- Character Bashing
- Death-Minor Character
- Discussion-Child Abuse
- Hate Crimes
- Alternate Universe
- Fix It
Tony sat in the large meeting room that he’d never seen before. He had, however, seen this wing from outside, and logic told him this room shouldn’t exist. There weren’t any windows here from outside Tony was sure of it. He had learned that one couldn’t always apply logic to magic though so he was doing his best to accept it, and move on.
There were several others in the room, all people Tony trusted. Michael Lloyd, Lily’s former lawyer, was present. He was now Tony’s lawyer as well. Michael Lloyd was gorgeous with long straight black hair, and golden skin. He had been good friends with Lily and James and had offered his services to Tony for free. Tony intended to pay him, of course. Kelly and Agnes were also there, and they were waiting for Andre to arrive.
They had formed a war council of sorts to prepare as best they could for what was coming. They had been discussing the issues for the last week. Right now, it seemed to Tony that they were talking in circles. He needed to make sure Harry was safe. Tony blew out a frustrated breath when he’d agreed to become Harry’s guardian he’d never imagined things would be so complicated.
Dumbledore wasn’t the only problem. Harry was famous, and there were those who would use them if they got a chance. The entire Wizarding world now knew where Harry was living. This was a big problem. Harry was safe on the grounds of the Gueron Estate, but they couldn’t keep Harry here forever. Both he and Harry had already spent more time on the grounds then he was happy with.
Tony turned his attention back to the conversation at the sound of his name.
“Sorry,” he said “My mind wandered. “What were you saying?”
Michael huffed. “I was saying it is unlikely that Dumbledore would be given custody of Harry, but there are many former order members who could petition on his behalf including the Weasley family. They are poor but well respected. Dumbledore is not our only problem, however. The Malfoys will almost certainly wish to challenge you for custody. Perhaps a few of the other noble houses as well.”
Tony took a deep breath and realized his fists were clenched tightly. He forced himself to flex his fingers. He stood and walked over to the window, and looked out taking a moment to get his thoughts in order.
Finally, he spoke, and he was proud to realize his tone was even and calm. “I don’t understand why they can challenge me at all. Lily and James clearly wanted me to have custody. Even the British Minister agreed. I have a good job, and I can take good care of him. Most importantly He’s already the center of my world. They have no ground to refuse me other than the fact that I don’t have magic. The only person who could challenge me is Sirius Black, but Agnes tells me he is currently in prison.
“I simply want to be allowed to take Harry home. I do have a life I need to get back too. I didn’t intended to be away for this long. So far my bosses have been understanding, but that won’t last forever. A part of me wants to take my kid and just disappear, but I’m not prepared to walk away from my life just yet.” Tony’s tone was dry, but he wasn’t entirely kidding. Disappearing was tempting at times.
He felt a hand on his shoulder. “I know this is hard. I’m sorry.”
Tony turned and found a smile for Kelly. “It’s okay, Kid. It just feels like no matter what I do I’ll always be a second class citizen in your world.”
Kelly winced. “You aren’t entirely wrong. The inherent racism the blood purists have against muggles and muggle-borns is real and terrible , and it’s true that some wizards think muggles aren’t worth the air they breathe, but it’s also true that there are many who are open-minded and welcoming. I refuse to let the purebloods run me out. The only way things will change is if we fight to make sure they do.”
Tony sighed, but he nodded. The pureblood supremacy in the magical world was ugly, but Kelly had a good point. Running away wasn’t the answer. He knew better than to let his frustration get the better of him, losing his cool wouldn’t help anything. He carefully locked his growing frustration down to deal with later. There were more important matters at hand.
“Not all of us are like that,” Michael said quietly. “I lived in the muggle world for years while attending Oxford. I have muggle friends. The Noble houses belief in pureblood supremacy is disgusting, but there are racism and prejudice in your world as well.”
Tony looked over at him. “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to imply that everyone felt that way or that my world doesn’t have similar issues. We have white supremacists in the non-magical world too. I’m just frustrated. Truthfully, I’ve never thought much about my own privilege until now. I’ve always benefited from the inherent racism in my own culture for all that I’m not personally racist, but I never really understood how minorities felt. How could I? I’m never had to deal with being thought of as lesser before. It’s more difficult than I ever imagined.”
Michael smiled. “It’s a credit to you that you realize that. Many people wouldn’t. I know it isn’t easy, believe me.”
Tony looked at Michael and nodded his acknowledgment. Given his mixed heritage, he was sure the other man understood far better than Tony did, what it was like to face systemic racism and inequality on a daily basis.
Agnes sighed. “Tony come and sit. Let’s get back to the matter at hand. Our larger societal problems will have to wait. Sirius Black was James Potter’s best friend.” Her eyes met Tony’s. “If he weren’t in prison then he could bring all the power of the Noble and Ancient House of Black to bare and keep Harry safe. He’d be Harry’s magical guardian and the two you could raise Harry together.”
Tony wasn’t so sure about that. He didn’t know if Black would be willing to share Harry. He’d have more standing, and he could easily take custody from Tony. Tony kept his thoughts to himself.
“Which is why it’s awfully convenient that he’s been arrested and thrown in Azkaban,” Kelly commented. “Andre and I have been looking into his case. I have some friends in Auror service and combined with Agnes’ contacts in the minister I’ve been able to piece together a picture of what happened, and I’m afraid it’s pretty ugly. I’ve already filled Agnes in’s asked me to fill you in too.”
Kelly sorted through a stack of files that were sitting in front of her and pulled to out. She handed one to Tony and one to Michael.
Tony opened the file. It was a shame they didn’t have large screens like at NCIS so that Kelly could share the information with them all at once, he said as much to Kelly as he scanned the first page of the file. It contained a brief history of Sirius Black’s life before his arrest.
Kelly grinned at him. “I thought so too. So I decided to do something about it.” Kelly pulled out her wand and swished it around murmuring a spell. The space directly in front of her glow and then the magic coalesced and reshaped itself into a large screen. It looked like a flat screen tv but was more see through. One the screen was a photo of Sirius Black as well as several articles about his family and several from the time of the murder.
“Nice,” Tony praised, and Kelly blushed slightly with pleasure.
“Thanks. “So here’s what we know about Sirius Black. He is a former auror and a war hero in his own right.”
Kelly went on to summarize Black’s history and the events that led to his arrest. Tony found it interesting that Black had turned his back on his family. By all accounts, he’d considered the Potters his adopted family. James and Lily had trusted him enough to name him Harry’s godfather. He had learned this was very important for wizards.
When Kelly got to the part about the explosion that had killed several people and Peter Pettigrew’s body being missing from the crime scene Tony sat up straight. “So there was no body?” he interrupted
Kelly shook her head. “They found a single finger. It was assumed Sirius murdered his friend because Peter knew that Sirius had been the Potters secret keeper and betrayed them. The arresting Aurors weren’t too concerned about the lack of a body.”
Tony frowned that didn’t make any sense. Why wouldn’t policemen care about their murder victim’s body missing from the crime scene? “What did they think happened to the rest of the body?”
“That struck me too. The report doesn’t say. One auror mentioned that perhaps it had been destroyed by the explosion Black set off.”
Kelly waved her wand at the screen, and the crime screen photos popped up on the screen. “These weren’t easy to get. The files were sealed but luckily thanks to Agnes’ contacts we were able to get copies.”
Yes, the explosion. The pictures of the bodies were in his file as well. Tony looked them over carefully. The bodies were in pieces true, but they were easily identifiable as human beings. The explosion hadn’t been strong enough to incinerate the bodies.
He said as much. Agnes nodded. “Yes, we noticed that as well. It is very unlikely that Pettigrew’s body would have been incinerated in the explosion. Sirius could have used a spell to destroy the body or hide it, but then why leave a single finger to incriminate himself?”
Tony nodded. “None of it makes any sense,” Tony remembered something he’d read in one of the books Agnes had given him to study. “Isn’t there a way to see what spells a wand has recently cast?”
Agnes nodded, “Yes the Priori Incantato. Unfortunately, it only gives the last spell that was cast. The last spell Sirius cast according to the report was a stunning curse.”
Tony had read about stunning spells. “That would make sense if he was trying to catch Pettigrew not kill him. Id he was going to kill him why not just use that spell…”
“Avada Kedavra, the killing curse,” Michael supplied.
“Right. So the last spell he cast was a non-lethal one, and the arresting officers had almost no real evidence, and they admitted as much in their reports.”
Agnes was looking up at the screen. “Hmmm. He could have cast the stunning curse to erase whatever he cast before it. That said I agree that the situation is suspicious. Any competent barrister should have been able to make a good case for Sirius’ innocence. Besides which no one likes the idea of putting a peer in prison. Yet he got a life sentence, and no one batted an eye.”
“It gets worse,” said a familiar voice from behind them. Tony turned to see Andre Langdon standing in the doorway.”
“Just in time Mage Langdon. Tell us what you’ve learned,” Agnes ordered.
Andre came over and sat down. “I wanted to make sure I did a thorough investigation before I came to you with this. I can’t find any record of Sirius being tried at all. The records aren’t just sealed like one might expect, they are nonexistent. From what I was able to gather he went from being interrogated straight to Azkaban.”
“Do not pass Go. Do not collect two hundred dollars,” Tony said, and Kelly snorted a laugh, and Michael chuckled.
He grinned at them. “I think it’s pretty obvious that there is something fishy going on,” Tony added more seriously.
For a moment Tony thought Agnes would ask what was so funny, but instead, she waved the comment away. “This is very disturbing news. Guilty or not everyone deserves a fair trial. If it’s true that Sirius Black was imprisoned without trial, then we will make sure he receives one. I must bring this to the attention of the world court.
“However, I need more proof than we currently have. Normally I’d call in a couple of favors to help us, but I’d like to avoid Dumbledore getting wind of what we’re doing until we have all our ducks in a row. He wouldn’t hesitate to use Sirius for his own ends.”
They were all quiet for a moment processing what they had learned and what it could mean. Tony had been in law enforcement for a long time, and he hated to see justice being undermined. If Sirius Black was innocent, he’d do everything in his power to see him freed. He had been Lily’s friend, and he was Harry’s family. That made him important to Tony too. On the other hand, if Sirius was guilty, if he’d betrayed Lily Tony would make sure he paid. Black would spend the rest of his life in prison.
Tony nodded to himself and leaned forward in his chair. “Someone needs to talk to Black. I’d like to go myself to be honest, but I know that isn’t possible right now.”
“We need someone we can trust,” Kelly said. She tapped her fingers against the table nervously.
Agnes steepled her fingers together. “The first person who comes to mind is Minerva, but I see a couple of problems. First I’m not sure if I want her drawing attention to herself.
Tony gave Agnes an apologetic look. “I hate to say this but are we one hundred percent sure she didn’t tell Dumbledore or the ridiculous excuse for a newspaper where Harry and I are staying?”
Agnes shook her head. She was gripping the armrest of her chair tightly. “Minerva saved Harry from the Dursleys at great personal risk. She loved Lily, and her trust in Dumbledore has been severely diminished. She would not betray us.”
Tony held up both hands in surrender. “I hope you understand why I felt the question needed to be asked. My gut tells me Minerva can be trusted, but the truth is I don’t know her that well, and as a cop, I learned you have to examine all the possibilities no matter how uncomfortable it makes you.”
“Agreed. I stand by what I said, but I will have someone speak to her.”
“Thank you,” Tony said. “There’s also the fact that Black might not trust her. If he is innocent. He might not trust anyone from his old life. I know I wouldn’t.”
Agnes pressed her lips together. “Yes, there is that. A new face might be best if we’re going to gain Black’s trust.”
“I’ll go,” Andre offered. “I’ve already been working in London for a few weeks, and my family’s connections will ensure that I get inside Azkaban. My uncle is on the board of trustees. He is one of the few people who can gain admittance at any time.”
Agnes nodded, “Good. Azkaban is an extremely unpleasant place. It can drive a person insane, but Sirius hasn’t been there for very long. So hopefully he’ll see that talking to Andre is in his best interest.The British Wizagamon has perpetrated a great miscarriage of justice, and we’ll see it put right. Mr. Black will get his day in court, and hopefully we can secure his help in securing Harry’s future.”
Tony hoped so. If he’s innocent, then I’ll help him. He silently promised Lily. Tony only hoped he wouldn’t come to regret it.