The Sugar Quill
Author: Ashtur an'Vangan (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Bones to Bones  Chapter: Prologue
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Bones_to_Bones_Prologue Bones to Bones: Prologue
Author: Ashtur

Disclaimer:  Harry Potter, all of the associated books, characters, settings and the like are all property of JK Rowling.
A/N: Special thanks to Zsenya for her help as an expert beta.

 “Susan! Could you come down here?”

  “Okay Mum! Just a second.”  With that, the teenage girl  pulled herself up off of her bed and carefully placed a ribbon in the book she had been reading.  “Crazy Ivan? I still don’t have any idea what that means,” she mumbled, setting the book down on her bed and heading for the stairs, stopping just long enough to slip an owl treat to Agatha, her tawny owl.

   “Susan dear, how good to see you!”  Susan looked down the stairs, and there was a witch in the kitchen with a square face and a monocle standing  next to her mother.  Most people thought that the witch looked forbidding, but then again, most people who saw Madam Amelia Bones were seeing her professionally, so they didn’t see the smile that was planted on her face today.

  “Auntie Em!” Susan said, as she ran up and embraced the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.

  “Susan Amelia Bones!  You know that isn’t her name, treat her with the respect due her!” Susan’s mother burst out.

  “Now, Becca dear, don’t worry about it.  After, all, she is my favorite niece.  I’m used to her calling me that.  Ever since she read that one Muggle book.  What book are you reading now Susan dear?”

   Susan frowned a bit.  “Oh, well, it is something called The Hunt for Red October.   It is supposed to be very popular, but I don’t like it very much.  It’s pretty confusing, and I don’t like war stories anyway.”

  “Then why are you reading it?” Susan’s mother said, with a hint of exasperation finding its way into her voice.

  “Well, it's the only book I have left that I haven’t read of the ones that Justin sent me for the summer.”

  “Justin, isn’t he the one who you went with to the Yule ball last year?” Amelia asked with a hint of a smile.

  “Well, yeah, but it’s not like that Auntie.  We're friends. Period. If nothing else, do you have any idea how bad Susan Bones-Finch-Fletchley would sound?”

  “Well, Susan, actually I came here to ask you something else anyway.  Mind if we sit down?”

  “Of course not Auntie”, she said, as they walked into the next room and sat down.

  “Susan, what can you tell me about Harry Potter?”

  Susan sat there a moment, surprised at the question before responding.  “Um, what do you want to know?”

  Aunt Amelia had a very serious expression on her face as she responded “He was on trial today…”

 “Trial? Harry? For what?” Susan exclaimed.

  Madame Bones raised a hand, “Now, Susan dear, don’t interrupt.  As I was saying, he had a trial for Underage Magic, and there are a few things troubling me about it.  Seems he can actually create a Patronus, a corporeal Patronus at that.  That is what he was charged with.  Fudge was saying that he cast it to show off and get attention.  He claims he was attacked by dementors.”

“Dementors? Where was he that would get attacked by them?”

 “Home if you believe it.  His witness was a bit iffy to be honest, but then again, so was Fudge’s prosecution.  Still though, I thought I’d come by. Since you go to school with him, I hoped you might be able to fill me in on a few things.  Do you think that he goes out of his way to get attention?”

  Once again, Susan was taken a bit aback by the question, and took a moment to consider it before she finally answered.  “That's kind of a weird question. He does, and he doesn’t.”

  “That’s not much of an answer Susan.  What do you mean?”

  “I know Auntie.  I’m just trying to think everything through like you taught me.  May as well get in practice now.”

  “So, you are still determined to get into the MLE,” her mother said dubiously.

  “Of course Mum, I’ve wanted that since I was a little girl.”

  “Excuse me, but could we get back to the topic at hand?” asked Aunt Amelia.  “I think we’ve been over this bit of ground before.  What do you mean he does, and he doesn’t?”

  “Well, most of the time I would say that the last thing he wants is attention.  He seems nice enough, but he just doesn’t mix, not at all.  He pretty much just hangs around with Hermione Granger and the Weasleys.  I doubt he even knows my name.”

  “Susan, if you never stop reading long enough to come out of your room, no one will ever know your name,” her mother interrupted.

  “Mum, you sound just like Hannah, she’s always going on that she’s going to conjure up a team of wild horses and drag me out of our room.”

  “Oh, do me a favor and tell her I’ll teach her the spell if she doesn’t know it,” said her mother.

 “Ahem, Becca, do you mind?” Aunt Amelia asked, with growing impatience.  “Susan, could you continue?”

 “Well, okay.  Where was I? Oh, yeah.  He really seems to be very private, and when he gets lots of attention he seems really uncomfortable, especially when everyone is pointing at his scar.  The first week or two of school is always the same.  All the first years are always going on about his scar.  A dead troll could tell how much he hates it.”

  “But, you said that sometimes he likes attention?” Aunt Amelia prompted.

  “Well, that’s what's odd.  He really doesn’t seem to mind getting attention for being a Quidditch player.  Every time he catches a Snitch, he’s the toast of the Gryffindor table for the next three days, and doesn’t seem to mind that a bit.  Otherwise…” Susan trailed off.

 “Otherwise what?”

  “Well, there is what happened last year.  Cedric told us he didn’t think it was like that, but no one could ever come up with a reason for him to enter the Triwizard other than attention getting.”

 “It wasn’t that,” Aunt Amelia said without thinking.

  “Huh? How do you know that Auntie?”

  “Well, we investigated everything that happened with Cedric’s death, or at least we tried to.  The best evidence we have is that what Harry claimed all along was true, that someone else put his name in.”

  “How could they do that?  Do you know how Cedric died?”  Susan asked in a rush.

 “I can’t give you all the details, but the rumors you heard were right.  The “Professor Moody” you had last year was an imposter, and he did it.  As to the death, we know that it was an Killing Cu...”

  At the mention  of the death spell, Susan's mother paled.  “Amelia, please!  He might hear you.”

  Amelia sighed.  “All right, all right.  In any case, we know that he was killed by a spell, and we know Harry’s wand didn’t cast it.  We are able to determine that much before we were removed from the case.”

  “Removed from the case? Auntie, you're the Director of Magical Law Enforcement! How can you be removed from the case?”

  “How else?  Cornelius is playing politics.“  Amelia paused a moment, taking her monocle out of her eye and rubbing her hands across her face.  “Whatever happened that day, he’s trying to keep it covered up.  I know bits and pieces, but no more.  I’ve found out a bit from Minnie.”

 “Minnie?” Susan asked with a touch of confusion.

  “Oh, Professor McGonagall, but I don’t suggest you call her that yourself.  Anyway, Fudge is trying to do something.  Just like today.   He was trying to manipulate Potter’s trial.  Do you believe he called the entire court into session?  He didn’t consult me of course.  I get into the office and am told to go down to the main courtroom.   Something stinks worse than week old murtlap solution.  I mean to find out what it is, but I can guess.  It has to do with Dumbledore’s claim that You Know Who has returned.”

 “He… he can’t have returned, he’s gone, right?”  Susan's mother asked, nervously looking out into the yard, where her husband was checking over the herb garden.

 “I don’t know.  There are lots of things that don’t make sense about it.  I know Fudge is hiding lots of things from me.  I wish I could talk to Dumbledore myself.”

 “Why can’t you Auntie?  You said you have always gotten along.”

  “Oh, we get along fine Susan.  It’s just that right now, I have to be very careful.  I know that he has spies in my office.  He’s found out a few things he can’t have otherwise.”

 “Dumbledore has spies in your office?” Susan asked in confusion.

 “No, not Albus.  Fudge.  I mean to find out what he’s up to though.  Remember our family motto Susan?”

 “Of course Auntie, how could I forget?  With Patience, the Truth Shall Be Revealed.”

  “Exactly Susan, and that is why I have a favor to ask of you.  Whatever is going on will center around Potter.  Could you keep an eye on him, and owl me anything interesting?  I have a feeling that something is going to happen again this year.”

  “Um, ok Auntie.  If anything interesting happens, I’ll put it in my letters,” said Susan, a touch surprised by the whole conversation.  As well as she got along with her aunt, this was the first time that she'd ever been asked for help.

  “Excellent Susan, now, if you don’t mind, I need to talk to your mother a bit.”

  “Ok Auntie, I’ll see you at dinner time.”  With that, Susan set off up the stairs, but didn’t get all the way up before she heard the beginning of another conversation.

 “Amelia, are you sure about this? I worry about Susan anyway.  I wasn’t kidding about the way she shuts herself up all the time.  Especially the way her father is.”

  “Becca, she’ll be fine.  I ran into Professor Sprout on Diagon Alley the other day, and she said Susan is starting to come out of her shell.  She’s not Irving after all.”

  With a sigh, Susan closed the door into her room, not wanting to hear yet another conversation about her father.  She flopped down onto her bed, and picked up her book “Crazy Ivan, Crazy Ivan?  Oh, I’ll strangle Justin for sending me this one.”

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