Author's note – Thank you all for liking the first two chapters, I hope you all continue to like them! Love you guys tons!
Shout outs –
Twilight Veela – Same here, his cockiness can be a bit much but his self-assured attitude is what makes him such a great character and part of the reason I love him. You will find out how she feels about how her uncle is acting soon.
paulaa90 – I agree with you about Molly, but I understand why, with her history she became very protective.
ImsebastianstanButter – Thank you!
Thank you for following – hrlqnn and Twilight Veela!
As always please enjoy, read, and review!
The house went to sleep, except Sirius and Dahlia. He watched her pace almost afraid to go to sleep. Sirius went to her stopping her nervous habit. He held her securely without saying a word letting her know he was there and nothing could separate them at that moment. Dahlia melted into him breathing a sigh of content and relief.
"What's troubling you little love," he asked quietly kissing the top of her head.
"This trial and the fact that my uncle, wise and powerful, is nowhere around. Harry needs him, needs us, his friends, but Albus has basically abandoned him and told all of us to do the same," she looked up at Sirius with desperate eyes, "I can't do that to him. I can't keep him in the dark or at arm's length Sirius," she shook her head, "it's not right." Dahlia buried her face into his chest, smelling the same subtle cologne and clean skin smell as earlier.
Black kissed her head once more, "I agree with you," he told her into her hair, "let's keep Harry close, and let him know that we are here for him."
Dahlia nodded, "I'm worried that the damage has already started. He seems withdrawn and sullen."
Sirius nodded, "I agree," he lifted her chin, "that just means we need to try harder. Talk to Albus after the trial tomorrow see if you can get him to change his mind." The Marauder gave a smile, "Come, you need sleep." He gently pulled her to the bed wrapping his arms around her making sure she was comfortable before they fell asleep in each other's arms.
Dahlia woke before Sirius getting dressed in her best professional attire. She waited at the bottom of the stairs looking remarkably different from her almost effortless and breezy style, her hair was in a French twist held together by the hair stick that Sirius had given her for her birthday it was made of mother of pearl with a lavender rose atop. Her navy blue dress had been pressed and her heels shined. Harry hardly recognized her when he hit the foot of the stairs.
"Dahlia," he questioned as she handed him the bacon butty Mrs. Weasley had made for the trip.
"Not like me at all is it?" she smiled as he chuckled, "you look good," pulling him in for a hug and held him for a moment before letting him go. There was a bit of silence before Dahlia told him, "Just waiting for Arthur and we can go." She looked at him closer as he chewed thoughtfully, "Something bothering you Harry?"
He swallowed the food in his mouth and shook his head, "No, it's nothing."
Dahlia gave him a questioning look, "Alright Harry, but if you want to talk, I'm here and if not me you can always talk to Sirius."
"Thanks," he mumbled taking another bite as Mr. Weasley rounded the corner.
"Ready Harry," Arthur asked nodding to Dahlia.
Potter nodded slowly giving a hard swallow to the piece of food in his mouth, "Are we going by Floo?"
Dahlia looked at him, "No you two will be going to visitor's entrance, and I'll meet you outside the Department of Mysteries when it's time for your hearing barring any changes. If I'm not then Arthur can escort you there." There was a pause as Mr. Weasley kissed Molly goodbye and the lilac haired witch pulled Potter in close, "Please tell me how he does on the escalator, I'm extremely sad I won't be around to witness it." They both shared a laugh when Sirius put his arms around both of them.
"Plotting so early in the morning little love," he said with his most charming smile. He was still in his pajamas wrapped in a soft velvet robe.
"Well one has to when my co-conspirators are up early," she reached to kiss his cheek, "I love you," she whispered, those three words brought a bigger smile to the wizard; "I'll see you once this mess is over. You good Harry," she asked.
"Yeah," he nodded smiling at the couple.
"I should get going," Dumbledore's niece sighed, "Lateness will not be tolerated," she imitated Umbridge before departing.
"You'll be all right Harry," Sirius told him with a warm embrace and smile to match. "We'll talk when you get back."
"Thanks Sirius," he said before leaving with Mr. Weasley.
Dahlia was engulfed in bright green flame being transported inside the Ministry. Dusting the excess Floo Powder off her clothes she nearly ran into Dolores Umbridge who had been waiting for her.
"Miss Dumbledore," her high pitched and sickly sweet voice greeted Dumbledore's niece as the short brunette witch looked at the clock and clicked her tongue, "Three minutes late dear, lateness will not be tolerated," she said softly but it was a warning.
"My apologies Madame Undersecretary, however this is my last day at the Ministry before I return to Hogwarts."
"I know dear," she said turning on her heels walking quickly, her usual all pink attire was covered with a black robe and rounded boxy hat as she was on the Wizengamot. "You will be assisting me at Hogwarts this year as well."
A cold chill ran up Dahlia's spine, he wouldn't have, "Beg your pardon Madame Undersecretary?"
Dolores stopped turning to the young witch, "I have just been announced as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, as stated by the Minister himself."
"Oh," Dahlia said trying desperately to keep the shock and disgust out of her voice.
"Problem Miss Dumbledore?"
The lilac haired witch shook her head, "No ma'am, I'm sure Albus was going to tell me after the trial, he just usually tells me who I'll be assisting before it's announced."
Umbridge turned again, "Cornelius just named me moments ago, and your uncle had no choice in the decision. After the trial for Mr. Potter I will give you my syllabus," they stopped before the door to the courtroom and Dahlia opened it up, "I would appreciate any input you could give me having been the one constant in Defense Against the Dark Arts position," Dolores cupped Dahlia's cheek, "It still astounds me how such a horrible creature could live under this pretty exterior," the Undersecretary said very nonchalantly, "I wonder what he sees in you," she gave a sweet but sinister smile before letting go of the teaching assistant and walking to her post.
This wasn't the first time and it would certainly not be the last time that Dolores Umbridge would comment on Dahlia's veela heritage. Dumbledore's niece just stood and silently seethed at the utterly ridiculous woman she would now have to answer to at school as well. What got under her skin this time is that she mentioned Sirius. The lilac haired witch walked in to the courtroom taking a seat in the audience benches waiting for Harry and hopefully Albus.
"Miss Dumbledore," the Minister addressed her, "The time of the hearing has changed, I'm sure all parties have been informed."
Dahlia stood as Harry walked in, "Yes Minister." A comfortable smile broke onto her face seeing Harry had gotten here on time. He sat in the chair set in the middle of the courtroom and the trial started rather quickly.
"Disciplinary hearing of the 12th of August into offenses committed by Harry James Potter, resident at number 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey. Interrogators Cornelius Oswald Fudge, Minister of Magic," Fudge announced and was about to call out Dahlia's name when the door swung open and Albus walked in.
He nodded to his niece but ignored Harry, "Witness for the Defense, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore."
"You, you got our message that the time had changed?" Fudge stammered out.
"Must have missed it, but by a happy mistake I arrived at the Ministry three hours early," he told him, "Charges?"
"Charges against the accused are as follows: that he did knowingly and in if full awareness of the illegality of his actions produce a Patronus charm in the presence of a muggle. Do you deny producing said Patronus?"
Harry nervously shifted in his seat, "No, but…"
"And you were aware that you are forbidden to use magic outside school while under the age of 17?'
Fudge cut him off again not letting him answer the questions completely; this is what Albus had been afraid of, "Witches and wizards of the Wizengamot…"
"I was only doing it because of the dementors!"
There was a hush over the Wizengamot and then mumbling and whispers. Then one of the witches in black spoke, "Dementors? In Little Whinging?"
"That's clever, Muggles can't see dementors can they boy," Fudge asked Harry rhetorically, "highly convenient."
"I'm not lying," Harry's voice was faltering, he was indeed telling the truth but Fudge wanted him gone. "There were two of them and if I hadn't…"
"Enough," Cornelius interrupted again, "I'm sorry to interrupt what I'm sure would be a very well rehearsed story but since you can not produce of witnesses of the event…"
Albus cut Fudge off, "Pardon me Minister, but as it happens we can."
Cornelius sat back in his chair disgusted at the Headmaster as Arabella Figg was brought in. She was a petite older woman, grey curly hair poked out from underneath her hat. She wore fishnet gloves and a proper paisley dress that was careworn worn under a grey overcoat. She sat in the chair seated in the middle of the court and it almost swallowed her, her feet were dangling, she was perhaps shorter than Dahlia with the teaching assistant standing at a glorious height of 5'2".
"Please describe the attack," the woman who questioned about the dementors, Amelia Bones, asked of Mrs. Figg. There was silence for a moment before Amelia spoke again, "What did they look like?"
"Well," Arabella started, her voice very shaky and her posture nervous, "one of them was very large and the other rather skinny."
Cornelius sighed, "Not the boys," his voice full of agitation and grew in annoyance as Dahlia let out a small laugh. He glared at her and she quieted down, "The dementors."
"Oh right, right," Mrs. Figg stated, "Big, cloaked, then everything went cold as if all the happiness had gone from the world."
Dahlia shuddered remembering her run in with the dementors that Sirius saved her from. She felt as if the ice was forming in her veins even now just talking about them. Albus grabbed her hand giving it a sincere squeeze which pushed warmth back into her body.
"Now look here, dementors don't just wander into a Muggle suburb and happen across a wizard, the odds are astronomical," Fudge countered.
"I don't think anyone would believe the dementors were there by coincidence Minister," Dumbledore spoke approaching Fudge again.
There was throat clearing that set Dahlia's nerves on edge, Dolores had decided to speak, "I'm sure I must have misunderstood you Professor, dementors are after all under the control of the Ministry of Magic. So silly of me but it sounded for a moment you were suggesting that the Ministry had ordered the attack on this boy."
"That would be disturbing indeed Madame Undersecretary which is why I'm sure the Ministry will be mounting a full scale inquiry as to why the two dementors were so very far from Azkaban and why they mounted an attack without authorization," Albus answered.
Dahlia moved closer to Harry, "This will be over soon, you'll be cleared," she grabbed his hand for a moment. He nodded and tried to give her a smile.
Albus continued, "Of course there is someone who might be behind the attack," he moved closer the Minister, "Cornelius I implore you to see reason. The evidence that the Dark Lord has returned is incontrovertible."
"He's not back," Fudge hissed out.
Albus hung his head for a moment still disappointed that Fudge would not see reason and the fact that Voldemort had returned. Dumbledore moved from the Minister, "In the matter of Harry Potter, the law clearly states that magic may be used before Muggles in life threatening situations."
"Laws can be changed if necessary, Dumbledore," Fudge spat out.
"Clearly as it has become practice to hold a full criminal trial to deal with a simple matter of underage magic."
There was another hush that fell over the Wizengamot as Albus opened his arms waiting for the right decision to be made and then put his hands on his hips, he was becoming impatient with the Ministry and the Minister's reluctance and stubbornness to see what was plainly in front of them.
"Those in favor of conviction," Amelia asked. Several hands went up including Fudge and Umbridge. "Those in favor of clearing the accused of all charges?" More hands went up including Amelia's and from what Dahlia observed Harry was being cleared of all charges, she beamed at the count.
"Cleared of all charges," Fudge said before adjourning the room.
Dahlia hugged Harry, "See, told you."
Harry nodded but pulled away to try and talk to Albus, "Professor," but Dumbledore ignored him and walked away. Harry stood there dumbfounded for a moment before a comforting arm wrapped around his shoulders.
"He's got several things to attend to here at the Ministry; I can give him a message if you need."
"No," Harry said, "I'll find Mr. Weasley now."
Harry left and Dahlia could feel her heart splinter and quickly apparated to her uncle's side, "You can't ignore him like this."
"What would you have me do, I put him in danger either way Dahlia, not to mention you my dear niece," he paused his hasty steps enveloping her in his arms. He smelled like sandalwood, he'd been burning incense casting protection charms for her and Harry.
"Talk to him, he needs you Uncle."
"I will take it under advisement Dahlia," he said ushering her forward.
"Don't use your headmaster speak with me Uncle," she scolded him, "When were you going to tell me that you hired a gargoyle for DADA?"
That drew a laugh from the professor, "I only found out today, I'm sure you will be an asset to Dolores."
She sighed, "I will do my best to keep my composure and assist when I can," she stopped, "I need to get a syllabus from her, I'll see you at school. Albus," she pulled him to a stop again, "please talk to Harry; he's feeling so closed off from everyone. Sirius and I are doing what we can but he believes he's isolated. It's making him vulnerable."
Albus closed the gap between them embracing her, "I will give it some serious thought, go, and I will see you at school." He hugged her one last time and kissed her forehead before he walked to a fireplace returning to Hogwarts.
Author's note – Thank you all for reading, it means the world to me! I would love to hear from all of you!