Percy arrived in Aunt Gussie’s sitting room. She was sitting on the sofa with a wireless on the table in front of her, with only static coming from it. Before he could ask what was happening, she put her finger to her lips in a shushing motion and patted the sofa next to her. Percy sat and was surprised when the static resolved into speech.
“Good Evening, Listeners! This is River, which is a code name, in case you were wondering. Since the Wizarding Wireless Network News and the Daily Prophet can’t even see fit to tell us when earth shattering events occur, I have taken it upon myself, with the help of a few friends, to tell the truth. I know there are a lot of people out there, like me, who are not on the side of the Chief Death Eater, as I like to call You-Know-Who. I believe Harry Potter is NOT a criminal and has NOT run away and gone into hiding as the Ministry would have us believe. He is out there, working to save the Wizarding world. Who better than “The Boy Who Lived” to become “The Man Who Defeated the Chief Death Eater for Good”. So without further adieu, I welcome one and all to the first ever broadcast of Potterwatch!”
Percy was listening with his full attention. That was Lee Jordan!
“We here at Potterwatch want to let all of our listeners know what really happens in Wizarding Britain. There was nothing at all in the Daily Prophet today or on the WWN about the events at the Ministry yesterday. I don’t know if there will be a story tomorrow or not, but I will give you the true story straight from someone who knows. I now turn to my inside source on the Ministry, Potterwatch correspondent, Royal.”
“Thank you, River. Good evening to everyone listening to this broadcast.”
Kingsley Shacklebolt! Maybe he’d find out what actually happened at the Ministry yesterday.
“Yesterday, there was quite a bit of bother at the Ministry of Magic—at least a bit of bother for the Death Eaters.”
Percy and Aunt Gussie snorted, as Lee laughed on the wireless.
“The Ministry of Magic was shaken up yesterday morning by three persons using polyjuice potion, despite recent new security measures, if you can call flushing yourself into work each day a security measure.”
Percy laughed loudly. It seemed like forever since he had laughed. Aunt Gussie was looking at him strangely. He’d have to explain the joke later.
“And River, there will be an article in the Prophet tomorrow. It says something about how Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and another unknown person polyjuiced into Reginald Cattermole broke into the ministry after assaulting/ poisoning several ministry officials, stole valuable ministry property, and escaped with all of the Muggleborns who were on trial for the day. They will also be publishing a list of ‘Undesirables’ who are wanted for various crimes. This so-called wanted list includes every Muggleborn witch and wizard in Wizarding Britain. Well, all of them who aren’t already in Azkaban.”
“Royal, can you please tell us WHY so many Muggleborn witches and wizards are in Azkaban?”
“Of course, River. Through the Daily Prophet, you will have heard of the new ‘Muggleborn Registration Commission’. Questionnaires have been sent to Muggleborns, presumably to uncover the conspiracy leading to the murder of Minister Scrimgeour. However, all of the questions are about the Muggleborns’ being Muggleborn, not about any conspiracy. All of the Muggleborn witches and wizards have been told to appear before the ‘Commission’ for a ‘hearing’.”
“Royal is using air quotes here, Listeners.”
Percy and Aunt Gussie both chuckled.
“Yes, River, because these so-called hearings are a sham, and simply an excuse to incarcerate Muggleborns in Azkaban. Any Muggleborns who are listening, DO NOT go to your hearing. Get out of the country if you can. Every Muggleborn who has appeared for their hearing has been sent to Azkaban.”
“You mean every Muggleborn other than the ones Harry helped to escape yesterday?”
“Yes. I believe that Harry Potter and his two companions entered the Ministry in disguise to rescue the Muggleborns they could.”
“I thought Hermione Granger was with Harry Potter?”
“There is only one person’s word, and a Death Eater at that, who says he saw Hermione Granger with Harry after the polyjuice potion had worn off, and that she hexed him. There is no proof.”
“Well, cheers to whoever it was who hexed the Death Eater. So, Royal, is there proof that Harry Potter was truly the one at the Ministry?”
“Yes. Harry came to the Ministry as an official visitor two years ago, and his wand was weighed. The weighing of visitors’ wands enables any spell cast by that witch or wizard in the Ministry building to be recognized by the trademark signature of the caster’s magic. We know for certain that Harry Potter cast a spell in Dolores Umbridge’s office.”
“So why was Harry visiting old Toad-Face?”
“I’m not sure, but the alleged “stolen Ministry property” was Alastor Moody’s magical eye. Dolores Umbridge had the magical eye in her door and was using it to spy on Ministry workers.”
Aunt Gussie gasped. Percy looked at her, but she didn’t comment further.
“For any listeners who do not know, River, since The Daily Prophet did not see fit to report it, Mad-Eye Moody was killed in a battle with Death Eaters and You-Know-Who himself on July 30. His comrades-in-arms were unable to find his body. Apparently, his body WAS found, though.”
Aunt Gussie sniffled and removed a lace handkerchief from her pocket.
“Yes, Royal, Umbitch really enjoys misusing magical artifacts, doesn’t she?”
“That she does. I, for one, am glad that Harry has Alastor’s magical eye. I’m sure he will show him proper respect in death as he did in life.”
“Sounds like Harry had a busy day, Royal. Who better than "The Man Who Is a Pain in You-Know-Who’s Arse” to rescue Muggleborns from certain doom in Azkaban and help a dear friend rest in peace.”
“Well said, River.”
“Listeners, let us have a moment of silence to honor Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody. We will miss you Mad-Eye.”
There was a rather long pause. Aunt Gussie sniffled more loudly.
“So Royal, who else is on the Death Eater Hit-List that will appear in the Prophet tomorrow?”
“Harry Potter is Undesirable #1—they even have wanted posters of him up everywhere, Hermione Granger is #2—there’s no proof for that, as I have said, The unknown impersonator of Reg Cattermole is #3—the Death Eaters can’t even make up who that is.”
Percy had a suspicion of who that could be, but had no idea how he had managed it.
“They have listed the real Reg Cattermole as #4, since Reg fled while Mafalda Hopkirk, and Albert Runcorn—the other Ministry officials who were impersonated—did not. I don’t think there is any way that Reg was involved in planning the escape, since he went to St. Mungo’s experiencing severe vomiting. I’m sure he fled with his wife and children because Mary Cattermole is Muggleborn.”
“I hope they make it, Royal.”
“I do too, River. The Cattermoles are a wonderful, loving family. I know them well, as my nephew is their son’s best mate. Funnily enough, Mary and the other Muggleborns who escaped yesterday did not get higher ranking on the hit list. The Death Eaters are charging Harry Potter and his companions with “aiding and abetting the escape of prisoners” but are not charging the Muggleborns with anything additional to the others. With the exception of Dirk Cresswell, who is listed as #5. He confunded Auror Dawlish, who was assigned to escort him to Azkaban, and escaped.”
“Way to go, Dirk!”
Percy laughed. He knew Dirk Cresswell, since he was his Dad’s friend. He’d even been to the Burrow before.
“I agree, River. The rest of the list has Muggleborns who used to work for the Ministry, followed by all other Muggleborns.”
“What can our listeners do to help, Royal?”
“First of all, do not help the Ministry. The Daily Prophet will also say that the Ministry is offering a reward for the capture of every person on the list, and have deputized all Pureblood witches and wizards to do that.”
“That sounds like Ministry-sanctioned vigilantism!”
“You are exactly right, River, and we cannot give in to selfishness and greed, or we are no better than the Death Eaters. All of us who seek to resist You-Know-Who are in this together, no matter our lineage.”
“Well said, Royal. We are out of time Listeners, and will end with those wise words. You were invited to hear this broadcast because of your past loyalty to Albus Dumbledore. Feel free to invite like-minded family and friends to join you, but know that all future broadcasts will be password protected. The password for next time is Albus Dumbledore’s middle middle name. That should not be too hard to figure out. Until next time, Listeners, keep the faith and stay safe!”
The wireless went silent. Percy and Aunt Gussie said in unison “Wulfric!” and chuckled again.
Percy noticed Aunt Gussie was still sniffing slightly and said, “Are you all right, Aunt Gussie?”
“Yes. It’s just that Alastor Moody was my partner, and I can’t stand the idea of that evil woman desecrating his corpse!”
“Of course. I was an Auror until I became pregnant with Frank. The first female Auror the department ever had, actually, and Alastor Moody was my partner and good friend. He still had both of his eyes back then . . .”
“I didn’t know you were an Auror!”
“Did you think I was always just a grandmother?” Aunt Gussie smirked at him.
“Well, no. Well, I don’t know . . . I guess . . . er . . .I hadn’t really thought about it.” Percy stuttered, and he knew he was blushing. He quickly changed the subject. “Is that how you learned how to make your patronus talk? Is it something Aurors know?”
“Actually that is something Dumbledore discovered how to do, and taught to the members of the Order of the Phoenix. I could teach you how if you like.”
“That would be brilliant! Could I use it to talk to Audrey?”
Aunt Gussie looked at him sadly. “I’m sorry, Percy, but no. A patronus is unstable over such a long distance, and even if the patronus would hold, Audrey is living in a Muggle neighborhood.” Percy nodded. “What is this about flushing yourself to work?”
Percy explained, and he and Aunt Gussie discussed the broadcast a bit more before he bade her goodnight and returned to his flat.