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Mrs. Weasley, as always, woke up promptly at 6 A.M. and started to cast spells on the brooms and sponges to start cleaning. She walked around the house, turning on all the lamps as she reminisced about her romantic dinner with her husband last night. The evening had been so perfect, not to mention the food. There had been shortage of nothing at the Green Emerald. There were appetizers, entrees, desserts and drinks from all over the world with different flavors and ingredients. She waltzed into the kitchen and prepared a cup of tea for herself.

Usually in the mornings, Mrs. Weasley sat down with her cup of tea and read her Witch Weekly magazine for about fifteen minutes before she woke Mr. Weasley up and started on breakfast. She sat down comfortably in her chair and opened up the current issue of Witch Weekly, which featured Harry and Lavender’s face on the cover with a huge rip between the both of them. Apparently, the news that the most famous wizard of all time had dumped his current girlfriend had spread like wildfire.

Absorbed in her magazine, Mrs. Weasley did not notice Charlie come downstairs until he tapped her on the shoulder. “Charlie?” Mrs. Weasley looked up at him. “What on earth are you doing up so early? My lord, you look awful.”

Indeed, Charlie did look terrible. There were dark circles under his eyes, which were drooped lower than usual. His eyes, which were usually cheerful and jovial, were troubled and disturbed.

“Did you not sleep well?” Mrs. Weasley asked her son as she stood up.

“Listen, Mum,” Charlie began. “I need to talk to you…and Dad. Where is he?”

“Honey, he’s still asleep. It’s only 6:15. What’s wrong?” Mrs. Weasley’s voice was growing increasingly panicked; she seemed to sense the foreboding tone of her son’s voice. “Charlie, does this have anything with you missing last night’s dinner?”

“What are you talking about, Mum?”

“Fred told me that you didn’t get home until 1 A.M. and you even missed dinner. Charlie, what’s wrong?”

“Mum, please,” Charlie urged. “Just call Dad…and Ginny.”

“Ginny? What does she have to do with this?” Mrs. Weasley’s voice was now quivering.

“Mum, just get Dad. Please! I need to tell this to the both of you,” Charlie said, sounding more pressing.

Mrs. Weasley decided that she didn’t want to argue with her son, and instead went inside her bedroom to get Mr. Weasley. Charlie could hear Mr. Weasley grumble irritably and footsteps coming back towards the living room.

“Charlie, what is it?” Mr. Weasley asked, sounding tired and slightly annoyed.

“Dad, where do you keep the key to your Gringott’s vault?”

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley’s eyes widened. “Why do you need to know?” Mr. Weasley asked.

“It’s important, Dad, please.”

“Charlie, what’s wrong?” Mr. Weasley asked, sensing the tone of urgency. “I’m not telling you were the key is until you tell me-”

“It’s behind the family picture in our bedroom,” Mrs. Weasley said quietly, interrupting her husband. “Now what is this about?”

“I read this letter yesterday,” Charlie began, sweating slightly. “It…It…was…”

“Charlie, just go ahead and say it.”

“It’s not that easy, Mum,” Charlie said, frustrated. “The letter said that-”

Charlie didn’t have time to finish his sentence. The front door of the Burrow was burst open; the shards from the shattered door flew all over the living room and knocked down Mr. Weasley. Charlie grabbed his mother’s arm and pulled her down as an intense red light flooded the once peaceful room.

***

Bill awoke with a start.

He heard a loud bang downstairs and it had sounded dangerous. He heard the screams of his mother and got up immediately. Fleur was sitting up in bed too, her eyes drowned in fear.

“Stay up here,” Bill ordered his wife. “Fleur, don’t move from here, understood?”

“I am coming wiz you,” Fleur said bravely.

Bill reached for his wand and held it steady in his right arm. “No. It’s too dangerous, let me go check what it is.”

“Bill, no!” she exclaimed, but it was too late. Bill had already left the room, wand in his hand, his eyes full of determination and of fear of what he might find downstairs.

***

Charlie couldn’t see a thing in the smoke and red light. His leg was severely injured and he could feel his mother by his side, lying on the floor, sobbing. He groped around for his wand, but didn’t seem to get anything.

Suddenly he saw a figure loom over him and point his wand straight in his face. The figure opened his mouth to shout an incantation.

“Expelliarmus!”

The figure was knocked backwards into the wall and fell face forward onto the ground. As the smoke cleared up, Charlie saw Bill holding his wand, still pointing it at the man. He got up and finally found his wand lying beside Mr. Weasley.

Ron and Percy had arrived downstairs too, their wands held in their hands steadily. Fred, George, and Athena came to the scene as well. Athena ran over and helped Mr. and Mrs. Weasley up, who were both injured slightly.

The smoke had cleared up now and the red light had died down. Charlie could see who had caused the explosion in the doorway. There were four men standing at the huge hole where their door used to be, each one of them wearing black robes.

“Who the bloody hell are you?” Charlie asked the four men. Draco, Ginny, and Hermione had come downstairs too, Fleur just behind them.

“We’re from the Ministry of Magic,” the tallest man said calmly. “Now put your wands down before you get in any more trouble.”

“Any more trouble?” Bill asked.

“You’ve already assaulted a Ministry Official,” a second man said, looking at Bill cruelly. “Put down your wands before we’re forced to disarm you.”

Bill looked the man straight in the eye, his wand gripped even tighter. “Just try me.”

Fleur came up from behind Bill and placed her arm on his shoulder, gently squeezing it. Bill looked coldly at all four men before finally lowering his wand, however, his grip was still as tight as ever.

“What is the meaning of all this?” Percy asked heatedly.

The tallest man spoke again. “We will require all of you to lower your wands, or you’ll be breaking a lot of Ministry rules.” He stepped closer.

“You know what else we can break if you take another step closer?” Fred asked nastily.

“Fred,” Hermione said softly, "lower your wand or we’ll never find out what they want.”

Reluctantly, Fred lowered his wand and everybody followed him. Even Draco lowered his arm, though his face was red with rage and his eyes were glimmering with shock.

“Good,” the third man said haughtily. “Now to get to the point.” He reached into his pocket and took out a parchment from which he read, “We are here to apprehend one, Arthur Weasley on the grounds of-”

“Wait a minute, what did you just say?” Bill asked dangerously.

“Are you deaf, boy?” the second man snarled. “Or perhaps you just can’t understand the big words in the sentence. Let me put it simply for you, your dad’s going to jail.”

“Are you mad, you bloody toad?” Ron asked incredulously. “You just can’t come in here and arrest our father…”

“Oh yes we can,” the fourth man said, smiling slightly. He reached into his pocket and took out a slip of paper, which he handed to Hermione, who was closest to him.

Hermione read the slip of paper and scoffed. “Embezzlement? You’re arresting Arthur Weasley because you think he stole money from a place where he doesn’t even work?”

“Don’t try to act smart, you foolish girl,” the first man sneered. “We have enough evidence to get your old man locked up for a good three years.”

“What kind of evidence?” Mrs. Weasley asked rudely. She and Mr. Weasley had stood silent, but both had determination embedded in their eyes and courage etched in the lines of their faces.

“Last night, a deposit of fifty thousand Galleons was made to the Gringotts vault 675, and coincidently, the same amount of money was stolen from the Ministry of Magic a few weeks ago.”

Charlie’s eyes hardened with realization. He turned his head slowly and matched the gaze of the blonde boy standing in the far back. Draco looked back at Charlie and saw the hatred in his eyes. Charlie knew. Draco still couldn’t believe what was happening. Scrimgeour had framed Arthur Weasley.

“You’re accusing him on speculation?” Athena said furiously.

“Listen, young lady, there are documents and letters that state that he was planning to steal this money for months!”

“Where did you find such letters?” Mr. Weasley asked.

“They were in the vault. Vault number 675.”

“Why on earth would Mr. Weasley leave evidence of his guilt in a bank? Think about this logically, wouldn’t it have made more sense for him to burn it?”

The first man was growing impatient. “I don’t know why he did not burn the documents, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t care. We were sent here to arrest this man, and we are not leaving without him.”

“Fine,” Bill said sharply, “but you have to get by us…”

“No.” Everyone turned and saw Charlie standing in the back, his head bent low. “No,” he repeated again. “This was not my father’s doing, I can prove it to you that someone else framed him.”

***

Rufus Scrimgeour took a sip of his drink as he sat by his fireplace in his huge mansion. He checked his watch and smiled to himself. By this time, Arthur Weasley is probably being dragged out of his house, being sent to a temporary prison until his trial. Scrimgeour heaved a sigh of satisfaction. A plan that had been months in the making had finally taken action and it was turning out perfectly so far.

Three months ago, Scrimgeour had received yet another report of stolen money from the Ministry of Magic. The witches and wizards of London were rapidly losing faith in him and he knew that with the upcoming elections, he would surely give up his post of Minister of Magic to some loser.

Then the idea had struck him. The quality of a man is measured not by the number of times he falls but the way he rises up after he falls. Scrimgeour was taking numerous falls right now because of the illegal smuggling and embezzlement going on at the Ministry, and it was his time to rise. If he could prove to the public that he could control this nonsense at the Ministry, then he knew he could win their trust back. He needed to show the public his power and control, but the real culprits were far too careful and sneaky to be caught, so Scrimgeour set out to find scapegoats.

Over the course of two months, Scrimgeour had arrested fifteen innocent members of the Ministry and convinced everyone that they were indeed the criminals. Before he could claim that all stealing had stopped, he needed one more big catch. He needed to arrest someone whose incarceration would cause shock and allow him more praise. Accusing Harry Potter would have been absolute madness, and Draco Malfoy was far too clever to be entrapped, so Scrimgeour targeted the one family closest to Potter, the Weasleys.

The task was easy, but Scrimgeour couldn’t do this alone. He needed someone to get into Arthur Weasley’s house and someone who would get the key to vault 675. He’d found the perfect person to do that. They had set the plan in motion, and within two weeks, Draco had befriended most of the family. By the third week, he had retrieved the key to the Weasley’s vault.

After receiving the key, Scrimgeour had taken fifty thousand Galleons, some fake letters and documents, and had them placed in vault 675. The huge deposit made to the vault was alerted to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, who had gone over to arrest Arthur Weasley.

Scrimgeour smiled contemptibly. It was only a matter of time.
***

“Charlie, what are you talking about?” whispered Athena.

Charlie didn’t answer her, but walked over to arm chair facing the doorway. He placed his bleeding hand on a black leather coat, leaving a few red spots on it. Draco froze with terror as he recognized the black coat that Charlie was holding, but nothing matched the horror that dawned on him when he realized what Charlie had pulled out of his coat.

Charlie held the letter in his hand steadily and flung it at four men. The tallest one bent down to pick it up and read it aloud. “Find the key to Gringott's vault 675, Arthur Weasley’s vault.”

There was confusion and disdain on all of the faces in the room. The tallest man passed the parchment to the man beside him, who read it again. “Find the key to Gringott’s vault 675, Arthur Weasley’s vault.”

The third man, however, grabbed the parchment from his hand. This man was shorter and stockier with a black moustache. He waved the paper threateningly and his face was turning red. “What is this supposed to mean?”

“You tell us,” Ginny snarled. “You’re the Ministry officials here.”

“Where did you find this letter?” the tall man asked Charlie.

Charlie looked at Draco from the corner of his eyes and shook his head. “I found it lying around, and as you can see from it, someone was sent to steal our vault key.”

“That’s nonsense, boy,” sneered the tall man. “For all we know you could’ve written this yourself.”

Bill’s grip tightened around his wand, and his fist was now turning purple. “Where’s the key?” he asked Charlie.

“I don’t know, it’s supposed to be behind the picture frame. Ginny, go check to see if it’s there.”

Ginny nodded and took a step forward. Immediately a jet of yellow light shot out of the tall man’s wand, narrowly missing her. “No one will move,” he said tightly.

“How in Merlin’s name are we supposed to check for the key if you won’t let us move?” Percy asked.

The tall man pondered for a bit and then turned to the third man. He mouthed a few words and gestured towards Ginny and then towards the door. “He will go with you,” the tall man said to Ginny. “Don’t try to do anything smart. This man here is a fully trained wizard who knows more spells then you could imagine.”

Ginny glared and started to walk towards her parent’s bedroom, followed closely by the third wizard. When she disappeared into the dark room, the atmosphere in the room became so tense that you could almost taste the contempt.

“What’s going to happen to me?” Mr. Weasley asked, anger reflecting his eyes.

“As soon as we get this letter nonsense cleared up, you’ll be taken to a Ministry temporary detaining facility where you’ll await trial.”

Mrs. Weasley flinched and grabbed on to Ron’s hand, who tried to comfort her. Meanwhile, Ginny had entered the room again with the stocky wizard behind her.

“What happened?” Hermione asked pressingly.

Ginny shook her head and the stocky wizard looked confused and upset. “It wasn’t there,” he said fearfully.

Mrs. Weasley expelled a great sigh of relief. “See? We don’t have the key…it was stolen.”

“This is all nonsensical,” raged the tall wizard. “There is no proof that this is a set up. Take the old man and let’s go!”

“Hey! Wait a minute!” Bill yelled.

“You can’t just take him like that,” protested Ron loudly. The second and fourth wizards stepped forward and pointed their wands at Mr. Weasley.

“Incarcerous!” Ropes shot out from the tips of their wands and weaved themselves around Mr. Weasley. His arms were tied tightly together, and Charlie could see Mrs. Weasley starting to sob.

However, before anyone knew what had happened, Ron pointed his wand straight at the stocky wizard and yelled loudly, “Stupefy!”

The man was knocked back hard against the wall and fell to the floor with a thud.

“Ron!” Hermione yelped. “Stop it!”

The tall man stepped forward and raised his wand to point at Ron. Bill, however, stepped in front of Ron and pointed his wand back. “You’re not leaving until you sort out that letter.”

“There’s nothing to sort out,” the tall man said firmly. “We don’t know who wrote that letter or who received it, and unless we get someone to confess, that letter is not evidence.”

“Then find out who wrote that bloody letter,” bellowed Ginny, her voice quivering at the sight of her bound father whose wrists were bleeding slightly because of the tightness of the ropes.

“That is not our problem, we were given strict instructions to arrest Arthur Weasley, and we have done so, with great difficulty.” The tall man flicked his wand and Mr. Weasley was pulled forward roughly.

The second man bent down, pointed his wand at the two fallen wizards, and muttered something. The two men’s eyes opened abruptly and they both got up. The five men now stood straight and started to head towards the door when suddenly a flash of blue light created a shield around the doorway, allowing no one leave.

Everyone turned around, looked for the source of the spell, and fixed their eyes upon Draco Malfoy. His pale eyes were full of remorse and anger while his red fist clutched his wand tightly.

Draco spoke, for the first time that morning, and his voice was steady. “I need to say something.”
***

A/N: KEEP THOSE REVIEWS COMING! I need all the encouragement I can get since I have a lot of work already. Anyways, if you totally dont understand what's happening, the next chapter should make everything clear

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