The Aftermath, Argus Gets Fired
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Chapter 6 – The Aftermath, Argus gets Fired
Within a weeks time Harry and the rest of the staff at Hogwarts had fallen back into their usual routine. Time seemed to flow in the castle. Before Harry knew it, the holidays were fast approaching. With Hufflepuff in the lead so far for the quidditch cup, Harry was thrilled with the prospect of a house other than Gryffindor or Slytherin winning. However that was a long time in coming. The students were all getting ready for the upcoming holidays. Plans were being made and the staff could be seen getting the castle ready. Harry was content with the way things were going. He knew that Ginny and Ron would be going to the orphanage to be with their mother for the holidays. Hermione would be going home to spend time with her parents. Harry and Albus had set up the floo network to include Hermione's parent's fire. This way she did not have to worry about a form of transportation. Apollo and Artemis had their first burning day. Draco who had never experienced it before ran to Harry in a panic. When Harry explained that it was a necessary thing for them to do so, the blond Slytherin relaxed. Harry had spoken with Albus regarding the trial of Delores. The trial was set for January second. That would be plenty of time to get everything in order at the school before the trial took place. Albus had informed Harry that his presence would be required at the trial. It was also stated that Severus and Remus would also be required to attend. As of yet however, they were not needed to testify. As the days approached, Harry saw a change in two of his closest people in the world. He could feel a difference in the way Hermione and Ron looked at each other. However when he looked around, they were not the only ones to been seen staring at each other from a distance. It seemed that Dobby had the same expression on his face that Ron did when looking at Hermione. It could also be noted that Winky blushed every time she looked at Dobby. Harry made a mental note to ask Albus what the policy was for house elves marrying one another.
Finally the day came when those students that were not staying at Hogwarts for the holiday departed. When the majority had left, Harry noted that there were only about 10 students left in the school for the holiday. Therefore he arranged the Great Hall with one table rather than the students sitting apart from the staff. Harry had made a special trip into Diagon Alley and purchased a gift for each and every student in the school. The shop keep was delighted by the business. Harry held the gifts aside so that those that were remaining behind would get theirs on Christmas morning. When the other students returned there would be a gift waiting for them. As money was not an issue for Harry he delighted in doing small things for the students and staff alike. He also made sure that all the house elves received something special as well. When the holiday finally arrived, it was noted that Harry had spent close to 250 thousand galleons on presents. Harry had enjoyed getting the gifts. For each student he got them each a small statue of their house emblem in their respected stones. For each staff member he bought them a new set of robes. For Severus, Harry got him a new potions kit complete with basilisk venom. For Minerva, Harry got her a new and remodeled suite of rooms. For Draco, Harry had the remaining elves at Malfoy Manor come to work for the blond here at the castle. He even bought Draco a new gold perch for Artemis. For the house elves Harry bought them each a new quilt for their beds with their name and the Hogwarts crest embroidered on it. For Petunia and Dudley, Harry bought them each a ring that had the Evan's Coat of Arms engraved in it. For Albus Harry had gotten him some new gadgets for his office. For Molly he bought her a new diamond necklace.
He enjoyed watching as each person opened their gifts and was delighted by the object inside. Tears were shed by the women and the men blushed slightly. All in all everyone had a great day. The house elves made a delicious Christmas feast. Staff and students could be seen chatting happily with one another. After the meal the students made their way back to their dorms. Harry apparated to his office and watched to make sure each student got their safely. He had been watching the marauders map nightly for a few hours to make sure that there were no trespassers on the property. So far nothing out of the ordinary happened. Harry began to wonder what Voldemort was doing. Harry knew that the only way to find out was to enter his mind through the link that they shared. With that thought Harry made his way to the dungeons. He knocked on Severus' door and waited patiently for him to open it. When he was granted access to the room, he was not all that surprised to see Draco sitting there. Many a time he would see the two potions professors talking and working together. He even, from time to time saw Hermione with them. Harry wondered briefly what the three were working on. As Severus loved potions and Draco and Hermione were the best in their fields, Harry suspected they were working on something.
"Severus,' he said. "I want to make a trip into Voldemort's mind. I would like to see what he is up to. Would you and Draco help me with that please?"
"I was wondering when you would ask," replied Severus. "It has been some time since you last ventured into the Dark Lord's thoughts. To answer your question, yes we would be willing to help. I am assuming that there is no time like the present?"
"That is what I was thinking," he replied. "That is unless you guys have something else planned for this evening."
"Not at all," replied Severus. "We were just going over some potions notes anyway."
With a wave of his wand, Severus conjured a small cot for Harry to lie on. When Harry was comfortable, Severus and Draco each took their position near Harry's head. They knew that if something went wrong one of them would need to be there to keep Harry from doing damage to himself. When all was ready, Draco gave a nod to Artemis. The phoenix slowly started to sing the meditation song. Having worked with Harry before in this manner both Draco and the phoenix knew what was expected of them. Slowly Harry relaxed and let his mind drift through the link. When he got there he was a bit surprised at where he was located. It was not a place Voldemort had visited that much anymore. Harry saw Voldemort pacing back and forth in front of the hearth. He was muttering to himself about the lack of devotion of some members of his circle. Harry took a closer look and saw that Voldemort looked a bit aged. In his thoughts Harry guessed that the destruction of his horcruxes had done this to him. Suddenly there was someone knocking on the door to the room. Harry waited tensely to see who it would be. Slowly the door opened and an elderly man hobbled in. Harry could not really tell who it was, as the man had a cloak over his head. All his facial features were hidden. However there was something familiar about the walk. Harry could not put his finger on what it was.
"What is happening?" asked Voldemort. "Where is Wormtail and why has he not reported to me yet. I need to know about the eggs. I need to know if they have hatched yet or not."
"My Lord," said the man. "Wormtail was captured and the eggs have been destroyed. As a squib there was nothing I could do to stop the Mudblood lover and the half breed from destroying them."
"WHAT," shrieked Voldemort? "They have destroyed years of work. That old muggle loving fool has arrested Umbridge and has made it impossible for me to gain access to the door that would allow me entry into the school. Now I have lost Wormtail as well. While he was not the best employee I had, he was loyal. Go back to the school Argus. I will call you if I need you. Keep an eye on Potter. I want to know what he is up to at all times. Now go!"
Slowly Argus shuffled out of the room and into the night. Voldemort continued to pace for a few moments before he turned on the spot and disapparated.
Harry sat up in a fury.
"That TRAITOR," he snarled. "He is in so much trouble that he will be long dead before he ever gets out of it."
"Harry," stated Severus. "Please calm down and tell us what you saw."
Harry took a deep breath and continued a little more calmly.
"Filch is in league with Voldemort," he said. "Apparently he left the castle and somehow got to Voldemort. Now Voldemort knows that Wormtail has been captured and that the eggs have been destroyed. I want him arrested and out of this castle by sunrise. I also found out where Voldemort has been hiding. He is at the old Riddle Manor."
Severus made a gesture and Draco handed Harry a glass of meade. Harry thanked him and sat down and sipped his drink. Severus in the meantime walked over to his fireplace.
"Albus," he called. "Your presence here is required. Please bring a couple of Aurors with you as well. We have a situation here at the castle that requires your attention. Harry will remove the wards on the dungeon for you and the Aurors to come directly to my private rooms."
"Very well Severus," came the reply. "We will be there shortly."
Severus gave Harry a nod. Harry stood up and lifted his hands to the ceiling. Slowly he brought them down in and odd gesture. Being the heir and the Head Master he was the only one who could do this. When he was done there were three small pops and Albus, Scrimgeour, and Moody apparated into the room. Quickly Harry filled Albus and the Aurors in on what he had just witnessed.
"Apparently," stated Harry. "You don't have to have the dark mark any longer to be in the employ of Voldemort. Either that or you can't brand a squib. Also I would keep an eye out on the old Riddle Manor if I were you. That is where all of this took place."
"I think," said Albus. "I think that Voldemort has caught on to the fact that you have wards on the castle to recognize the dark mark. He now is sending his servants to the castle that are not branded so that you do not know who is in his employ and who isn't."
"That makes sense," said Harry.
"Let us go and apprehend Argus," said Albus. "We shall also post Aurors around the old Riddle Manor to see if we spot Tom."
With that they all stood up and made their way to the entrance of the school. When Argus wheezed his way into the foyer, He was grabbed by the two Aurors.
"Argus Filch," began Moody. "You are hereby under arrest for the crimes of being in league with the Dark Lord. You have been seen in the presence of the Dark Lord passing on information about the Ministry and the school."
"You will all pay," said Argus. "You and the old fool, as well as the Potter brat, and all the other brats in this school. I hate all of you. The Dark Lord will destroy you all."
"Get him out of my sight," said Harry. "Albus I will provide you with the memory so that you can use it in the trial."
Reaching into his robe, Harry withdrew his wand. He placed the tip to his temple and pulled away a long silvery thread. He placed it into the bottle Albus had conjured and Albus sealed it. Placing the bottle in his pocket, Albus assured Harry that this would be all they needed.
"You will now need a new caretaker," said Albus. "I can hire one for you if you like."
"Thank you Albus," said Harry. "I have someone in mind for the job. If however he refuses, then I would like for you to ask Mrs. Figg if she would like the post."
"That is who I was thinking of Harry," said Albus. "Just let me know if your other person declines."
With a nod of his head, Albus and the Aurors with Filch in custody left the castle and made their way to the gates. With a turn, they all disapparated. Harry gave a small smile to Severus and Draco, and then he too turned on the spot and disapparated.
Harry apparated directly onto the front steps of the orphanage. With a somewhat calmer hand, Harry knocked on the door. Within moments, he was met by Petunia.
"Harry," she exclaimed. "What a pleasant surprise. Please come in. What can we do for you?"
"Hello Aunt Petunia," said Harry. "You are looking well. I came here to talk with Dudley. I have a job proposition for him. Now that he is of age we can give him a decent paying salary as well."
"Dudley is in the den," Petunia replied. "Come in please."
"Hey Harry," said Dudley. "I overheard part of what you were saying. What job are you talking about?"
"Well my old caretaker Argus Filch has just been fired. I need a new caretaker for the castle. The pay is 200 galleons a week plus room and board. Mainly you would be helping the staff and house elves around the castle with keeping up with the halls and entry way of the castle. You would also be in charge of helping with detentions and a few other things. If you are interested, I would like to offer you the position. If not then I will understand."
"Harry I would love to," said Dudley. "However they need me here at the orphanage to help out on the grounds here. Plus being here I can stay near mom. I am sorry Harry, but I am going to have to turn you down at this time."
"I totally understand," said Harry. "I also respect your decision. I will just offer the job to Mrs. Figg."
"Thanks for understanding Harry," said Dudley. "Wait Mrs. Figg? You mean that batty old lady with all those cats?"
Harry nodded then continued with what he was going to say.
"No problem Dud," said Harry. "I have to return to the castle now and write a letter. No need to show me out."
With a small pop, Harry disapparated. Within seconds he was back in his office. He sat at his desk and wrote the invitation to Mrs. Figg. Giving the note to Hedwig, he bade her swift journey and made his way to his bed. Sleep was long over due for Harry.
The next morning Harry woke with a start. Looking around he saw immediately what had woke him up.
"Hello Hedwig," he said.
She hooted her welcome and stuck out her leg for Harry to get his letter.
Taking the note from her, Harry gave her a treat and walked down to his desk to read the reply.
I would be honored to work for you at Hogwarts. I can be there in two days. It will take me that long to get my things packed and my cats gathered. I will need a portkey however. I would appreciate it if you sent me one. Thank you again for the job.
With that being done, Harry quickly created the portkey and sent it with Hedwig. She hooted and flew off immediately.
Harry made his way to the Great Hall for breakfast. As he sat in his chair he noticed once more the looks that Dobby and Winky gave to one another. With a nod at Minerva, he quietly pointed at the two elves. She looked over and then gave Harry a smile that told Harry what he suspected all along. The two elves loved one another. As they were the favorites of the school, Harry decided that it was time to help them plan for their wedding.
"Minerva," Harry whispered. "I think it is time for a wedding here at Hogwarts. Don't you?"
I agree with you Harry," she replied. "I would be happy to assist you in that project."
Harry nodded his thanks and began to eat his breakfast. He kept a close observation of the two elves. Yes it was time for these two beloved elves to tie the knot.
Author's Note: I was going to do the wedding in this Chapter, but I decided to just do a filler. The next chapter will deal with the trial of Delores and Argus. Thanks once more for your continued support.