.

“Firstly, you need to know that a prophecy was given many years ago, not long before Harry was born, that spoke of a child that was destined to defeat Voldemort,” Sirius began, deciding he needed to explain Harry’s role before asking for the meeting.

“The child would be Harry, I take it,” Amelia guessed easily.

“Yes. I would tell you the exact wording, but I feel it would be best kept to those who already know.”

Thankfully, Amelia nodded her agreement. While Sirius hated keeping secrets, he did agree with Dumbledore that certain things needed to be kept secret to avoid the risk of it getting back to Voldemort. Right now, he needed to make sure the Dark wizard was not aware of the full wording of the prophecy or that they were aware that he had made Horcruxes. That gave them an advantage and they needed to use it to the best of their ability before Voldemort found out, because he would eventually find out.

“We removed it from the Hall of Prophecies in the summer and replaced it with a fake with the same spells used on the orbs to stop them being taken by someone it is not about. It was all above board before you ask, but it was done discreetly to avoid anyone being alerted to what we had done.”

“I agree with you on that point. Anything that could potentially stop Harry from defeating Lord Voldemort needs to remain secret among those who do need to know. Can I presume that you also know what needs to be done to defeat him?”

“We do,” Sirius confirmed, refusing to elaborate further.

“What can I do to help?”

Sirius took the chance to pass on the information that he and Remus had gathered personally and what he had also learned through the Order of the Phoenix. He passed on every name of any Death Eater that they were aware of, including those who had escaped being arrested previously and those they knew to still have jobs within the Ministry. Most importantly, he made sure to inform the Minister of their current plans of trying to secure the Prophecy for Voldemort and the threat that had been made against Ginny.

“If the paperwork has yet to be pushed through for Ginny to be home-schooled if required, leave it with me and I will personally make sure it is signed off on,” Amelia said once she had been informed of the plan Sirius and the Weasleys had come up with to protect Harry’s girlfriend. “Otherwise, the information you have provided will give me a good place to start in making sure the Ministry is made secure from Voldemort’s influence. Now, what do you require assistance with?”

Sirius took a deep breath, hoping the Minister would be able to help, before asking, “I need to speak to someone who specialises in the effects of Dark Magic on witches and wizards. Would you be able to arrange a private meeting with an Unspeakable?”
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