Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.

Freedoms and Hopes

By Silvain Star

Chapter 1

In the Daily Prophet

Three months had passed since the final battle. Three years had passed since Draco Malfoy had fled Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at the end of his sixth year. Three years, he had kept out of Azkaban. Now, on the word of a Death Eater, he was being taken there, accused of aiding in the murder of Dumbledore, among other things.

Harry sighed and folded the paper. "This shouldn't be happening," he muttered. "He didn't do anything…. Damn…. I've got to stop this…. They're going on the word of men who want out of Azkaban, and they're about to convict Draco just when he's trying to turn his life around."

"Harry? Is something wrong?" Hermione said from the door to the kitchen. They were in Harry's flat, where Ron was preparing to move out, and into the house he and Hermione had just bought.

"They're putting him in prison until the trial," Harry said frustrated. Hermione sighed, knowing he was talking about Draco Malfoy and the Death Eater accusations again. It was all he spoke about lately, ever since the Ministry first made the accusations.

"Harry, there's nothing you can do. We know he's changed, we know he didn't do anything they can throw him in Azkaban for, but the Ministry won't listen. I don't know why you won't just let it go," she said.

"He changed sides. A year and a half ago, he came to us, begging for help. He was nearly killed three months ago, saving me from a killing curse his father sent at me," Harry said. "He doesn't deserve Azkaban any more than I do. And I'll do whatever it takes to keep him out of there."

"Harry, Scrimgeour won't let him go. You know that," Hermione said. Harry stared at her for a moment.

"Hermione… You work at the Ministry… You could help! Help me, look up laws and stuff, find some way… any way to keep him out of Azkaban… Please, Hermione?" Harry said, sounding slightly desperate. Hermione considered him for a moment, then sighed.

"Alright, Harry. If it means this much to you, I'll help," she said. Harry smiled.

"Thanks, Hermione," he said. He bit his lip, then grabbed a quill and parchment.

Draco, he wrote. I'm gonna keep you out of Azkaban. I promise. They won't convict you. I'll prove you've changed. The dementors won't get you. Trust me. I'm sure you're wondering why I'd do this for you. It's not just because you saved my life. I believe you're really trying to change. I don't think it's fair of them to try to take that chance away from you. You'll walk free. I'll make sure of it. Harry.

"Hedwig. I need you to get this to Draco. Tonight, because they're taking him to Azkaban tomorrow. Go," he gave the letter to the snowy owl, who hooted her understanding and flew through the open kitchen window.

"Harry?" Ron called from his room. "Have you seen my Cannons socks?"

Harry rolled his eyes. "I think they're under your bed," he called back.