"Wizengamot session of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is now in session. Please bring in accused." Dumbledore was brought, with magic suppressing cuffs, into the defendant chair with his lawyer following behind him and the guards. Dumbledore hesitated for a moment, like he was going to ask for something before thinking better of it and sat down. The chains rapped around him the second he sat down, making sure that he couldn't get away. It seemed that he couldn't keep silent about this.
"Are the chains really necessary? I can assure you that I'm not a flight risk." Albus said with twinkling eyes and the grandfatherly act he's known for.
Many in the courtroom gasped at his audacity to even suggest that he be treated differently and not like the criminal that he was. Even Fudge was struck silent in shock. It took him a minute before he could retort at the man before him.
"Albus Dumbledore, it seems that you have forgotten your place as a criminal in these proceedings. The only reason you are not in Azkaban's most secure cell is because we want to make sure that your transgressions are only against two people. Now I suggest that you stay silent unless it pertains to your defense. Is that understood, Dumbledore?"
"Yes, of course, Cornelius."
"That is, Minister Fudge to you. Now, bring in the Veritaserum."
"I object! My client has not given his permission to have Veritaserum to be used on himself for these proceedings."
"Over-ruled! Your client had almost caused the end to an Ancient and Noble House and a Most Ancient and Noble House. His compliance is not needed. But do not worry, we will give Dumbledore the chance to explain answers that may need more clarification or explanation on afterwards." With a nod of his head, the Auror came forward with the vial and forced Albus' mouth open, placed the three drops, and took a step back. The defense lawyer watched on with some worry. Neither of them expected this, but when Dumbledore's eyes clouded over, the lawyer fortified himself for the trial of his life.
Amelia stood up then. Fudge thought that it would be best if she was the one to ask Dumbledore the questions and Amelia couldn't help to agree. She did cause a more severe look than Fudge, although she wouldn't say it to the man's face.
"What is your name?"
"Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore."
"What school did you go to?"
"Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
"Who was the Headmaster before you?"
"The Veritaserum is working properly." Amelia took a breath and picked up the parchment of approved questions she and Fudge compiled. The first couple of questions were going to go over things they knew or suspected and hoped that the Veritaserum lasted long enough before the second half of the trial started. Neither of them wanted to wait another day before the Veritaserum could be safely given again.
"Dumbledore, did you knowingly seal Lord and Lady Potter's wills and go against their contents?"
"Yes." The audience seemed startled at this. They may have read The Daily Profit today, but to think that Dumbledore actually went against a will was shocking.
"Why did you do that?"
"For Harry Potter's protection and to make sure that he wasn't spoiled." Dumbledore seemed to struggle with this and Amelia narrowed her eyes at this.
"Is there any other reason that you would place Harry Potter with his muggle aunt and uncle?"
"I needed Harry to see me as his savior so I could steer him into his destiny without him questioning me."
"And what was Harry Potter's destiny that you had to guide him through?"
"Harry Potter had to defeat Voldemort when he rose again." There were screams and angry voices that almost forced a riot. Many of the Aurors had to stun some people to keep the piece. It wasn't until Fudge brought his wand out and let lose a couple of cannon blasts that the courtroom quieted down. You could see that he was shaken too, but his self-preservation as Minister of Magic overruled his fear.
"Silence! We all know that You-Know-Who is gone. Unfortunately, Albus Dumbledore seems to think that You-Know-Who is able to do the impossible and we must hear his defense, no matter how much of a farce we see it as. If you cannot control yourselves then the courtroom will be closed to the general public, excluding the reporters and possible witnesses.
"Aurors, please revive those you have stunned and escort any who are injured. If you are unable to witness the rest of these proceedings, please remove yourself at this time." The Aurors quickly did as told, as well as those who didn't want to hear about Voldemort. Amelia nodded at this, although she was aggravated that a good ten minutes passed. She was sure that Dumbledore wouldn't be under the potion's effects for as long as needed. Shaking her head, Amelia turned back to Dumbledore with a whole new set of questions.
"Dumbledore, why do you believe Voldemort will rise again?" Amelia ignored the flinches, shrieks and two people who fainted. The Aurors and Healers could deal with the people for the moment. Amelia wasn't about to give the madman that killed most of her family any power by being afraid of his name and if anyone else had a problem with that, well, they could leave the room.
"Voldemort did many dark rituals to escape death, although at the time I haven't been able to tell which type he used to prevent his death. His body may be gone, but his spirit still roams the earth waiting for the moment he can regain his physical body." Amelia couldn't help the sneer that came across her face before controlling herself. Amelia decided to come back to that line of questioning if they had time. And if the Veritaserum didn't last that long, Amelia had a feeling that getting a clear answer would be similar to pulling teeth.
"Dumbledore, did you knowingly throw Lord Sirius Black, then Heir Sirius Black, into Azkaban innocent of all charges and without a trial?"
"Because Harry Potter wouldn't have followed my directions without question and I could not let that happen."
"If that was the case, why didn't you arrange for Harry Potter to go to those in your employ?"
"They're loyalty to me would be superseded by their loyalty and love to Harry Potter and his parents." Amelia had to pause at that. She couldn't believe that someone could be so cold hearted towards someone they knew since they were eleven. Shaking her disbelief off, Amelia went on with her questions.
"In the case of Harry Potter, did you intercept his mail from Gringotts and others?"
"It would have informed Harry Potter that he was a wizard as well as having enough money to leave his relatives. Not to mention the other people who would have taken him in."
"Why was staying with Mr. and Mrs. Dursley so important?" At this question Dumbledore seemed to struggle again. For a moment Amelia thought he would be able to resist, but thankfully the Veritaserum won out.
"I erected blood-wards around the property based on the protection Lily Potter erected with her sacrifice. I knew that the usual power of love would not happen in that house, so I based it on Harry Potter himself. As long as he called the residence home, the blood-wards will stay."
"Do you know that could have damaged Harry Potter's core?"
"Only minor damage considering how big his core is." Closing her eyes, Amelia forced the bile from coming out of her mouth. The thought that anyone could risk a child's magical core like that was extremely rare, disturbing and just plain sick in her opinion. Even though she couldn't see the other individuals in the courtroom, their disgust at what Dumbledore was saying was apparent. Taking a breath, and remembering that they were running out of time, Amelia continued on.
"State anyone else you have committed a crime against."
"Severus Snape, Rubeus Hagrid, Sara Baltimore, and Perry Smith."
"What crimes have you committed against these people?"
"For Severus Snape, I ignored that he was in an abusive household as well as the abuse from schoolmates. I also interfered when his grandparents came to the school when they were willing to initiate contact, saying he didn't want to speak with the people who disinherited his mother, even though he never knew the full story. I also prevented Severus knowing that they named him the Prince Heir, and eventually Lord when they passed. I have also been underpaying Severus to the service to the school considering he is a teacher, Head of House, occasional Medi-Wizard, and in house Potion Master that supplies the school's potions.
"Rubeus Hagrid was framed for opening the Chamber of Secrets and I didn't show the evidence that would have cleared his name and allowed him to continue his education. Since I couldn't get the evidence against the true perpetrator, I allow Hagrid to take the fall for the student death when the Chamber was last opened.
"Sara Baltimore was sexually assaulted during her sixth year by a seventh year Michael Oxley. The male was from a good family, so I insured that Sara didn't report the rape or terminate the child she carried. When I tried to convince her to marry Michael, she killed him and then herself and the child that she was carrying.
"Perry Smith was a twenty-five year old, former student that came to me for amnesty from his family. I granted it, but when his father came and offered me 10,000 galleons, I turned Perry over to his father. I later found out that he was forced to marry an older man to settle a family debt by use of love potions. I believe he has carried two children so far."
The courtroom erupted into angry shouts, with a few people bringing out their wands. The Aurors quickly took action and started controlling the audience. Both Amelia and Fudge were trying to bring order to the court that they didn't notice when the Veritaserum was wearing off and Dumbledore came back to himself.
Dumbledore blanched when he saw the crowd and how the Aurors were having problems controlling some of the more intense aggressors. One witch managed to slip pass the Aurors and started raising her wand with a look of pure rage on her face. Dumbledore saw a red beam out of the corner of his eye hit the woman. Turning, Dumbledore saw his attorney with his wand out and aimed at the woman who was about to attack. Realizing that his lawyer shot out a stunner, Dumbledore sagged in relief.
"I'll make sure that you're protected until everyone is able to calm down."
"Yes, thank you my, boy."
"Albus, I suggest you start explaining what was just said truthfully if you want to get out of this without being food for a Dementor. I'm sure Fudge will be willing to swing it considering what you just revealed." Dumbledore managed to pale further at that thought.
"Yes, of course." It took a couple more minutes, and some stunners from his attorney, before everything calmed down. The courtroom was emptied except for the Wizengamont members, reporters, Harry and his guards, and several other people that Dumbledore didn't recognize right off. By the time Amelia and Fudge calmed themselves down and made sure everything was alright, a good thirty minutes passed. Dumbledore could see Amelia scowl when she noticed him coherent. Banging the gravel, Amelia called order to the remaining court.
"It seems that the Veritaserum has worn off of the accused. We will now go over the questions and answers given and have further clarification. If the court feels that the accused is not being truthful, we will recess for tomorrow and have Veritaserum used again. If the Wizengamont members feel that we have missed anything after the follow-up questioning, you will have the right to ask questions when I open the floor to you. Are there any questions?" When no one lit the globe in front of them, Amelia turned her attention back to Dumbledore.
"Dumbledore, the questions we are about to discuss is going against the Potters' wills and child endangerment. You said that the blood-wards around Harry Potter's previous resident was originally supposed to be powered by love, but was powered by Harry Potter instead. Why did that happen?"
"When Lily Potter sacrificed herself for her son, she tapped into ancient love magic that protected Harry from Voldemort's attack. The protection settled into Harry's very blood, the blood that Petunia Dursleys shared. The blood-wards tied into the shared blood line would protect the family from anyone who wished them harm and Dark Creatures. The only thing that needed to happen is Harry calling the place home and there being love to strengthen the wards. But if there isn't enough love between Harry and his family, then the wards would have drawn from Harry's core for a few weeks a year."
"And you knew that there would be no love between Mr. Potter and his family when you sent him to live with the Dursleys?"
"I knew that there was the possibility, but Harry was safest under the blood-wards."
"If his protection was your concern, you would have made sure that Mr. Potter was safe from people inside the home, not just outside. Especially considering your answers beforehand that showed deliberate knowledge that Mr. Potter wasn't going to be treated well if you were to be seen as his savior instead of his headmaster."
Dumbledore cursed in his head towards Amelia. He could tell that some of the Wizengamont members were starting to believe him, but Amelia squashed that when she reminded them about his earlier testimony. Dumbledore had a feeling that this was going to be harder than he thought and he wouldn't be able to get away with half-truths. With a mental sigh, Dumbledore fortified himself again. He was the leader of the Light and was needed if there was any hope to rid the world of Tom Riddle once and for all.
Amelia was also in deep thought. She could tell that some of the Wizengamont members would believe Dumbledore, even after his earlier testimony under Veritaserum. She looked over at the remaining audience and spotted the one person that might keep the Wizengamont from blindly believing Dumbledore's grandfatherly, hero persona. She just wishes she didn't have to call the person up to get the maximum sentence for Dumbledore.
"The court calls forth Harry Potter to the witness stand." That seems to catch Harry, and almost everyone else in the courtroom, attention. Harry flushed and bowed his head at the attention. Dumbledore's attorney seemed to catch this and stood up to object.
"Madam Bones, what is the point of calling Mr. Potter to the stand? He has no knowledge of my client or the reasons why he was left in the Dursleys' care."
"But Mr. Potter knows how he was treated while in the Dursleys' 'care' and can go towards your client's innocence or guilt on the child neglect charges." Tombs whispered into Harry's ear before standing up. Harry followed his lead and walked to the witness stand, Tombs guiding him where he needed to go. When he was settled, Amelia turned toward Harry with a softer gaze.
"Mr. Potter, we know that this is hard for you, but can you tell us some things about your time with the Dursleys?"
"What would you like to know, ma'am?"
"Where did you stay while at the Dursleys?"
"I stayed in the cupboard under the stairs. Even my Hogwarts letter said so." Amelia shot a withering glare towards Dumbledore before back to Harry.
"Can you tell us an average day, please?"
"Well, on a good day, I would get up around six and cook breakfast for everyone. I would wait until they were done and then wash the dishes. I might get a slice of bread and some water if I'm lucky. If I don't have school that day, I would clean the floors, dust, clean the bathrooms and bedrooms and do the laundry. I would then be sent outside to weed and tend to the garden, clean the gutters and mow the lawn. I might even get other chorus like washing my uncle's car, painting the front fence, or anything else my aunt or uncle could think of. I would work until I was called back inside to make dinner. If Aunt Petunia is pleased enough with my work, I'll get another slice of bread or a sandwich if she's feeling kind and Uncle Vernon isn't angry about something." Amelia swallowed and was almost afraid to ask her next question.
"What would happen on a bad day Harry?"
"Well, when I'm sent outside, Dudley, my cousin, and some of his friends were play this game called 'Harry Hunting'. They would chase me across the neighborhood. If I'm able to outrun them, or they get bored, then they leave me alone. But if the catch me, the beat me up. When I would get back home, my aunt and uncle were mad at me for coming back home in such a mess and not doing the chores for the day and wound throw me in my cupboard without feeding me for the rest of the day.
"Other times Uncle Vernon would come back from work angry. That's when he drinks a lot and if I don't stay out of his way, he'll hit me across the face."
"Has your uncle ever done more than hit you across the face?"
"Once, when he lost a big contract, he started hitting and kicking me. If my aunt hadn't gotten him off of me, I'm sure he would have killed me."
"Were you taken to a muggle Healer?"
"No, but I was moving into Dudley's second bedroom and Aunt Petunia took care of me until I was able to do it on my own. It was the only time that she showed any type of care for me." There was thick silence in the courtroom. No one was judged for silently crying at the heartbreaking story that made many of them want to go home and hug their children and grandchildren. Amelia looked around the courtroom. She got her point across, but it had shaken even her that anyone would leave a child in such a situation. With a heavy heart, Amelia dismissed Harry who was escorted back to his seat by Tombs. Amelia looked over at Fudge and a silent conversation happened between them. Fudge nodded and stood from his seat.
"I suggest a fifteen minute recess before continuing on with the questions. Aurors, please watch over the prisoner until court is back in session." With a bang of his gavel, court was adjourned for fifteen minutes. Four Aurors surrounded the chair Dumbledore was chained to, but giving him enough room to talk to his attorney.
000000000000000 Albus Dumbledore 0000000000000000000
Albus cursed in his head again while the court was clearing out for the recess. Even he could tell that he was in trouble thanks to Harry's testimony. He could only hope that the people's fear of Voldemort returning would keep him out of prison and under house arrest instead. He may not have the freedom he wished, but it would be better than Azkaban. No matter which level you were on, that place was pure hell. The chances of him living long enough to set the world right after Voldemort was taken care of was reduced greatly, especially without an heir to carry out his plans liked he had hoped. Albus was brought out of his thoughts by his lawyer speaking.
"Albus, what in Merlin's name have you gotten yourself into? You'll be lucky if you don't get a death sentence after this."
"It surely can't be that bad! I mean, once they know my reasoning, I'm sure they will show some mercy."
"Unless your reasoning involves Merlin, or Lady Magic, coming to you, then let us pray that you don't become food for the Dementors. So I suggest that you tell me everything so I can fight for you or I'm excusing myself right now." Albus glared before releasing a sigh. He didn't like it, but he knew he didn't have a choice.
"Everything I did was to move the Wizarding World from destroying itself. I may have lost my way with letting things go, but the war with Voldemort was already going badly and I needed funds to help combat him. I betrayed Sara Baltimore and Perry Smith because both of their families paid me and guaranteed their support for anything I wanted after the war was done. And they all have kept to the bargain, even after the unfortunate business with Sara.
"Sirius Black on the other hand was an overgrown child and a wildcard. But considering he didn't need that much persuading to leave Harry in my care, one can only imagine how young Harry would have turned out. I am sorry that he had to go to Azkaban, but it was for the Greater Good that he wasn't in Harry's life."
"And what about the funds that you stole from Lord Black and Heir Potter?"
"They went towards the campaigns to get some laws changes as well donate to Hogwarts scholarships. It's not like it was that much considering their families' wealth."
"It always matters, Dumbledore. And I would suggest not saying that or the court will hang you on that alone. Many of the members here dislike the thought of stealing family funds, no matter the reason." Albus nodded before getting back to the point.
"Severus Snape was someone I thought that I could use. I knew that he was being bullied, but I thought that I could use him. If he joined Voldemort's ranks, he would be a great double agent. Unfortunately, he had a disagreement with one of his friends and ran to the Death Eaters before I could approach him. He came to me eventually, and I used the information he provided to save a lot of lives."
"But what about You-Know-Who coming back? He may have done many dark things, but coming back from the dead seems a little extreme."
"That isn't the case. I have been preparing for his eventual return. I'm not sure which method he used and until I'm sure, then that is the only information I can give you to defend me with. That is, if you're still my lawyer?" Ignoring his twinkling eyed client, the lawyer looked around and saw that the courtroom was filling up again. He may not have liked this case, but he was a professional. And looking at it from a different point of view, win or lose, his reputation would soar with this case. Defending Dumbledore until the end would cause people to believe in him and his abilities. Hopefully it would provide enough business that he could make partner.
"I'll defend you, Dumbledore, but don't think I'm doing this for you and your delusions for the Greater Good. And you should answer any and all questions or they are going to force Veritaserum on you again." Dumbledore shivered, as much as he could, in his chair.
The gravel banging brought their attention to Madam Bones and Minister Fudge. Both looked ready to sentence Dumbledore the very moment. The only thing saving him at the moment was they still had a trial to go through and possibly more crimes to charge him with.
0000000000000000 Severus Snape 000000000000000000000
Severus Snape sat in his office wishing for the first time in his life to be in a courtroom. The trial of Dumbledore would answer a lot of questions that's been forming over the years, but him and the other Heads of House thought it would be better to stay at Hogwarts and make sure they don't do anything stupid, or in the Weasley twins' case, blow up part of the castle. So Rolanda and Septima got to go to the trial since flying lessons haven't started for Rolanda and Septima was just doing review with her classes at the moment and didn't have that much grading to do. That left the rest of the teachers to insure that the students don't do anything dramatic with everything that is going on, or allow Fred and George Weasley to run free while everybody is distracted by Dumbledore. Those two were brilliant, although Severus would never tell them that, but they were also insane menaces that need to be watched closely at all times. They still haven't done an opening, school year prank. It might be the serious happenings going on around them or that their prank is especially big. Severus shutters to think what he and Poppy will have to treat if it's the latter.
Severus shook his head to rid himself of those thoughts. The only reason he hasn't pushed for those two to be expelled is because unlike his tormentors, Fred and George Weasley weren't intently brutal with their pranks. Sure they may get out of hand at times, but that had more to do with not thinking everything through than trying to hurt or embarrass someone. They also didn't target one person or group like the Marauders did. Everyone was fair game to them.
It was a shame to Severus that they didn't apply themselves to their studies as much as to their pranks. Nobody can make the type of pranks they do and only get Acceptables and the occasional Exceed Expectations. If they took their studies more seriously, then someone would be willing to invest with their joke shop. Although, thinking about it, those two not being able to mass produce their products would save all teachers minds. The thought of dealing with more than two or three competent pranksters is a fear all teachers share. Severus still remembers when he and Poppy had to treat a quarter of the student body because the twins' prank caused all their hair to fall out instead of being red and gold for a Quidditch game. They forgot to account for hair products some might be using. So not only did Severus have to make a ridiculous amount of Hair Growing Tonic, but also had to help Poppy figure out what potion those little cretins used for their prank. An entire weekend re-growing hair was not the highlight of his life. Both Severus and Poppy was thankful that the affected area didn't go below the shoulders.
Shuddering at the thought, Severus trained his thoughts back to his lesson plans. If he got this out of the way, then his weekends would only consist of grading papers, watching detentions, restocking the hospital wing, and hopefully researching some new potion ideas that he hasn't gotten around to. Severus had to pause at that. Maybe looking into an apprentice wouldn't be such a bad idea at the moment. There were some promising students, and without Dumbledore here to distract, or dissuade, from the idea, Severus could get an apprentice or an assistant, with a promise of a letter of recommendation if they did well, and pass some of the work onto them. Especially some of the samples he takes from failed potions. Figuring out how a Boil Cure potion causes someone to have an extra eye will be good training in any direction the student takes with their Potions Mastery. Not to mention that they could get a potion job anywhere since he is one of the few British Potion Masters internationally accredited. With a smirk, Severus pulled out the files for his fifth thru seventh year potions class. Figuring out who will get the chance to be his apprentice was more rewarding that reviewing his lesson plans again.
00000000000000000 Septima Vector & Rolanda Hooch 000000000000000000
Septima and Rolanda sat on a bench outside the courtroom in silent shock. They managed to be able to stay for the rest of the proceedings inside the courtroom as possible character witnesses for Dumbledore, but after listening to Harry Potter recount his home life neither of them could think of a single good thing to say about Dumbledore at the moment. Septima couldn't help but think of Severus as well. Both of them were private people, but to think that he was abused to the point that Dumbledore should have stepped in and removed him from his home is shocking. It also explained how he was so good at spotting abuse in his own House so easily. And as bad as it seemed, Septima was glad that Severus was the one to do it. She's seen him with those students on occasion, and she doubted that they would open up to her as they open up to Severus.
"Do you think that we should talk to Severus and Hagrid privately or when we have the meeting tonight?" Septima jumped at the sound of Rolanda's voice before actually hearing the question. Septima blanched at the question and for not thinking of Hagrid. Thanks to Dumbledore, Hagrid wasn't able to finish his education, or even carry a wand to practice magic with. Taking a deep breath, she actually thought about the question before answering Rolanda.
"I think we should tell them away from the others. Hagrid will take time to convince that Dumbledore did him a disservice and will need time to come to grip with it." Rolanda nodded at that before throwing her two knuts in.
"Not to mention that he gets overly emotional at times. Might want to let him experience that in piece." Who's piece was left silent between the two of them. "Severus is the one the worries me the most." Septima's sharp eyes turned to Rolanda who met them head on.
"It's true that out of everyone, he had the most control over his emotions. Doesn't seem that surprising now that I know a little of his childhood and Dumbledore admitting that Severus was a spy against that madman of a Dark Lord. He wouldn't have survived otherwise. But knowing that Dumbledore knew of his torment as a child and did nothing will anger him. Knowing that his grandparents wanted to talk to him and possible take him, and maybe his mother, out of that situation might cause him to search the Ministry so he could kill Dumbledore himself." Rolanda couldn't help to agree with that and shuttered to think what Severus could do. Many people forget that Severus had gotten a Dueling and Spell Crafting Masters a couple of years after his Potions Mastery.
"Add to that he's technically a Lord will not make this any prettier." Both looked at each other before facing the courtroom doors again. "Let's prey on Lady Magic that Dumbledore doesn't get out. What Severus will do to him will make the Dementors seem kind." Rolanda shivered at that. Even among Slytherins, everyone was wary of Severus' temper. Easy to ignite, but slow to burn, his revenge could last for years if his patience was willing. "We should have him take a Calming Drought as well. At least then we will have a little time before he starts throwing hexes at his furniture."
"A very strong Calming Drought, and a reminder that children are near to lessen the destruction to his rooms and office."
"Agreed." The two waited in silence to be let back into the courtroom, both lost in their own thoughts. To think the crimes a Headmaster was able to do to people he supposedly cared for and swore to protect. Both knew that whatever good Dumbledore did for the world would be overshadowed by the evil reveled today.