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Chapter Twenty-One
Dumbledore is Committed

“ I, Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, hereby order Albus Dumbledore's immediate and compulsory admittance into St Mungo's ward for the mentally ill.”

The Great Hall was utterly still, everyone shocked and disbelieving.  After a few seconds, chaos erupted.  The teachers leapt to their feet, shouting protests and insults at the Aurors and Fudge.  Severus was sending the Minister one of his death glares.  The Slytherins were mostly cheering, sending contemptuous glances at the headmaster.  The Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs were debating the issue in confusion.  The Gryffindors were making by far the most noise, echoing the teachers' sentiments.  After a while, Fudge decided he had had enough, and tried to unsuccessfully restore order.  The Aurors were watching his efforts, mostly in amusement, but didn't offer to help.  Eventually, Dumbledore sent sparks out of his wand, and the Hall fell immediately silent.

“ I believe shouting and screaming will do little to change the situation, so I ask that you please remain silent.  Minister, may I ask what has prompted this ridiculous declaration?”

Fudge, if possible, puffed up even more and smirked at the elderly headmaster.

“ It has come to my attention that you have not ceased your campaign to unnecessarily frighten the population of the wizarding world.  Despite my efforts and warnings, you continue to rave about the return of You-Know-Who, and are sending out witches and wizards to attack respected members of wizarding society…”

“ Respected members of wizarding society!” Harry yelled, leaping to his feet, “ You mean Death Eaters.  Murderous bastards who torture Muggles for fun.”

“ Harry, sit down.  You're not helping,” Ginny whispered, tugging on his sleeve.

Reluctantly, Harry took his seat and crossed his arms, sending Fudge a glare that would rival one of Sev's.  The Minister smugly smiled back.

“ As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted,” he continued pompously, “ Your Order of the Phoenix has been causing panic and chaos all over Britain, and I will stand for it no longer.”

“ Why am I to be taken to St Mungo's?” Dumbledore asked.

“ It's the best place for you!” Fudge raged “ You're insane!  Talking about Death Eaters and You-Know-Who!  You deserve to be locked up!  Now, you can either come with us peacefully, or we will forcibly remove you.”

“ You can't do that!” Harry yelled, leaping once more to his feet and striding towards the Minister.  The man stepped back slightly when he saw Harry's fangs and glowing aura of power.  However, he quickly regained his confidence when the Aurors moved to create a barrier between the cowardly man and the enraged teenager.

“ I'd watch what you say, Potter, before I take you to St Mungo's as well.  You're as insane as Dumbledore, ranting about You-Know-Who, killing students, and spinning some yarn about travelling through time.  If you weren't legally still a minor, you would be in a padded room in an instant.”

This was not a wise thing for the man to say, and he realised it as soon as he looked into Harry's eyes.  They were glowing an eerie green.  With a snarl, the boy raised his arms and made a shoving motion.  The Aurors surrounding the Minister for Magic went flying backwards, leaving Fudge alone in the middle of the Hall facing a very angry vampire.

“ Stop right there, P-Potter,” he stuttered nervously, “I am the Minister for Magic.  Y-you can't do anything to me.”

“ Watch me.”

Fudge started to frantically back up as Harry stalked forwards, but no-one moved to help him, much to his dismay.  Most of the Aurors were unconscious, and those who weren't were keeping their distance, not wanting to be blasted into a solid stone wall again any time soon.  Eventually, Harry had his prey backed right up against the Head Table and was advancing fast, his wand now in his hand.  Severus, seeing where this was going, moved in front of the boy and took him by the shoulders, shaking him slightly.

“ Harry, snap out of it.”

“ He has to be stopped,” the Boy-Who-Lived growled, “ We can't let him get away with this.”

“ Harry, calm down.  This is not the time nor the place.  We'll sort this out, but attacking the Minister for Magic isn't the solution.  It will only make things worse.”

Slowly, the glow in Harry's eyes receded and he regained control of himself.  Once he had calmed down, he looked to Dumbledore, who sent him a small smile, showing he was grateful to Harry for showing such support.  Once the boy was suitably calm, Fudge quickly regained his confidence.

“ I find it interesting, Potter, that someone who campaigns so strongly against You-Know-Who could only be calmed by a Death Eater.”

Harry saw red.  Before anyone could stop him, he had the Minister under a rather strong pain curse.  Most people in the Great Hall, especially the Slytherins, sat in shock as they watched the Gryffindor Golden Boy use such violent magic.  Some people, though, didn't remain inactive.  Dumbledore, Severus and three of the Aurors all sent stunning spells at Harry, but he barely batted an eyelid.  Eventually, after recovering from their shock, Ron, Ginny and Hermione leapt to their feet, each yelling `stupefy' at the same time.  Harry dropped to the floor, unconscious.  Fudge lay panting for a few minutes before being helped up by one of the Aurors.  Looking around the Great Hall, he took in the damage caused by one teenaged boy.  Turning to Dumbledore, he gestured for the remaining Aurors to restrain him.

“ Albus Dumbledore, I see you have your toy well trained.  Well, you can't protect him this time.  He's mentally ill.”

“ You can't do anything to him, Fudge,” the headmaster thundered, “ He is still legally a minor, as you said, and only a doctor can have him committed.”

“ That is indeed true, Dumbledore, but his actions today show how dangerous he can be, and I feel it is well within my rights to have him formally punished.”

A whispered conversation with an Auror later, Harry was bound tightly in magical chains and enervated.  The boy tried to struggle free, but his restraints did their job well.  He couldn't even remove them with wandless magic.

“ You'll pay for this, Fudge,” he snarled.

“ No, Mr. Potter, I believe it is you who will be paying for this.  As Minister for Magic, I hereby sentence you to a month in Azkaban prison.”

Whispering filled the Hall, and once more the teachers and Gryffindors began to vocally protest, but to no avail.  The Hogwarts residents watched helplessly as Dumbledore and Harry were forcibly removed from Hogwarts, an incredibly smug Cornelius Fudge strutting behind them.

As soon as the doors to the Great Hall banged closed, pandemonium broke out.  In the confusion, Severus quickly memory charmed most of the students, making them think Harry had used a wand when he had blasted away the Aurors to prevent leaks about his wandless abilities.  He also made the children of the Death Eaters unable to tell anyone about his helping the Boy-Who-Lived.  After all, he didn't want that little piece of information reaching Voldemort.  This gave him another thought, and he headed over to a frantic McGonagall, who was trying to regain order.  Pulling her to one side, he furiously whispered in her ear.

“ Minerva, I need to leave.”

“ What?!  Why?  Severus, I need you here to help sort this out.”

“ I know, Minerva, but if I don't go straight to the Dark Lord and report this, there'll be hell to pay the next time I see him.”

McGonagall considered this for a moment before nodding curtly.

“ Go, Severus, but please hurry back.  This is going to cause quite a stir.”

“ I know.  I'll be as quick as I can.”

That said, he strode out of the castle and headed for the edge or the anti-apparition wards, taking the longer option to give him time to gather his thoughts.

Back in the Hall, the students were all muttering amongst themselves.  The Slytherins, naturally, were gloating over the loss of the Dark side's greatest threats.  The Gryffindors were distraught, but none more so than Harry's friends.  Glen was beginning to panic, as he had once again been left alone by his father.  He was also disturbed at seeing the man who sired him acting so viciously.  It brought back memories of his confrontation with Draco Malfoy in Heather's house all of those months ago.  Ginny was naturally distressed that her boyfriend had been thrown in Azkaban, as were Ron and Hermione.

“ He'll never cope,” Ron said, morosely, “ You know how badly the Dementors affect him.”

“ His mind's stronger now,” Ginny said, “ Since he gained his telepathy, he's become a natural occlumens.  He should be able to protect his mind better than when he was younger.”

“ Yes, but there's only so much he'll be able to take,” Glen added, “ I know from what my grandmother told me that Dementors can be fought off with the mind, but eventually they wear down even the strongest of mental defences.  Eventually, he'll break.”

“ He also has his animagus form,” Hermione reminded them, “ He can do what Sirius did and change as much as possible.  After all, the minds of animals are simpler and therefore not affected as badly as a human's mind.”

“ One way or another, this isn't good,” Ron said with a sigh.


At the edge of the school grounds, Dumbledore and Harry were split up, one group of Aurors accompanying each to their new locations.  The headmaster found himself standing in the reception area of St Mungo's hospital.  One of the Aurors led him forwards towards the secretary's desk, where he rang a bell and waited for someone to turn up.  Moments later, a flustered looking young witch appeared, giving them a large smile.

“ Welcome to St Mungo's, how may I help you?”

“ We are here to deliver Albus Dumbledore into the care of the mental illness ward.”

The witch's smile faded and she looked in concern at the elderly man.

“ Professor Dumbledore?  Are you alright, Sir?” she asked, obviously remembering him fondly from her school days.  She received a sad smile and slight nod in response.

“ May I ask why Professor Dumbledore is to be admitted to the mental illness ward?  He seems perfectly sane to me.”

The lead Auror was becoming impatient, and he sent her a sour look.

“ Minister Fudge's orders.  He believes this man to be insane, and you would do well not to question his decisions.  Now, if you'll kindly contact the head healer in the mental illness ward, I believe he is expecting us.”

The woman nodded her head shakily, obviously disturbed by the situation.  After sending for the head healer, she watched as some of the Aurors led Dumbledore to a chair and made him sit, flanking him to stop him from trying to escape.  Several minutes later, the requested wizard appeared and began a heated discussion with the lead Auror.  Ten minutes later, Dumbledore was being led upstairs.

Half an hour after the argument with Fudge in the Great Hall, Albus Dumbledore, Order of Merlin, First Class and renowned Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, found himself strapped to a bed in a padded cell.


Harry wasn't faring much better.  After appearing at the shore of a rough looking sea, he was dragged into a tiny row boat and chained to the stern.  The rickety boat, manned by a Dementor and two prison guards, pushed off from the shore and made its way into the mist.  The Dementor didn't have an immediate effect on Harry, as he had mentally prepared for this, but the dankness of the setting, the rain lashing down on him, and the roughness of the sea made him feel increasingly morose.  But then, he thought, he'd brought it on himself.  Let his temper get the better of him, and had taken it out on someone else.  Granted, Fudge deserved it, but that was no excuse.  Harry's depression began to quickly fill the places the anger had left in him, and the atrocious journey seemed never to end.  How had he ended up in Azkaban?  He didn't want to think about it now, but knew the situation would become all too real once they reached their destination.  He contemplated which was worse, the wizarding prison or a padded cell.  They each had their pros and cons.  The padded cell didn't have Dementors, but then such an environment would drive a sane person mad eventually.  He knew why Fudge couldn't send him to St Mungo's.  After all, while he was physically and mentally eighteen years old, his birth certificate still showed him to be fifteen.  Legally, he was still a minor.  It was proving to be a curse, he realised now.

After an hour long boat ride, the mist began to part and Harry caught his first glance of Azkaban prison.  A jagged mound of rock protruded from the roiling sea, an enormous stone structure adorning it, like a twisted Alcatraz.  What little hope Harry still had left in his heart quickly drained away at this first glimpse of his home for the next month.

As soon as Harry was dragged off the boat and onto the island, he felt the cold chill of Dementors surrounding him from all sides.  With a bitter snort, he imagined how he probably faced some of these very Dementors at the Battle of Paris before his last incarceration.  The scene around him seemed to blur as he strengthened his mental shields as best he could.  When he was thrown into a dank and damp cell, he sank into the corner and rested his head on his knees, wrapping his newly freed arms around his legs and feeling the anti-magic field going up around him.  All the time, as he felt his magic bound inside him and the option of transforming into his animagus form slipping away, he held one thought in his head.

How did Sirius bare it for twelve years?


Severus appeared outside the Riddle house with a small *pop*.  Looking up at the large building, he felt a shiver travelling down his spine.  No matter how many times he faced Voldemort, he still felt nothing but an intense fear.  After all, the evil man had had so much power over the Potions Master for so many years, it was sure to happen.  Pulling his cloak further around himself, Severus quickly made his way to the door and knocked loudly.  The door was soon pulled open by a terrified house elf, which opened it wide and ushered Severus inside, leading him to the Dark Lord.

As soon as Severus laid eyes on his `master', he knelt on the floor and kissed the hem of the madman's robe.

“ Master, I bring news from Hogwarts.”

“ I see.  What has been happening in the enemy's den, my loyal spy?”

“ Dumbledore and Potter are gone, my Lord.”

“ Gone?” the red-eyed man said, glee in his voice.

“ Yes, Master.  Fudge ordered Dumbledore be committed.  He is in St Mungo's.  Potter protested vehemently, and even attacked the Minister with a pain curse.  He has been sent to Azkaban for a month.”

Voldemort remained silent as he mulled over this information.  The idea of Potter attacking the Minister set alarm bells ringing, especially when he coupled that with his stint in prison.

“ So, the `saviour' has been sent to Azkaban.  How…fortunate.  Severus, my servant, you have done well.”

“ Thank you, Master,” Severus said, cringing inwardly.  He knew the other man was up to something.  His suspicions were soon confirmed.

“ Severus, tell me, from what you have seen of Potter since the start of the term, does he seem any more…Dark, than usual?”

Severus had to think frantically.  He didn't know how much the Dark Lord knew, and didn't want to tempt fate by lying, but on the other hand, he didn't want to give anything away that could harm Harry.  Deciding that half truths would have to do, he formulated an answer.

“ My Lord, I believe he may be delving slightly into the Dark Arts.  As you may have heard, he made a spectacle of Draco Malfoy in September, using an array of Dark spells while duelling him.”

“ Indeed?  I heard from Lucius that his son had defected.  Have you any other evidence?”

Severus hesitated a moment too long, and paid the price.

“ Do not hold back on me, Severus!  Crucio!”

Severus collapsed to the floor, pretending to writhe in agony.  It was times like this he was glad of his immunity necklace.  Once the curse was lifted, he made a show of sitting up before answering.

“ My Lord, I apologise for hesitating, I was simply gathering my thoughts.  Master, he has shown signs over the last few months that he is using at least a little Dark magic.  His temper has also been causing him some problems.”

At the huge grin that broke out on Voldemort's face, Severus' heart sank.  He hated giving away so much information on Harry, but he had little choice.  At least he wasn't telling the unbalanced man that Harry was a self proclaimed Dark wizard.  The Potions Master became even more nervous when Voldemort began rubbing his hands together in glee.

“ Severus, do you see what this could mean?”

“ I believe so, Master…”

“ This could be the ultimate revenge!  If the rumours I have been hearing are true, and the boy has indeed travelled through time, then my suspicions are likely true.  Harry Potter is Harry Evans.  The boy I have wanted vengeance on for fifty years.  But now the time has come to destroy the light of the wizarding world.  I shall wait until he is released from Azkaban before giving him a choice.  To join me, or die.”

“ Master?” Severus spoke, hesitantly.

“ What is it, Severus?” he answered, suspiciously.

“ If I may ask, my Lord, how do you propose to kill him?”

“ Severus, Severus, how often do I ask my Death Eaters not to question my plans?  However, you have brought me good news, so I shall indulge you.  You see, by the time Potter is released from Azkaban, the Dementors will have done their job of removing his happy memories.  If he doesn't willingly join our side, he will be weak.  With Dumbledore locked up, it is the perfect opportunity to attack Hogwarts and begin my takeover of the wizarding world.  Of course, you may wonder why I don't attack immediately.  Well, Severus, you see, that would be too easy.  I want Potter, and in his weakened state he will be no match for Lord Voldemort.  In just over a month's time, Hogwarts will fall.”

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