(An: Sorry everyone for taking so long.. It has been taking me long to post this. Thanl you all of my reveiwers.)
Chapter 15: Guilty or Not Guilty
The morning of the trial was quite hectic. Everyone around Hogwarts knew about it. All the kids were whispering and staring at Ron like he had already been proven guilty. Hermione just shot the other students angry glares and they quickly turned away. Ron was supposed to leave for the trial at four. It was supposed to last for at least three or four hours. Ron's friends were trying to keep him happy but they were failing miserably.
On their way to Potions class that day they ran into Crabbe and Goyle.
" Ron," Crabbe smiled. " Ready to go to Azkaban today?"
" Yeah, why bother having a trial at all?" Goyle laughed. " You're clearly guilty."
" Come off it!" Hermione screamed. " Ron isn't guilty he is innocent."
The two friends of Malfoy stared for a very long amount of time before they entered Professor Snape's potions class.
" Hermione I am guilty," Ron whispered as they walked into the room.
" You don't know that for sure," she smiled.
On the board were long directions for a potion that could cure a headache. Ron needed something exactly like that. He could feel a headache creeping into his head. Snape began is usual process of analyzing the student's potions. When he arrived at Ron's he gave a loud grunt.
" I guess potion's isn't your thing," he sneered. " Maybe killing students is more of your expertise."
Slowly Ron's mouth opened but he didn't respond. Snape moved on to Hermione's potion, which was excellent. Ron on the other hand didn't care about potion class at the time.
" Ron, don't listen to him," Hermione waved it aside. " He is just sore because, you killed his favorite student. He had no right to say that to you anyway."
" I feel much better knowing that I killed someone's favorite student," Ron sighed.
Hermione forgot how sensitive the subject of Malfoy's murder was. She assumed he had gotten over it since it happened long ago. Glancing at Ron she saw he had a hurt expression on his face. She wanted to fix it. So badly she wanted to help. Harry who also had heard the rude comment Snape made was furious.
" Snape is just a greasy haired freak," Harry replied. " Don't listen to anything he says. Most of it is rubbish anyway."
Ron tried to shrug the comment off but it came back and tore at his heart. This made him feel hopeless. After class the trio headed to their next class.
Their next class was Defense against the dark arts. During the class Ron was receiving glares from his fellow students. Trying to ignore it he directed his attention to the teacher. Kids in the front turned around to stare at him too. This angered Ron a bit.
"WHY ARE YOU BLOODY PEOPLE STARING AT ME? I'M NOT A CRIMINAL!" he shrieked.
The other students quickly turned around. But the teacher was now staring. Ron looked down at the table quickly to hide his embarrassed expression. After the class Ron stomped ahead.
" I am tired of people glaring!" Ron huffed. I am not a criminal. They are treating me like I'm a murderer. Even though I am it doesn't mean I am a bad person."
Frowning Ron stopped to think about what he said. He was a murderer and it automatically made him a bad person. They were almost treating him like voldermort.
" Ron, they don't understand like we do," Hermione reminded. " We get you. They don't even know you. So as long as you feel good about yourself then who cares what they think."
" I don't feel good about my self though," he sighed. " I don't know if I'm ready for the trial at four."
" I know what will cheer you up," Hermione smiled.
" Nothing," he mumbled.
Hermione grabbed Ron's hand and dragged him down the corridor Harry trailed behind. Finally they made it up to the Gryffindor common rooms. Hermione hid her hands behind her back.
" What's that you got behind there Hermione?" Ron asked.
She pulled a tin from behind her and handed it to Ron. He looked at it then a smile spread across his face. Opening the tin he pulled out the chocolate frog. Biting into it he let the chocolate melt in his mouth. Hermione did know how to cheer him up. Hermione and Harry watched Ron eat the chocolate frog with such glee. They hoped that whatever outcome the trial brought that Ron would always be happy.
When four o' clock came Ron had just finished lunch. Hermione and Harry both were finished and were waiting. Dumbledore strolled up to them slowly. To Ron it seem like he was taking his time. Like he hadn't had a good walk like that in years. When he got to the trio he wore a smile. He nodded signaling them to follow. They did exactly that. They followed him all the way to his office. Inside he went and sat at his desk where he looked at some papers.
" Aren't we leaving Dumbledore?" Harry asked.
He brought a rubber duck from off his desk.
" We'll be taking a port key," he smiled. " Put your hands on this and think about the ministry."
All three friends followed his directions. The three felt like they were flying through the air. Soon the feel disappeared and a new feeling replaced it the feeling of dread because they were at the ministry in the room where they would do the trial. Ron swallowed hard. It was a rather large room. In this room was a long table. Five people sat at it. In the middle was Fudge. On either side of him were four other important ministry personnel.
Two tables were placed a few feet away from the table of the ministry people. Each table had two chairs.
" Take your seat Ronald," Fudge commanded.
" Yes sir," Ron sighed.
He went to his seat and sat down. Hermione, Harry and Dumbledore followed. The doors opened and Crabbe, Goyle, and Luscious Malfoy entered. Ron began to sweat again.
" Now that everyone is…
The doors opened once again and Ron's parents and his sister and twin brothers walked in. Ron looked toward Dumbledore who gave him a wink.
" Ronald dear over here," Mrs. Weasley called then said afterwards. " My baby on trial. What is this world coming to?"
Ron turned back to the front to see Fudge was glaring.
" Now that everyone is here we can start," Fudge responded. " Okay now will the first witness on either side please make your way to the front."
" There weren't any witnesses," Ron whispered. " It was just Malfoy and me."
Goyle made his way to the front. He promised he would tell the truth to one of the ministry personnel then sat down.
" Goyle where were you on the night my son died," Mr. Malfoy asked.
" We were eating dinner that night," he remarked. " I remember because we were having…
" Get on with it boy," he growled.
" Draco was going to follow Weasley," he began. " Of course we asked if he wanted us to come but he said no. When he left we followed. We saw him go out a door and we followed."
" Who was with you?" Mr. Malfoy asked.
" Crabbe," Goyle answered.
" Would the second witness please come to the front," Fudge commented.
Crabbe promised he would tell the truth then sat in a chair next to Goyle.
" As I was saying we saw Weasley turned into a werewolf, and attacked Draco then we ran away because we were so scared," Goyle continued. " We did see Ron attack him."
" He is lying through his teeth," Harry whispered.
" I object!" Hermione shouted.
" Objection overruled," Fudge retorted.
Huffing Hermione sat back in her chair.
" Anything else you want to share Crabbe or Goyle?" Mr. Malfoy asked.
" Crabbe heard Ron say something about Draco before he died," Goyle informed.
" What was it Goyle?" Luscious questioned.
" I heard Weasley say he was going to kill Draco," he answered.
" Is that all?" Luscious asked.
The boys nodded.
" Okay you both may seat down," fudge said. " We're going to have a break before the next witnesses come up."
The gravel was slammed onto the table to end the session.
Outside of the trial room Ron was drinking a glass of water for his dry throat. Hermione and Harry watched him with concerned expressions.
" They were lying," Hermione huffed. " Both of them. Not one truthful word out of their mouth."
" I figured," Ron frowned. " I knew they were going to lie."
Mrs. Weasley made her way toward Ron. She began to straighten his collar and other things.
" It's fine mom," Ron frowned.
" Sure dear," she sighed.
" Ron, don't let Mr. Malfoy intimidate you," Mr. Weasley demanded. " He doesn't have the advantage."
" You're forgetting the fact that I am guilty," Ron answered. " I did kill Malfoy."
" Everyone knows that," Fred said. " The whole Wizarding World knows. They are probably at home right night waiting for you to be thrown in jail."
" Thanks Fred," Ron glared.
Mrs. Weasley directed her glare toward Fred who looked away instantly.
" Don't listen to him Ronald dear," she grinned. " You'll do fine."
Smiling confidently Ron went over to where Hermione and Harry were sitting on a bench. As soon as he left Mrs. Weasley began to cry.
" The trial will resume now," Fudge announced from his seat.
" We are going to start with the othersides's witnesses."
Hermione was about to make a statement but Ron was already at the front. He promised he would tell the truth and nothing but the truth.
" Ron, is it true that Malfoy had followed you outside?" Hermione asked.
" So Malfoy was getting himself into danger," she stated.
" I object!" Luscious hollered.
" Objection overruled," Fudge answered.
Hermione cleared her throat and continued.
" Marcus Vladimir 1620, Caroline Milton 1645, and Nicholas Borges 1734, what do they have in common? They all were werewolves. They also killed people on purpose," Hermione concluded.
" That is a lot of useless information," Luscious snarled. " Cleary she is telling a report rather then asking Weasley questions. She is trying to avoid asking him questions because she knows he is guilty."
" Mrs. Granger does your story have a point?" Fudge asked.
" Very much sir," she nodded. " Malfoy was killed on accident. In the cases of Marcus, Caroline, and Nicholas they all attacked people on purpose. They would make sure they transform next to people, so when they did the mass slaughter would begin."
Fudge seemed to be thinking about it.
" I am beginning to understand," he smiled. " Okay Granger tell me a little more."
" Ron was minding his own business when Malfoy showed up out of nowhere," Hermione explained. " So it was all a huge accident."
" Anymore things you want to share Mrs. Granger?"
" Yes, Ron is a good person. He never hurt anyone on purpose," she added.
" Thank you Mrs. Granger that will be all," he smiled.
Hermione nodded and sat down.
Two hours passed by while the ministry people spoke. Harry, Hermione and Ron tried to listen through the door but the sound was muffled.
" Give up Weasley," Luscious snarled. " You will be guilty and you will go to Azkaban."
" You don't know that," Mr. Weasley grumbled.
" Actually I do," he sneered.
The doors of the room opened slowly. Fudge stood in the doorway smiling.
Looking form Ron to Luscious he brought out a paper.
" We have come to a final decision," he announced. " We have decided that Ronald Weasley is…
Ron held his breath. The suspense was too much.
Ron dropped to the floor. Opening his eyes he saw Hermione and Harry smiling.
" Am I going to Azkaban?" he asked.
" No Ron," Hermione grinned. " You're innocent. You're free."
" I'm free?" he questioned.
Ron hollered out. He ran over to Malfoy's dad.
" You did a great job," Ron smiled holding out his hand.
" Humph," he grumbled. " You cleary are guilty. Fudge is blind and can't see that."
Turning on his heel he disappeared down the hall Crabbe and Goyle trailing behind. Ron stared after him.
" Ron, don't mind him," Harry cheered. " His a sore loser."
Ron turned to Hermione.
" Thank you Hermione," he smiled. " You helped me so much. Now I'm free."
" Well Ron I…
Before she could finish her sentence Ron kissed her.
" Thank you," he winked.
Hermione stood smiling. Ron ran out the doors of the ministry screaming.
" I'm free! I'm free!"
All Ron's three friends and his family came up toward him.
" Ron what are you going to do know?" Harry asked.
" Maybe we should celebrate at school," Hermione smiled.
" I have a better idea,"
Lamps were made into a circle in the dark forest. Hermione and Harry both stared.
" Ron are you sure about this?" Harry asked. " We shouldn't be out here. You know how mad he still is."
"Remember he tried to kill you so many times," Hermione added.
" I know," Ron frowned. " But I have to do this. It might not bring him back but it'll make him feel better."
Ron laid a bouquet of flowers into the middle of the circle of lights.
" If you can hear me Malfoy. I mean Draco just know I'm sorry. I really mean it."
A glowing mist formed over the circle of lights. Harry pulled Ron back. As the mist came into view it was Malfoy. He looked down at the flowers. Harry and Hermione were ready if Malfoy tried anything funny. Malfoy stared at them with his cold empty eyes. He moved a ghostly hand over the flowers. Looking ahead he stared right at Ron.
" I know you hate me," Ron lowered his head. " But I got those for you. You know to apologize."
Faith stood quiet. She watched this with interest. She was fairly quiet through out the whole trial too.
" Ron is really sorry," Faith added.
Malfoy glared at the muggle. But then looked back down at the red roses. He frowned.
" Well see you around Malfoy," Ron sighed.
Ron turned away with his friends. He knew Malfoy wouldn't be happy to see him but he wanted to give back. Sadly Ron's plan had failed and Malfoy seemed even angrier to him.
" Thank you," came a whisper.
" What?" Ron froze in his spot.
" Do I have to repeat myself," Malfoy snarled.
" No of course not but you did say thank you right?" Ron asked.
" Well you're welcome," Ron grinned proudly. " It's the least I can do."
Ron again went to turn away. He walked away with his friends. When Malfoy was sure they were gone he cried. Not loud but soft and inaudible. When Ron was at the doors of Hogwarts he stopped.
" What is it Ron?" Hermione asked.
" Nothing I thought I heard crying,"
" Crying?" Harry questioned.
" Yes," he frowned. " Never mind."
Days went by and things were slowly getting back to normal. Winter passed and so did spring. The day everyone was to go home was nearing. Finally the day came. Trunks were lugged down the stairs and students were about to get on the train.
" So Faith I hear you are going to live with Ron," Harry smiled.
" Yes," she grinned. " I have a family again."
" Hey Ron," Hermione called to him.
" Oh hey,"
" What's wrong?" she asked.
" Nothing I have to do one more thing before I leave," he replied.
" Do you need us to come?" she asked.
" No, I think I better do this alone," he smiled. " Save me a seat?"
Hermione went to get on the train.
" Where is Ron going?" Harry asked.
" He says he has to do something before he leaves," Hermione remarked.
The dark forest wasn't too dark and scary in the morning. It seemed quite tranquil. Ron returned back to where he had put the lamps three months ago. The lamps were blown out and the flowers were still there. They were shriveled up and a little dead. Looking around Ron couldn't see Malfoy anywhere.
" Hey Malfoy," Ron shouted.
" Yeah Weasel," a voice sneered.
" Just came to say good bye," he answered.
" What are you my friend now?" he snarled.
" Maybe," Ron grinned. " I just wanted to say good bye before I go home."
" Thanks for rubbing it in," Malfoy sneered.
" Sorry," Ron frowned.
Malfoy's face softened.
" Well, you said you're good bye now go," he ordered. " You'll miss the train."
" I was hoping you say good bye to me too," Ron smiled.
" How about you leave or else I will kill you," Malfoy glared dangerously.
Ron frowned. He then turned and ran out of the forest. Malfoy chuckled to himself. He then looked down at the shriveled up dead roses. It was pretty lonely out in the dark forest. Looking around he scratched the back of his ghostly head.
" Good bye," he whispered into the sky.
Malfoy's image faded out as he disappeared. Ron ran back into the forest where he had forgotten his scarf. The lamps were on and the roses were fresh and new like if just picked. Seeing this Ron smiled.
" I understand Malfoy," he simply stated.
With that Ron ran back out of the forest to catch the train.
That is the end finally. What did you think about this chapter? I deiced it would be nice if Ron apologized to Malfoy that way. It probably seemed a little sappy but I liked writing it. Please leave reviews.