Chapter 1: The Trial
It was the third of December when the Ministry of Magic, in all of its glory, implemented a plan that left even its most fervent supporters gapping in utter disbelief. Even in a world whose sheer existence defied the rules of logic, there was a fine line between eccentricity and utter stupidity. And much to the dismay of the general public, Minister Fudge had crossed the line one too many times. Especially when he broke the rule that surmounted all rules...
He had ordered the Dementor's kiss upon Harry Potter, the boy-who-freaking-ruined-his-campaign.
To say that the public was outraged was putting it lightly. But alas, Fudge was hardly the sort of wizard who rubbed elbows with any normal witches or wizards on the street; the only company he consistently had contact with were the rich and the powerful. Thus, he was unaware that he was systematically destroying his chances of reelection with every speech he gave bashing the Boy-Who-Lived. It didn't help that, just recently, Fudge had been forced to reveal You-Know-Who's return to power after their run in with Harry Potter in the Department of Mysteries.
And it was completely Harry Potter's fault.
Fudge had concluded, shaking with barely suppressed anger that the Potter boy was a nuisance, nothing but a constant thorn in his back. A thorn that he should have destroyed from the start. And loath as he was to admit it, Fudge knew that had he gotten rid of the boy earlier...his entire political career would have been much simpler. This whole smear campaign had "nothing" to do with the fact that the boy destroyed his entire life. Oh, no indeed.
But, as of today, his luck finally seemed to be looking up.
Two weeks ago, he and his Aurors had secretly broken into number 11 Privet Drive and apprehended the Boy-Who-Lived. Looking back, Fudge had to admit that his plan had worked out far better than he expected. The Potter brat, surprisingly enough, had barely batted an eyelash when he was told that he was going to be sent to Azkaban. He simply sat there, the corner of his lip curling at the irony, as his Aurors slapped on a pair of magic-repelling handcuffs. It was a bit eerie since Fudge had expected some form of a struggle from the brat...
...after all, it was Azkaban.
It was then that Fudge actually looked at the Potter boy. The boy's face was pale and thin, with sickly dark circles under his eyes; the boy was also dressed in a strange, ratty old tee shirt that was three sizes too big. Even Fudge, with his agenda against the boy, couldn't help but feel a twinge of uncertainty as the boy shrugged lightly before the army of Aurors and resumed staring at the ceiling. It was...almost as if the boy had lost the will to live. Like as if...he had wanted to die.
Shaking his head lightly, Fudge pushed his thoughts aside. It didn't matter how the boy had acted nor looked. It would be of the past soon enough.
For in a matter of minutes, Harry James Potter was to be kissed by one of the foulest creatures on the planet and with it suffer a fate worse then death.
"Harry James Potter, you have been brought here before us today to stand trial for your crimes," a dark-haired judge recited, as he motioned towards the three other individuals next to him. "Our glorious Minister Fudge has kindly provided you with three witnesses to stand in as the jury and a lawyer to cross examine you."
The boy remained silent with his eyes fixed upon a crack in the stone floor.
The judge raised an eyebrow at the boy's unresponsive behavior, but continued nevertheless. "You have been brought here on the charges of murdering one Cedric Diggory, breaking into the Ministry, sensationalizing, and plotting against the government," he said carefully emphasizing each and every point. "The charge of murder would of course guarantee you a lifetime in Azkaban, if proven true of course," the judge added quickly. "And with the additional charges in play, you would be subjected to the Dementor's Kiss.
Harry shrugged. He supposed that his soul was safer in a Dementor's stomach then in the afterlife. After all, what would his parents and Sirus say about him? He couldn't face their disappointment or their hate...
"Do you understand?"
Harry glanced up for the first time since the beginning of the trail. "As a matter of fact, I don't," he said flatly, as his empty green eyes bored into the judge's brown ones, causing the older man to flinch. "From what I recall, don't trails with as much weight as this tend to be judged by the Wizengamot?"
The judge shivered slightly as but quickly recollected his writs. "Of course not Mr. Potter, the Wizengamot is not in session this time of year. Hence, it falls under the jurisdiction of Minister Fudge to appoint the court."
Harry's lip curled in a dry smirk. So that was it, eh? This entire fake court scheme was just for petty revenge? Pathetic.
The judge tugged at the collar of his robes as his breathing quickened. He couldn't help but notice that Harry Potter was by far different then the golden-boy that the media made him out to be. The boy was...imperturbable. In all his years as a judge, he had never met a client shrugged aside the idea of Azkaban. It was absurd! According to Fudge, Potter was Dumbledore's golden boy. There was truly nothing special about Potter, save for his famous scar and bloody luck.
But now, for the first time, he was starting to realize how wrong he was.
As he met the Boy-Who-Lived's jaded emerald green eyes, he couldn't help but feel a twinge of fear. Perhaps there was more to the boy then meets eye. Perhaps it wasn't luck that allowed Potter to survive all his encounters with You-Know-Who relatively unscathed. The boy before him wasn't the warm, kind Gryffindor that he had expected to see. The Potter boy was cold, collected, and fearless...
One of the witnesses coughed loudly as he waited for the Judge to regain his bearings. "May we proceed?" he asked politely, his distinctly aristocratic accent resounding about the room.
The judge gave the witness a weak smile. "My apologizes," he stated, as he forced his eyes away from the biting emerald green glaze. "Now back to the topic at hand," the judge took a deep breath as he regained his cool. "...Mister Potter, we are here today to test your innocent upon the matter. If you are pronounced innocent by the court you shall be returned back to your home without further ado. But if you are found guilty..."
"My soul will be lynched by a Dementor," finished Harry dryly.
The witness that spoke earlier gave Harry a scathing glare. "Hold your tongue, boy," he said sternly.
Harry glanced over at the witness and raised an eyebrow.
The judge sighed as he waved aside the comments. "Yes, mildly put," he said stiffly, as he slouched back against his chair. "Now if you will, lets get this farce over with," he all but pleaded. Good pay or no, he should have known better than to accept this case from Minister Fudge. He sighed. After all, as far as Minister Fudge was concerned, anything related to Harry Potter was doomed to fall into disaster.
"Mr. Potter, where were you the night Cedric Diggory was killed?"
Harry snorted. "I've told you all this before," he said in annoyance. "The Triwizard cup turned out to be a Portkey and teleported the two of us to a graveyard near the Riddle's house. And then Wormtail," he spat, "killed Cedric."
The lawyer raised an inquiring eyebrow. "And where do you fall in all this?" he drawled. "You were in the graveyard too were you not?"
"But then why didn't you try and save the boy?" drawled the lawyer, as his eyes glittered with triumph. "I find it hard to believe that the glorious Harry Potter would stand aside and allow a Death Eater commit murder."
Harry's eyes darkened. "Mr. Aesir," he said softly, as he glanced towards the pompous looking lawyer. "Have you ever seen or used the killing curse before?"
The lawyer blinked. "No, of course not."
"Then you must be aware, Mr. Aesir," said Harry as a flicker of old pain resurfaced. "That the is nothing in the world that could stop the killing curse Nothing. No shield, no spell. Once the curse is cast the only way to survive is to dodge it."
"How is this relevant?"
Harry looked distinctly amused. "And how is it not?" he retorted. "How could I have possibly saved Cedric's life if there was no spell, charm, or shield that could block it?"
Aesir sputtered. "Why Mr. Potter," he said, his voice taking a light chiding tone. "No need to act so defensively, after all I wasn't accusing you of anything was I?" The man gave a heartily laugh and slapped Harry on the back.
The boy's entire composure stiffened, as eyes darkened. Had Aesir been a smarter man, or more practical for the matter, he would have wisely backed away. For the times have not been kind on Harry. He was but a boy who had learned from a young age to hide his emotions even from himself. Though given the right incentive, such emotions would bubble to the surface, revealing the wizard that truly existed beneath the shell.
A wizard that was truly equal (or perhaps greater) in power to the Dark Lord.
"So tell me, Mr. Potter," said Aesir, his voice oozing with curiosity. "Which side do you support?" seeing the expression on Harry's face, the man quickly explained. "Just to set the record straight of course," he said sounding a little panicked. "After all, during the past year there have been rumors and all about you turning Dark."
Harry glared. "I support no one but myself," he hissed, his temper getting the better of him. "I am no pawn - whether it may be for Dumbledore, Voldemort, or the Ministry," he spat bitterly, as he recalled his last few minutes in Dumbledore's office.
The lawyer looked as if Christmas had come early. "I agree," he said placating. "You are your own person of course, Mr. Potter. You needn't listen or obey anyone else's law or rules correct?"
Harry nodded dimly, as the image of Sirus falling through the veil replayed over and over again in his mind.
"Even if it's an established custom of the wizarding world?" he prodded. "You would change the world just on a whim?"
The boy snapped back to reality. "What?"
Aesir rolled his eyes. "What I mean Mr. Potter, is whether you think you are above the law."
Harry blinked at the unexpected question. "O-of course not."
"Why the stutter?"
"Because you just channeled Snape," Harry mumbled to himself, well aware that the court case was being recorded.
"There was no reason for it," said Harry in annoyance. "I was just surprised by your question."
The lawyer prodded further. "But then what do you have to say for regarding your past record?" Seeing Harry's closed expression, he elaborated, "Performing two cases of underage magic, lying to the Minister about the criminal Sirus Black, planting your name in the Goblet of Fire, suspect to the death of one Cedric Diggory, giving sensitive information out to the public, breaking and entering the Department of Mysteries..." Aesir paused an took a deep breath. "Need I go on?"
"How do you plead Mr. Potter?"
Harry's mouth dropped open as he stared dumbly at Aesir. After a moment of silence, he managed to find his tongue. "Innocent on all accounts, except for the last."
"Breaking and entering you mean?"
Aesir leaned forward. "If I may ask, Mr. Potter, what were you doing in the Ministry of Magic so late at night..." he asked. "...in You-Know-Who's presence?"
"Fighting him of course!" yelled Harry, whose anger had finally reached simmering point. "Why are you so persistent in trying to prove that I am a Death Eater? I have done more for the Light's cause throughout my lifetime than the entire Ministry has! He killed my parents! He destroyed my life! Why in the name of hell would I want to join that psychopath!"
"Because you are not mentally sane," replied Aesir. "Over the past year there have been a number of speculations regarding your mental health - something about your scar perhaps?"
Harry rose to his feet. "I am not insane!" he said harshly. "My scar gives me visions of what the Voldemort is up to!"
The lawyer smirked darkly. "So let's say that I do believe in these so called visions of yours, Mr. Potter," he drawled, causing Harry to bristle in anger. "If you are so aware of the Dark Lord's movements and plans, why haven't you given any information to the Ministry?"
"Because they wouldn't believe me!" spat Harry. "For the past year your precious Ministry has done nothing but slander me and hide the fact that Voldemort has returned!"
The lawyer glanced at the judge. "Is this substantial enough as proof for the crime of sensationalizing and propagating false information to the public?"
The judge nodded.
"Wait what are you talking about?" snapped Harry, his emerald green eyes swimming with confusion. "I haven't sensationalized or propagated anything!"
"The Ministry," said Aesir slowly, "has over the past year been preparing for Voldemort' return. We have been building up an army so to speak, under a cloak of secrecy that you've breached when you informed the public about the Dark Lord's return."
Harry snorted. "Then tell me why Fudge was so shocked when he saw Voldemort there in the Atrium?"
The lawyer exchanged an uneasy glance with the other men. "That is not for me to say, Mr. Potter," he said finally. "If you truly wish to know, you'd have to ask Minister Fudge himself."
Harry snorted again. Yeah right. Fudge would probably rather see the Voldemort than him at the moment, nevertheless answer any questions. He'd been tossed in Azkaban faster than you could blink.
2 hours later: Azkaban:
"Mr. Potter, you have been found guilty on all accounts," read one of the men in Fudge's entourage. "You will be subjected to the Dementor's kiss as of today, June 21, 1984."
Harry remained quiet. He wasn't going to give Fudge any pleasure by begging. Death was Death. He knew he was bound to die sometime. Though at any rate, he had always imagined that it would be by Voldemort's hand not the Ministry.
His lips curled at the irony.
He couldn't help but wonder whether Voldemort was going to blast the Ministry apart of its audacity. After all, according to the Voldie, Harry was his to kill, his to torture. Harry personally couldn't help but feel a glimmer of dark anticipation as he imagined Voldemort frying Fudge's ass.
"Do you have any last words?"
A flicker of sadness crossed his eyes. "Tell my friends that I am sorry for leaving. And that, I'll try to find a way back."
Fudge chortled. "Touching Mister Potter," he said in amusement. "Though I have to admit the sentiment would not be reciprocated by your so-called friends."
"What did you do to them!" demanded Harry, his emerald green eyes focused upon Fudge. "If you hurt them..."
"Hurt them?" repeated Fudge, as he burst out laughing ."Why would I want to hurt my own subordinates?" he drawled, emphasizing the last word. Seeing the now horrified expression on Harry's face, he ruthlessly continued. "Yes, Potter, that's correct. They have been working for me since the beginning, since the day they met you. I wanted access you see," he explained, his eyes lighting up at his own genius. "A way to influence the precious Boy-Who-Lived and infiltrate Dumbledore's precious Order. So what better way than through his friends?" Fudge's eyes glittered with enjoyment as he rose to his feet and made his way to the door. "Well, Potter, I guess this is goodbye for good," he said snidely, his smile growing at the pest's hurt expression. "Enjoy."
Harry stared after Fudge, his eyes glazed with pain. 'T-they betrayed me?' Cold, the room was getting colder. And yet for the first time in his life, Harry did not feel the cold. He felt numb?
"There's the prisoner," stated the official as he motioned the Dementor forward, before he hastily retreating. "Do whatever you wish."
The Dementor released a loud hair-rising scream as it all but flew towards the prone figure on the ground. Harry didn't move at all, his eyes staring blankly forward. Even as the Dementor lowered his hood, Harry made no attempt to escape.
Death was no consequence to him now. After all, what was there to live for? He wanted it to end - all the pain, the suffering, and the hate. Harry's eyes glimmered with an inner hope as he watched the Dementor's mouth come closer and closer.
Soon it would be over...
Harry had no idea how wrong he was.
The moment the Dementor planted the Kiss, Harry's eyes closed as he felt his soul begin to depart. It was a strange feeling, he had thought idly. It felt...itchy. As if something inside of him was stretching and stretching. Harry frowned. Couldn't he even die in peace?
The Dementor let out a screech of frustration as it clamped its mouth down harder.
Harry felt himself get lighter. It was a strange feeling, so to speak. It felt as if he was floating, as if he hadn't but a care in the world.
And then, it snapped. Half of Harry's soul that is.
The half that regulated all his emotions and his morals. The half of him that was essential Gryffindor was sucked into the Dementor. The Slytherin half - the side that Harry had feared to utilize his entire life - was all that was left.
And it is here that Harry's journey begins. A tale of treachery, pain, and of course revenge against the fools that destroyed his life. A tale that would perhaps dispute all the fundamental aspects of magic, love, and loyalty.
After all, emotions are but a hindrance, no?