Harry Potter the Visored
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Harry was released from the Hospital Wing a day later and things were rather calm for the next few weeks. With the Dementors forcibly removed from the castle, and the Auror detachment reassigned, the students were beginning to adjust back to normal life at Hogwarts. However, for Harry at least, that came to a temporary end quite soon when the day of Sirius's trial arrived.
Harry had been notified by Dumbledore of the date and that, due to him being an important witness to the capture of Peter Pettigrew, he was being given time off from classes in order to attend the trial at the Ministry, with the condition that he make up his missed assignments when he returns. He had also been told that the Ministry was allowing two of the Visored to attend as his Guardians, due to him not yet being of age in either the Wizarding or Mundane worlds, and that Hatchi and Shinji had been elected to go.
The Visored and their young charge met up at Hogwarts and used the fireplace in the Headmaster's office to travel to the Ministry, with Dumbledore showing them how to use the Floo Network to travel via fireplace. Once there, Dumbledore checked them in at reception and led them down into the depths of the building until they reached their destination. They parted ways there as Dumbledore headed to take his seat as Chief Warlock and the Visored sat in the chairs reserved for visitors. Once the various members of the Wizengamont had assembled, Dumbledore rose to begin the proceedings.
"I would like to bring this Court to Order," said Dumbledore, "seal the doors!"
A loud boom echoed through the courtroom as the doors leading out were sealed for the trial. Nodding, Dumbledore turned to the Auror guard that stood ready, "Bring in the Defendant."
The Aurors nodded and led Sirius Black, who looked tired yet less ragged than Harry when had last seen him, into the room, guiding him into a chair that sat in the center of the floor. Once Sirius was seated, chains attached to the armrests wrapped around his arms and body, binding him in place.
"This court is in session for the trial of Sirius Black," announced Dumbledore, "the Accused is charged with the betrayal of Lily and James Potter, leading to their deaths by He Who Must Not Be Named, and the murder of twelve Muggles. How do you plea?"
"Not guilty!" said Sirius firmly, "And might I add that after twelve years locked up in that hellhole without a trial, it's about bloody time that I get one!"
"Noted," said Dumbledore with a faint smile as the court scribe took Black's words down, "I would like to call Madame Amelia Bones forward as head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement to conduct the cross examination."
Said Witch rose to her feet and descended to the floor of the chamber where she faced the bound Sirius Black, "Mister Black, please enlighten the court as to the circumstances behind your capture on October 31, 1981."
"Right," said Sirius, "I had just found out about James and Lily's deaths and knew that Pettigrew had to have been responsible, so I tracked him down to a muggle city street where I had intended to bring him in to stand trial, but he started raving about how I had betrayed them before casting what I assumed to be an overpowered Blasting Curse. When I came round, I was sitting in a crater and Pettigrew was gone. I was subsequently arrested and thrown in Azkaban without so much as a trial."
"To clarify," said Madame Bones, "you knew Pettigrew was responsible how?"
"James and Lily had cast a Fidelis Charm over their home," said Sirius, "and Pettigrew was the Secret Keeper."
This caused murmurs to erupt through the courtroom, forcing Dumbledore to call for order before Madame Bones could speak.
"You state that Peter Pettigrew was the Secret Keeper," said the head of the DMLE, "yet the general public believed it to be you?"
"That was the idea," said Sirius, "because of my reputation and friendship with James, we all agreed that I was the obvious choice, and as such, to better ensure their protection, we agreed that I would play the decoy while the true Secret Keeper would be someone the Death Eaters would least expect."
"And that would be Pettigrew?" asked Bones.
"Yes," answered Sirius grimly.
This caused another surge in murmuring throughout the courtroom, but before Dumbledore could call for order, a girlish voice brought the attention of the courtroom to a toad-like woman that was dressed all in pink.
"Hem hem," said the woman, clearing her throat, "Madame Bones, we can't truly be taking the word of this man? His mind is clearly addled from his time in prison, after all, all that was left of Peter Pettigrew was a finger after the incident, and if he was not dead, where did he go?"
"He's an Animagus," said Sirius, "he transforms into a rat and used that form to escape, living as a pet for the last twelve years."
"A convenient story," said the woman, "but without evidence, all we have is the word of an escaped prisoner."
"Madame Umbrage," said Amelia Bones coolly, "I would kindly request that that you refrain from drawing conclusions based on conjecture and leave the cross examination to me."
"Conjecture?" asked Umbrage in confusion.
"Yes," said Madame Bones, "as it turns out, when we apprehended Sirius Black on the Hogwarts grounds, with him was the then thought to be deceased, Peter Pettigrew."
"Preposterous!" exclaimed Umbrage once Dumbledore had quieted the courtroom once more, "Why was I not informed of this development?"
"That would be because the DMLE placed the information on a need-to-know basis to avoid unwanted incidents," said Amelia Bones, "the orders were verified by a command triad consisting of myself, the head of the Auror Department, and the Chief Warlock. To put it frankly, Madame Umbrage, it was above your pay grade."
"How dare you," sputtered Umbrage indignantly, "I am the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic!"
"And I am the Director of the DMLE," said Bones icily, "now would you kindly let me do my job?"
Umbrage flushed a dark purple in outrage, but chose to hold her tongue, allowing a rather amused Dumbledore to continue, "Now then, I would like to call forth Peter Pettigrew to testify about his involvement in the incident."
As the Auror guards dragged Pettigrew into the room, Dumbledore drew his wand and conjured forth a copy of the chair that currently bound Sirius, allowing the Aurors to force Pettigrew into the seat where he was securely bound by the chains, but as Amelia Bones was about to speak, she was again interrupted by Umbrage as she cleared her throat.
"Peter Pettigrew," said Amelia Bones, "on the night of October 31, 1981, you were confronted by the defendant in an altercation that led to the deaths of twelve muggles. Please, enlighten us as to your side of the story."
"It was all Black's doing!" exclaimed Pettigrew as he struggled against his bonds, "He betrayed James and Lily to the Dark Lord!"
"Don't you DARE speak their names you filthy traitor!" snarled Black as he made to lunge at Pettigrew, the chains on the chair being the only thing holding him back, causing several Aurors to tense and reach for their wands.
"The defendant will refrain from further outbursts or he will be removed," said Dumbledore, causing Sirius to calm down, "Mister Pettigrew, if you would please elaborate on the events involving your disappearance and Sirius's capture?"
"Of course," said Pettigrew as he nervously glanced at Sirius, "well, when I heard that James and Lily had been killed, I knew that Sirius had betrayed them, he was their Secret Keeper after all. Sirius was always the better duelist out of the two of us, so I decided to run because I knew he'd come after me too. When he caught up to me, I confronted him, but he decided to kill me with a blasting curse. I managed to escape with only a finger blown off and hid as a pet rat so that he couldn't finish the job."
"I see," said Amelia Bones, "now we have two conflicting testimonies, each painting the other as the criminal and themselves as the victim, with little evidence proving whom is recounting things correctly and whom is spinning a yarn. Normally, a case such as this one would be at an impasse, but there exists a simple way for us to determine which of the two is telling the truth…"
"Madame Bones," simpered Umbrage again, cutting off the Director and getting a cold glare in response, "as the Director of the DMLE, you can't be suggesting that we rely on truth serum? Even Veritaserum isn't without fault, which is why, as I'm sure you know, any testimony given under its influence is inadmissible."
"Madame Undersecretary," said Amelia Bones icily, "if you would allow me to finish my sentence, then you would know that I was not referring to Veritaserum or any form of truth inducing potion. Please refrain from disrupting this hearing with your assumptions or I shall file a formal protest and request your removal from the courtroom."
"Objection sustained," said Dumbledore, "Madame Umbrage, if you do not cease with these disruptions, I will be forced to have you removed. Madame Bones, if you could elaborate as to how we can so easily determine which of the two testimonies is accurate?"
"It is simple when one thinks about it," said Amelia Bones, allowing a small smirk to appear on her otherwise stoic face, "I would like the permission of the court to have the defendant and witness expose their inner left forearm. Whomever is branded with the Dark Mark is the one responsible for the incident."
"Heh," chuckled Sirius, "sure, I consent to that. Do what you need to."
"I object!" squeaked Pettigrew, "This is a violation of privacy and rights!"
"What's the matter Wormy?" sneered Sirius, "Got something to hide?"
"The witness will submit to the examination," said Dumbledore, "Aurors, check their arms."
The Aurors stepped forward and restrained the left arms of the two wizards as the chains binding said limbs retracted. Once they were secure, Amelia Bones walked up to Sirius and rolled up the sleeve of his prisoner tunic, revealing a gaunt arm with unblemished skin other than a few scars from the battles in the Wizarding War. Next, she moved to Pettigrew and gasps echoed around the courtroom upon the reveal of the Dark Mark branded into Pettigrew's arm.
"No," exclaimed Pettigrew, "you don't understand…"
"Gathered Lords and Ladies," said Amelia Bones, cutting the traitor off as she addressed the room, "I believe we have our evidence."
The chains on the two chairs once more wrapped around Pettigrew, though they made sure to leave his Dark Mark on display for all to see as Dumbledore called the room to order, "Order! Peter Pettigrew, upon review of the presented evidence, I hereby charge you with the murder of twelve muggles, the murder of James and Lily Potter as an accessory to the crime, and as one who has taken the mark of the Dark Lord Voldemort."
The gathered Wizards and Witches let out cries of alarm at hearing the Dark Lord's name, and Dumbledore quickly called for order again as he leveled an emotionless look at Pettigrew, "Peter Pettigrew, how do you plea?"
"I'm innocent!" protested Pettigrew, "I was forced to take the mark! I was under the Imperius Curse! Black killed those muggles, and he would have killed me too if I didn't go into hiding."
"All valid arguments except for one thing," said Amelia Bones, "Why doesn't Sirius Black have the Dark Mark if he was the traitor and not you?"
"I…I don't…" stammered Peter.
"If Sirius Black was You Know Who's servant as you claim, then without a doubt, he should have the Dark Mark branded onto his arm," said the head of the DMLE, "yet it is you who bears the Mark instead. It is curious, as you claim to be innocent, and Black to be guilty, yet you bear the sign of the Dark Lord's followers and he does not."
"And I would be willing to pledge a magically binding oath that, neither under duress nor of my own free will, have I ever served or been loyal to You Know Who!" exclaimed Black from his spot.
Peter was definitely starting to sweat as the gathered members of the Wizengamont began to murmur amongst themselves about the evidence that had been presented and how it all seemed to point to Peter Pettigrew being the true traitor responsible for the deaths of James and Lily Potter.
"Peter Pettigrew," said Dumbledore, "based on the provided evidence and testimonies gathered here today. I find you guilty of the murder of the 12 muggles and the betrayal of James and Lily Potter to He Who Must Not be Named. You will be held in a Ministry Holding Cell charmed against Animagi until a hearing can be convened to decide on your sentence."
"Chief Warlock," said Harry suddenly as he stood to his feet, "if I may say something?"
"Very well," said Dumbledore, "the court recognizes Lord Harry Potter of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Potter."
"This man, through his actions, is responsible for the death of my parents," said Harry, "because of him, I will never see them smile, never hear them laugh, never see their faces. As such, I would like to request his punishment."
"And what would that be?" asked Dumbledore, worried that Harry would request Peter's death.
"Since he is responsible for Sirius Black being sent to Azkaban," said Harry, "I believe that it would be poetic justice for him to rot there as well. Lock him in a cell charmed against Animagi and let him feel the chill of the Dementors that he condemned and innocent man to have to endure for more than a decade. That would be a fair punishment in my eyes."
"Very well," said Dumbledore, "all those opposed?"
Very few people raised their wands to signify opposition, so Dumbledore nodded, "It is decided then. Peter Pettigrew, you will be sent to Azkaban Prison to serve consecutive life sentences in its Maximum-Security Wing for the crimes you have committed."
As the Aurors moved forward to drag Pettigrew out of the room, the man let out a despaired wail at the thought of facing the Dementors, his cries growing quieter as he grew further away.
"Now, as for Sirius Black," said Dumbledore, "by my authority of Chief Warlock, I find you, Not Guilty, and release you from custody. This session is hereby adjourned."