• Published 23rd Apr 2017
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Magic School Days - Dogger807



When the CMC asked Discord to help them attend magic school, he pulled an owl out of his hat. Only he didn't exactly have a hat. Which was okay, since their new school had a singing one laying around. Where the hay was Hogwarts anyway?

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Chapter 15: Government Chambers

The empty hallways of the castle flashed by unnoticed as tears all but blocked her vision. She had been so elated that she would be able to experience them early. The last week had been the best of her life: new friends, new clothes, new surroundings, and, best of all, acceptance. It was too good to be true, too good to last. It didn’t last; it only led to the worst moment of her life. In that instant, her life was over. Her dream was lost, her existence meaningless. Without even trying, her new friend had ripped it all from her. With her purpose gone, she found an alcove to sink into and lost herself to the tears.

How long was she there? She didn’t know, maybe a minute, maybe an hour, maybe a week. Her misery defied time keeping, consuming her very being with its all-encompassing presence.

“Ginny?” Apple Bloom’s voice gingerly intruded into her despair. “Ginny, we’re here for you. Whatever it is, you don’t have to face it alone.”

Sniffling pathetically, Ginny fixated on the caring voice, both craving the tenderness and dreading the presence of the companion of the one who had stolen her dreams. Before she could protest, she was wrapped in a hug.

“We’re your friends Ginny,” Apple Bloom insisted firmly. “We overcome our problems together.”

“Yeah,” Ginny heard Scootaloo assert as another pair of arms engulfed her, “we stick together.”

“Parvati and I are here for you too,” Lavender said as she added her arms to the group hug. “I know you had your heart set on Harry, but you can’t let it get you down.”

“What did Harry do?” Apple Bloom asked, unaware of what happened.

“Looks like he got entered in a marriage contract with Sweetie,” Parvati explained, “trumping Ginny’s claim.”

“That’s not a problem,” Scootaloo cooed encouragingly at Ginny. “I’m sure Sweetie will vote on letting you into our herd agreement.”

“Wait!! What!?!” Lavender, Parvati and Ginny all exclaimed at the same time, turning to stare at Scootaloo.

Gryffindor house would lose fifty points for having five of their members miss the first Herbology class of their school careers. This was acceptable as far as everyone involved was concerned, even before the sixty points were awarded for loyalty.

<->

Sweetie Belle stared cautiously at the crowded audience full of humans. Thankfully, Mr. Weasley had come forward and helped her down from Magah, who was once again standing next to Sweetie protectively. Wordlessly, the assembly stared back, the expressions of shock still prevalent on most faces.

Screwing up her courage, Sweetie Belle waved and said in a strong voice, “Hello?” Her greeting was backed by a boisterous trill from Philomena and a playful front hoof stomp from Magah.

Hesitantly, about two thirds of the humans waved back, and, here and there throughout the crowd, faint greetings were heard in response.

Sweetie tried again. “I hope you are all feeling well this morning.”

The humans all nodded, denoting their mornings had been fine. This proved to be more than slightly amusing; a couple hundred grown witches and wizards were apparently intimidated by the little girl standing in the center of the assembly chamber.

The sound of wood striking wood demanded the attention of everyone present as Albus Dumbledore stood behind his podium with the full aura of the Chief Warlock emanating from him. “Good morning.” He paused, waiting for the undivided attention of all present. “As Chief Warlock, I hereby call this assembly of the Wizengamot to order.”

His announcement was met with a smattering of murmurs, and the audience settled more firmly into their seats to witness the proceedings.

“The customary commencement by opening of the floor to new business shall be pushed back. In lieu, we shall begin with the appointment of a new seat in accordance to the ancient laws.” Dumbledore continued, laying his gavel on the pedestal before him, “As I am sure you are all aware, phoenix-bonded individuals are to be granted a seat on the Wizengamot at the earliest opportunity. This law, in fact, predates the formation of the Ministry itself.” He paused for dramatic effect as all eyes once again sought out the little girl with the phoenix on her shoulder. “I present to you Miss Sweetie Belle, obviously a claimant for the application of said law.”

The chamber suddenly broke into applause, and loud shouts of elation and approval filled the air. Forgetting her stage fright, Sweetie Belle stood taller while Philomena spread her wings wide, basking in the adoration and framing Sweetie’s head with reds and golds. For no reason that she could name, Sweetie Belle started waving at the gathered humans.

Lucius frowned as even members of the Wizengamot started to stand to emphasize their own applause. She had yet to address the council, and already the cost and danger of neutralizing her had risen dramatically, so much, in fact, that he would have to increase the buffer between himself and whomever would be responsible for the deed. Even a hint of his involvement would be disastrous, even if found baseless.

Dumbledore let the maelstrom of emotion continue for a full minute before once again banging his gavel for attention. “Order. Order,” he said, never raising his voice yet easily heard by all, and order was quickly reestablished.

“It is now time to hear any arguments against the immediate application of the law,” Dumbledore said, turning to the gathered Wizengamot. “Are there any here who wish to voice opposition?”

A tall member of the Wizengamot immediately stood, his pale blonde hair pulled back in a braid.

“Yes, Mr. Yaxley?” Dumbledore politely acknowledged, bringing the man to the assembly’s attention.

Yaxley looked down his nose at Sweetie Belle, who was still standing on display in the center of the arena with Mr. Weasley and her animal companions. “This child is much too young for the honor.” He asserted, “She is not ready to take her place among us.”

“Yaxley, you fool,” Madam Longbottom said from her seat. “The law does not have an age limit, and she has already named a proxy. Your argument isn’t worth the breath it took you to utter it.”

Affronted by the rude interruption and suddenly aware of the hostile glares from the majority of onlookers, Yaxley sullenly sat back down without another word.

Dumbledore had watched the exchange with a hint of amusement on his lips. “I see,” he said after Yaxley retook his seat. “Are there any other pertinent arguments to be voiced?” When no one else was rash enough to voice dissent, he continued, “Are there any here who wish to voice their support?”

There was a rush as members of the Wizengamot clambered to their feet, vying for the right to back the young phoenix-bonded.

<->

Garrick Ollivander was in his shop’s back room, putting a series of intricate runes on his latest creation. It was aspen, looking to end up around eighteen and a half inches, yet another masterpiece in his quest for perfection.

Abruptly, he heard the chiming of the shop bells announcing the arrival of a customer even as his wards informed him of the same. Bothered slightly at the interruption to his crafting, he put on his customary smile and ventured out into the main room to see to his visitor.

Ollivander sucked in a quick breath when he beheld one of the most gorgeous women he had ever had the pleasure of meeting. In a lavish white dress, she was standing next to a handsome man in an impressive brown business suit. A hasty aura check flaunted none of the tells for a veela, and Ollivander promptly surmised that he had seen this woman’s daughter not too long ago. Purple hair was not that common, after all.

Stepping from the shadows, he let his presence be known. “Good morning, Mrs. Belle,” he said in his normal eccentric voice. “How may I help you this morning?”

She started slightly at his appearance, while the man beside her never showed a hint of surprise. “Hello, darling.” She flashed a devastatingly brilliant smile. “I find myself in need of a wand.”

<->

For nearly forty minutes, the members of the Wizengamot gushed at the inclusion of a second phoenix-bonded into their ranks. And she was not just a phoenix-bonded; she was a phoenix-bonded with a loyal unicorn. Most notably, the Minister had taken the time to welcome her into the fold. Finally, when the vote was called, it proved to be unanimous with even Yaxley unwilling to vote in opposition.

At his podium, Dumbledore beamed as he witnessed the considerable shift in the political playing field. Sweetie Belle might not know it yet, but she had changed the direction and destiny of the British Wizarding World. Now, all he had to do was regain control of Harry Potter, and Albus was sure he could guide it to a prosperous future.

Satisfied with the bestowment of the Wizengamot seat, Dumbledore once more banged his gavel, drawing attention to himself. “Now that your proxy sits in your stead,” he said, focusing on Sweetie Belle, “perhaps it would be wise to return you to your studies.”

Sweetie Belle nodded her assent. Having become bored by all the speeches in her honor, she was anxious to be out of the limelight.

“Very well.” Dumbledore then switched his focus to the bird on her shoulder. “Would you be so kind as to return Miss Belle and her unicorn to Hogwarts?”

Philomena trilled her consent, and with a flash of flames, the center of the arena stood empty.

<->

Stumbling slightly, Sweetie Belle found herself back in the Great Hall. Aside from herself, Philomena, and Magah, it was unoccupied. Sighing, Sweetie muttered to Philomena, “I have no idea where I’m supposed to be right now.”

The phoenix cooed softly, and Magah nudged her gently.

<->

The flashy exit had caused another round of clapping, and Dumbledore let it die out naturally before returning the meeting to order. “I thank you all for your support of our newest member, and on that note, it is time to return to the mundane responsibilities of governing. At this time, the floor is open to anyone wishing to present new business.”

Immediately a witch near the back of the of the spectator section stood and said, “I have new business to be brought before the Wizengamot!”

The Minister’s undersecretary, a toad-like woman by the name of Umbridge, promptly spoke up, “It is customary that those not on the Wizengamot to submit their business in writing before meetings, so as to avoid the wasting of our esteemed members' time.”

“Custom is not law.” The witch with raven-black hair barley acknowledged Umbridge’s presence. “By law, any may address the assembly when the floor is open, and I am demanding that right.”

Dumbledore was intrigued; one of his former students was making a scene. He was well aware that the young witch was correct, though not many knew of the law. In living memory, supplicants had been encouraged to have their requests filtered through the system first.

“Very well,” the Chief Warlock said as he cut off Umbridge’s reply. “You have the floor Miss Rutter. What new business do you have for us today?”

A predatory smile crossed the woman’s face as she made her way to the center of the arena, forcing the halt of all conversation as curiosity rose in all who watched. Upon reaching her destination, she stood tall and declared, “My name is Alice Rutter. I hereby invoke the rite of Iustitia est Infirma.”

A hush fell upon the members of the Wizengamot even as the chatter increased among the spectators. How had this witch learned of that rite?! Many generations of legislators had done their best to quash knowledge of that law. How could they not? It was designed to hold them accountable for the power they held.

“That is outrageous!” a wizard of the Wizengamot shouted. “That rite has not been invoked in over two hundred years!”

“And yet it is being invoked today,” Alice returned, unfazed.

“I will not stand for this travesty!” the same member raged on, standing to emphasize his point.

“Then sit,” Alice commanded, “unless you would interrupt my rite yet a third time.”

“You dare threaten me?” The Wizengamot member foamed from his mouth at the audacity of the nobody.

Not giving the man a second glance, Alice turned to Dumbledore and said, “Please seal the chamber and penalize him for thrice interfering.”

Dumbledore looked at the woman before him and said, “Miss Rutter, I see no . . .”

But that was as far as he got before Alice cut him off. “Chief Warlock, do your duty. Seal the chamber, and penalize him according to the law.”

Taken aback, Dumbledore measured the woman before him with his gaze. “Let it be known, these chambers are now sealed for the rite of Iustitia est Infirma. No magic is possible from those present; none may enter or leave until the matter is resolved.”

With a bang of his gavel, magic pulsed throughout the chamber. Where there once were doors, there now were only stone walls. Everyone present felt the ancient magic take hold. Whatever this rite was, it was serious business.

“Very well.” Dumbledore returned his gaze to Alice. “The ritual is in place. You may proceed.”

“First, apply the penalty,” Alice insisted, nodding to the still-standing member of the Wizengamot.

“Mr. Nott,” Dumbledore addressed the standing man, “let it be known that, in accordance with our most ancient laws, you are to forfeit ten percent of your total holdings to Miss Rutter for thrice interfering with the rite of Iustitia est Infirma. Please be seated.”

“How dare she!” Nott started.

“Would you care to make it twenty percent?” Alice asked; she, like Dumbledore, never raised her voice, yet was heard by all.

Glowering, Nott abruptly ceased his ravings. With a glare that promised a swift demise, he sat down. Amid the bystanders, the whispering flourished. Ten percent of a noble house’s wealth was no small chunk of change. If she gained nothing else from her strategy today, she at least got enough money to properly hide from her new enemy.

Alice stood in the center of the arena and powerfully proclaimed, “In accordance with this rite, I accuse Lucius Malfoy of willfully murdering my father. I further charge him with raping my mother, torturing them both, and being an accomplice to my mother’s murder. I demand retribution!”

A hush fell and the proverbial pin could have been heard.

For an eternity of ten seconds, no one spoke. Then, Umbridge leapt to her feet. “How dare you!” she screamed. “How dare you accuse such a fine upstanding member of our society of such crimes?! I’ll have you know that the Ministry cleared him of all charges due to being under the Imperius Curse. You will apologize immediately for your insolence!”

“I will apologize only if he swears he did not willingly commit those acts,” Alice returned coldly. “The rite will cause his own magic to judge him. If he is innocent, he will be unharmed and I will gladly apologize. If he did it of his own free will and swears he didn’t, he forfeits not only his life, but also his magic, and all further claims I have against him today are automatically considered valid.”

“How dare you!” Umbridge fumed, her eyes narrowing in anger. “Do you know who I am?”

“Yes.” Alice crossed her arms. “You are the woman who twice interrupted the rite. Care to go for a third time?”

For a second, greed warred with indignation across Umbridge’s face. The toad-like woman sat down as indignation lost. She would let Lucius deal with this upstart.

Looking on with fascination, Dumbledore was elated. This sort of situation was exactly why the rite had been conceived in the first place. If only it weren’t a slap in the face for the Wizengamot, literally undermining their authority. “Mr. Malfoy,” he seriously intoned, “you stand accused. How will you answer the charges?”

Lucius was indignant; he didn’t even remember this trash’s parents, but it was all too likely they had been targets of a raid. He couldn’t risk his life and magic over the uncertainty; that left him only one option. Gritting his teeth, he stood and addressed the room. “It is with great sorrow that I once again stand in suspicion over my actions during those troubling times. However, I do not hold it against Miss Rutter for seeking closure. In the spirit of good faith, I shall willingly pay the prescribed penalty mandated by our laws as a peace offering.” With those words, he retook his seat.

Seething inside, he contemplated how the penalty was a percentage of his total worth, not set as a paltry amount that would be hurtful to one of less means, yet meaningless to one such as he. Lucius had just agreed to pay more of his fortune than Nott had lost due to his stupidity. Once this meeting was complete, he’d have to sign everything over to Draco, lest others take the path that the lowborn trash had demonstrated.

Not surprised in the least that Lucius had taken the coward’s way out, Dumbledore turned back to Alice. “It would seem that you shall receive the retribution you desired. Are you done with the rite?”

Not taking her eyes off Lucius, Alice reached into a satchel hanging at her side and withdrew a scroll. “No,” she said, “I’m just getting started.”

Dumbledore raised an eyebrow at that statement, “Very well, continue.”

“By the old laws, I claim the right to speak for those wronged by this man in a similar manner,” Alice formally recited. “As such, I accuse Lucius Malfoy of the willful murder of one Jacob Smith.”

“You seem to have a list there,” Dumbledore noted. “Would you care to make all your accusations en masse?”

“No,” Alice replied. “These are all separate, serious offenses. I have no desire for him to reduce his liability by lumping them all together.”

“I see.” Dumbledore relented as he turned his attention back to Lucius. “You may swear on your life and magic at any time to refute any and all charges,” he reminded the head of House Malfoy.

<->

Humming to himself, Dylan placed the final touches on Miss Belle’s latest order. The project cost more than all of her other purchases combined, and he was determined that she would get her money’s worth. He was unmotivated by the rumors the “Daily Prophet” had printed about her. Instead, he was motivated by professional pride and an honest fondness for the girl.

Carefully shrinking the final product, he prepared instructions and went to fetch an owl.

<->

It was only due to blind luck that Sweetie Belle found the group of Gryffindor girls huddled in an alcove.

“Hey, Sweetie!” Lavender motioned for Sweetie to come closer. “Why aren’t you in class?”

“I was going to ask you the same thing.” Sweetie hurried over, still being followed by Magah. “I just got back from being bored at the Wizengamot.”

“Ginny was mighty upset over the whole marriage contract thing,” Scootaloo said gesturing to the youngest Gryffindor. “She needed our support more than we needed to be in class.”

“I’ll bet the professors don’t see it that way,” Parvati commented. “We’d better make it to our next class.”

“How’s Ginny doing?” Sweetie ignored the warning, more anxious over her new friend than the new school.

“I’m better.” Ginny sniffed. “I can’t be mad at you, since you didn’t want the contract in the first place.” Her voice broke near the end of the sentence. The situation still hurt, but she was determined not to take it out on the girl who was trying so hard to be a friend.

“Dumbledore said I shouldn’t believe everything I read.” Sweetie tried to console the girl by squeezing in to give her a hug. “I mean, what are the odds of there actually being a marriage contract? I mean it was just in the paper yesterday.”

“Discord is hanging around,” Apple Bloom reminded Sweetie Belle.

“Let’s not give him ideas,” Scootaloo suggested, getting to her feet and jerking her head toward the hallway. “We passed a bathroom on the way here; we should go get cleaned up and get to our classes. I don’t wanna lose more points than that whole potion insistent.”

Sweetie Belle reflexively corrected, “Incident.”

Scootaloo groaned. “That’s what I said.”

Though the issue hadn’t been resolved, no one felt they needed to dwell on it any longer. They would face the challenge together when the time came.

<->

“Lucius Malfoy.” Dumbledore’s voice was heard by every witch and wizard in the Wizengamot chamber, the disgust plainly evident. “You stand accused of nineteen separate murders, as well as being an accessory to forty-two others. And, let us not forget the charges of rape and torture. Will you say nothing in your defense?”

The head of House Malfoy sat unresponsive in his seat. His fortune was gone. The mudblood trash had just ruined him with her demands for retribution, her pathetic pleas for justice. To protect his wealth, he needed to swear that he hadn’t willingly participated in the cleansing, something he couldn’t do. As soon as he opened his mouth, the rite would know he was lying. He would die without his magic. Then, every accusation would become valid and the Malfoy family would still be knutless.

The only thing left for his heir would be the trust fund. That was untouchable since it was in Draco’s name alone. Lucius had made sure there was enough so that his son would never need to work even if the worst happened. He never truly really believed the worst would happen. Shockingly, the worst had happened. The Malfoys were now on the same level as the blood traitors, the Weasley clan. Malfoy Sr. knew he would have to pack up and rely on distant family members in France. The disgrace was unbearable.

Seeing that he would get no reaction from Lucius, Dumbledore addressed Alice once more. “These are disturbing allegations you make this day. I must ask, are there any other charges you wish to levy?”

“Yes.” Alice nodded, unrolling her scroll to read the next section. “I have here a list of bribes he made to the Minister and other officials. They have significantly undermined the Ministry and need to be brought to light.”

“How dare you accuse the Minister of taking bribes!” Umbridge howled, once more leaping from her seat waving her fist.

With exaggerated calmness, Alice merely looked at her and said, “That’s three.”

<->

The girls were exiting the bathroom as the older students also took to the halls for the changing of classes. In the manner of young children everywhere, sorrows were forgotten and the excitement of new experiences once more prevailed among the Gryffindor firsties.

Abruptly, the shout of “Mouse! Mouse! Mouse!” went up and a blue blur wove in and out of the student’s legs.

Startled, Apple Bloom planted her feet firmly and grunted lightly as she easily took the weight, “Really?” she groused a few seconds later. “All five of ya?”

“You’re heavy!” Sweetie groaned from her spot, on top of Apple Bloom’s back.

“It’s safer up here,” Parvati explained.

“Careful,” Ginny added, “I almost bonked my head on the ceiling.

“Do you see it?” Lavender asked, adjusting her grip on Scootaloo while she in turn effortlessly balanced Ginny's mass.

From down the hall they heard some guy shout, “Bloody hell, that thing really does bite!”

“It’s over thar,” Apple Bloom helpfully answered Lavender.

<->

Minister Fudge sat and watched as his career swirled down the drain. He had forgotten half of the occasions Alice had mentioned, but he recognized them when she brought them to light. There would be no false claims of innocence while the ancient magic filled the room.

It was going to take some skillful tapdancing to hold onto his job once this accursed rite was complete. Lucius had not denied any of the murders, and the public knew that Fudge had called him a trusted advisor on many occasions. It was going to be almost impossible to distance himself from the man. It was going to be almost impossible to hold onto any respect. It was going to be troublesome to avoid the prescribed penalties for accepting bribes and getting caught. Most of all, it was imperative that he avoid any time in Azkaban.

Where had the troublemaker gotten her information? Her list was too complete, too accurate. The morning wasn’t even half over, and Fudge already knew that he was sitting in the Minister’s chair for the last time.

<->

Dumbledore patiently stood behind his podium and watched as his opposition was being stripped of its power. Without his money, Malfoy would be neutered. With the accusations made before the Wizengamot left uncontested, Malfoy would be forced to forfeit his seat at the very least. It was entirely possible that there would be an investigation called on all the former Death Eaters who had escaped prison with the Imperius Curse as their defense.

It would take some careful negotiating to help the ones who must be left free to carry on their family names. After all, it wouldn’t do to let all those lines die out for the mistakes of a rare few of their members. They must be given the chance to atone for their mistakes and live better lives.

Still, it would make things so much easier once Malfoy was no longer a major player in the game. The morning was not yet half over and already this had been a council meeting that would be remembered for generations to come.

<->

Alice stood in the center of the assembly, calmly reading from the scroll the stranger had provided. She was just getting started and already she had Malfoy exactly where she wanted him. Justice was coming.

She wasn’t a bad person; she didn’t generally wish harm on others. She could have told herself that she was doing this so Malfoy could not hurt others in the future, and there would be some truth to that. But she wouldn’t lie, especially to herself; she was doing this for her father, for her mother, for herself. Revenge was at hand. Finally, after all these years, she was going to get satisfaction. If only it didn’t feel so hollow.

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