The Snitch of Secrets Three

His Father's Shoes

The following morning the Gryffindors rushed down to breakfast. They were desperate to hear if there was any news from London. The rest of the school were already sat at the tables and Professor Dumbledore had returned. He grinned at the Gryffindors as they entered the Great Hall. Sirius started at his toast almost immediately, whilst James searched above for Pickles, his owl. Pickles swooped down and dropped several things in his lap; a paper and a letter from home.

James quickly opened the letter to learn that it was from his father.

James,

You have a lot of explaining to do young man. How did you see that coming? Seriously we had nothing else suggesting that that was what they were up to. We were ambushed. There was a huge skirmish in Wimbledon – you know, near our London flat. I had two teams dealing with that, Bradshaw's was at Azkaban on guard duty (luckily no problems there – I don't think we'd have coped), Moody's team was at the school (he just briefed me on the situation there – oh my, sounds like you had a busy night). There was another attack in Buckingham – where the muggle Queen lives. Get this, death eaters broke in to the palace – trying to kill the royal family. I went with Wood's team to deal with that. Wood's having a few weeks off – well earnt leave. His wife was murdered you see. She was muggle-born – poor thing. Dodson's team came and joined us at the palace. There were no spare teams when I got your message. The situation just kept getting worse. The Wimbledon skirmish kept changing locations. The death eaters would fight a bit, disapparate to a new location up the road, kill a few people and fight again when the aurors caught up with them. It was a night from hell.

Once I had everything under control at the palace I took a team over to check out what you'd said. I was too late. He'd already disappeared. They said he'd retired but I have a bad feeling about it James. His replacement is a bit creepy. You'll see what I mean when you read it in the paper. I have a feeling he's under the imperius curse. I couldn't get close enough to tell. His security wouldn't let me.

I'll hopefully see you later today. I've just got to get checked over at St Mungo's and then I'm coming over to the school to help with the new patronus charm. I'm very proud of you James.

Dad. Xxx

James sighed before turning to the paper. He began to read the headline; MUGGLE PRIME MINISTER: RETIRED OR DISAPPEARED? We were informed this morning that the muggle prime minister had retired in a last minute decision last night. This news came as a wave of attacks hit the London capital in both the affluent area of Wimbledon and the very home of the Queen (Buckingham Palace). It is highly suspect, one ministry official commented. Edward Heath (the Muggle Prime Minister) wasn't even that old, apparently only fifty two years of age. Aurors were seen searching his home this morning. Both Heath and his wife appear to have vanished. Interestingly this all occurred the day after a new prophecy appeared in the Hall of Prophecies in the Department of Mysteries one Unspeakable told us. They were unable to tell us what the prophecy predicted but they were willing to confirm that the prophecy did refer to Edward Heath although the prophecy itself was not about the Prime Minister. They told us that the prophecy was about the individual who it had been spoken to. The prophecy also foretold other events that happened last night. The Prime Minister's replacement is one Harold Wilson. One can't help but wonder if this individual is who he says he is or if this is all part of a plot to take down non magical Britain.

There were several headlines that drew his attention. STUDENT "KISSED" IN DEMENTOR ATTACK AT HOGWARTS: As if it is not bad enough that the grounds has been playing host to the wayward dementors, the dementors last night (with the help of certain foolish students) broke through the protective spells preventing the dementors entering the school. Several Slytherin students were heavily involved in the plot. We have been informed by a source within the school that several second year Slytherins, including Regulus Black and Alfredo Rowan, were running around outside after hours to distract the aurors on duty. At the same time their third year counterparts (Misters Martifius Avery, Wayne Burke, Walden Macnair, Levisious Mulciber and Severus Snape) were roaming around the castle in an attempt to distract the teachers. This allowed adequate distraction for sixth and seventh years to try and break the charm surrounding the school. The ringleaders Lucius Malfoy and Narcissa Black face imprisonment in Azkaban but it is unlikely that they will be prosecuted as the pure-blood families still have far too great an influence with the Wizengamot. This has left certain ministry officials certain that it is time for a complete overthrow of the Wizengamot system. The attack on Hogwarts was predicted in a prophecy that had been given earlier that day (as explained by an Unspeakable at the Ministry) giving ten third year students the opportunity to defend their school. The Gryffindors (Misters James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Frank Longbottom and Peter Pettigrew as well as the Misses Alice Prewett, Marlene McKinnon, Kate Stone, Lily Evans and Mary Macdonald) were incredibly brave, breaking up into pairs taking several floors each to patrol. The Gryffindors with the help of their teachers were able to keep the majority of the dementors at bay. Sadly not all were kept out of the school. It is believed that several dementors found entry into the school via the Dungeon Entrance. The majority of the students were safe in the Great Hall but one Wayne Burke was not. The boy, after being separated from his friends had grown scared and hidden behind a tapestry. This reporter has the unfortunate responsibility in informing you that he was found by a dementor and kissed. He was found an hour or so later when the teachers and aurors had regained control of the castle. As unfortunate as the situation is, it goes to show that an alliance with a dementor doesn't last long. They quickly turn on you.

The final article that drew his attention read; WHEN WILL THE MINISTRY STOP PLAYING GAMES AND DECLARE WAR: It is evident that war is fast approaching. War is discussed on the streets and our school children are playing at war with devastating consequences yet the ministry appears scared to say the word. We asked Charlus Potter, the Head of the Auror Office to comment. He said this; "It is not that we are scared to say that we are at war. It is merely that we are not there yet. We still hope to deal with the current situation without declaring war. Why you might ask? Simply this, if I say that we are at war people will panic. If I give you the name of the individual we are potentially at war against then the people of wizarding Britain will fear him. I can promise you words and names like war, do nothing except instil in people a sense of fear, anxiety and trepidation. I will promise you this – if we are unable to deal with the current state of our nation, if we fail to catch those responsible by the end of the Hogwarts school year, then I personally will insist to the Minister for Magic that it is the time to declare war. Until then, I hope to do this as peacefully as possible." It is clear that the ministry are in no rush to confirm that we seem to be on our way back to war time Britain but this reporter feels it is unlikely that the current state of things will have changed by the time we pick up our children from Kings Cross for the summer. We also asked Charlus Potter what he thought about his son's bravery; "Well – I can't say I'm not proud because I am. Very much so. It does scare me that he seems to find trouble wherever he goes but I trust him to do the right thing. He is a good boy." Well like father like son. Perhaps one day Mr James Potter will fit quite nicely into his father's shoes as the head of the aurors office. It certainly looks like he's heading that way.

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