I object! by Pseudonymous Entity
Harry gets to his trial ten minutes early instead of five minutes late, and meets his lawyer: a blonde witch dressed in pink. "Hi there! I'm Elle Woods."
AN: Write the courtroom scene from Order of the Phoenix with Elle Woods defending Harry? Challenge accepted.
ANx2: I hope this is at least entertaining, if not exactly what you had in mind.
"In order to share one's true brilliance
One has to initially risk look like a fool
Genius is like a wheel that spins so fast it at first glance
Appears to be sitting still..."
-Venus in Arms
Harry stumbled out into the atrium after Mr Weasley. It was large and open with may fireplaces along the wall to the left spitting wizards and witches from the floo.
He snapped his gaze back to Mr Weasley who was moving forward through the crowd. They stopped briefly to have their wands registered by a wizard at a desk, before continuing into the room.
"This way, Harry, to the lift." Mr Weasley was saying.
Harry's eyes roamed the room the ministry folk and the fountain in the middle of the room. "Lift?" Harry echoed.
"Yes, we'll go up to my floor and you may stay with me until it is time for your-" Mr Weasley stopped, speaking and walking both, rather abruptly. This caused Harry to nearly walk into the back of Mr Weasley.
Mr Weasley's eyes were narrowed on the far side of the room. "That's Fudge." The older wizard said after a moment. "Where could he be headed that requires two Lords this early on a morning he holds a hearing? No one else of import was scheduled that would require his presence... Come along Harry."
Harry walked after him automatically. "Where are we going?"
"We're following the minister." Said Mr Weasley, a mischievous smile flitting across his face.
As they continued after the portly man Harry could now see and recognized from the year before, Mr Weasley developed a frown. When the minister got into a lift at the end of a hallway headed down Mr Weasley looked ready to curse.
"Into the lift." He instructed, nodding at the only other one in the hall.
Harry walked inside obediently when the golden grates opened. The inside was very shiny. A faint breeze across his face brought Harry's attention upward. He blinked. Several origami paper birds flitted around the roof of the lift in small circles.
"Messages. Or memos." Mr Weasley explained, punching in a number on the floor selection panel. The lift began to move. "We use them instead of owls now. It was far too messy you see."
Harry suppressed a grin. He could only imagine.
The Elevator stopped and the grates opened. He got a brief glimpse of a far emptier by comparison corridor before Arthur Weasley clutched his arm and pulled him gently after him. They were just in time to see two large doors shut behind the minister and the wizards with him. A plaque to the side read Courtroom 10. Arthur was scowling.
"Changed location. Time too, no doubt." He turned to Harry. "I want you to go on in Harry. Something fishy is going on here, and I have no illusions it means anything good for you. Take a breath and head inside. Act like you aren't surprised to find them there. I'll just...well I'll be letting the others no what's happened and send a note off to Dumbledore. You'll be just fine Harry. All you need do is tell the truth. Yes?"
He didn't wait for a reply, nodding and heading back the way they had come.
Finding himself suddenly quite alone Harry gulped audibly. Right, he could do this. He faced a basilisk and a dragon, after all, a room of old wizards who didn't much like him couldn't be any harder than that. At least they wouldn't try to kill him.
Harry put his against the doors and pushed. It opened to reveal a room that reminded him of a gladiator's Colosseum. Off to a good start obviously. He let the doors shut behind him and did his best to look completely unconcerned as several people he didn't know -who weren't even seated yet- jumped at the sound and turned to look at him. Among them Minister
Fudge looked caught completely off guard.
"Oh, right, go the message did you? Already?" Said the portly man, twisting the bowler hat in his hands anxiously.
"That's right." Said, Harry. He told himself it wasn't lying if he didn't actually know what he was talking about. It could be true after all. "Are you ready for me?"
Fudge looked at the wizards beside him.
"We've another ten minutes yet sir." Said a familiar voice. Harry watched a head of well-combed ginger hair appear beside the minister, it's owner carrying a clipboard and a stack of files. "No reason he can't have a seat until we say otherwise. He's here on our order, not the other way around." Percy Weasley sounded perfectly pompous and did not look even once in Harry's direction.
The question of what on earth Ron's older brother was doing there was answered without any verbal questioning on Harry's part.
"Quite right." Said Fudge, standing taller. His face fell into a more arrogant seat of features. Fudge turned to Harry and waved to the side. "Have a seat Poer, we'll be with you when we're with you. Need to make certain everyone's arrived and all that. Weasley, go on and take the scribe's seat. I'll be with you in a moment."
Without knowing whether or not this was the right way to go about things, Harry shrugged to no one in particular and had a seat on what looked uncomfortably similar to a muggle electric chair, only with shackles on the armrests. Pleasant that. Harry let out a gust of air and sat in the chair as flippantly as he could manage. As long as his words were polite there was no reason his body language couldn't shout otherwise for all and sundry. Or so Harry's fifteen-year-old mind decided.
To be fair it was getting difficult for Harry to sit still and shut up lately, and he was never all that good at it t begin with.
The wizards standing with Minister Fudge on the main floor of the room soon began trecking up the stairs to take their places among what Harry now saw was a full house Was it just his imagination that had him seeing nothing but shadows up there when he first arrived? Or was there magic afoot. To take possible wrong-doers off guard maybe?
Harry straightened his posture and tried to look surer than he felt. It was a bit more intimidating now, more so now he knew all of these people had been watching him with him unaware of it.
Someone cleared their throat with a sweet hem-hem. The murmuring came to a halt and the room was silent. Harry zeroed in on a short witch with a wide face squashed face, dressed entirely in hot pink. He assumed all in pink. Her shirt and cardigan and even the bow in her hair were all that colour, that he could see from where she sat near to the platform Minister Fudge sat upon.
"We have five minutes still, but I don't see any reason not to begin now." Fudge stated from his position. Harry guessed his opinion didn't matter because the minister was looking at the faces in the seats, not Harry. There were no sounds of dissent.
"Very well." Fudge cleared his throat. "Disciplinary Hearing of the twelfth of August, into offences committed under the Decrees for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery and the International-"
The doors swung open grandly. Harry twisted in his seat curiously.
A young witch stood there. Soft blond curls bounced gently around her shoulders as she moved a few steps further into the room. Pale pink pumps clicked on the stone floor, matching her pale pink shirt and vest, and her pencil skirt. A rhinestone necklace in the shape of a tie hung around her neck, matching the earings revealed when she tucked a strand of blonde tresses behind her left ear. Blue eyes surveyed them all.
"Young lady-" Fudge began, confused.
"Goodness!" She exclaimed. Harry jumped in his seat Her voice was clear and bubbly and carried well around the room. "How odd I didn't get a memo informing me were changing time and location." She said pleasantly. "You'd think that was something someone would want people to know. Unless they were trying to get away with something." The blonde witch paused and the awkward silence that followed was amazing.
"Anyway, I was talking to this witch downstairs with the loveliest chiffon robes, very traditional but still very summer, in the main reception hall and this incredibly cute paper birdie brought me a note telling me I might find a majority of the members of the wizarding high court in courtroom ten this morning. Right now in fact. And, gosh, wouldn't you know it? Here you are!"
Harry could see several faces turning red. From anger or embarrassment, he wasn't sure.
The witch turned on her pumps and walked toward Harry's chair, ignoring the rest of the room completely. "Hi, there!" She said, her voice a little lower than before. "I'm Elle Woods and I'm a Gemini vegetarian. Oh, and an attorney. I'm totally an attorney. Yours in fact."
"Oh, er hi...Elle." Said Harry, flummoxed. She couldn't be much older than Percy...was she really a lawyer? "I'm Harry." He finished, probably unnecessarily.
Elle's blue eyes gazed at him expectantly.
"...and I'm an omnivorous Leo?"
He was rewarded with a wide smile full of even white teeth. "Twinsies! Summer signs are the best in my opinion. Never what's expected but still super fun once you get to know us. Though I'm sure the other signs have something to make up for their unfortunate location in the calendar. Can't think of anything right now but...I'm sure they're there."
Elle held up a perfectly polished finger to silence the minster over her shoulder. Blue eyes looked Harry over in his position in the chair of doom.
"Oh sweetie," She murmured, eyes softening, "you look like the personification of shame-filled white open-toed shoes after labour day. Don't you worry, Elle is here to make it all better with store credit and an apology from the manager to boot."
He wondered if the pun was on purpose.
"I'm sorry it's just...they all look rather mean. And I get the feeling they don't care for me much." Said, Harry. "And you seem very nice and...young."
She put a finger to her lips and winked. Elle turned on her pale pink pumps once more to face her audience. The wizengamot. Whatever. She clapped her hands together once.
"Right. Let's get started. Oh, wait, wait, wait. Before I forget." She waved her hand negligently over her shoulder, as seemed to be a thing with her, and the doors slammed shut. A slight click echoed about the room. "There. Wouldn't want any unexpected surprises. Now," She walked forward a few feet to face the podium directly.
"Elle Woods, attorney for the accused. Please state charges, who filed those charges, and any available evidentiary support." Harry couldn't see her face from here, but he imagined she was beaming.
The toad-like witch in hot pink stood. Harry assumed she stood, she could have just been sitting up a bit higher for all the difference it made. "I'm sorry I just don't understand. It almost sounds like you are treating us like one on trial. I know I must misunderstand. You do intend to focus on the crimes of the accused don't you?" Her voice was a sort of sticky sweet that put Harry on edge.
Elle didn't reply right away. Then she shook her head rapidly. "I'm sorry I just hallucinated."
Harry turned a laugh into a coughing fit. The witch's hot pink cardigan was gaudy and childish in comparison to Elle's classy pale pink.
"The thing is," Elle was saying, her own voice sweetening just a tad. "Mister Potter doesn't have to do a thing right now. He's totally innocent until proven otherwise. So, like, what that means is you have to tell me what you think he's done wrong and then prove it. Somehow. You do have evidence, don't you? I can't imagine us coming all the way down to courtroom 10 for nothing. Courtroom 10... Oh, that's right." She snapped her fingers. "This is where we held the hearings for the accused in the last wizarding war. It's almost like someone is really trying to illustrate a similarity between Mister Potter and the sociopathic murders and traitors once tried here. Weird."
Scattered murmurings began between the members of the wizengamot.
"After all this is just a case of underage magic for a fifteen-year-old Gryffindor held in a secret room under the Ministry earlier than scheduled without an adult or guardian. Nothing at all suspicious about that, or about having a full high court meeting for underage magic. Are you that concerned due to my client's celebrity? He is the Boy-Who-Lived and a Triwizard champion you know. This would surely draw a lot of attention if it was known. Were you trying to avoid reporters?"
Fudge seized on that excuse. "Of course Miss Woods. We want to get to the truth of the matter and there's no need for media throwing rumours about until we all know what's happened for certain. The truth, that is what is important." He nodded as he spoke and several members of the wizengamot nodded along with him.
"Rumours," Elle repeated. "Wouldn't want any of those." She turned to Harry. "Let's make this go a little quicker, shall we? Mister Potter, why are you here?"
Harry blinked owlishly. "Er..."
At her encouraging nod, Harry sat up straighter. "I was told to come here."
"To courtroom 10?"
"Er no. To the ministry. Today." Said Harry, trying to answer the best he could. Surely everyone knew all of this, so why did she bother asking?
Elle tilted her head. "Why were you told to come to the ministry today Mister Potter?"
"Well..." Said Harry, "you see. I got a letter from the ministry saying I was to be expelled and someone, I don't know who, was coming to destroy my wand. Then I was told I was going to have a hearing instead."
"And we're here for the hearing," Elle confirmed.
Harry nodded slowly. It almost felt like she was purposely simplifying it, like she was talking to children. He wondered if the other witches and wizards felt the same way.
"Okay, so, like, why did the ministry threaten to expel you? What did you do?"
Harry took a breath. "I was with my cousin Dudley, I live with him and my aunt, his mother, and her husband over the summer holidays. I was with Dudley and I used magic in front of him."
"There is your evidence, surely." Called the toad lady in hot pink.
Elle tapped a pump on the floor. "You used magic in front of your cousin and they threatened to expel you? Did you curse your cousin?"
Startled laughter filled the air along with exclamations.
"Now really Miss Woods," Said Fudge, dabbing his sweaty forehead with a handkerchief, "That's hardly called for."
"No, I didn't curse him. I didn't curse anyone." Said Harry loudly, when Elle made no motion she'd even heard the minister, instead awaiting his answer.
"What sort of magic did you use Harry?" She asked.
"The Patronus Charm." More murmuring.
"You cast a Patronus?" It was a different witch this time, with short auburn hair and a monocle.
Fudge gave the witch a look of disdain. "You can't really believe that he, a fourteen-year-old, cast a Patronus Madame Bones."
Harry resented that.
"You may answer the question, Harry." Said, Elle.
Harry nodded at the witch. "Yes, ma...madame."
"Did the mist have a defined shape? That is to say, could you see what sort of form it might take?" Madame Bones asked.
Harry frowned. "Yes, it's a stag. It's always been a stag." Louder murmuring erupted and Fudge had to bang on his little desk several times to bring things back to order.
"Of all the nonsense..." Fudge scowled down at Harry from his podium.
Madame Bones stood, casting a stern look toward minister Fudge. "I would very much like to ask another question. Do you mean to say, Potter, that you can cast a fully formed Patronus?"
At Elle's nod Harry said, "Yes Madame Bones. I have done since I was thirteen. I'm fifteen now by the way. Just had my birthday."
Madame Bones looked impressed, as did several other witches and wizards.
"Hem-hem." Toad lady was back. "Is your client claiming to achieve a full Patronus at a mere thirteen years of age?"
Elle tilted her head. "What? Like it's hard?"
"I know!" Elle clapped her hands. "Why don't we have Mister Potter demonstrate? That out to clear a few things up." She turned to Harry. "Do you mind terribly?"
"No. Not at all." Said Harry, with a small smile.
"Now wait a minute." Fudge interrupted loudly, trying to be heard of the talking of the members of the wizengamot. "As a criminal at a trial, he hasn't got his wand with him. He can not cast a charm, fictional or otherwise." He said this all rather smugly.
"No?" Said Elle scrunching up her nose. "Use mine Harry. Give it a go." She stepped forward with a few clicks of her pumps and held out a wand.
Harry took in his hands and froze. He looked from the wand to Elle and back. It was his wand. She'd brought him his wand. Harry glanced around at the people in the seats talking and at a red-faced Fudge attempting to speak over them. With a shrug, he stood and held out his wand.
Long, strong legs. Large branched antlers. Prongs made a quick round about the room, circling around Elle and returning o stand in front of Harry. It was utterly silent. Every eye in the chamber watching the boy wizard and his patronus.
"Remarkable." Breathed Madame Bones.
Elle turned to look at the other occupants of the room. "Is this what called us all here? Is this wondrous example of one of the purest forms of light magic really a suitable call for a criminal trial? Is it really worthy for consideration of expulsion? My friend, Erica, was dating this guy Tad and she, like, really liked him. Erica had long red hair and was super curvy. I mean, her hip to waist ratio is to die for. Anyway, Tad hated when she dressed in anything form fitting and never liked it when she wore hair hanging. Se really had beautiful hair. Personally, I have always respected redheads s fellow members of a chair colour minority."
Madame Bones hid a smile behind her hand.
"So, finally he breaks up with her. He tells her that her body is all wrong, she's too wide here and to small there and that letting her hair hang like that makes her look like a streetwalker. Well, Erica was devasted. She ate so much ice cream. But she picked herself up. And you know what? She was married a year later to a Kensington with killer abs and a trust fund. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that the world isn't blind. And, just like with Erica, I' sure there are plenty of magic school out there that would be glad o take in a fifteen year who can perform a Patronus. The Boy-Who-Lived no less."
She tilted her head, picture perfect innocence, "I wonder what Britain's magical community would think of that development?"
In less than three minutes, and after a quick vote, all charges were dropped in spite of Fudge's sputtering. The doors unlocked and everyone began to get up from their seats.
Elle walked over to Harry with bouncy hair and bouncy steps. Before he got out a word of thanks she drew him into a hug and squeezed him tightly.
"You did so good!" She praised. "I could tell you were so scared but you did it. You looked mature and capable and didn't let any adolescent rage vomit out of your mouth."
Harry's cheeks flushed.
"My cousin Darren is a big drinker with a bigger mouth, so I know a lot about both word vomit and the alcohol-induced kind. Really sucks getting out of silk let me tell you. Might as well burn it and weep." She moved back and beamed at him. "This was fun! So, I'll be around for the year. This is my card if you need me for anything or if you just want to meet up and vent. We all need to do that once in a while, don't we? And maybe we can talk a little about that muggle family of yours while we're at it. You have a godfather don't you?"
Harry blinked at the card held out to him. "Yes, Sirius. Sirius Black. Your business card is pink."
Elle nodded. "Uh huh, and it is scented."
Harry brought it to his nose curiously. Strawberries.
"I think it gives it a little something extra, don't you?"
Harry found himself grinning so wide it hurt his cheeks. He took the card and put it into his pocket. "Thank you, Elle."
Just then Percy trailed by, a few paces behind an irate minister, as he passed he exchanged a nod with Elle. She caught Harry's inquisitive look and raised and lowered a shoulder elegantly. "Cute paper birdies come in the strangest shapes and sizes." She reached out and fixed his hair absently.
If his mouth wasn't already stretched so tightly to the side, his jaw may have hit the floor. Percy contacted Elle? Really?
Elle patted his cheek. "Try not to get into too much trouble Harry sweetie. Shoot me an owl."
And she was gone. Harry made to join the crowd of witches and wizards leaving the room when Dumbledore strode dramatically into the room and then stopped short, blinking furiously in confusion.
Harry patted his arm as he passed the old wizard. "No one else got the memo either."
Notes: I only outlined for a quick one-shot. This is a 'challenge' brought to you by a facebook group I am in. What do you think?
Thoughts, comments, questions, and limericks always welcomed.
AN: Large update for Friend or For is coming, followed by Opportunity Knocks and Adventures in Magick.