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Harry Potter belongs to J. K. Rowling.

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Pity.


She Ran To Him

The full Wizengamot was assembled in courtroom number ten. All the spectator seats were full. The press was in attendance. Outside people had gathered awaiting the outcome of the last trial of the Great War; as people were now calling it.

The scene had been similar several weeks ago when Severus Snape had been cleared of all charges in absentia. The Wizengamot had not held trials for all those witches and wizards who were missing until this year. They finally ruled that if they hadn't been found yet, it was time to go ahead without them. Everyone needed closure, it had been six years since the end of the war. Severus Snape's trial in absentia had resulted in his being cleared on the charge of murdering Albus Dumbledore. He had to be, as the venerated wizard himself presided over that farce of a trial. After all, how could he be tried for the death of a living wizard; but, in their dubious wisdom the Wizengamot had allowed that charge to be addressed. Even though Albus Dumbledore himself had told of how he had with Severus Snape's assistance, faked his own death; thus, freeing Harry to fulfill the prophecy on his own. Snape had been cleared of all charges of engaging in Death Eater activities, as well. He had been a spy for the Light, and it was his information that had ensured Harry's success in the final battle.

All the major trials had ended with Severus Snape's trial in absentia. Today's trial in absentia was the final trial. It was for a comparatively minor alleged infraction. However, as it was indeed the last trial, much was being made of it, and it was being taken very seriously. The Minister wanted a final conviction.


The Minister stood. The courtroom hushed. "Hermione Jane Granger stands accused of aiding in the escape of a known fugitive: Severus Snape. As the accused is untraceable, her trial will commence in absentia. Our esteemed Interrogators will question the witnesses."

The room erupted. At Severus Snape's trial in absentia many of his selfless deeds had come to light. All the work he had done to help defeat Voldemort, all the tortures he had suffered; the dangerous edge he walked for years; not knowing in any moment, if that was the moment that would be his last. All of it he did for the people seated in the serried rows of benches around the courtroom, he did it for the good of wizardkind. Never once was he credited or supported; nor was he even trusted. All of his dangerous and constant work was done alone, in the shadows. Done with no thought to his own safety. His only concern was making the world safe for those congregated here today, and those beyond the stone walls of the courtroom. Everyone from the Order, his colleagues, and most of his former put-upon students, including Neville Longbottom; had in the wake of his trial gained some understanding of the powerful wizard, the man: Severus Snape. No one liked him any more than they had. He had always been a sarcastic, condescending, bastard; but, they had more of an insight into the reasons for his behaviours now. Even his stanchest detractor, Harry Potter, had gained a modicum of grudging respect for all the surly man had endured in his efforts to defeat Voldemort.

When the Minister had attention again, he continued. "Yes, we recognise that Mr Snape was innocent, that is irrefutable," he said, clearly irritated at the outburst. He continued, his pompous tone never wavering, "He has been completely exonerated in absentia, however, he was indeed a wanted man at the time Miss Granger stands accused of assisting in his escape from justice. We will ask questions, in turn, of everyone who was present when the alleged offense occurred. As witnesses to Miss Granger's crime -"

"She hasn't been convicted!" Harry Potter's outraged interruption caused the Minister to back track.

"Yes, yes. Her alleged crime. I plan to call upon; Neville Longbottom, Remus Lupin, Ernie Macmillan, Minerva McGonagall, Alastor Moody, Harry Potter, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Nymphadora Tonks, Arthur Weasley, Bill Weasley, Fred Weasley, George Weasley, Ginerva Weasley, Molly Weasley, and lastly Ronald Weasley."

They were being called in alphabetical order. By that afternoon they had gotten nowhere. Neville was a mess and hadn't been able to answer coherently. A long time, and many repeated questions later; and it was Remus Lupin's turn to bear witness.

Griselda Marchbanks who was seated beside Percy Weasley stood, the silver 'W' emblazoned on her official Wizengamot robes gleamed in the light. "Tell us what you know of the day in question, Mr Lupin," she said in a kind, but commanding voice.

"I was standing to the side, but I heard and saw most of what happened."

The room became completely silent, everyone was giving Remus Lupin their undivided attention.

"The group of us that you called here today were outside the Weasley's home. I had been checking on Bill Weasley, when a meeting was called. We had just concluded that meeting; and we decided to take advantage of what might be the last really warm sunny day of the Autumn. I had my eyes closed, I was enjoying the sun, until I heard the pop of Apparition. I stood and drew my wand, we were all nervous in those days." Remus smiled sheepishly. "We were all shocked to see Severus Snape in our midst. He had his arms up at shoulder level, his palms facing forward in what we should have realised was a surrendering posture. His hands were empty. He wasn't holding his wand."

"Harry..." Remus clarified at the Minister's cleared throat, "...oh yes; Harry Potter; he and Neville Longbottom, Minerva McGonagall, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and the Weasleys rushed towards Severus. I joined them, but remained to the side a bit."

"Severus was speaking to us all, begging to be heard. He was saying that, 'he had vital information, and that if we would listen; then we could do what we wanted with him.'"

"Harry said something to the effect of; 'we'll do what we want with you anyway,' and then Harry called Severus some pretty foul names."

"Neville advanced on Severus and physically punched him. Repeatedly. No one tried to stop him. Severus made no defense, he just took it. Fred, George, and Ron began beating him as well. Severus was knocked to his knees, but still he made no move to defend himself. Harry had his wand trained on Severus and was telling him that, 'he was going to die for murdering Albus Dumbledore.'"

"I thought I heard two more pops of Apparition, but when I looked in the direction the sound had come from, I only saw Hermione appear."

"You saw Hermione Granger appear," the Minister interjected.

"Yes," Remus agreed. "She screamed 'SEVERUS!'. I can tell you her scream startled a fair few people. The Weasleys backed away from Severus, only Neville continued attacking him. Hermione drew her wand and cast a wordless binding spell on Neville. Neville fell to the ground, immobilised."

"Hermione called to Severus again, but Severus didn't seem to hear her. He was doubled over and having trouble breathing. He was bleeding from more places than I could count."

There was a collective gasp, and many conversations broke out. It took a few minutes for the room to quiet so that Remus could continue.

"She ran to him."

"Miss Granger ran to Mr Snape?" The Minister asked Remus.

"Yes. Just before Hermione got to Severus; Harry laughed, rather mirthlessly, and told Severus that, 'it was ironic that he would die from a curse he created himself.' Then Harry cast 'Sectumsempra'. The curse hit Severus squarely in the chest. The amount of blood was... shocking. It was as if Severus had been speared, several times."

"Hermione screamed. She disarmed Harry as she continued to run to Severus. When she reached him she threw herself to the ground beside him. She cast a wandless spell that I'm not familiar with, but it created an extremely powerful shield around herself and Severus. The Weasleys tried to break it, thinking to save her from a murderer, but they couldn't get through it. Even Tonks, Nymphadora Tonks, and Kingsley Shacklebolt couldn't break it."

"When Hermione screamed at us to, 'get back,' to 'leave Severus alone;' we gave up trying to get through and watched what was happening instead."

"Hermione had begun to heal Severus's wounds. It took her a quite a while. We all just stood by, rather dumbfounded I'd say. As soon as she finished singing the healing incantations she began speaking. But, she wasn't making any sense, not to us at least. We all knew that Hermione was healing Severus to show respect to her former teacher. To see to it that he had a fair trial, rather than being... how does the saying go? Lynched?"

"She was speaking quietly, she was saying something like, 'You knew I wouldn't be here today, you knew it.'"

"It made no sense to us, we thought she was hysterical."

"Then Severus was trying to speak to her. It was obvious that he was trying to make Hermione get away from him. When he did manage some words we realised that he was trying to say that he thought it wasn't safe for Hermione to be near him. That he thought with all of us so intent on his death, that she might get hurt somehow. It was incongruous... We know now that Severus was on our side, that he didn't murder Albus," Remus looked up at Albus. "But at that time we thought he was a murderer and a Death Eater. It made no sense that he was trying to keep Hermione safe. It didn't matter anyway, Hermione wouldn't leave his side. She must have known he was innocent, but - "

"No conjecture, please, Mr Lupin," the Minister interrupted. "Just tell us what you saw and heard."

"Of course, Minister," Remus said, he didn't try to disguise the disparagement in his tone.

"Hermione told Severus that he was right, that we only cared about killing him. She said, 'I told you they were closed-minded. But you had to come anyway, when you knew I wouldn't be here today. You knew it. Why did you come Severus, when you knew they wouldn't listen?'"

"Severus's answer was something like, 'I had to try.'"

"She told him that, 'she knew how important it was to him to try to help, but that he could have found another way to get the information to the Order.'"

"At the time, none of us knew Severus was innocent, so, we didn't really understand what was going on. During their brief conversation Hermione had been fishing in Severus's robes. She pulled out a phial, I heard her confirm to herself that it was a blood-replenisher. She ordered Severus to drink the potion. She had to help him drink it, he was still too injured to take the potion on his own."

"Then she asked him if he agreed. He didn't answer, and she asked again, and again, until I finally heard him whisper, 'Yes, Hermione, I agree.' She reached into his pocket and pulled out a blood soaked handkerchief. She pressed it into his hand and touched it with her wand. She counted down from three; and when Severus vanished, we knew it was a portkey."

The Minister interrupted and said, "I see. It is clear that Miss Granger aided a fugitive in his escape. That will be all Mr Lupin."

"There is more Minister," Lupin said with forced respect. "Hermione, she would never knowingly break the law or aid a fugitive."

"Is that so?" the Minister asked with a look of triumph on his face. "Your testimony clearly shows that she helped Severus Snape escape by; one: putting an unauthorised portkey in his hand; and by two: activating said portkey for him. It is quite clear. She orchestrated his escape from justice."

"But, Minister," Remus pleaded, "if she had meant for him to escape, knowing that it was a crime; she would have left, as well."

"She did disappear from our society not long after, and she hasn't been seen since. That is the action of a guilty woman. Hence, our need for a trial in absentia. That will be all Mr Lupin."

"Minister, please," Lupin continued, as he stood, "she is not guilty. She would never help a known fugit - "

The Minister cut him off, "Of course she would. We have no proof, but we all know she did just that along with Harry Potter; in her third year at Hogwarts. The fugitive she helped escape that time was a convicted murderer. Now, I will not dismiss you again Mr Lupin. Sit down."

"Miss Granger's rumoured past deeds are not on trial here. We will still hear from the other witnesses; before we pass judgment," Albus Dumbledore decreed, in his quiet authoritative voice.

"Of course, I wouldn't hear of anything else," the aggravated Minister responded.

A harassed Remus Lupin moved from where he was standing before the centre chair; as his chance to speak had clearly ended. As he headed towards the benches, the door to the courtroom banged open abruptly. The sound echoed off the stone walls; startling over two hundred witches and wizards.

A young man entered. He was tall and thin. He had long shining hair that flowed over his shoulders like a black waterfall. His pale face sported a prominent hooked nose and brilliant green almond-shaped eyes. He seemed to be somewhat younger than Percy Weasley; yet, the new arrival strode with absolute confidence towards the Wizengamot. He stopped when he stood directly below them.

The Minister stood, angered beyond belief at the intrusion. "Who are you? Why do you dare to disturb our - "

The young man cut him off and answered his unfinished question with a raised eyebrow. His smooth silky voice was only slightly more than a whisper; even so, his words reverberated around the courtroom, "I have come to give testimony on the behalf of Hermione Granger. I have proof that she is innocent of these accusations."

"How dare you!" The Minister repeated. "Remove yourse - "

Albus rose from his seat, resplendent in his plum Wizengamot robes and spoke. "I, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, can vouch for this witness. I declare him a witness for the defense of Hermione Granger. He is ernest, and he means no disrespect."

The Minister glared at Dumbledore but allowed the intrusion, "I'm sure." The Minister rubbed his chin absently, and continued, "However, we are hearing witnesses alphabetically, therefore - "

Dumbledore cut across him, "Therefore, it is your turn to speak, as we are past your name in the list." Dumbledore smiled benevolently at the new arrival.

A visible vein was throbbing in the Minister's temple as he regarded the new witness before him, "You will tell us who you are; why you thought you should interrupt our proceedings; and what you think you know that is relevant to this case."

The scribe beside the minister was scribbling furiously.

The young man, dressed in fashionable black Muggle attire; merely returned Albus Dumbledore's smile.


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