AN: Here is chapter 5, hope you enjoy, and please leave a review etc. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to PM me, or if not join my discord.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

Many thanks to Tree Licker for beta-reading the story.

( - )

(Last Time)

"Right, well here we are then. I wish you luck, Harry," Arthur continued speaking, patting Harry's shoulder as they came to a stop in front of a very familiar door.

'Of all the fucking courtrooms.' Harry thought internally when he recognised the courtroom that his Hearing would be in.

Seeing the expression on Harry's face, Arthur gave his shoulder another squeeze. "I am sorry, Harry, but I can't go in there with you, unfortunately. You'll do fine, though. Just remember to stick to the facts and trust in Dumbledore. Do that, and it should all work out alright in the end."

"Right, I am sure it will…" Harry replied after a few moments, giving Arthur a nod before he opened the door to the courtroom and stepped inside.

( - )

Chapter 5

( - )

(Inside the Courtroom)

It was an outwardly confident Harry Potter that walked into courtroom 10 that morning. There was a nonchalant smile on his face, and a confident spring to his step as he threw open the door and strode inside. He seemed to be completely at ease with his surroundings. He seemed to ooze confidence and control, so much so that he barely even paid attention to the stir his arrival caused.

This, of course, was all a carefully crafted façade, as internally Harry was distinctly off-kilter, far more so than he should have been for some minor, petty disciplinary hearing.

His sudden nervousness, however, wasn't due to what was in store for him today. Instead, it was because of where he was, after all the moment he entered the courtroom and looked around he knew, without a shadow of a doubt in his mind, exactly where he was. This courtroom, was the same cold, forbidding courtroom that he had once been convicted in, and later sentenced to life in Azkaban for his crimes, six months or so back.

Looking around, he could almost see in his head a mental picture of his last trial. This room, with its rows upon rows of tiered seats all around the walls, all of them positioned so that they would be looking down into the centre of the room, had carved itself into his memory as the place that condemned him to death in prison.

Sitting on these many rows of tiered seats, were witches and wizards clad in plum-coloured robes, the traditional Wizengamot garb. Almost immediately Harry recognised some of the people present, all of whom he noticed turned to focus on him the moment he entered the room, with varying expressions on their faces.

Some of those present were just looking on coldly, their thoughts on him as a person clear for all to see. Others, meanwhile, just sat back in their seats, their faces blank masks which showed neither support nor animosity towards Harry. Although there were a couple though, only a couple, that seemed to perk up slightly at his presence.

Either way, from his initial observations, Harry could tell he might have a harder fight on his hands than he had previously thought, as some of those present looked to have already made up their minds on his guilt.

Focusing back on those around him, Harry quickly noticed who was sitting front and centre in the rows of seats, in the most prominent position in the room. It was Cornelius Fudge the Minister of Magic. Only the short, squat man was absent, his normal lime-green bowler hat and pinstripe suit. Instead, he was now garbed in a set of overly ostentatious, purple, Wizengamot robes, and an even more stupid hat than before.

Flanking the short, portly Minister of Magic on either side were two quite distinct looking women. Both of whom Harry recognised. One of them he recognised with trepidation, the other with disdain and dark amusement.

The one who engendered his disgust was on Fudge's left side, and was a short, squat woman, with a toad-like face, bulging, bulbous eyes and a black bow in her mousy brown hair. This was Delores Jane Umbridge, a repulsive, incompetent, sadistic woman, one who Harry knew possessed a low cunning and a fanatical obsession with Cornelius Fudge.

She was someone Harry was only familiar with due to his own history with her back in his world when, for a time, she had been the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, High Inquisitor, and later Headmistress of Hogwarts.

Suffice to say, she had not made a good impression. Neither on Harry nor the rest of the school. Instead, she had completely disgusted him, in part due to her general ineptness when she taught at Hogwarts, but also due to her needless and wanton cruelty.

Being ruthless and cruel, he could understand, he had done some pretty fucked up and nasty stuff himself. But he had always had a reason, a method behind his madness. Everything he had ever done, was done to elevate his position and standing in society, and to ensure that he had the riches, power and above all, the comfortable life he deserved.

Madame Umbridge, however, had done terrible things for nothing more than her own pleasure and self-gratification. It was a small difference, Harry knew that, but there was a difference in how they acted and their reasoning for it. Nor had he ever gone as far as her, as for one he had never lowered himself to hurting or torturing children. He had lines that he never crossed, not even on his worst day. Umbridge however, had no lines, and no regard for anyone else, aside from herself and Fudge.

The woman on Fudge's right-hand side, however, was a whole different story. She was a tall, stout woman, with short, greying red hair and a monocle set into one of her eyes. The most striking thing about her was not her appearance, though, but instead her demeanour. She had a dominating aura and sat stiffly in her chair, a no-nonsense expression on her face as she gazed down at him imperiously.

Yes, Amelia Bones, the current Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, definitely made him nervous. After all, in his time, she had been quickly elevated to the position of Minister for Magic after Cornelius Fudge was booted out of office. During which she had survived several assassination attempts. Each of which had made her more and more ruthless and vindictive when it came to dealing with Death Eaters and Voldemort's supporters, especially after the last failed attempt, which had claimed the life of her last living family member, her niece Susan Bones.

Suffice to say after Susan's death, any mercy or pity Amelia Bones might once have had was gone. Instead, she had come down hard on Voldemort's supporters. Within weeks, she had sanctioned the use of Unforgivable Curses for her Aurors and Ministry Workers, pretty much relegating all Death Eaters and supporters of the Dark Lord to less than human. On top of that, she had sanctioned raids on houses and homes with no required evidence and demanded the use of both the Imperious Curse and the truth potion, Veritaserum, in all trials.

Inconveniently, it had been Minister Bones herself, who had been the one that had sentenced him to life in Azkaban the first time around. The trial had not been pleasant, especially after Harry had been force-fed Veritaserum and put under an Imperious Curse, a deadly combination, one that not even his own exceptional skill with the mind arts could fight against.

He had ended up singing like a bird during the interrogation, telling the court and assembled spectators his every sin and crime, and there had been a lot. He had told them of the people he had personally killed, the ones he had betrayed, the plots he had engineered, the things he had stolen. Not only that, but he had told them of his manipulations, even whilst in the Order of the Phoenix, and still at school.

There was a reason why many considered him to be as bad as the worst of Voldemort's Death Eaters, and why he had been sentenced to 'the Pit'.

Of course, that was in his timeline, in this alternate world. Here and now, Amelia was hopefully slightly mellower now. That and he hoped the 'other Harry' didn't have the same… history that he had with the woman and the law, otherwise this trial might be a lot harder than he had first thought.

Tearing his gaze away from the Minister of Magic and those around him, Harry instead walked calmly over to the chain clad, wooden chair in the centre of the room.

His gaze shifted over the chains he could see hanging from the arms, as he approached. He could feel his throat becoming dry at the mere sight of them. After all, he knew from personal experience that those chains could come to life and bind the person sitting in the chair in place. He had seen it before and experienced it too for that matter.

Gingerly sitting himself down in the chair, which thankfully didn't come to life and bind him, Harry looked inquiringly up at Fudge.

The man had said something when Harry had first entered the room, but with the familiarity of the room and his unpleasant trip down memory lane, he had completely missed what had been said.

"I'm sorry did you say something?" Harry asked, shifting uncomfortably in the chair, his movement causing the chains on the arms to clink and rattle ominously.

"I said you were late, Mr Potter." Fudge sneered. His voice was as cold as ice as he looked down at him. Already, he could see a hint of irritation flashing through Fudge's small, piggy eyes, at his apparent calmness and nonchalance.

"Well, that does tend to be the case when the time of the trial is changed, and no proper notice is given..., you know, either by owl or through any other form of communication..." Harry shot back dryly, quickly regaining his composure as he looked up at the scowling Minister of Magic. He wouldn't allow himself to be browbeaten, and certainly not by the tub of lard currently calling himself Minister.

"An owl was sent to your residence. It is not the Ministry's concern if you did not receive it." Fudge replied carelessly, his tone becoming slightly more irritated at Harry's rather pointed response.

"Well, considering I am the guest of honour for this trial, I would have thought it was, in fact, the Ministry's concern that I receive notice that the time had changed? On top of that, isn't it at least polite, even if not strictly a legal requirement, that notice of any change in timing or location is sent at least twenty-four hours ahead of the new date?" Harry replied, his gaze shifting around the courtroom as those present began to murmur to each other. Some, Harry could see, were scowling at what they obviously deemed his impetuousness. Others meanwhile nodded, acknowledging that he had a point.

He was in a tight spot here. He couldn't allow himself to be pushed around and bullied, that was a show of weakness. At the same time, he couldn't be too snarky or acerbic, as often times that was counterproductive. Especially since adults often saw such qualities, when displayed in those younger than them, as signs of immaturity and childishness.

In response to Harry's questioning, Fudge's face noticeably reddened slightly. Madam Bones, meanwhile, merely sent the portly man a disapproving look, before her gaze flicked back to Harry. Her gaze was curious and judging. Not yet disapproving, but nor did she look amused, either at his tone or his words.

Opening his mouth, the scowling Fudge looked like he was about to speak again, only for Harry to cut him off before he could, as he continued speaking.

He had to maintain control of the direction of the conversation while he could. Or at least, while he was still allowed to. It was something he had learnt while debating magical theory and politics with his old housemates. They might be generally socially inept, but if there was one thing a Ravenclaw was good at, aside from their studies, it was arguing and petty point-scoring.

"But I suppose it doesn't matter now though. I mean, fortunately, I am here, and you're here too, which means that this Hearing can proceed without any further issues. I'm sorry if I appear presumptuous, I just thought I would raise the breach of procedure as a point now, so it's on the record, just in case a blunder like this happens again in the future." Harry continued, a polite smile on his face as he ignored the grumbling and mumbling of his audience, and instead locked gazes with Fudge.

In response, Fudge's face gained a darker, angrier hue. His eyes narrowed as he tore them away from Harry's and instead looked around at his mumbling colleagues. No doubt he was trying to read the room.

Madam Bones meanwhile, just let out a light 'harrumph', and scribbled something down on a ledger with her quill, before bringing her stoic gaze back on to him.

"So yes anyway, I'm here now. So, I think we should probably get on with this 'disciplinary Hearing' of yours. I've been looking forward to clearing my name." Harry forged on, his lips quirking upwards minutely as the muttering increased, and the expression on Fudge's, and the as till now quiet Umbridge's, faces turned uglier, or at least uglier than usual.

From where he was sat, Harry could almost hear Fudge's teeth grinding in frustration. The Minister was hardly putting on the controlled, civil veneer that a leader, and especially a politician, should be able too. But still, that was likely Harry's fault. Not many adults would be able to control their temper when being poked and prodded by someone they not only deem to be a child, but also a threat to their authority, and a general nuisance. He was pushing his luck now, and he knew it. Yet at the same time, he couldn't help himself.

That said, he was also getting a little concerned.

Already he had noticed that Dumbledore was also not present yet. This was surprising, and slightly worrying, considering that according to Sirius and Arthur, the Headmaster had claimed that he would be here defending Harry today.

If the old man didn't turn up, he might be in trouble, especially with an overtly hostile courtroom. If the old goat didn't come, then he would need to do some fast talking and go on the offensive if he wanted to walk out of here sanction free.

"Mr Potter." Fudge's voice suddenly rang out 'imperiously'. The portly, older man standing up now, and conspicuously looking down on Harry, as he attempted to regain control of the room.

Looking around, Harry could see the Minister's words and tone had managed to quell the muttering, shuffling and mumbling from the other members of the Wizengamot. Much of which had been going on since Harry's entrance.

"You have been summoned before this court, on the count of performing magic outside of school, and in the presence of a muggle, no less. And since this is the second instance in which you have used magic in such a situation, with a warning having been given to you in your second year for use of an illegal hover charm. It has therefore been decided that the penalty for so severely breaking the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Magic is expulsion from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and your wand being summarily snapped. With it then being made illegal for you to possess one indefinitely from that point onwards." Fudge continued, swiftly outlining Harry's charges and the potential punishment if he were to be found guilty. As he spoke, his voice gained in strength, even as he continued to glare down at Harry, condemnation burning in his gaze.

Harry tilted his head to the side as he heard his charges and potential punishment. Granger and Weasley had mentioned before that the alternate Harry had got in trouble in his second year for misuse of magic. According to them, however, he had been innocent in that case, with the actual culprit having been a demented and obsessive House Elf called Dobby. On top of that, the 'other Harry', had also apparently blown up his aunt, some muggle bint called Marge, in his third year too, only he hadn't been charged in that case.

Suffice to say, Harry was not all that pleased with the 'other Harry' at the moment. Not only did the scrawny shit have the fashion sense of tramp, but the cockwomble had been making a complete mess of his, and now Harry's, life through his rash, reckless immaturity and idiocy.

"But I presume that those punishments will only occur if I am found guilty, without a shred of doubt, Minister, of unreasonably using magic outside of school? Of course, taking into account the laws on the reasonable use of magic when a wizard or witch is in peril…" Harry tagged on. His tone was perfectly polite, but his emerald eyes twinkled as he locked gazes with the irritated Minister.

Yeah, he knew his rights and the law, deal with it, Fudge!

"Do not speak out of turn, Mr Potter, you are the one being tried at this Hearing! You should know your place!" Fudge replied sharply, his temper almost flaring up once more before he once again brought it back under cotnrol, even as the other members of the Wizengamot began to mutter to one another.

From where he was sat, Harry could see Umbridge leaning across so that she could whisper something in Fudge's ear.

"No, no Minister, Mr Potter is quite right. There are indeed circumstances when an underage wizard or witch can use magic outside of school, and, for sake of clarity, that should be noted in the minutes of this Hearing. So yes, although he spoke out of turn, he is correct in his clarification." Amelia Bones piped up, her lips twitching upwards as she looked over at the flustered Fudge, before she then looked back down at Harry, and then over at the court scribe, some vaguely familiar-looking ginger kid. "See to it that Mr Potter's words are added."

"Yes, Madame Bones!" The minute-taker replied immediately, sending Harry a searching look as he did so, before he quickly got to work. The quill in his hand rapidly scribbling back and forth on his sheaf of parchment.

"Yes, it is as you say, Madame Bones." Fudge bit out, giving her a short nod as he did so, before looking down at Harry again. "Then back onto the matter of the charges. Did you, or did you not, use magic in the presence of a muggle, Mr Potter?"

A silence followed that, as Harry looked coolly up at Fudge.

"Once again, for the sake of clarity, I think it should be confirmed that the muggle in question is my cousin who I live with, Dudley Dursley, someone who has been aware of magic for a number of years now." Harry eventually spoke up, his tone strong and his words carefully chosen as he looked around at all of the watching wizards and witches.

"That is not an ans—" Fudge answered, his cold tone still tinged with his growing irritation.

"Minister, please" Harry cut him off, his tone still polite as he raised his hand and cut the leader of the government off like a teacher would an errant schoolchild. "I am getting there. Please let me finish."

If looks could kill, Harry would probably have died several times over by now from the intense look of loath and hatred Fudge was giving. Once again, he was surprised by just how little the supposed seasoned politician was able to control himself. Harry presumed a lot of the man's lack of decorum, probably came from the fact he was under an intense amount of scrutiny and pressure right now, especially since the trial, for that is surely what this was, wasn't going his way.

Around the room, he could see some of the other members of the Wizengamot sharing smirks and smiles, even as others seemed to scowl and look disapproving at his actions and demeanour.

It appeared he had a divided courtroom to contend with, no doubt one made up of the Minister's political allies, and those that would see the pudgy humbled, and maybe even replaced with a candidate more to their liking.

It was nice to know his low-key Hearing looked to be turning into a political shit show.

"Now, as I was saying before I was interrupted. The muggle in question is my cousin and therefore is very much aware of magic, which is a factor that should, I think, be noted. Especially since that fact puts a big question mark on your comment that I; 'severely broke the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Magic', if I did indeed, hypothetically, use magic in front of my cousin." Harry forged on, the smile on his face widening as he heard and saw the surrounding members of the court shifting and stirring.

"A straight answer Potter did you or did you not use magic in front of a muggle, regardless of his connection to you?!" Fudge snapped, almost rising to his feet now -by the sound of his voice he was on the verge of finally losing his temper-, even as Umbridge leant forwards in her seat and gave Harry a nasty look.

"Minister, comport yourself!" Amelia snapped, her dark eyes locked warningly on Fudge. It was an action that caused the man himself to flinch slightly before he slowly, grudgingly took his seat. "Now Mr Potter, the question asked, if you please. Did you or did you not use the Patronus Charm outside of school, and in the presence of a muggle?"

"Of course, Madame Bones, I was just providing additional context," Harry replied easily before he caught her sending him a warning look, and decided to get on with it. Fudge was someone he could contend with, he was a puppet minister, someone who had been put in place because he was malleable and easily manipulated. Madam Bones, however, was a whole other animal. "Now, your question was did I use magic in front of my cousin, Dudley? To which I will admit, yes. Yes, I did use magic in front of my blood-related cousin, Dudley."

Almost at once the assembled witches and wizards began mumbling and muttering to each other. At his admission, Fudge himself seemed to gain a sudden gleeful expression, like a kid at Christmas. Umbridge meanwhile just looked shocked and wary, her bulging eyes fixing on Harry suspiciously as if waiting for the 'but' that was to come.

She didn't have to wait long.

"But, of course, there was a very pressing reason for why magic was used. Which itself is a material consideration, one that will prove the case for exceptional circumstances, and thus negate any of the illegality around my actions." Harry forged on smoothly, not allowing the suddenly off-guard Fudge to get a word in.

He had already decided on his strategy for this case, especially without Dumbledore in his corner. His alternate self, had indeed used magic, there was no getting away from that fact, and since for all intents and purposes both Harry and the 'alternate Harry', were the same person. That meant that Harry himself was guilty, despite him having not been the one to commit the crime.

This is not to say, however, that he was about to lie down and face the consequences though, especially since he could prove that there were exceptional circumstances that forced his alternate self to use magic in the first place.

"A reason?" Asked Amelia immediately, her eyebrows furrowing, her monocle flashing in the light from a nearby lantern.

"No doubt another spurious clai…" Fudge cut in his tone now amused as he looked down at Harry with a predatory smile, no doubt he was thinking that he had Harry exactly where he wanted him.

"Yes, a reason, after all, why else would I use something as special, niche and esoteric as a Patronus Charm?" Harry interrupted, speaking over Fudge loudly as he addressed Amelia Bones, deliberately snubbing the Minister. "I am sure there are many here today who have likely thought it strange that I would use a spell such as that, instead of an easier, flashier spell? Especially if I were trying to show off, as some would likely believe, or a more amusing spell, if I was just acting out like teenagers tend to do!"

The muttering around the chamber intensified at that. With many a witch or wizard turning to their neighbour, more than a few of them nodding, or acknowledging Harry's point.

"Very well, Mr Potter, what cock and bull story do you have for us this time?" Fudge sneered. His tone and words, distinctly unprofessional. "And it had better be good, or do you just see yourself as above something as 'petty' as the law?"

"Now I don't think anyone is accusing Harry of that," The soft, yet firm voice of Albus Dumbledore rang out as the man in question silently entered the courtroom. His arrival immediately caught the attention of all the occupants in the room.

Harry, seeing the man, cocked an eyebrow, both mollified and annoyed that he had finally shown up, even if he was late.

Honestly, Harry had been expecting the man to bail, despite him having been assured otherwise. His previous experience of Dumbledore had likely biased his view of the man.

Then again considering the lengths to which the Dumbledore he had known had gone to for the sake of the 'Chosen One', Neville Longbottom, maybe he should have expected the man to turn up.

"You are late, Dumbledore," Fudge spoke up snippily, the man's countenance deteriorating even further as he lost much of his poise and was once again caught off-guard, his irritation quickly leaking back into his voice.

"Am I Cornelius? Well, I suppose that is likely due to the Hearing having been moved up by two hours with no prior notice. Suffice to say it was fortunate that I decided to arrive at the Ministry a whole four hours ahead of the hearing." Dumbledore responded mildly, his twinkle free, blue eyes surveying those present, before flickering over to Harry, meeting his gaze with a curious glint in them. "That being said the sudden change of venue and time is not the only thing that caught me by surprise. I am sure you can imagine my absolute astonishment when I discovered that this trivial case of underage magic was to be presided over by the entirety of the Wizengamot and that it would be taking place in a courtroom that is usually set aside for criminal trials as well."

At this, Harry could see several witches and wizards in the stands shifting around uncomfortably, many of whom were looking anywhere but at the Headmaster. Whilst, even more, began to mutter to one another, some of them shooting Fudge curious, analysing looks.

"Also," Dumbledore continued lightly, his gaze boring into the suddenly nervous Fudge now, "The Wizengamot appears to be in full attendance as well. Remarkable for such short notice. I remember, back when I was the Chief Warlock of this body, similar situations of far greater severity only getting a fraction of the number that are here today. Alas, a mystery that I am sure will remain forever unsolved."

Shrugging at the awkward silence and uncomfortable looks he received from his former colleagues, the elderly wizard then turned to Harry, addressing him for the first time since he arrived. "Harry, it is wonderful to see you. Are you well?"

"As well as ever," Harry replied dryly, watching Dumbledore carefully for a moment, before he then looked back up at Fudge again. "I was just getting to the point of explaining the reasoning behind why the Ministry detected a Patronus Spell in my neighbourhood."

"Yes, Dumbledore, you're just in time to hear the boy spin yet another one of his fantastical tales!" Fudge chipped in derisively, getting a couple of half-hearted titters from some of the people in the courtroom as he tried to trivialise Harry's previous assertions. Noticeably, however, most of them that were present were now just watching on speculatively, with some of them sending irritated looks at Fudge over his lack of decorum.

"Really now?" Dumbledore asked, looking down at Harry curiously.

"Yes, I was just about to tell them about the pair of Dementors that attacked me in Little Whinging. You know, the same ones that kissed my cousin, Dudley, removing his soul and leaving him in an irreversible coma…" Harry replied easily, his gaze moving from Dumbledore to the rest of the room now. "After all, why else would I cast the Patronus Spell other than to attempt to protect both myself and my cousin from harm? Something which I am deeply ashamed I wasn't able to accomplish, hence my cousin's current condition… which I'm sure even a cursory investigation would have brought to light..."

Harry put on a look of intense sadness as he said this. Forcing himself to look contrite and regretful about the condition of this boy he had never met.

"Dementors! In Little Whinging!" Fudge erupted, his tone being still derisive.

"Yes Minister, Dementors. They guard the wizard prison of Azkaban, surely you know that?" Harry shot back quickly, a flicker of cruel amusement passing through his eyes as he saw Fudge flush with a mixture of anger and embarrassment. "Well anyway, I believe my cousin is being kept in a muggle hospital somewhere in Surrey. I am sure I can get an exact location and some Healers can be sent over to verify my claim!"

"Oh, there is no need for that, my boy. I've already taken the liberties of having several qualified St Mungo's Healers go and look young Dudley over. In fact, I already have several verified, and irrefutable, reports at hand right now for the Wizengamot to peruse at their leisure." With that said Dumbledore pulled a large sheaf of parchment from out of his voluminous, colourful robes, which he then offered to the curly, ginger-haired boy who was still currently scribbling away taking notes. "If you would Percy, or I suppose since you are no longer one of my students, Mr Weasley?"

Percy seemed to twitch at the sudden question before he looked over to Fudge as if seeking advice on what to do.

"Well? What are you waiting for Weasley, get to it." Amelia Bones snapped before Fudge could say a word, an impatient look on her face as the now named Percy Weasley leapt to his feet and took the thick sheaf of parchment from Dumbledore.

"I've also got a witness to the whole event as well. One Arabella Figg, a neighbour of Harry's. Who, although a squib, is more than capable of seeing Dementors and fortunately witnessed exactly what happened that night. I have her waiting just outside if you would like for me to call her in?" Dumbledore offered, looking around at all of the members of Wizengamot as they leafed through the medical reports, Percy Weasley had just passed around.

"Hn, might as well send her in." Amelia Bones grunted, her brow furrowed as she read through her own copy of the report. "Though, these reports are pretty damn conclusive. What I just want to know is just why two Dementors were just lurking around a muggle neighbourhood?"

"Well, I would assume they weren't there by accident, after all, it would be quite the coincidence that these creatures just happened to be in the very neighbourhood I lived in, and just happened to run into me…." Harry chipped in dryly, sitting more comfortably in his chair now as he saw things were going his way. This Amelia Bones was far easier going, and with a bungling incompetent like Fudge in charge, he was pretty much guaranteed to get off.

"Hem hem," A high pitched girlish voice suddenly coughed out, drawing Harry's attention to Umbridge as she finally decided to make her presence known. "Forgive me, Mr Potter, I think I might have misunderstood. But it almost sounds like you're once again making wild and unfounded accusations, only this time you're throwing accusations at the Ministry of Magic?"

"I'm not sure about wild or unfounded, Madame…" Harry trailed off, an expectant expression on his face as he looked at Umbridge. "Sorry, I've no idea who you are?"

"My name is Delores Umbridge, the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic…" Umbridge began, her toad-like face twisting into a simpering smile as she looked down at Harry like he was a juicy fly she was about to swallow.

"Oh, if you say so." Harry cut in dryly, the moment he saw her open her mouth to continue talking. "But yes anyway, as I was saying, I don't think any accusations here would be either unfounded or wild as you call them. I mean the Dementors had to have been sent there for a reason, and unless any free ones are roaming about, or ones not under the Ministry' control, then logically it stands to reason that they were sent to Little Whinging by someone in the Ministry…? I'm not sure who, but I'm sure that's Madame Bone's department. That or perhaps they are no longer under the Ministry's control, and instead have a new master? Of course, that last part is just speculation."

The muttering in the courtroom got louder at his words, even as Dumbledore sent him a look of surprised amusement before he nodded his head a slight smile on his face.

As for Amelia Bones, she merely gave him a curt nod at his words as if acknowledging that it will be looked into, even as Arabella Figg, some batty looking old woman that Harry had never seen before was brought into the room, with Dumbledore conjuring both her and himself a pair of comfortable-looking armchairs out of thin air as she did.

Umbridge however, ignored Figg as she introduced herself to the court, instead she stared down at Harry, her protuberant eyes bulging with contained anger at Harry's previous comments.

"Mr Potter is of course correct, the matter of why these Dementors were in Little Whinging will be investigated by my Department in the coming weeks. For now, we should be getting on with the Hearing. Once we've heard Ms Figgs testimony, and so long as it matches Mr Potter's version of events, we will hopefully be able to come to a swift conclusion." Amelia Bones rattled out, her own opinion on the result of the hearing pretty much obvious for all to hear.

There was a general mumble of agreement from the rest of the assembled wizards and witches at Amelia's words, even as some of them leaned forwards and looked expectantly down at Ms Figg.

As for Harry, he could only sit back in his chair and smile in satisfaction.

Absentmindedly listening, as Arabella Figg gave her vivid account of events, burning it to memory just in case he was questioned about it at some point. After which, with Arabella's testimony apparently meeting with Amelia's approval, and with the acceptance of the majority of the Wizengamot. No amount of wheedling and whining from Fudge seemed able to discount the evidence given or discredit the witness, even as Dumbledore easily stepped in and supported her.

After that, it all just came down to a matter of voting on Harry's fate. Though by this point the result was already clear cut to all those present.

"All those who believe, as I do, that Mr Potter is guilty of breaking the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Wizardry Law, please raise your hand!?" Fudge's voice rang out.

A scant half dozen of hands rose into the air. The sight of which seemed to take the wind out of Fudge's sails as he deflated slightly, even as Amelia took over for him.

"And those who believe Mr Potter acted in a way that was suitable to the situation, and so should be acquitted of all charges?" Amelia's strident voice rang out next, as she raised her hand into the air. A full half of the room joined her. With only a dozen or so abstaining from the vote entirely.

"Very well, very well," Fudge grumbled churlishly as he looked around, before fixing his irritated gaze on Harry. "Then following this vote, the charges against one Mr Potter are dropped."

A smile spread across Harry's face at that proclamation.

Honestly, this had been much easier than he had thought it would be. Of course, having a medical examiner's report on Dudley Dursley's comatose body was some pretty strong evidence. Obviously, it had been enough to convince most of the Wizengamot, with the Figg woman's testimony only adding more weight to the mounting evidence in Harry's favour.

"Very good." Dumbledore acknowledged with a tilt of the head to the angry-looking Fudge.

Harry, meanwhile, held back his desire to gloat, as he instead continued to look around at the members of the Wizengamot as they began to break apart and leave the chamber. Burning their faces into his memory, after all, you could never know when such information could come into use, especially since this august body represented one of the most powerful political bodies in the magical world.

"Harry," Dumbledore said, as the members of the Wizengamot began to shuffle off, some leaving the room immediately like Fudge and Umbridge, whilst others took their time, cheerfully conversing with other members as they trotted out of the room.

"Dumbledore," Harry replied, looking at the older man as he stood up. "That seemed to go well."

"Indeed it did my boy. In fact, it hardly looked like you needed my help at all." Dumbledore said jovially as both he and Harry began to head out of the room together, following the rest of the crowd. "Yes, I am very impressed, and surprised, by just how well you did."

"Thanks," Harry nodded curtly, not sure what else to say. His previous interactions with 'his Dumbledore' had always been short, and always had a point behind them, either due to Harry wanting something, or more often Dumbledore wanting something. They had never engaged in small talk or idle chit chat, however.

"So tell me, how are you doing? Are you still having trouble with your memory?" Dumbledore asked quietly, reaching out to lightly clasp Harry's shoulder as they neared the door, pulling him back a bit, even as the last few dribs and drabs of the Wizengamot members left the courtroom in ones or twos, some of them giving both Dumbledore and Harry a nod and a smile before they left the room. Until it was just Harry and Dumbledore inside.

"Yeah fine, I've not been having many issues at all. I mean, I am still a bit fuzzy on some of the finer details, but yeah, for the most part, I'm fine and getting better every day." Harry said with a nod, watching Dumbledore carefully as the old man gave him an inscrutable look.

"What about your scar? Is it still troubling you?" Dumbledore pressed, his gaze moving up to the faded lightning bolt scar on Harry's forehead.

The 'alternate Harry', Harry knew, had once suffered twinges of pain due to his cursed scar, and even the occasional vision. The exact reasoning for this, neither Ron nor Hermione had been able to explain, save for a cryptic reason Dumbledore had given the other Harry in his first year, that for one reason or another Harry and Voldemort were connected.

Yep, that was helpful. That being said, Harry was aware that Neville's scar had used to hurt him on occasion, though since he had never been all that close to him in school and had become his enemy not long after leaving. As such, he had never been told the reason. Voldemort had certainly never shared it with Harry, the Dark Lord after all wasn't the trusting type, nor a person who was eager to share with anyone, let alone a known turncoat like Harry.

"Nope, not so much as a twinge of pain," Harry replied after a couple of moments of silence. "Not that I'm complaining, you know. I mean, I would be pretty happy if it never hurts again!"

"Good, good." Dumbledore nodded absently, his gaze still locked on Harry. Though to him, it looked like the Headmaster was barely seeing him now. Instead, it was like he was looking through him. His blue eyes looked calculating as if he was pondering on a very complex problem.

"There is one thing though," Harry pressed, since he had Dumbledore here, he knew he might as well try and take advantage of it.

"Oh?" Dumbledore replied curiously.

"Yes, my wand," Harry nodded, reaching instinctively for his pocket before he then remembered he had had to hand it in at the desk in the front.

"Yes, Sirius had mentioned to me that you were having compatibility issues with it." Dumbledore nodded, a sudden twinkle entering his eyes now as he smiled slightly. "Nothing to worry about though I am sure. No, it's most likely due to your recent run-in with the Dementors. As far as I have theorized. It appears whatever connection you and Voldemort might once have shared, has been severed."

"Ok…" Harry nodded slowly, waiting for more information on exactly why that would affect his compatibility with a wand. If that even was the reason, as personally, Harry thought it likely that the compatibility issues were due to him being a fundamentally different person to the previous 'Harry'.

"Yes, well anyway, like I said it shouldn't be a problem. I have already instructed Molly and Remus to take you to Diagon Alley before school starts and have sent an owl to Ollivander informing him of the situation, so he is already expecting you and eager to match you up with a new partner." Dumbledore replied briskly before he released Harry's shoulder and swept towards the door to the room. "Now come along Harry, we don't want to stay down here for any longer than we need to."

"Right." Harry nodded dryly, he was happy that he was getting a new wand and would have a chance to head to Diagon Alley. But he wasn't so impressed with Dumbledore's explanation, or rather lack of explanation. The man clearly knew something, he just didn't want to tell Harry, and if there was one thing he hated, it was being kept in the dark about something. Especially if that something directly concerned him.

Exiting the courtroom not long after, Harry was given a swift goodbye from Dumbledore, after which the man then quickly swept off down the corridor, claiming as he did that he had other matters that required his attention and that he would likely see Harry at the beginning of the school year.

Following on from that, Harry ended up accompanying Arthur back through the Ministry of Magic, passing the ever nasty and unctuous Lucius Malfoy and Fudge as they did so, both of whom gave both Harry and Arthur dismissive looks. With Malfoy attempting to prod and poke at them both to get a response, only to be summarily ignored.

Mainly because Harry wasn't in the mood to deal with Malfoy today. Not when he had other, more important things on his mind.

Which is why instead they headed for the Ministry's atrium, after which Harry used the floo to head back to Number 12 Grimmauld Place, after giving a swift thank you and goodbye to Arthur Weasley for his help.

( - )

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