Author's note: This story came to me one day while I was watching Law and Order, and one of my friends thought it was brilliant, so cheers to her. This is for you, babe. Anyway, since JKR never really said anything about the Wizarding world's legal system, I'm creating one to fit the story's needs. Most of it will be based on the American justice system just because I don't want to completely butcher the English judiciary system. I just wanted to warn you beforehand…
And, as another note: Lain and I are sharing her account. For personal reasons, I'm closing my old one. Several (note, not all) of my stories can be found and will be updated on different websites, so if you're looking for one that I haven't brought over with me, just ask. The stories I have chosen to not continue were weakly put together, bad ideas or were damaged beyond repair. If I have time, someday I plan a re-write of 'Famous Last Words', which means 'I'll Always Be Here' may be re-written as well. I've got my fingers crossed. Thanks for your time and consideration, it really means a lot to me.
Dark Side of the Moon
Prologue… Ron's PoV
Six years in Azkaban can really change a person, especially when they're innocent. Ron Weasley went into Azkaban completely unprepared for what lay ahead of him. The things he saw surpassed everything he had seen in the Second War.
Today, he was standing in the Warden's office. His prison uniform, which had fit him when he was first incarcerated hung loosely on his tall, thin frame. His face, which before had always held the traces of a charming, boyish grin was now hollow and blank. The only thing that ever seemed to relay emotion was his eyes, and that was only when his gaze was fixated on something or someone. Currently he was gazing out over the kilometres of water surrounding the hell he had called home for the past six years.
The Warden was filling out his papers, for what he didn't know, and the sound of his quill scratching the parchment was driving Ron crazy. After six years in solitary confinement, any noise seemed to echo off the walls with such intensity he wanted to throw himself into the icy blue depths outside. He hadn't used his voice during those lonely years, and wasn't even sure he could anymore. As he watched the water crash against the rocky shores of Azkaban Island, he couldn't help but wish them to shake the prison to it's very core and cause the unwelcoming building to crash into the seemingly endless abyss.
The Warden laid the quill on his desk and sighed. Turning to the guard stationed at his door, he nodded brusquely and stood. "Mr Weasley, your family and legal counsel are here to see you."
Ron turned his head and looked him in the eyes. The Warden, after a few moments of being on the receiving end of an intense blank stare, looked away and moved towards the door. He turned the knob and let two people inside before taking his leave.
A young redheaded woman stepped through and wrinkled her nose. Her companion, a tall dark haired man frowned as he stepped into the office as well.
Ron watched the two stare around curiously before seeming to realize he was there. "Ron?" the woman asked, cautiously stepping towards him. Her voice was so soft he wasn't sure she'd even spoken at all. "Oh Ron."
She threw her arms around him and rubbed her cheek against his worn uniform. "Merlin, you look horrible," she mumbled, pulling back long enough to really look at him. His face was pale, except for the shadow of stubble brushed along his jaw and cheeks. There were purple bags under his pain filled eyes, and a scar blazing along his jawbone and down his neck. Her big brown eyes glistened with unshed tears as they roved his face, looking for any trace of emotion. "What have they done to you?" she whispered, pulling him into another hug.
He awkwardly put his arms around her back. "I'm alright Ginny," he whispered hoarsely. His voice cracked miserably, and he flinched at how dry his throat was. His voice sounded foreign to him, but somehow hauntingly familiar. "I missed you." He could feel her tears leaking onto his shirt and he closed his eyes briefly.
"Hi Ron," the dark haired man said uncomfortably. Ginny moved to Ron's side, without removing her arm from around his back. "It's been awhile," he continued, extending his hand. His other hand was shaking, and his eyes looked a little misty.
Ron reached out with his free hand and clapped him on the back. "I know," he replied, his voice squeaking. "Merlin, my voice hasn't sounded like this since school." They all laughed, and the shadow of a smile played across Ron's face. "What are you guys doing here? Not that I'm not thrilled to see you…"
Ginny's smile disappeared and she shot Harry a quick look. "They didn't tell you?" she asked, moving to set the briefcase clutched in her hand on the Warden's desk. "They were supposed to tell you that you've been granted a retrial. The judge presiding over your case was taken into custody last month for receiving bribes on cases, and yours was one of the those mentioned." She pulled out a stack of papers and motioned for Harry and him to sit down. They did, and she continued. "I'm your main legal counsel, and I'm hoping to get one of my old law professors as your barrister."
"You're an attorney?" he asked, leaning forward in his chair.
She gave him a small smile. "I quit Healer training to go to the law academy. My dream was getting you a retrial," she confessed, flipping through the papers. "I requested every piece of the case from six years ago-" she gestured towards the piles of paper on the desk, "-and I was hoping we could go over them after you're released."
He bolted up in his chair. "I'm getting-" he lowered his voice and looked around nervously. "Released?"
She nodded. "Don't act so surprised, we know you didn't do it."
"Yeah, I mean, I may have been eleven, but I think I'd know better than to pick a murderer as my best mate," Harry told him. "And Ginny's bloody brilliant at this thing. She hasn't lost a case yet."
Ginny blushed to the roots of her hair. "One. I lost one," she mumbled, obviously pleased by his confidence in her. "But most of those weren't murder trials. I'm still trying to get secondary counsel that has more experience with these types of cases."
Harry turned to Ron. "She doesn't give herself enough credit. You should have heard her on the way over here, she was poking holes in the evidence left and right. She's really good with this."
"I am right here," Ginny reminded them, sounding a bit put out. "Please Harry, compliment me to my face."
They all laughed, but just as soon as the atmosphere became lighter, it darkened. "What do you really think my chances are?" Ron asked quietly. "I don't think I could come back here after this."
Ginny began to stack the papers in her briefcase, avoiding eye contact with her older brother. "You stand a chance, the prosecutor originally assigned to this case is retired and the new one is a rookie. You'll have a new judge, and a fresh perspective on everything going on. But," she paused and locked the briefcase, mentally racking up her next words. "there's always the chance you'll have to come back here. But I can assure you I'll do everything in my power to make sure you don't. You trust me, right?" She moved so she was standing in front of him, her hands on his shoulders.
He looked up at her and smiled for the first time in so long. "Of course I do."
"Good. Now, we have a hearing in an hour. Harry brought you some dress robes, so hurry and get changed."
WEASLEY GRANTED RETRIAL!
In what is the most amazing decision passed in Magical Law history, Ronald B. Weasley, in Azkaban for the murder of Thomas Whittingger six years ago, was granted a retrial on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct. The original prosecutor, Nathan Hale, was supposedly bribing the judge, Herman P. Walthers, assigned to the case and Walthers ruled in his favour for multiple cases, not just Weasley's.
Weasley's new attorney and youngest sister, Ginevra M. Weasley, when asked for her opinion concerning the case, stated, "He (Hale) didn't even have enough to go to trial last time and I'm making sure the legal system doesn't fail my brother again. I plan on taking every case handled by Walthers and Hale to another judge and freeing every innocent person they convicted. They didn't just betray innocent people, they betrayed the legal system and the thousands of citizens who rely on it to restore order in our times of darkness. They will pay for this betrayal, and I'll be sure to be the one making this case."
The case six years ago was considered airtight, but with new light being shed, some old supporters of the prosecution's side are beginning to sympathize with the defence. Ronald Weasley was one of the Golden Trio that included the famous Boy-Who-Lived, was one of the top Aurors in his class and was considered a 'down-to-earth, trustworthy guy.' Harry Potter, an old family friend, was reported saying, "There's no way (Weasley) did it. He stood by me all through school and has to be the most loyal person I know. He's just not capable of it.'
While many disagree on the various aspects of the case, one thing holds true. Many of the most brilliant legal advocates of our time have pointed out the weaknesses in the prosecution's case, and after six years, the case can only get weaker.