HPBFL CH 7

CHAPTER SEVEN: BASILISK’S, BIRTHDAYS AND CASES

A few days after Selwyn’s visit, Harry found himself at Hogwarts hidden under the invisibility cloak standing next to Remus. Professor McGonagall and Snape were in the hall. Behind Remus were a team of goblin’s, who looked distinctly bored.

“Could you not have done this when Dumbledore was here?” the Scottish woman asked, clearly a little agitated.

“No, I was asked if we could get it done today,” Remus responded patiently.

“We have very limited time.” Duggat had taken on the role of leading the expedition.

“Will Hogwarts be receiving any of the value of the creature?” the Deputy Headmistress was keen for some Galleons to help Hogwarts.

“Harry won by right of conquest; I’m told he is having half of the conquest and giving half to the victims of the Basilisk,” Remus replied, itching to get a move on.

“That little brat doesn’t deserve anything,” Severus snapped.

“Shut up, you overgrown bat,” Remus gritted his teeth.

“Have you heard from Harry? I’m terribly worried about him.” Indeed McGonagall was wringing her hands nervously. Remus had never seen the woman like this before; perhaps she may not be as under Dumbledore’s ministrations as they thought.

“He is fine, hiding away after the Dementors attacked him.”

“How are you going to get into the Chamber? I heard only Potter can get in,” Snape demanded.

“The goblins have their ways, Severus,” Remus answered as casually as possible.

“Time is Money.” Duggat shifted the intricately carved staff, with the crystal on, before looking at the two humans. “Are we going to Harvest this Basilisk or not?”

“Yes, if you’ll excuse us,” Remus nodded politely towards the pair before starting his journey towards the girls’ bathroom, which Harry had told him about earlier.

“I want to be there when you harvest,” Severus demanded at the back of Lupin.

“This is official goblin business; as we don’t know how safe this will be, we cannot allow others to come with us. Only the client or clients trusted assistant may come,” Duggat, who was some two-foot shorter than the potions master, stood before him impatiently.  Reluctantly Snape moved away, then the group all made their way into the bathroom. Once they were all inside, one of the goblin’s began muttering in the Olde Tongue at the door.

“You may come out now, Lord Rendlesham; the door has been sealed.” Harry emerged from the cloak, immediately walking over to the sink. He stared at the tiny snake, then hissed at the sink. It sunk into the ground revealing a black hole.

“Urm, we slid down there,” the goblin’s looked at him with something akin to astonishment, if their stoic faces could do that.

“I’m sure Salazar had a better way of getting down,” Remus suggested. Harry shrugged and once more looked at the snake.

“§Ladder, Slide, erm Stairs§,” the first two tries failed, but the third go allowed them to hear a rumble. Then before their eyes were a set of spiral stairs. There were twelve goblins in the bathroom, another three held staffs like Duggat. There were three that appeared to be warriors, wearing leather armour and carrying different types of weapons. One had a battle axe at the ready, another had a sword sheathed but looked ready to use it; the final one had a halberd. The remaining five were all carrying what appeared to be leather backpacks.

Once they reached the bottom of the stairs, the goblins’ staff lit up like a permanent Lumos charm. The four were arranged through the party. Duggat took the lead with two warriors, followed by Harry and Remus. Harry had been too preoccupied to notice how cold it was before. Remus was fascinated by the carvings on the stone walls. Soon they had reached the snakeskin, perfectly pristine and appearing poisonous green.

“You did not tell us about this when we signed the contract!” Duggat sounded disapproving as though Harry had personally lied to him.

“I had forgotten,” Harry replied simply.

“Well, this will change the contract,” he muttered before direction two of the goblins to begin harvesting it. One of the guards stayed with the collectors as they moved around the snakeskin to see the cave in with the hole just large enough to fit an eleven or twelve-year-old child. Remus stepped forward, muttering some incantation; slowly, the rocks began to move. Before Harry knew it, there was an arched entranceway that seemed to be reinforced.

“Thank you, Steward Lupin,” Duggat told him politely. Remus looked exasperated at the teen beside who shrugged, grinning at him. They followed the goblin as the tunnel turned then turned again. Memories were now starting to creep in as he remembered the horrors he had already faced down here. Finally, the tunnel ended as they moved past another bend. Ahead of the group was a solid wall on which two entwined serpents were carved, their eyes set with great, glinting emeralds. Duggat motioned him forward as, once again, Harry looked into the surprisingly alive green eyes.

“§Open§.” The serpents parted as the wall cracked open, the halves slid smoothly out of sight. Duggat and his warriors took the lead as Harry took a breath, following Remus. It was how Harry remembered it, towers rising above him into the darkness etched with serpents. The greenish gloom still filled the hall as Harry led them towards the snake, which lay silent at the base of Salazar Slytherin’s statue.

“These are simply amazing; there are several scholars I know that would love to take a look in this hall,” Remus spoke, his voice little more than a whisper as he looked at the illuminated columns. Immediately the goblins set to work, two of the goblins removed staffs half the size of the light staff Duggat was holding. They placed four of them in a square, then the lights lit up red on them. Remus’ curiosity got the better of him.

“What are these?” the marauder asked as the three goblins began removing containers from their bags. The bags seemed to be like a tardis, Harry thought, because they kept drawing container after container, some as large as barrels.

“They are transporters; there is a corresponding set in the Supply Hall under Gringotts,” Duggat answered; he seemed more amiable than the Black account manager.

“What’s going to happen to the materials?” Harry asked curiously.

“As per our agreement, some of the material will go to the Black Trust vault, while the rest will be taken by our export team, who will sell them on. Obviously, once our fifteen per cent charge comes out of the money, we will give you any remaining profit.”

“Interesting.”

“Are you considering a career with Gringotts?” Duggat asked, slyly looking at the boy as he oversaw the workers.

“One of my friends,” Harry swallowed, not sure if Ron was still his friend, “his brother works for Gringotts as a Curse-breaker.”

“Ah yes, William Weasley, he is one of our rising stars.” The goblins were quick and efficient, salvaging all the parts they could from the giant snake in a little over three hours. The other team had returned with the snakeskin sending it off to Gringotts. Finally, all of the group except for Duggat, Remus and Harry were left. Duggat snapped his fingers, making the transport devices vanish on their own before following the two humans out of the Chamber of Secrets, the door closing behind them with a thud. Soon, they had reached the top of the stairs, and the sink was closing up.

“Hello, Harry,” a flirty female voice said.

“Erm, hello Myrtle,” Harry replied awkwardly as Dugggat began taking down the goblin wards.

“I see you didn’t die down there,” She floated down in front of him.

“Sorry, Myrtle, not this time,” he shrugged, “but can you do me a massive favour?”

“Anything for you.” Myrtle brushed past him as Remus tried not to laugh. 

“Can you keep it a secret that I was here?” Harry asked.

“Of course I can, please come to visit me soon,” She replied as Harry slipped on the invisibility cloak, hiding him as Duggat pushed through the door. Remus and Harry followed behind, quickly making their way through Hogwarts until they reached the entrance hall again. McGonagall stepped out of the shadows as Duggat continued on without saying goodbye.

“How did it go, Remus?” she asked.

“Pretty well, the goblin’s are pretty happy with the haul,” he responded.

“Good, how is Harry really? I heard about the dementors and was terrified for him,” McGonagall asked.

“He is really doing fine, well looked after,” Remus nearly added ‘by his father’.

“Look, just be careful, Albus has been acting strangely lately,” she spoke quietly, looking around for listeners.

“Stranger than usual?”

“I’ve caught him staring at some of the instruments, ones that monitor Harry,” the woman cautioned, then added, “he’s been worrying about the loss of Madam Pomfrey after her sudden family emergency. He also can’t get a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher this year.”

“Thank you for worrying, but Harry is hidden and cared for,” Remus responded, then wished her goodbye. Once they were close to the Wards, Harry spoke up.

“What did she mean ‘the instruments that monitor Harry’?” Harry asked.

“Dumbledore has a shelf full of instruments that are supposed to monitor you, health etc. But I heard recently that most of them stopped working, probably the day you took your heir ring,” Remus explained, “Now hold on tight.”

Clear of the Wards, Harry grabbed onto Remus’s arm as he apparated them away from Hogsmeade. Moments later, they were stood in the entranceway of Hárasteorra Hall with Harry pulling off his robe.

“Remus, Harry, is that you?” Narcissa’s voice called out.

“Yes, just got back from Hogwarts,” Remus answered unnecessarily.

“Can you join us in the drawing-room?” Harry looked at the werewolf, bewildered before following him. At the doorway, Remus moved out of the way quickly as Harry entered.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” It sounded like a hundred people; Harry noticed the Black family, including Callidora and Andromeda with her family. Draco and Narcissa were, of course, there. The sixteen-year-old then saw Neville and what appeared to be a stiff older woman.

“We know you didn’t have a proper birthday, so we thought we could have one today,” Sirius told him, receiving a massive hug from the boy in question. A table had been set up with presents behind them, while another table had finger foods on it. Harry began to greet and thank everyone. When he moved to Neville, Harry looked up at the formidable lady in a vulture hat.

“This is my daughter-in-law, the Regent Longbottom, Augusta,” Callidora introduced the woman. Callidora had taken quite a shine to the teen in the weekly meetings they had been having.

“Pleasure to meet you, Lady Longbottom,” Harry bowed, kissing her hand slightly.

“This one knows how to treat the ladies; I am very pleased to meet you, Lord Rendlesham,” Harry looked at Callidora as if questioning how Augusta Longbottom knew. Still, the very old woman just nodded her head, “Your mother was a very close friend of Alice’s. I was sorry to hear about Lily’s death though I was surprised to hear she died alongside James Potter.”

“Grandmother,” Neville looked at the older woman in horror.

“What? Alice used to talk to me especially about how Lily seemed interested in young Sirius Black.” Sirius seemed to be trying not to laugh as he grabbed Harry’s shoulders.

“Right, I think someone should open their presents.” There were nearly two dozen presents on the table. Harry had only seen that many gifts for Dudley on his birthday.

“Are these for me?” Harry looked almost awed.

“Well, they certainly ain’t for me, Cousin,” Dora quipped, getting a smack around the head from her dad.

“Go on, Harry, they are all for you,” Remus spoke gently, prodding the boy to his presents. How cruel were the Muggles if Harry never got any birthday gifts? Remus thought angrily. As Harry opened some new quidditch presents, Sirius pulled him aside. Narcissa and Andromeda joined them as they all watched the teen from where they could talk without being overheard.

“How did it go today?” Sirius asked.

“He was nervous going in, but by the end, he was even joking around a bit,” Remus told the three Black’s.

“Any trouble getting in?” Narcissa asked.

“No, Snape had a tantrum, but there was nothing they could really do. Unhappy about Dumbledore not being there. However, I don’t think Professor McGonagall is quite on Dumbledore’s side as she appeared.”

“Why’s that?” Sirius asked.

“She cautioned me about Dumbledore; he’s worried about not having a DADA teacher and the fact Pomfrey left for a ‘family’ emergency,” Remus explained.

“How is she getting on?” Narcissa looked at her sister.

“Better, I was hoping she could rest at Étoile Noire after she had fully recovered, then join us if the fight’s going to get as serious as we expect.”

“I’m sure that will be fine,” Sirius answered, watching Harry open a watch (His had broken during the second task) and beam at Sirius.

“I heard an interesting bit of information today,” Andromeda told the small group, “The Muggle-born Rights act is being backed by Dolores Umbridge and Lucius Malfoy.”

“Dolores Umbridge? I don’t think I’ve heard of her,” Sirius commented.

“She is the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic, a disgusting little toad,” Narcissa visibly shuddered. “Pretends she as pure as they come.”

“We may have to do something sooner in regards to Miss Granger; there is talk of adding a Muggle-born Registration,” Andromeda added. The Healer heard Harry talk about the girl so many times that she felt like she knew the Mundane-born student.

“How is Fudge letting this going through?” Sirius asked, frustrated.

“Lucius is paying him ‘donations.’” Narcissa snorted.

“The balance in the Wizengamot is towards the Dark at the moment, the neutrals have nowhere to go because of Dumbledore, but even the House of Potter proxy has been voting more for the side of the dark,” Remus said, having received some information from some of those that serve on the Wizengamot.

Meanwhile, Harry had just about finished opening all the presents, except for a few that looked like they had come from the Weasleys and Hermione.

“Where did these come from?” Harry looked around.

“They were delivered to the mailbox at Gringott’s on your birthday, I know Hedwig was itching to leave, but we couldn’t risk Dumbledore finding out where you were,” Sirius concluded the talk and answered Harry’s question.

“Even with the Fidelius and magic surrounding this place?” was Harry’s sceptical question.

“More than likely, he wouldn’t be able to find you, but we had to make sure,” Remus added, “We did find out the presents had a charm on them, though, a location charm.”

“Oh,” Harry dropped the present, which was from Ron by the way it was wrapped.

“The charms are all gone now.”

“Do you think Ron and Hermione allowed Dumbledore to put the charm on their presents? They didn’t write to me before I went in Hiding,” came the bitter reply.

“Dumbledore is very manipulative; I’m sure he talked them into it somehow,” Sirius tried to cheer up his son.

“Smile you, berk, at least you can open my present,” Draco drawled, shoving an elegantly wrapped present into Harry’s hand.

“Actually, it’s from both of us, dear,” Narcissa smiled at him. He gave her a tentative smile, unwrapping it carefully. Inside was a forest green coloured cashmere jumper with warm knitted gloves in grey and silver, Harry noted, and a beanie type hat to keep his head warm.

“Thank you so much, both of you; this really is nice of you,” Harry looked at them, surprised at the amount of thought they had put into the present.

“That’ll sit nicely next to that suit by Verlinde,” Sirius spoke up with a grin on his face.

“It’s Versace, you slobbering mongrel,” Harry laughed at the man, who immediately changed into grim form then pounced on the boy knocking him over. Padfoot then proceeded to drool all over the teen. Everybody was laughing at this point as Remus scooped up the present from Narcissa.

DAILY PROPHET
Wesley Night

Dark Mark seen over Primrose Hill, London.

For the first time in over a decade, the Dark Mark, the mark of the terrorist organisation known as Death Eater’s, has been seen over Primrose Hill’s homes in London. Primrose Hill is one of the more expensive muggle areas to live in, with most houses between G32 and 50 million. Early Friday morning, a visiting wizard, who wishes to remain anonymous, saw the dark mark.

Prophet sources in the Auror Corps report this was the home of Justin Finch-Fletchly, a current Hogwart’s students. We currently do not have all the details, but it is believed to be the work of Werewolves…..

The morning of the hearing, Harry lie in his bed staring up at his ceiling; he was nervous about the upcoming day. He knew the hearing wasn’t going to be a big thing, as they had explained last night, but he could still be expelled from Hogwarts. Deciding sleep was not going to come, he got up, pulling a dressing gown over his sleepwear. Stumbling downstairs, Harry found that everyone was up in the dining room. Sirius was pouring himself a coffee from the sideboard, but everyone else was at the table.

“Good morning, Harry,” Narcissa welcomed the boy as he took a seat opposite Ted Tonks, who was dressed in muggle jeans and tee.

“Good morning, Narcissa, though I’m not so sure there is anything good about it,” Harry grunted.

“This is a small hearing, the three of you worked out your strategy last night, so I’m sure you’ll come home ready for Hogwarts.” Harry had noticed in the last week or two that the woman had taken to calling Hárasteorra Hall home, and to be honest, he liked having the woman about. Once you got past the cold exterior, she was quite the loving mother who doted on Draco. She had taken to mothering him too, something he was enjoying. Narcissa was utterly different from the sometimes overbearing Mrs Weasley.

“Just remember to use your Occlumency, weak as it is. Don’t show them how you feel, don’t let them get the satisfaction,” Draco added, insulting him in the process. Harry, however, just sighed at the insult, taking in the other advice.

“Have you seen the paper today?” Remus asked a little nervously.

“Not yet; what’s happening?” Harry frowned at the man.

“Fudge’s grip on the Prophet is slipping,” Sirius murmured.

“They reported the death of your classmate, Justin Finch-Fletchly by Werewolf,” Remus admitted.

“That’s another Mundane-Born killed,” Narcissa added; everyone looked up at her.

“I’ve never heard you use that term before?” Remus asked, giving the woman a smile.

“You, Harry and Sirius use Mundane, Mundane-Born, Second-gen and First-gen so much I prefer them to Muggle, Muggle-Born, half-blood and Pure-blood,” Narcissa replied, “But, sadly, they are leaving out some facts.” 

“What do you mean?”

“I overheard things and still have my own sources in the ministry, a third-year by the name of Jones was killed with her family a few weeks ago, and a fifth-year Gryffindor also died at the hands of Death Eaters, though nothing has been published,”

“Voldemort” (everyone shuddered) “is targeting second-gens, but it seems the government want to bury their heads in the sand,” Harry snarled.

“Once this hearing is over, we will look into this further,” Sirius promised his son.

“What are your plans today?” Harry asked, whether trying to distract himself from the deaths or the hearing, no one knew.

“I have been summoned by my husband to meet him at the Ministry,” Narcissa replied casually, but everyone stiffened.

“I thought Lucius knew you were in France with Draco?” Sirius asked, taking a seat next to Remus at the head of the table.

“I mailed him last week to say we were back in the country staying with friends, so we could collect Draco’s stuff from Diagon Alley without it being suspicious,” she answered.

“Very clever,” Remus muttered.

“When do you think you’ll get our letters?” Draco mused out loud.

“It should be sometime this week,” Remus suggested.

“How will we get our letter’s if we are hidden?” the blond asked, a hint of worry in his voice.

“All letters are sent to a Gringotts dropbox, then one of the Elves goes and collects it,” was the reply from Remus explaining Harry’s mail a bit more, especially after he received presents from his so-called friends.

“I wondered why Hedwig didn’t really leave the grounds of Hárasteorra Hall, but why haven’t I received any letters from my friends?” Harry looked between Remus and Sirius, who both looked down into their bowl of porridge.

“Dumbledore!” Sirius mumbled.

“What? I didn’t hear you?”

“Dumbledore gave the order at the start of the summer that no one was to message you for your own safety,” Sirius grimaced, waiting for the explosion, then rushed on,” the Goblins also told us you had a mail redirect on you in our last meeting with them.”

“What the fucking hell!” Harry swore for the first time, slamming his fist down on the table.

“Watch your language, young man; you’re not too big to be bent over my knee,” Narcissa told him, looking scandalised. He immediately felt shame, then noticed Draco and Sirius were trying not to laugh. Silence followed for several minutes as everyone ate their breakfast.

“So Black, who do think will be the fifth year Prefect’s?” Draco spoke a little too cheerily.

“As long as it’s not you,” Harry shot back with his own grin; the table sighed a little before relaxing.

“I’m pretty sure it will be me, but what do you reckon of the Gryffindors? What about big boobs?” Draco forgot where he was until he cried out in pain as his mother slapped his head.

“That’s it, you are both grounded until we go to Diagon Alley,” Narcissa told them sternly.

“Yes, Ma’am,” the pair of them intoned.

“I think it will be Neville and Hermione,” Harry said quietly.

“Well, Nev can’t be as bad as Remus. He was so uptight when he was a Prefect,” Sirius tried to lighten the mood.

“I was not! How many pranks did you and James get away with?” Remus spoke up indignantly.

“Far too many,” Narcissa said with the patience of a saint, “Especially when they were aimed at the Slytherin’s.”

“But they make the best targets,” Sirius pouted, trying to make puppy dog eyes at his cousin.

“I swear one moment, you’re a normal adult, then the next you’re a child!” Narcissa grumbled.

“Because he is a child!” Remus called out.

“Very funny, you lot always pick on me,” the marauder started acted like a petulant child. Ted Tonks had watched the whole exchange and was trying not to laugh at them. Harry looked up at the clock before swallowing his porridge which had suddenly become cement in his mouth.

“I’m going to go have a shower before we have to leave,” Harry suggested, his voice betraying him. The mood in the room dimmed as they all wished him a bit of good luck as Ted followed him upstairs to the guest room.

Thirty minutes later, Harry found himself in his father’s study, looking at the taller man. Sirius brushed off some lint from his shoulders, inspecting him. Harry was wearing smart trousers, a shirt and a grey jumper similar to school clothes, but much nicer. Over the top, he wore a black cloak with a maroon border identical to the Black family Colours, which were surprisingly not black. On his left breast was the Black Family sigil, which was currently glamoured until the right moment.

“What will you be doing today?” Harry asked nervously as they waited on Ted, though they were still early for the hearing.

“Actually, I’m going to visit Grimmauld Place. Have to make an appearance, especially on the day my godson has his hearing,”

“What are they saying about it?” He was anxious to hear news about his friends.

“Fred and George are making their usual jokes, and Hermione has been using the ‘safe’ books in the library to try to help you.”

“That’s Hermione all right; she’s such a good friend.” Sirius noticed the blush on the teen’s face, but this time decided not to say anything about it.

“What about Ron?” Harry asked eagerly but noticed Sirius tried to look away.

“He hasn’t really said much, to be honest,” the Animagus answered a little bit too quickly, but before Harry could question him further, Ted knocked on the door. He also was dressed smartly in black robes and a briefcase under his arm.

“Are you ready to go?” He smiled at the teen, trying to put him at ease. Harry took a deep breath, centring himself before his ‘Malfoy-mask’ as he called it was put on.

“I’m ready,” Harry answered. Ted moved over to the fireplace and took a pinch of Floo powder.

“Ministry of Magic, Atrium!” Ted called out. Sirius pulled the teen into one last hug before letting Harry follow his lawyer through the fireplace. Harry emerged into the atrium of the Ministry out of a gilded fireplace. Opposite them, witches and wizards were leaving the Ministry through another series of fireplaces. Harry really only noticed the highly polished dark wood floor as he was too caught up in his thoughts. Harry was led to the security desk, where his wand was weighed, and he received a receipt from the bored security guard.

“As we’re early, I wish to visit a couple of friends,” Ted told his new client. He led them towards the lifts, which were pretty smug.

“What level?” a House-elf grunted.

“Level two, please,” Ted told the creature with a smile. Ten minutes later, they emerged from the lift onto the Department of Magical Law enforcement. “This will be where you have your hearing, probably in front of Mafalda Hopkirk and four others, including a representative from the educational board and someone from Hogwarts,”

The corridor was shaped like a T; Ted was pointing to the left where several rooms were. However, he led Harry straight down past a set of heavy oak doors, which read: Auror Office above it. Harry wanted to get a glimpse because he was considering it as a career. Harry, though, was led straight past that to a door, which read Wizengamot Administration Services. Inside was a small room, which held about four or five cubicles in it.

“Hello, Ted, what brings you down here?” a female voice asked. Harry noticed a busty blond grinning at the man.

“Just visiting, Vera, thought I’d show my nephew around,” Ted threw out casually. “I’ve got a case later today.”

“Oh, I hope it’s not cancelled. There’s a big court case in Court Ten today taking up all of the Wizengamot,” Vera gossiped with the man.

“I hadn’t heard about that. Have they caught Sirius Black then?” Ted asked casually, “Court Ten, that is serious. They only ever use that for the full meetings once a month.”

“No, Sirius hasn’t been caught.” Vera laughed.

“I heard it was to do with Harry Potter,” another of the secretaries suggested.

“Really? I bet that will be interesting,” Ted said, keeping his voice steady. “I would love to be in the gallery for that. Can you just check the parchment work for me, love?”

“Oh, you’re such a sweety; no wonder Andromeda snagged you,” Vera giggled like a schoolgirl, then began looking through the parchment on her desk. “Here it is, Courtroom Ten, British Ministry of Magic versus Harry Potter scheduled for 9am this morning.”

“You are an absolute angel, perhaps a box of Honeydukes Chocolate for you, but if I want to get in there, we’d best leave now,” Ted told them with a smile. As the door closed, they heard the girls talking about the chocolate Vera might be getting. This time the lift was empty as they got in to take them to Level nine-Department of Mysteries. Once they reached the Level, Ted pulled Harry into a side corridor, then down a set of stairs to Level Ten, the courtrooms.

“I thought you said it would be a small Hearing?” Harry squeaked.

“Calm down, Harry, I need you to put your Malfoy Mask on,” Ted told him, getting a small laugh out of the boy. As Ted talked through a few last-minute instructions, Harry calmed down before putting on his stoic face. Once they were ready, Ted looked at the time seeing it was two minutes to nine. He quickly guided Harry through the corridors until they reached a door guarded by Aurors. Harry saw ‘Accused’ written above the wooden doors.

“Who are you?” one of the Aurors asked.

“This is Harry Potter, and I am his lawyer, Ted Tonks,” the man told them, showing the pair his credentials.

“You are late,” one of the Aurors said as Harry heard Fudge speak.

“Good morning ladies and Gentlemen, Lords and Ladies, we are here today, the Twelfth day of August Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Five to determine the guilt of Harry James Potter for the use of underage magic and breaking the Statute of Secrecy.”  

“Yes, but as you can see, we are needed in there now,” Tonks argued. They heard a muffled noise, then the Minister of Magic spoke again.

“Yes, Delores.” Fudge said patiently.

“It seems the criminal has absconded, without even coming to his trial” a few murmurs ran through the crowd at the use of criminal. Harry was really starting to get worried at this point.

“Now, stand aside and let me through. I will be speaking to Madam Bones about this,” Ted said. Reluctantly the two Aurors stood aside, opening the doors for them. They entered; on either side of them were stands as they moved into the courtroom. The door closed behind them as Harry noticed a chair with chains next to a table.

“Ah, then we shall continue and lay the charges in the boy’s absence.” Fudge sounded almost gleeful. “You may lay down the charges, Madam Bones.”

“Harry James Potter is accused of using magic in front of one Dudley Dursely, a Muggle, on 10th July nineteen-ninety-five. As Mr Potter was only fourteen at the time, he is underage and has also broken the Statute of Secrecy.” Bones concluded. He had his first look as the Wizengamot. A clerk was near the floor in front of Minister Fudge, an elderly man and a woman in an ugly pink jumper. Behind them sat six chairs, each with a coat of arms on them. He picked out the Black Coat of Arms on the gilded central chairs. Three of the other chairs were occupied; behind them, the chairs reached right back.

“As the…eh hem…accused is not here, we shall vote in his absence for the use of magic in front of a Mug-” Minister Fudge spoke, and Harry narrowed his eyes, now angry.

“Surely, Minister, I have a right to defend myself before you ask for a judgement,” Harry addressed the crowd before Ted could stop him.

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