...Damn he had horrible luck.
When things went wrong for Harry Potter, they really went to the shitter. He blamed Voldemort; that bastard was probably laughing at him from his fiery pit in hell.
Maybe his luck wasn't all bad.
Voldemort was dead.
But still, this situation really sucked.
The ministry had shown up just in time to catch Harry casting the cruciatus curse on Bellatrix. Of course things had gone from bad to worse a moment later, when Voldemort made his grand appearance. It was probably a good thing that all of those aurors had been there, and it may have even been a hidden blessing that they'd seen him cast the unforgivable curse. The auors had immediately scrambled to set up anti-apparition charms on the surrounding area in an attempt to apprehend the dark wizard, Harry Potter.
Thus Voldemort had been trapped.
Not all of the aurors survived, but the majority had made it out mostly unscathed. Voldemort had fled to Harry's mind after his physical body was destroyed for the second time and once there Harry finished the job. It had been luck really, both good and bad. The Minister had been happy at least. Well, no, he'd been more than happy, he'd looked like Christmas had come early as he'd given the order for Harry's arrest, and the grieving aurors had been all too happy to oblige.
Everyone blamed the evil, attention seeking, parsletongued, dark magic wielding, Harry Potter; next in line for Dark Lord.
For the first time ever, Harry wished he could see Malfoy's ugly mug.
"Dark Lord Potter," Harry muttered to himself in his cold, dank cell, "I wonder if he'll have to call me master?" Harry thought about the past few days once more until he'd come full circle again. "Dark Lord Potter," he said, louder this time, "anyone who believes in that load of shit belongs in this cell more than I do."
With that thought he fell into a fitful sleep.
And was woken up three hours later, only to be whisked away to his trial by a group of cocky, young aurors. Of course, guarding a teenage prisoner bound in heavy, magically enhanced chains would be enough to lull Mad Eye Moody into complacency, so he couldn't blame them for being cocky. It didn't mean he had to enjoy all of their spiteful barbs and 'witty' comments. In fact he hadn't really enjoyed much at all since he'd been arrested, except for that steamy romance novel he'd found in a crack between the wall and floor of his cell. It'd been the one bright spot of his rather shitty week.
All too soon, Harry was being bound into place on one of the cold, stiff-backed chairs which resided in courtroom number two, the largest of the ministry's courtrooms. He noticed that this one was just as dark and drafty as courtroom ten had been, though it was also a lot noisier due to the number of people in attendance. Also like before, he was located in a pit at the center of the room and surrounded by plum robed witches and wizards, most of whom were looking at him with utter loathing.
Unlike the last time he'd been on trial, and most importantly, Harry didn't think Dumbledore would be coming to his rescue. Actually, he was pretty sure he'd seen the ancient wizard slinking low in his seat a few rows back from the edge of the stadium seating. Oh yes, this was sure to be quite the spectacle, like a bunch of lions prodding a caged mouse with pointy sticks.
As his eyes traveled around the room they came to rest upon the familiar face of 'Professor' Umbridge. She had apparently made it out of the forest alive. He wasn't sure how she'd managed it, but he wasn't happy about it. The toad-like witch was looking absolutely murderous and slightly deranged with her large patches of missing hair, twitching smile, and overzealous application of makeup charms.
Harry resisted the urge to laugh at her, barely; it probably wouldn't be the most appropriate time, he figured.
Sitting to the left of Umbridge was the big man himself, Cornelius Fudge, Minister of magic, looking very smug as always. No, this really didn't bode well for Harry, the lies that Fudge could have cooked up in his week long absence were endless. The man had the overactive imagination of a two year old and the moral standards of a mountain troll. If you threw in a bit of brains, he was dangerously creative, a bit dense, and more than a bit paranoid.
Harry hadn't seen any of his friends in the crowd, but he wasn't even sure if regular civilians were allowed to attend. It would have been nice to have some sort of supportive face out there. He sighed and shook his head, and he would have slumped in his stony chair too if he hadn't been strapped in. Harry knew he'd lost this trial before it had even begun.
As the thought crossed his mind, the trial began.
Fudge cleared his magically enhanced voice loudly before speaking in an uncharacteristically droll monotone, "my esteemed fellow witches and wizards, we are gathered here today to pass judgment on Harry James Potter, under charges of using unforgivable dark magic." Despite the lack of inflection, Fudge was smiling. Oh, how Harry wanted to punch the pompous git, right in his beady eyes. While he was fuming, Fudge began again, this time addressing Harry directly, "Mr. Potter, would like to save us from, what is sure to be, hours of pointless questioning by pleading guilty to your obvious offense?"
Of course he didn't want to plead guilty, but he had cast the curse... Merlin, he had no idea what he was doing. Harry looked up to where Dumbledore was sitting to find the old man holding his head in his hands and shaking it from side to side. Before he realized the true meaning of the gesture, Harry loudly proclaimed a simple, "No."
He gazed back up at his headmaster, as if to make sure the old man agreed with his proclamation. Dumbledore had redouble his head shaking, and now he was openly bawling, crying his eyes out at well over one hundred and fifty years in age.
Harry took this as a bad sign.
As if it weren't enough, Harry's eyes came back to rest on the smiling face of Fudge once more. Whose head now seemed in imminent danger of splitting such was the size of his grin. Harry's stomach began to churn and he hoped it was only gas.
"Very well then Mr. Potter, as you have failed to appoint a party to speak on your behalf, you will be required to defend your own heinous actions against the questioning of the Wizengamot, is this clear?"
Harry gulped, "I'd like Headmaster Dumbledore to speak for me." It was about the only thing he could think of in his desperation. He had no idea how to talk his way out of this. In his opinion, it wasn't possible. Harry chanced another quick glance up at the old man to find him still silently weeping, now into his crossed arms, his old shoulders rising and falling in time with the sobs.
Yeah, that probably wasn't good either.
"I'm afraid Mr. Potter, that the time for requesting a representative to speak in your defense passed the moment you entered this courtroom." Fudge was smiling again. Harry really wanted to kill him, he hated Fudge more than he'd ever hated Voldemort at this moment. In fact he momentarily wondered if getting angry enough at the politician might make him inflate like it had his Aunt Marge. Then again, he had been beyond that point already and nothing had happened, so nothing was likely to occur. Besides, the Wizengamot would probably just see it as some sort of mystical dark magic and have him executed on the spot.
That line of thought threw him off for another moment. He'd used an unforgivable, for which the punishment was life in Azkaban. Yet Fudge was also playing it up even more, and the only punishment Harry knew of that was beyond life in Azkaban was the dementor's kiss. Surely the idiot couldn't be thinking that, could he?
Fudge nodded to himself, apparently answering Harry's internal diatribe, before speaking once again, "let us begin," he said. "Mr. Potter, do you deny using the unforgivable cruciatus curse in the presence of myself and seventeen ministry aurors?" There were many loud gasps voiced throughout the large stone room. Fudge was going right for the throat, but there was no way that Harry could deny it with so many witnesses. He really hated Fudge.
With a shaky voice, Harry responded simply, "No sir."
"Mr. Potter, you are aware that this particular curse is classified as unforgivable, having been taught the particulars at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, are you not?"
Damn that pompous, idiot bastard.
"Yes sir, I am." Harry wanted to throw up.
It seemed as if nobody in the large crowd could be shocked any more than they'd already been, as there were no more loud gasps. Of course, they all might have been stunned into silence. "Mr. Potter, it has also come to my attention that you were in contact with the escaped convict, mass murderer, Sirius Bla-"
"SIRIUS WAS INNOCENT YOU BASTARD," Harry screamed, raging against the magical bonds of his chair, "YOU FAT LOT OF IDIOTS SHIPPED HIM OFF WITHOUT TRI-"
"THAT IS ENOUGH MR. POTTER," Fudge yelled over Harry, effectively drowning him out with his amplified voice, "I will not suffer another of your outbursts. You have already proven yourself worthy of life in Azkaban prison and I will not hesitate to 'ship you off' if you continue this behavior, is that clear?"
Harry let out a clearly audible growl that would have made Moony proud, "Yes, sir."
"Now," Fudge began, "answer the question. Were you, or were you not, in contact with Sirius Black?"
If his accidental magic had been working properly, Harry was sure Minister Fudge would have imploded as he finished the question. "Yes," he stated simply, too angry to articulate a proper response to Fudge's idiotic line of questioning. He knew how it looked to the other members of the Wizengamot, and it wasn't good. Harry looked towards the headmaster's seat again to find the old wizard crying on the shoulder of a witch sitting next to him. The witch was glaring daggers at Harry.
His day seemed to be getting worse, and there was no end in sight.
After a short pause, to let the information sink in and the assumptions begin, Fudge cleared his throat and began speaking once more, "It also came to the attention of the ministry, while questioning the other students you so thoughtlessly," Fudge said the last word sarcastically, implying that Harry had known exactly what he was doing at the time, "led into the clutches of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's followers, that two years ago, you aided in the escape of convicted murderer, Black, after the ministry had apprehended him once more."
Harry was momentarily stunned. Hermione, she was the only one other than Dumbledore who knew. It had to have been veritaserum, there was no way she'd have ratted on him. He had to believe in that; otherwise, what was the point in fighting?
"And in the process of doing so, you interfered with the execution of a dangerous creature which had mauled one of your fellow classmates earlier in the year." Here the gasps started up again. Merlin, this was bad, if Fudge had learned about all of the laws he'd broken over the years he was done for. There was absolutely no way out of this now. "But," Fudge continued once more, "that isn't all..." The beady eyed, snot nosed, idiot trailed off for effect, smiling widely at Harry all the while. "You also illegally made use of a ministry alloted time-turner to do so, breaking dozens of laws in the process. I believe it had been used by Miss Hermione Granger for purely academic purposes up until that point."
That gassy feeling was back again.
Harry was about to comment when Fudge continued, not letting him get a word in edgewise, "and while Miss Granger did not comment, her parents were quite implicit in their description of your actions, forcing Miss Granger to go along with you at wand point." Harry looked pleadingly towards the headmaster, he was on the end of his rope here, at the bottom of the barrel... and it was slowly being filled with some sort of putrid, snotty phlegm.
The headmaster now had his head completely in the lap of the witch next to him. He was curled in a fetal position, still sobbing.
That's it, he was doomed.
The Minister's question shocked him back into reality, "Do you deny any of these claims Mr. Potter?"
Harry wanted to deny all of it, especially the lie about holding Hermione at wand point. He knew, however, that if he denied it, his friends would all be suspect as well. He'd have to take the fall for them. He had to, they would do the same for him, but he was already up for life in Azkaban and they didn't need to throw their lives away for that. "No," Harry answered after a few moments. Merlin, Harry hated Fudge. He would fry the idiot's brains with a crucio if he could, gladly even.
Fudge wasn't stopping yet, even though Harry had given up all hope, "Is it true that you are a parsletongue, and that you once opened the infamous Chamber of Secrets at Hogwarts?"
Harry must not have been thinking clearly, or was more likely just detached from the situation entirely, "Yes," he answered. Then he regretted it as the gasps sounded once more. Everyone knew about the basalisk, everyone knew it had killed, it had petrified, it had been controlled by the dark wizard Salazar Slytherin himself. Now they all knew that Harry had unleashed the beast upon school children.
He felt like banging his head on something, but of course he was strapped in tightly.
"Mr. Potter," Fudge stage whispered in mock anger, "I think it is clear that you are much too dangerous of an individual to be allowed to live even in the confines of Azkaban prison. It might not even be able to hold you considering your close association with Sirius Black." Fudge paused again theatrically, with each passing moment Harry's desperation grew. "It is therefore, my suggestion to the esteemed members of the Wizengamot, that you receive the dementor's kiss for your crimes."
To Harry's anxiety, there were no gasps of surprise, only muted whispers.
"WAIT," he screamed. His mind was blank, he had no idea what he was doing, but he had to do something or they'd kill him. Merlin, he really didn't want to die, especially not without taking Fudge with him. Harry fervently wracked his brain for a solution, something , anything that could be said in his defense.
Meanwhile the whispers had stopped, the focus of every witch and wizard in the courtroom was on the young monster, thankfully chained down, in front of them. Fudge hadn't expected anything like Harry's outburst and let his usual stupidity shine through after a few seconds, "What is it Mr. Potter?," asked the clearly ruffled and indignant politician. "What could you possibly have to say in your defense?"
Harry hadn't heard him though, he was still desperately reviewing each and every thing he could possibly remember; every memory he had. He went through them all at a lightning pace, but time was running out. He could tell that Fudge was getting ready to call for a judgment despite Harry's reservations at being killed and, as it was, he stood no chance of coming out alive. Hell, at this point Harry wasn't even positive that Dumbledore would vote in his favor.
"You can't do this to me," Harry said shakily, he had to stall for time, he really needed some more time.
Fudge bristled once again, annoyed at Harry's diversion from his carefully constructed prosecution. "Mr. Potter, might I remind you that nobody is exempt from the law, and you have admitted to breaking countless..." Harry ignored the man again, while words and thoughts echoed through his head.
Nobody is exempt from the law...
A flash of green light...
Nobody is exempt...
From the law...
A dull thud...
Is exempt from the law...
Death is exempt from the law...
"Minister Fudge," Harry said calmly, almost relived sounding, and then repeated himself, "You can't do this to me."
Fudge looked outraged, "Please explain Mr. Potter!" The beady eyed bastard was purpling like Vernon did; Merlin, how he hated that color.
"Minister, I do not deny any of those claims, but you can't do anything about it," Harry stated with utter conviction, this had to be the stupidest idea ever, but if it didn't work he was dead. If it didn't work he'd have his soul sucked out and live as a mindless husk until his body died. This plan was his only hope and he had to believe in it or all was lost.
Fudge was losing it now, "Well why the hell not Mr. Potter!? Please explain why we cannot pass judgment on you!"
Harry smiled, "Because Minister, I was not alive during those events."
Even Dumbledore's sobbing had given way to morbid curiosity.
A full minute passed before the whispering began. For a full minute Fudge stood there dumbly, his mouth hanging open and the color drained from his pasty white face. Harry looked around and found many others mirroring his reaction, even Dumbledore seemed beyond words. If this didn't work, Harry was happy he'd at least gotten to see a speechless Dumbledore.
After the whispering had been going on for another full minute, the Minister seemed to mostly regain his motor functions and he shakily sat down, nearly missing his seat more than once. "Please explain Mr. Potter," the idiot intoned, still completely lost.
Harry nodded and once again calmly spoke, "Minister Fudge, I was hit by the killing curse on October 31, 1981. You do know what happens to someone who gets hit by it, correct?" Harry asked, inwardly smiling.
The Minister, still confused replied simply, "Yes."
Harry smiled brightly now, "Well then Minister Fudge, legally I am dead."
Silence once more.
Harry looked at his headmaster to find the old man opening and closing his mouth like a fish out of water, gaping at the audacity of the claim, but at the same time trying to find a flaw in the reasoning. Harry had broken a law of magic, somebody hit by the killing curse died; it was fact. Harry Potter had been hit by the killing curse, according to the laws of the magical world, he was dead. It was completely illogical, ridiculous even, but it was true.
Harry let his gaze fall upon the Minister once again, the man was now hastily holding conference with a large group of Wizengamot members around him, and he appeared to be physically weakening, slumping lower and lower into his seat. When he was finally in danger of falling out of it completely, the bastard weakly raised himself to his feet and cleared his throat one last time, "You... you're free to go... Mr. Potter," he finished lamely, appearing to be on the verge of emptying the contents of his stomach. Harry knew that it had probably been the hardest thing the man had ever done, to utter those words, but he couldn't bring himself to care.
As if by the Minister's command, the chains holding him down immediately retracted and Harry hopped to his feet before stretching out his limbs. He looked around the large room to find every eye on him, each face held immense curiosity, they had all just seen him do the impossible and didn't want to miss whatever he would do next.
Harry made his way over to the low wall in front of the Minister after he'd sufficiently worked the blood back into his unused muscles. He stood before the defeated man for half a minute before holding out his hand and stating quietly, "I'd like my wand back now," though his voice reached every ear in the silent room.
Fudge merely motioned to one of the aurors standing nearby and slumped back into his seat once again, still staring at the young man in front of him with his weary expression. The auror didn't say anything, not a single word. He just handed Harry his wand and backed off, not wanting to be caught up in any more insanity this morning.
Harry looked up at Fudge one last time as he raised his wand. He let all of the rage, the desire to kill, to torture, to maim, to utterly destroy this man in front of him come to the fore, and uttered two simple words.
Fudge slid off his seat and onto the floor. There was nothing anybody could do; Harry Potter was dead, he was above the law.
Harry turned and walked towards the exit while the completely stunned room watched on. And as the doors closed behind him, Harry could have sworn he'd heard the loud echoing laughter of Albus Dumbledore.