The Snitch of Secrets Three

Bringing Back The Sun

Professor Dumbledore stood to greet his students; "Good morning everyone… I believe you had quite an evening without me. Sadly I was called away to London to deal with a minor Wizengamot situation at the Ministry." He frowned, "but alas I am back now. For many of you today is a sad day as you have lost a friend," he turned to the Slytherin table. "Although I feel that you were wrong in your behaviour – you have my sympathy. Mr Burke will be greatly missed, I'm sure. Those of you who played a part in last night's debacle will pay most severely for it. Mr Malfoy and Miss Black have been removed from the school. They are awaiting trial at the ministry. If they manage to get away with it then they will not be allowed re-admittance into this school. They will take their N.E.W.T. exams at the ministry or they may choose to attend a European school. If one will take them…"

"The other Slytherins who were involved will no longer have classes with the rest of the school. The second and third year boys as well as the whole of sixth and seventh year will have all their classes in the Dungeons. They will not leave the dungeons at any point. They will have meals in the Slytherin common room and Professor Slughorn will allow them one hour a day of time outside on the Quad. I expect that during this time, no other student will try to communicate with them. They will also have at least three detentions each week working with Mr Filch cleaning the castle and perhaps when the dementor situation is under control with Mr Hagrid in the grounds. They will not be allowed to attend Hogsmeade but I will allow those on the Quidditch team to play in their final match against Hufflepuff in May if they behave appropriately."

Dumbledore turned towards the Gryffindors, "Last night was an incredibly busy night but there are some students who should be recognised. These students are making it a bit of a habit, defending our school. I give you the Gryffindor third year class." The hall erupted with applause. "Now lessons will be cancelled for the next week – so make sure you rest up and enjoy the sunshine…"

The students looked perplexed. James even laughed, "but sir it's raining!"

"Indeed Mr Potter… it is… but not for long. How many of you know the patronus charm? I believe Professor Salazar has been teaching it you…"

Some of the students raised their hands whilst others looked uncertain and several first years looked downright disgusted with themselves. "No worries if you can't – you can still help. We are going to push back the dementors. Now pair up… first years with seventh years. Second years with sixth years. Third years with fifth years and fourth years… well find another fourth year."

The students quickly found a partner. Jame partnered with Eloise Hale whilst Sirius stood next to him with Isabelle Hancock. They were both very pretty girls. Marlene was stood with her boyfriend Richard Thole and Lily had joined Renee Arteage, the Gryffindor Chaser. "The aurors and some villagers are waiting for us outside. Ravenclaws – you will cast your patronuses and gradually walk towards the lake together. Professor Flitwick will accompany you. A group of aurors will be waiting for you. Hufflepuffs – towards the Hogsmeade Gate. Professor Sprout will lead you. Some villagers are waiting for you. Gryffindors – towards the forest with Professor McGonagall and the other aurors and Slytherins – you will accompany me and the rest of the staff to the lawns. Together, I believe we can extend the protective charm right up to the grounds boarders."

Professor Dumbledore led them out into the grounds. They formed a large circle around the castle; a mishmash of students, teachers, aurors and villagers. They then began walking together wands outstretched. They cast the patronus charm in unison and a large stream of magic erupted from their wands joining in the middle slightly behind them, right above the school. They continued to move forward and the protective spell grew. James could feel that this spell was stronger than their patronus last night. They had really struggled to maintain that patronus. When they reached the boundary of the forest, the aurors smiled, "we'll take it from here," they told the students.

Soon the entire grounds were engulfed into the protective charm. The rain began to clear and the sun shone. It was faint, it was only the beginning of March after all but it was the first sight of sun they had seen in what felt like months. Harry watched from his place at his father's side as the magical barrier stretched until it was surrounding the whole of the Hogwarts Grounds including the Forbidden Forest. It sparkled briefly before disappearing.

Charlus walked up to James, "Alright son?"

"Dad," James ran into his father's arms.

"Well done boy. You did good son. Easters coming up soon – you and your friends have been invited to a special event at the ministry. The Minister wants to thank you all for your bravery."

"Are you serious Mr Potter?" Sirius asked.

"No you are," Mr Potter joked, pulling Sirius into a group hug with himself and James. "All of your friends can stay at the house. Your mother has it all planned already." Charlus chuckled.

James nodded.

"Your mother wanted me to remind you to stay out of trouble," Charlue told the boys. "But I said you wouldn't listen," he winked.

James and Sirius chuckled. "Fancy a walk boys? I have a few things to talk to you about."

James and Sirius followed Charlus Potter around the lake until they were sitting under their favourite tree. "You know that Voldemort is causing chaos?"

They nodded.

"Well – we need to find out where he's hiding," Charlus explained. "Only problem is we can't get close enough. Have you heard anything from the Slytherins? Anything at all that might give us a clue to his location?"

They both shook their heads. "Shame… Can't you get it out of Malfoy?"

"We'll try but I'd rather not torture the boy into telling us," Charlus sighed. "The Wizengamot is in upheaval. Looks like we might be getting some new people on the board. They are hoping to get more half-bloods and muggle-borns on…"

"Will it work?" James asked.

"I'm not sure," Charlus sighed. "I hope so. Crouch is Chief Warlock so that will help… Alcaraz and Ginna Norvell – you know the senior undersectretary to the Minister… they're both ex officio. Technically Crouch is entitled to a seat as the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement but seen as how he's already heading it up he's offered me the seat (ex officio). We've got Dumbledore as well. We're hoping to get Elphias Dodge a seat but we'll have to wait and see. There's also talk of getting Cornelius Fudge – he's awfully young though and a bit of a wet fish if you ask me. He's the Minister of the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes."

"We've already got Griselda Marchbanks – ridiculously good witch – and Tiberius Ogden," Charlus continued. "We just need a few more allies. There are too many pure-blood supporters on the Wizengamot."

"How can that be dad?" James asked suddenly confused, "surely you could just remove them."

Charlus sighed, "it's not that simple. The pure-bloods have a lot of sway. All you need is galleons… we're working on it but we're trying to change an age old system and the preconceptions of a few hundred people. It really is no easy feat."

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