The week after Sirius Black's attack was one of the weirdest Daphne had ever experienced.
For one the hostility that had been further mounting between Slytherins and Gryffindors had practically disappeared, apparently having students accosted by Sirius Black was now a uniting factor between the two usual rivals, who were now taking it upon themselves to patrol the corridors whenever they could, older years were escorting younger years two and from classes, wands out and looking around shiftingly. Older slytherin students were escorting Gryffindor First years and vice versa, and it wasn't just these two houses, the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw students were also taking shifts escorting younger years, one was hard pressed to find any group without at least one seventh or sixth year student following the younger years about,there was even talk of the prefects setting up guard shifts for those willing.
It was almost comical seeing Marcus Flint walking amongst a gaggle of first year hufflepuffs, a literal giant amongst the dwarfish children, who stuck close to him like ducklings to their mother duck.
Another difference that was slightly pleasant was Malfoy's attitude towards Daphne, no longer was she a target for his ire, in fact, most of his usual targets were now being completely ignored by the blond boy and his cronies. Instead he prowled the hallways with them at his side, looking in every room and broom cupboard, as if he'd find Sirius Black hiding in one behind a mop. The boy also wasn't attempting to use the limelight in his favor for once. Never did he brag about the fact that he got into a fight with Sirius Black and lived, instead he scowled anytime anyone brought it up and either attempted to change the subject, or completely abandoned the conversation by walking away; it even came to physical violence when a Slytherin prefect started to heckle him about letting Black slip away. Draco had grabbed him by the front of his robes and slammed him into the wall, wand out and pointed at his neck.
"You think it's easy fighting a madman!?" he had snarled into the boys face as both Crabbe and Goyle attempted to drag him away, "My friends almost get killed and you make light of the damn situation! I'll wring your damn neck the next time you bring it up!"
Yes Malfoy didn't take the loss to Sirius black well at all. And no amount of preening to his ego by the others of their house changed the fact that on the inside he was seething at the blow his pride had taken.
Daphne was much the same, in her mind it was her fault that Black had escaped, she had let her guard down for no less than a few seconds, and he had caught a distracted Malfoy with a stunner right to the chest. The fact that he hadn't killed them all was a small comfort to the young heiress. For now Black had her wand, and was all the more dangerous for it.
"It could be worse." Tracey had said one day, "Higgs' Wand was found snapped at the bottom of the stairs, apparently black didn't like it."
But Tracey's words did little to comfort the young Heiress, in her mind she had given Black an edge. One that would no doubt lead to horrible repercussions.
But she couldn't afford to let these thoughts take up her time, there were still classes to go to, homework to complete, and at the moment, a hearing to sit in on.
At the moment she,Ron, Hermione, Tracey, Saemus, Dean, and Millicent, were all sitting in the stands of the small courtroom in the Ministry of magic, representatives of the the Department of Magical Creatures were sitting at a table in front of them, William Greengrass sat next to Hagrid, looking through several papers as hagrid nervously fiddled with his tie. And as she sat there waiting for the proceedings to start, she couldn't help but wish Harry was there. Despite their best efforts, McGonagall felt it too risky to send Harry along with them.
"What if Sirius Black were to attempt another attack?" she had asked them quietly.
So Harry had to stay behind, leaving the fate of their Equestrian friend in their hands.
"Remember," William said, leaning towards them, "They're going to try and undermine your testimonies, try and make it seem like you're only here because of money, or because your friendship, you have to stick to your story and not take offence to anything they say."
A side door opened, letting in a man in simple dress robes.
"Alright, lets get this started." the man said, sitting down in the center of the table, "let us begin, the first and only thing we have on the agenda today, case number 32RH56B, the case of a Dangerous Hippogriff. Who is representing this hippogriff?"
"I am." William said, raising his hand, "I, William Greengrass, am stepping forward to defend the Hippogriff and his owner, Rubeus Hagrid."
"Very well," the man droned, "now-" he stopped as the back door opened and Lucius Malfoy strode in, "ah, Mr. Malfoy, I did not expect you to be here."
Daphne narrowed her eyes as Lucius Malfoy walked into the room.
"I heard the hearing for this beast was today, so I figured i'd come and make sure it's execution date was properly set."
"There will be no execution date." William said, standing.
"And why not, Mr. Greengrass?"
"Well Mr. Wallace, the reason being is that this 'beast' as you so call it, is not dangerous."
"Not dangerous?" one of the other men grumbled, "it's a hippogriff, it has talons on its feet and a razor sharp beak!"
"And yet it's classified as a relatively docile creature." Mr. Greengrass said, "thousands of witches and wizards own these hybrids for riding purposes, whole ranches exist in the americas, with injury from them limited to a few injuries from falling off during a ride."
"Be that as it may, that doesn't excuse the fact that this Hippogriff almost took a boys head off!"
"And why would it do that?" William asked, walking around the table and pacing in front of them, "why would a Hippogriff attack a human?"
"They're animals, Mr. Greengrass, they're driven by their basic instinct." mr. Wallace said.
"Are they? Because I seem to remember Newt Scamander telling us that these animals aren't driven by mere 'basic instincts' they're not dogs, who you could tell in a sweet voice that they're blithering idiots and have them wag their tail faithfully, no, these are hippogriffs gentleman; and Hippogriffs are proud and regal creatures who know when you mean offence."
"There is no proof of this-" he started.
"No proof?" William asked, "No proof?! All of you are apart of the department of Magical Creatures and you're saying there's no proof? It has been written down in several books, not just in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, that a Hippogriff is very proud, and to always give a humble bow before approaching, they all caution to NEVER offend a Hippogriff as they WILL take it to heart." he looked amongst the men, some shifting uncomfortably.
"It has been written," Hopkirk said slowly, "but there is still no Proof-"
He stopped as William turned and grabbed a stack of papers from where he had sat, and strode towards Hopkirk, practically throwing the papers down in front of you.
"A list of every Reputable source when it comes to magical creatures," he said, "along with every excerpt and and quote to further collaborate their findings!" he glared at them all, "and where is it that you fine gentleman have read that these findings aren't true?"
Now they refused to look at him as Wallace looked through the papers, his eyes shifting about.
"Now." william began again, fixing his coat, "I have several witnesses who were there that day that the young mister Malfoy was injured, and they can all claim, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Mr. Malfoy knowingly and maliciously goaded this beast into attacking." William started to raise his hand, beckoning for Tracey to come forward, only to stop when Wallace held a hand up.
"That won't be necessary; Mr. Greengrass, this is a hearing, not a criminal court case, we don't need witnesses."
Tracey slowly sat down as Wallace continued, "the fact of the matter is, this beast still attacked an undefended teen, causing him untold amount of pain as well as leaving him unable to use his arm for quite some time, in fact, Mr. Malfoy informed me that his son wasn't even able to compete in a quidditch game because of his injury."
"And yet he was still able to participate in the attempted sabotage of Gryffindors Seeker, flying on a broom easily with another boy attempting to pose as Dementors."
"That has nothing to do with this case."
"I believe it shows that the young man was lying about the severity of his injury." William said, "and possibly about why the Hippogriff attacked."
"I will not stand here and listen to you slander my sons good name!" Lucius snapped.
"Well sit if you'd prefer it Mr. Malfoy," Mr. Greengrass drawled, turning a lazy glare to the blond, "it's still going to be said."
Daphne covered her mouth as she let out a soft chuckle, composing herself as Lucius shifted his glare to her.
"Now, continuing on, if young Mr. Malfoy had lied about the extent of the injuries, then there is a possibility that the incidents leading up to the injuries were also fabricated."
"Be that as it may, it still doesn't excuse the fact that this Hippogriff attacked the boy, who's to say it won't do it again?"
William smiled, "i'm glad you asked that," he said, turning to the door, which suddenly opened up and let in one of his associate, the man was dressed in a white button up, suspenders kept his pants up as he slowly led Buckbeak the Hippogriff in, dodging out of the way every now and then when the creature attempted to take his newsie cap.
"Thank you Artie." he said quietly as the man handed the rope off to Hagrid.
"No Problem william." Artie said, running a gentle hand over Buckbeak's neck, "and i'll be seeing you later ya beaut." he said taking a few steps back as he started scratching at the five o'clock shadow on his jaw.
Buckbeak gave a cluck, holding his head a bit higher at being called a beaut.
"This is Buckbeak the Hippogriff." he said,walking slowly to stand in front of the Hippogriff, who regarded him warily, pawing at the ground, "never before have I met him until today." he looked into Buckbeak's eyes, a bit nervous himself as he gave an elegant bow.
The Hippogriff gave a snort and started to rear back, making several in the room go for their wands, "belay those wands!" William snapped back at them, still not taking his eyes off the hippogriff, "belay them."
Slowly Buckbeak fell back to his feet, bending first one knee, then the other.
William smiled as he slowly stood back up, stepping forward to run a hand over the beasts sleek feathers, "not a danger to anyone at all are you?" he asked quietly, "just a Majestic Creature trying to live it's life," he turned and glared at the committee, "as you can see, this Hippogriff is no more dangerous then you or I, and any attempt to say otherwise, is simply fear mongering." William moved back to his chair, staring Wallace down as the committee started whispering quietly to each other, Lucius strode forth, his face contorted in anger as he advanced on Wallace.
"Your father's good." Hermione whispered to Daphne, who offered a wane smile in return.
"He's a businessman." she whispered back, "but he always said if he wasn't in business then he would've been a Lawyer.'
"He can represent me anytime i get into trouble." Seamus said.
"Which is all the time." Tracey retorted, making both kids chuckle quietly.
"Quiet in the audience!" Wallace said sternly to the children, slowly standing up, stowing something away in his pocket as Lucius walked away, a smile on his face, "we have come to a decision, Mr. Creedy, if you would please read our decision."
"In the case of the mad hippogriff," Mr. Creedy started, "we, the Committee for the Department of Magical Creatures, rule that the Hippogriff in question is considered Dangerous to itself and others, and will be put to death, the date of execution shall be decided upon-"
Everyone in the room jumped as William slammed his fist into the table, his face was a mask of anger and fury as he stood back up, "so that's it then, is it?" he asked scathingly, glaring at Wallace, "that is all it takes to buy the head of a department."
"N-now see here!" Mr. Creedy started, standing up in Wallace's defense.
"SIlence!" he roared, making the man sit back down in terror, William pulled his wand out and pointed it at Wallace, "Accio!"
Out of the man's pocket flew a hefty bag that clinked cheerfully as it flew into Williams hand, he overturned it, allowing galleons to clatter onto the table and floor, "so this is all it takes to buy a committee?" William asked, "a handful of dirty gold from a dishonest, conniving man of ill-repute."
"You hold your tongue-" Lucius started.
"Be quiet Malfoy you Insolent Bastard!" William spat, "for once in your life, have the common decency to spare us the constant whine of your voice!"
Lucius looked furious as William rounded on the committee, "a handful of dirty gold." he said again, glaring at Wallace, "was all it took to condemn this beast to death, have none of you Honor? A sense of Duty?"
"It's only a beast." Creedy muttered.
"Only a beast?" he asked, his eyes narrowing, "Only a beast?" he motioned his hand to the students waiting, "These students are here to make sure this Hippogriff gets the fair trial it deserves, Professor Rubeus Hagrid has put everything at stake to try and save this Hippogriff, I put my professional name at stake to Help Professor Hagrid and save this creature! And you men simplify this magnificent creatures existence as 'only a beast'. To delegate this kind of title onto him after you sold your convictions for cheap is an insult, it is an insult to me, it is an insult to Professor Hagrid, it's an insult to these faithful students, and it's an insult to every person who ever held the title 'Magizoologist' or 'head of the department of Magical Creatures'. Tell me, was there even a chance that Professor Hagrid could walk away today with his dear friend at his side without the threat of an execution? Was there a chance that you would've taken me or these children seriously, or was all this a farce? A play written and directed by Lucius Malfoy to get some petty revenge on a man simply trying to teach his class." He glared at the men, who were all staring pointedly away from him, a mixture of shame and guilt written across their faces.
"I move we pardon the hippogriff." one on the end said suddenly, still refusing to look at William or Hagrid.
"I second." another muttered.
Now only Creedy and Wallace remained, both looked up at William, who still held them under a steely glare.
"Mr. Creedy?" wallace asked, "what say you?"
Creedy looked at William, then at Lucius, before offering a rare smile, "I do believe we've been overruled Mr. Wallace." he said.
Wallace nodded, "Indeed, Motion Carried, the sentence for the Hippogriff Buckbeak has been lifted and the aforementioned HIppogriff shall be granted a full pardon. Case dismissed."
Instantly the students jumped up in excitement. Cheering and hugging each other as Lucius strode towards William.
"You've made an enemy today William." he said spitefully.
"As have you Lucius," William said evenly, "quite a few I do believe."
Lucius narrowed his eyes and turned around, pulling his wand out and waving it at the galleons, making them fly back into the bag and into his pocket.
Hagrid stepped forward and wrapped his arms around William in a bone crushing hug.
"Thank ye Mr. Greengrass!" he cried joyfully, "Thank ye so much!"
"Think...nothing of it Hagrid…" William gasped out as Hagrid put him down, "anything to help a friend, now I don't think I should have to tell you, but perhaps your classes should be tame for a bit, perhaps you should show them Merps or Cockatrice? Maybe even Kneazles."
"Well, it'll be kind of hard to get them…" he trailed off, scratching his beard thoughtfully.
"I'll help Hagrid." William said good naturedly, patting the large man on the back before turning to the students, "I'm sorry you lot didn't get to play your parts, it seems Malfoy was prepared for most eventualities."
"But he wasn't prepared for your yelling." Ron said, "even i felt guilty."
"Yeah, i'd rather face Professor McGonagall after curfew then have to live through that again." Dean said, with Seamus nodding along.
"Well I don't usually use that tone with anyone." William said, "it just rankled me that these men would stoop so low as to take a handful of gold, barely enough for two or three galleons between them all."
"You still did wonderful father." Daphne said dutifully as Hermione nodded beside her.
"It really was great to watch," Hermione said.
"Well thank all of you." he said, "but i do believe it's time to return to Hogwarts."
"'E's right." Hagrid said, taking Buckbeak's rope and leading him on, "time to Floo back before McGonagall comes lookin' for you lot for not bein' back when I told her you would."
The students all groaned as they started walking out of the hearing room, Talking amongst themselves as they went, only Millicent stayed back from everyone, not at all comfortable with being around so many gryffindors.
"I'll see you all back at School." Daphne said, giving Tracey a hug and a small nod to Hermione, "and make sure Harry stays out of trouble until I return."
"Huh, that'll be the day."Seamus drawled, making most of the gryffindors laugh as they walked away.
"Come along Daphne." William said, "lets get what you need and get you back to hogwarts."
"What was he like?"
Daphne looked up from her stew, she was currently in the Leaky Cauldron with her father, eating a small meal before returning to Hogwarts, her new wand carefully stowed in the pocket of her robe, her father sat across from her, nursing a a glass of brandy, "who?" Daphne asked.
"Sirius Black." he said, looking his daughter in the eye, "what was he like?"
"Why...why do you want to know?" she asked cautiously.
"I'm simply curious, the words of the prophet, as well as the Auror office, suggest that the man is irreversibly mad; i'm just wondering if it's true."
"Well he fought like a madman." Daphne mumbled, looking back down to her stew, "it wasn't like our one day of dueling club had showed us, he was all over the place, ducking, dodging, twirling around...his eyes were wild...i think if he wasn't holding back he would've killed us without a second thought."
"He was holding back?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.
She nodded, "he didn't t use any of the unforgivables, nor did he try and simply blow us up, which would have been easy for him considering what he did to Muggles...but...why? Why would he hold back from that?"
"That's an excellent question." he said, leaning back, "why would Sirius Black, Notorious Mass Murderer, refrain from killing people who were obviously fighting back…" he looked at her, interest sparked in his eyes, "perhaps, he didn't want his sentence to increase."
"They're already planning on giving him the Dementors Kiss," Daphne said, leaning forward, "he has nothing to lose, so why not just go on a killing spree?"
"Hmm...we may never know," he mused, "after all, the only person who can tell us the truth, is Sirius Black himself, best to just forget then."
Daphne looked at her father in confusion, then her eyes slowly narrowed, "you know something." she declared, making the stoic man look up at her.
"Excuse me?" he asked, his voice tinged in amusement.
"You know something, you're speaking to me the same way you did in the hearing, and every time me and Astoria got in trouble."
William Greengrass straightened in his chair and looked at his daughter, "you definitely take after your mother." he said quietly to her, "much too observant, it'll get you in trouble one day." he gave her a rare smile, "I have an inkling about Sirius Black that, if said in civilized circles, would brand me a mad man and thrown in St. Mungo's, and I'd be more then willing to share my thoughts with you...but sadly it's time to return you to Hogwarts." he stood and placed a couple of Galleons on the table before beckoning to his daughter, who dutifully stood and followed him to the room he was staying in for the night. He pulled a ring off his finger and looked at it, "i've been named protectorate of many houses that have neared extinction in the late days." he said, "funny, that nowadays these houses do jack shit for the wizarding world at large." he tapped the ring with his wand, making it glow blue for a few seconds before dying down, he handed it to his daughter.
She carefully turned it over in her hand, her eyebrow raising when she saw a familiar family crest etched in gold onto the emerald stone that was set into the silver band.
"Ponder on this Daphne," he started, making his daughter look up to him once more, "if you had an enemy who has just been arrested for a heinous crime, and there was doubt as to his guilt, would you give him a trial? Or would you lock him up and throw away the key?"
Before she could respond she felt a tug on her navel as the ring-now a portkey- pulled her away from the room. Soon she was deposited in Professor Mcgonagall's office, where the stern witch was patiently waiting.
"Ah good, Ms. Greengrass." she greeted, "i trust you were able to find a new wand?"
Daphne carefully put the ring in her pocket and pulled her new wand, "Ash, Unicorn hair, twelve and a quarter inches, pliant."
McGonagall nodded, "may it serve you well, Ms. Greengrass, now off you go, i'm sure your friends are waiting for you to return."
Daphne nodded, "thank you professor." she said, carefully walking out of the room. Her mind abuzz with questions. Which were swiftly pushed to the back of her mind when familiar arms wrapped around her waist and pulled her into a deep kiss.
"And what did I do to deserve that Mr. Potter?" Daphne asked in amusement when they broke apart.
"Just for being you I suppose." Harry said with a grin, "Hagrid's been cheering your family's good fortune for the better part of four hours."
"He's happy," Daphne said, "i would be too if my hippogriff got off without any charges. "
"And it was all thanks to you and your father."
Daphne smiled and kissed him once more, "I'd do it all over again, no changes, no regrets."
Harry smiled, slowly pulling away from her, "Come on, everyone's down at Hagrids celebrating."
She hesitated, her hand carefully going into her pocket, playing with the ring her father had given her, she so desperately wanted to ask Harry's opinion on the questions her father had raised; but something told her now wasn't the best time to broach the subject with him, so instead she pulled her hands out of her pockets and smiled at him, "yes...let's go meet them."
Sirius Black sat alone in a dingy cave, twirling his stolen wand in his hand, smiling at the morphed shoes on his feet and the newly patched robes he wore, a warming charm cast over his decrepit home. Staving off the frost for the first time since he came here. He slowly reached down and pulled the knife he had gained from his travels through britain.
"I'm coming for you ya little rat…" he muttered, flicking the knife up and catching it by the tip of the blade and then throwing it with practiced ease at a fairly large badger, the blade biting into its neck; it gave a shriek as it fell to the ground, convulsing as Sirius stood and walked towards it, he gave a grin as he pulled the knife out of the badger and put it away, then he picked up the badger and turned, creating a fire in the corner of the cave where he had a meager stack of old newspapers, "I'm coming for you." he said again as he skinned and gutted the Badger, putting it on the fire for his first warm meal in a long time.