The next few days passed quickly for the three of them, Harry, Dudley, and Daisy spent most of their days exploring the castle and learning their ways around. Thanks to the combined efforts of Alastor, Severus, and Remus they had all learned a number of easy short-cuts and secret passages throughout Hogwarts. Poppy had complained about how the three of them were going to create a new generation delinquents to wreak havoc throughout the school, but all three men had pointed out that it was crucial for the children to know numerous ways of getting around school as possible in order to be prepared to make a quick escape in any situation. Aside from their time getting to know the school the three of them also spent time with Hagrid, and Dudley and Harry studied their school books.
Harry awoke one morning to find Poppy sitting at the breakfast table alone, Harry looked at her curiously as he sat Daisy into her chair (Poppy and Alastor were working on getting Daisy used to having other people looking after her, but she was still naturally connected to Harry) Harry asked, "Where's Al?"
That was the other thing, Alastor had given all three children permission to use Poppy's nickname for him since Alastor was such a mouthful. Poppy swallowed and answered, "At the Ministry, they contacted us about your relatives."
Harry's face instantly paled and his legs lost their strength as he sank into the chair, he couldn't help panicking at the statement. Harry's mind instantly went to the worst place possible, they were going to send all three of them back, the Dursley's had escaped from prison and were going to come after them, Marge and Vernon were coming to stay with them. Poppy could see Harry's fear and she walked over and grabbed his hands, "Harry look at me, look at me Harry." Harry's eyes met hers and she said, "Breathe slowly in through your nose and let it out through your mouth."
Harry took several deep breaths as Dudley came in, "HARRY! What's wrong?"
Poppy turned to Dudley, "Dudley, Harry Alastor had gone to the Ministry to discuss the situation of the Dursley's. Now I want you both to know that you are not going back to those monsters under any circumstances. The reason the Ministry contacted us is because the Dursley's court date has been chosen for the 28th of August. It will be fairly simple, each of you will go in, you will be given veritisserum and questioned by an attorney (who you will meet later today) then Vernon and Petunia's lawyer will question you and then the same will be done for your aunt and uncle."
Harry titled his head, "Why are they just using truth serum? Is that normal for a Wizarding trial?"
Poppy shook her head, "Unfortunately not, usually a Wizarding trial is almost identical to a muggle one, both parties give testimony and then the judge or jury give a verdict. However, because Petunia and Vernon have already confessed under veritisserum, and because of the circumstances of your case, the Ministry is doing things slightly differently."
Harry nodded in understanding as Dudley asked, "so we each go in and testify by ourselves then?"
Poppy sighed, "Yes, that's a part of the process. You see, traditionally in any trial a person goes in a testifies on behalf of one side or another. In cases where you have a group of people accused of a crime, or making accusations against someone else Wizarding law states that each person testifies independently so they don't just repeat what the others have said."
Harry jerked his head up, "but couldn't a group of people just talk to each other before a trial and come up with some story so they wouldn't have to worry about memorizing what someone is saying while you're sitting there in court sweating bullets and worried to death you're going to be sent to jail or something."
Poppy snickered as Daisy laughed, not understanding what was funny, and said, "That is very true Harry, but it is an older law in the Wizarding world, it dates back to the middle ages when conspirators would be captured and questioned separately in order to determine the truth of the conspiracy and exactly who was involved."
Harry shook his head at this, and Poppy continued, "Once the trial is over the verdict will be read. There will be a separate trial at two days later regarding Marjorie Dursley."
Harry felt his heart sink once more, "Aunt Marge?" Dudley groaned at the idea, obviously he didn't like the idea of staying with Marge anymore than Harry did.
Poppy said, "Yes she is trying to gain visitation rights."
Harry blinked, "visitation rights, not trying to be our guardian."
Poppy shook her head, "No, she won't be able to gain guardian ship even though she is a blood relative to Daisy and Dudley. Marge is an older, single woman, with a demanding career that requires a great deal of her time and money and while her home has a lot of land, the house itself is fairly small. Any of these would make her a less than ideal candidate for taking guardianship of three children, but all three combined make it nearly impossible. Also, I believe that Minister Fudge is incredibly reluctant to grant Ms. Dursley custody given what occurred with Vernon and Petunia."
Harry titled his head back as he felt his head throb slightly, he was grateful that they wouldn't be living with Marge, but frustrated at the idea of having to go visit her on a regular basis. Dudley meanwhile looked sick at the idea, ever since he'd connected with Harry Dudley had come to see the truth about his entire family including his aunt Marge. Harry had hoped that coming to Hogwarts would sever all ties they had with all three Dursley's. Harry knew that Marge won't be fighting for visitation rights for him (in fact she'd probably be fighting for the opposite), but on the other hand Harry is terrified of the idea of letting Daisy be with aunt Marge without him there. Harry knows that Dudley would protect Daisy through thick and thin, but Harry can't stand the idea of leaving Daisy alone with Marge for so long.
Harry groaned and said, "What else do we have to put up with?"
Poppy said, "The Minister is also concerned about determining your guardianship. Now, since you have no living relatives the ones with the closest tie to you, legally, are Andromeda and Theodore Tonks. Andormed is Sirius Black's cousins and she and Ted have a daughter, Nymphadora, who's a seventh year here at Hogwarts."
Harry's hair bristled at the name Sirius Black, "I don't want to live with his family."
Dudley pushed as well, "It doesn't seem to make much since for the Ministry to take us away from Vernon and Petunia and then put us with two people whose closest living relatives are convicted felons.
Poppy sighed, "Boys Andromeda and Ted are not like Sirius or Bellatrix, they are good people."
Harry pushed, "but we still don't know them."
Poppy said, "I know Harry, that's why Al and I are working on getting custody of you."
Harry grinned as his heart leapt while Dudley practically leapt out of his seat as they both said, "Really?"
Poppy grinned back, "Really. There are many people in the Ministry who owe Alastor favors, and it should be possible for us to gain full custody of all three of you. Albus and Severus are also going to pull some strings and I've got a few friends in Wizarding family services, as well as some dirt on a few high ranking officials. Between all of us it should be more than enough."
Harry felt ready to fly at hearing this, and judging by the grin on Dudley's face he felt the same way. The two of them launched themselves at Poppy and pulled her into a hug. Daisy didn't really understand what was going on, but since everyone was hugging she naturally joined in and started to laugh. Poppy hugged back and they all went back to their food. Alastor came back just after lunch with news, "Well, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that those disgusting muggles are most likely to end up in Azkaban for the rest of their lives, the bad news is that the Minister absolutely refuses to strip Marjorie Dursley of all rights to the three of you without a full trial."
Harry raised an eyebrow, "Why?"
Alastor sighed heavily, "Because he wants to look like he's doing his job. The truth about your relatives and your lives there has put the Ministry, and the Minister himself, in a very bad light. People are already making accusations of incompetence and gross negligence on the Minster's part, and Dumbledore's as well for that matter, there are many in the Ministry and in the public who are already beginning to whisper about impeachment and possible resignation. However, Fudge himself is the type who will fight to the death to keep his position. Fudge likes his power, he's the type of idiot who won't admit he's wrong until a house falls on him, and sometimes even that isn't enough, Fudge is trying his best to do damage control regarding your situation. Fudge wants to make it look that what happened to you was an isolated incident and that the Ministry isn't run by a bunch of incompetent nitwits who don't know their wands from their waste coats."
Alastor snorted and said, "It'd probably be easier to prove the existence of intelligent life on other planets. Still, Fudge wants to make himself look good so he's not taking all of Ms. Dursley's rights away until she receives a trial, and he's arranged for Madame Bones to be the judge at Petunia and Vernon's trial." Seeing their confused looks Alastor explained, "Amelia Bones is a highly respected member of the Wizengamot, she does not have any direct ties to Dumbledore or Fudge so she is impartial. Madame Bones also has a strong reputation for being tough, but fair. This makes her a nearly ideal candidate for overseeing the trial and deciding the punishment for your relatives. Because Ms. Dursley's case will be through Wizarding family services someone else will oversee her trial, but that's for later."
Harry bit his cheek, "do you think Fudge will be impeached?"
Alastor said, "Not likely."
Dudley wrinkled his brow in confusion, "Why not?"
Alastor, "Because of Lucius Malfoy, he uses his money and his family's position in the wizarding world to increase his own power and standing. He likes having Fudge as a Minister because Fudge is such a dense idiot that it makes it easy for Lucius to manipulate him. Therefore, Lucius wants to keep Fudge around."
Harry nodded in understanding, "so Lucius Malfoy is going to use his power and connections to keep Fudge in office so he still has a puppet as the head of the Ministry."
Alastor nodded, "Exactly."
Dudley groaned, "Great, anything else?"
Alastor turned to them both and said, "Yes, Lucius has a lot of connections inside and outside of the Ministry, people who owe Lucius favors, or who he can easily frighten or bribe into doing what he wants, so remember to keep your eyes open. Constant vigilance."
As Alastor finished Poppy smacked him upside the head, "ALASTOR! You're going to make hem scared to walk out the door. For goodness sake." Poppy turned back to them, "Harry, Dudley, I won't lie to you, Lucius is as dangerous as Alastor said, and you should be careful around him, but you don't need to start looking over your shoulder with every single person you meet. Over vigilances is just as dangerous as being oblivious."
Alastor rolled his eyes, "I don't want to make you afraid, but you need to know what you're getting into. It's the only way to be prepared to face the problems that will eventually arise."
Poppy gave an irritated huff as Alastor said, "well anyways, Ms. Dursley's trial will be later, and the main reason I was contacted regarding Petunia and Vernon was to discuss their situation. The Minister has decided, in another attempt to make it look like he is actually vaguely qualified for his job, to liquidate the Dursley's assets and split it evenly between the three of you."
Harry's eyes widened, "Wow, everything?"
Alastor nodded, "Everything, bank accounts, houses, cars, all of it."
Dudley looked amazed, "so we get all of that?"
Poppy said, "Yes, everything the Dursley's own will be liquidated and put into three accounts that will be held in trust for you until you turn 17."
Harry's brain was swirling at hearing this, he was so use to being flat broke, to scrounging through the newspapers for coupons, working three different jobs at once to get enough for himself and Daisy, and buying pretty much everything second hand. Being in the Wizarding world and having access to his parents money was incredible for him, and now having this on top of it all was a complete shock.
Dudley asked, "Why are they doing that, is it just more of Fudge trying to make himself look good?"
Poppy snickered as Alastor tilted his head, "Partially, but also because it is part of the restitutions the Dursley's are required to make. The Dursley's owe money to all of you, but Harry and Daisy specifically. You see when Harry was sent to live at Privet Drive Dumbledore arranged a fund to help your relatives afford to keep you in their home. The Dursley's used the money to pay for their own expenses instead."
Harry's eyes widened, "The Dursley's got money to keep me?"
Poppy said, "Yes Harry, a portion of the money your parents left you was set aside to pay for your needs while you lived with them."
Harry felt rage boil inside him as he shouted, "Vernon always complained about how expensive it was to keep me and how grateful I should be that they were willing to take on the extra burden of paying for another kid and all this time they were getting paid for it?!"
Daisy started to cry and Harry instinctively picked her up, "Sorry, Pumpkin, I didn't mean to scare you."
Daisy said, "No like yelling Wolfie."
Harry leaned his head against Daisy's, "I know Pumpkin, I know." Daisy didn't like yelling because of Vernon, and Harry personally couldn't blame her. Dudley wrapped his arms around both of them as Alastor and Poppy stood up and grasped a shoulder on each boy.
Poppy spoke first, "I am sorry Harry, the Dursley's were truly awful people. "
Harry said, "The money we're getting from them won't be enough, there isn't enough money in the world to pay for everything that happened in that house."
Poppy said, "I know dear, I know."
Alastor added, "They will never hurt you, or anyone else again. I promise you that, and I never break my word."
Harry nodded as he held Daisy close to himself and started to sing his mother's song, even though he had only learned the lyrics recently, Harry still remembered them with ease. The rest of the day passed relatively quietly, Hagrid invited them down to his hut for tea and they all spent an enjoyable afternoon playing with Fang. However, Harry wasn't able to completely rid himself of the dark thoughts that swirled in his head and that night his dreams were plagued with being forced back to Privet Drive forever.
Eventually the day of the Dursley's trial arrived. The night before was nerve wracking for Harry, he kept tossing and turning in his sleep, he was anxious, restless, and terrified all at once. Harry kept getting up and pacing back and forth across the floor. Eventually Dudley climbed down from his bed and said, "Want to play chess?"
Harry gave him a weak grin and nodded, the two of them padded quietly into the sitting room and grabbed Al's Wizarding chess set. Al and Poppy had both explained the difference between Wizarding chess and muggle chess to both boys, Harry and Dudley were both decent players, but since Al was, well Al, his chess men had a hard time trusting anyone. Still, Harry and Dudley had gotten to know them well enough that the chess men were sort of o.k. with following their orders. Harry put a silencing spell up and the set and they started to play, of course they both should have known better than to try to get one over on Poppy and Al. They had only gotten a few moves into the game when the door to Al and Poppy's bedroom opened and they both stood there. Poppy wore a deep blue dressing gown and had her arms crossed over her chest, while Al stood there in a grey bathrobe with his eyebrow raised and the fingers of his right hand tapping angrily on his left arm.
Harry and Dudley both froze as Harry winced and Dudley blushed. Al growled, "Well, care to explain yourselves?"
Harry sighed, "I'm sorry Al, it's my fault. I couldn't sleep, and I woke Dudley up. He wanted to make me feel better so he offered to come out here and play chess with me, it won't happen again and I'm willing to accept my punishment."
Without another thought Harry stood up and removed his night shirt so he was standing there in only his pajama bottoms, he walked over to the wall next to the fireplace and lent against it with his arms above his head as he tensed his body for the blows to come. Dudley's voice came from behind, "Harry didn't wake me up, I just couldn't sleep and I heard Harry pacing so I asked him to come out here and play chess with me."
Harry heard the clunking of Alastor's wooden foot as he walked over to where Harry was standing. Harry closed his eyes and clenched his teeth as he waited for the first blow to fall, he just hoped Al wouldn't use his wand, Harry had read about some particularly vicious curses in some of his DAD books and he really didn't fancy experiencing them first hand. However, Alastor didn't hit Harry instead he gently rested a gnarled hand on Harry's right shoulder and said, "Harry, you don't have to do that. Remember I promised you that Poppy and I won't hit you if you do something wrong. Now come away from the wall before you catch a chill son."
Harry felt his heart warm a little at the term son, he knew Al just meant it the way most people did when they called someone 'kid' or 'buddy' but he honestly didn't care. Harry walked back to the couch and sat down as Al handed him his shirt, "Harry, I told you before that neither of us will ever hit you, and I stand by that. Let me also assure you that no matter what you do we will never hex use or use magic to hurt you in any way. Now, you two really need to sleep, so let us help you with that."
Without another word Al walked over to the kitchen and Harry and Dudley turned to see him pulling out a pot and a few other ingredients. Harry blinked in surprise, "I didn't know you could cook."
Alastor snorted, "I do have a few basic culinary skills. As I have said time and time again you need to be prepared to face any situation that may come up, which means I need to be able to prepare my own meals. I can't say I particularly enjoy cooking, but I can do it. However, that doesn't really matter because I'm not making food right now."
Harry and Dudley starred curiously at Alastor as Poppy walked over to the tall cabinet where she kept a healthy supply of potions, ointments, and various tinctures to help treat any injuries any of them might receive. She grabbed two potions and came back saying, "Boys, I know you probably didn't think staying up was that bad, but you both need to rest. Imagine what could have happened if you had gone to the trial tomorrow looking exhausted and having difficulty concentrating because you hadn't slept properly. If either of you is having a problem you need to come and let one of us know. You know you can use the talismans to communicate across the rooms if necessary."
Alastor nodded as Harry and Dudley both blushed slightly. The talismans were small oval shaped blue crystals that were placed around the rooms and could be used to communicate to anyone within them. All you had to do was touch a crystal and call a persons' name then the crystal nearest them would glow and make a deep set humming noise so that no one had to worry about accidentally disturbing anyone's privacy or having any difficulties contacting anyone else. Alastor was working with Severus and Remus to create crystals that could be carried with a person in order to allow anyone to communicate with anyone else they wished no matter the distance, but they hadn't gotten it quite right just yet.
As Harry and Dudley sat on the couch they heard the rattling of Alastor in the kitchen and Harry hung his head as he said, "Sorry Poppy, I just didn't think about going to you. I'm just so restless right now, and I'm so used to not having anyone besides Dudley around to help with anything that it's just a reflex for me not to ask."
Poppy sighed, "I know, and we'll work on it."
Dudley blushed, "I just didn't think about using the crystals, I just wanted to help Harry."
Poppy nodded as Alastor walked over saying, "understandable." As he held two steaming mugs which he handed to both boys, Harry and Dudley looked down and saw two cups of hot cocoa.
Harry sniffed deeply and gasped, it smelled delicious! Harry took a sip and his eyes widened, "This is amazing, there's cinnamon in it and something else, something sweeter." Harry took a much longer drink as Dudley did the same.
Alastor said, "Honey, the recipe is a family secret, I'll teach it to you later."
The two boys sat drinking their cocoa feeling the warmth from the drink running through their bodies. Harry instantly felt his body relax a little as he settled himself deeper into the cushions. Once they had both finished their drinks Alastor waved his wand and the cups cleaned themselves and went back to their place in the cupboard. Poppy came forward and said, "Here, it's a mild sleeping potion that will help you sleep without being as strong or as dangerous as dreamless sleep."
Harry was already beginning to feel drowsy, but he took the potion anyways. Poppy and Alastor walked Harry and Dudley back to their room and Poppy tucked Dudley into the bed while Alastor did the same for Harry (he couldn't managed the ladder that lead to Dudley's bed with his physical condition). As Harry felt the covers pulled up around him he felt a sense of deep comfort and reassurance wash over him, somehow he knew that things were going to be alright.
Harry woke a later than usual the next morning, of course for Harry anytime later than 6am was later than usual, and looked around to see Daisy's bed empty. Harry instantly shot up and looked around for her. Logically Harry knew Daisy was safe in their rooms, but he was so used to having her with him whenever they were at 'home' that he couldn't help feeling nervous when she wasn't right next to him as always.
A moment later his fears where quieted as Daisy came out of the bathroom wearing her p.j.'s, her strawberry blonde hair sticking up in every direction. Harry smiled at her, "did you get up all by yourself?"
Daisy smiled as she walked over, "Yes, I a big girl now Wolfie."
Harry kissed her head, "Yes you are." Harry felt a thrill of pride go through him along with a sharp feeling of remorse, it was true Daisy was getting older and that meant she was going to need Harry less and less as time went on. Harry got up and relieved himself then went out and gave Daisy some coloring crayons and a book while he took a shower. He came out and found Dudley climbing down from his bed as Daisy built a tower with a pile of toy blocks that changed color as you made them higher and higher. Daisy laughed as the tower turned half red and half bright orange making it clash horribly.
Harry sighed as he pulled on a pair of jeans and t-shirt while Dudley did the same. Harry let Daisy pick out a simple pair of purple shorts and a brown shirt then helped her get dressed. The three of them would have to wear something nice for the trial, but it wasn't until later in the day and Harry knew better than to let Daisy eat anything whilst wearing nice clothes.
They all went out and found the usual collection of breakfast food. Harry saw Dudley grab and egg white omelet and some fruit while Harry took his potion and dished himself up a Belgian waffle with some bacon. Even after being away from the Dursley's for nearly a month Harry still found it a little strange to be able to eat whatever he wanted without having to worry. Daisy wanted a waffle to so Harry took one for her and added some butter and powdered sugar to the top with some fruit on the side.
Finally, the hour of the trial arrived and they all floo'd to the Ministry, Poppy went first and caught Daisy as she came out of the fireplace so Daisy wouldn't fall and get hurt again. Harry and Dudley came out next, both stumbling spectacularly and making several Ministry member glance at them in turn, then Alastor came out. Harry looked around the room, they were in a large open atrium surrounded by dark walls that gave the entire space a foreboding look to it. In the center of the room was a large statue of a witch and a wizard, around them stood a centaur, a mermaid, and a house elf looking awestruck at the witch and wizard. However, what had captured the attention of the three children was that almost everyone standing in the atrium was starring at them, but for once it wasn't Harry they were looking at it was Alastor. Most stood there silently while other dashed quickly out of sight. Alastor for his part simply glanced around the room and walked over to the rest of them. Alastor put a hand and Harry and Dudley's shoulders while Poppy lead Daisy over to walk in front of the two boys so she could walk alongside Alastor.
As they walked through the atrium everyone remained quiet, a few people nodded respectfully at Alastor, who returned the gesture, but most of the others simply scurried quickly out of the way. Alastor lead them over to a desk where a Ministry witch sat, she had brown eyes and short blonde hair. She stiffened in fear when she saw them and stammered, "Wand checks please."
Alastor and Poppy both handed over their wand while Harry and Dudley did the same. The witch took their wands and examined them, then returned the wands and handed them all badges. Harry and Dudley pined them on while Harry put Daisy's badge on her. Alastor lead them over to what looked like an older hotel elevator, complete with cage door.
Alastor lead them in and Harry saw several other people inside, a few men and women, all carrying in ages from 30-60. As the doors closed several paper airplanes came soaring in and all three children raised their heads to stare as Alastor chuckled, "inter-departmental memos, they used to use owls, but the mess was terrible."
Alastor wrapped an arm around Harry while Poppy did the same for Dudley and Daisy, a moment later the elevator jerked and Harry would have face-planted into the floor if it hadn't been for the arm around his shoulders. The elevator moved back and Harry got the feeling he was riding on a rollercoaster as they were thrown back. Daisy laughed while the others in the elevator simply held on, a few looked genuinely sick, after several moments they arrived at a lower level that was even darker than the upper rooms, but as Harry looked around he saw windows on the walls. What's more the windows reflected sunny scenes, one showed a tropical beach, while another showed a forest field of animals and flowers.
Daisy pointed, "look Wolife, they made flowers grown underground."
Poppy and Alastor chuckled as Poppy explained, "actually Daisy, it's a charm on the windows, there's a special department here at the Ministry that decides what kind of weather and scenes people see."
Alastor piped up, "personally, I'd like to see a little more variety. All they seem to do is sunshine and flowers, why not reflect the bottom of the ocean, outterspace, or the arctic, something interesting you know?"
Poppy rolled her eyes at him as they came to a set of black circular doors with gold doorknobs in the middle of them. Standing in front of one of them was an older woman with graying hair who had a monocle in one eye. Alastor walked up and shook her hand, "Hello Amelia."
Amelia said, "always a pleasure to see you Alastor, everything is ready."
Alastor nodded, "thank you Amelia, Daisy, Dudley, Harry, this is Amelia Bones she's a member of the Wizengamot and an old friend of mine."
Harry and Dudley said, "Hello" politely as Daisy asked, "What's the glass in your eye for?"
Harry and Dudley both snorted as Amelia answered, "It helps me see things. Now come on, there are several people waiting for all of you."
Amelia opened the door for them and they all walked in, they arrived in a small room with a set of plain wooden benches lined up behind two stands. It looked kind of like a small muggle court room, except everything was in black and the only people around were Ministry officials dressed in dark or maroon colored robes. As Harry skimmed the room he felt relief at not seeing either of the Dursley's but his stomach dropped when he saw three figures standing close together in the center of the room, one was an older man with dark hair that was turning grey, his face was round, and his head was covered in a lime green bowler hat. Harry knew him from Alastor's descriptions, he was Cornelius Fudge Minister of magic, the figure on his right was a man Harry had never seen before, but also recognized immediately.
The man was a tall imposing figure with an angular face and long platinum blonde hair, Lucius Malfoy. The third figure was a woman, short and squat with a face like a toad, she wore a disgustingly bright green bow on top of her head and when she smiled at the three of them Harry felt a shudder go through himself. Even though this woman hadn't said a word to him Harry knew he didn't like her, there was something wrong about her.
Alastor saw his look and said, "Dolores Umbridge, Senior undersecretary to the Minister, no-good bigot, climbs political ladders and has grubbed her way into a position that might allows her to do things within Ministry without people realizing how much she's got her stubby little hands into, she's just as dangerous as Malfoy so be careful. In fact, I'd say she's a bit more dangerous than Malfoy, Lucius is a ass, but he's a shrewd bastard, not the type to be easily controlled by his emotions, usually thinks things through before he acts. Umbridge, on the other hand has a mind like an infant, I want it my way and I want it right now, and if I don't get it I'm going to make your life as miserable as possible. Whatever happens while we're here, make sure none of you is alone with her under any circumstances. Stay as far away from her as you possibly can without being obvious, understood?"
Harry and Dudley nodded while Harry instinctively held Daisy closer, Harry could feel Daisy tensing slightly in his arms and bent down to kiss her head. Daisy continued to shudder at the sight of the two people, but before she started to outright cry Minister Fudge stepped forward and sent sparks up with his wand, "This session will now come to order, we are here today for the case of Mrs. Petunia Dursley and Mr. Vernon Dursley vs. Harry James Potter, Daisy Ann Potter, and Dudley Vernon Potter. Mr. And Mrs. Dursley are charged with child abuse, child neglect, child endangerment, depraved indifference, assault, and criminal negligence. Bring forth the accused"
The Dursley's were lead in by four burly men wearing dark robes that Harry recognized as belonging to Aurors. The four men all looked grim faced and serious, the Dursley's for their part looked paler and thinner than Harry remembered, obviously imprisonment had had its effect on them, Petunia was wearing a pale green dress she had often worn for hosting tea parties with the ladies society, and Vernon wore a simple blue suit that he had often donned for board meetings at Grunnings.
Vernon and Petunia were lead over to a bench and sat down on it with the aurors standing around them. They starred straight ahead at Fudge and the other Witches and Wizards sitting behind the benches and didn't look anywhere else. Harry wasn't sure if they were doing this because they were too shocked be the sight of so many witches and wizards, or because they were too afraid to make eye contact with Harry, Dudley, and Daisy. Fudge continued, "We will began with the testimony of Ms. Daisy Potter, all other parties except Mrs. Poppy Pomfrey will be asked to step out."
Alastor took Harry and Dudley outside the room where they waited while Daisy testified, Harry began to pace back and forth in front of the room as Dudley nervously bounced his legs up and down on the floor. Alastor sighed and said, "I know this isn't easy for you, but this is the way it has to be. Daisy is safe in there, Lucius and Umbridge are a nasty pair, but I guarantee you that Poppy can be nastier, and neither of them is stupid enough to go against my wife. Even if they were dumb enough to attack Poppy, they certainly wouldn't do so in front of the Minister of Magic and half the Wizengamot. Daisy will be fine."
Back in the courtroom:
Daisy sat behind the witness stand and waited as Poppy stood beside her, a healer from St. Mungo's came forward and held up a dropper filled with truth serum. Daisy shied back, but Poppy said, "It's alright, it won't hurt you." and Daisy opened her mouth, the healer placed three drops on Daisy's tongue and stepped back.
After a moment Amelia Bones asked, "Can you hear me?"
Daisy answered in a flat voice that was very different from her own, "Yes."
Amelia pressed, "what is your name?"
Daisy answered, "Daisy."
The healer nodded and Fudge took over, "Ms. Potter, we would like to ask you about your experiences living with Mr. and Mrs. Dursely."
Daisy said, "I don't know what sperience means."
Several members of the Wizengamot chuckled as Fudge said, "We want to know what it was like for you there. Did Mr. and Mrs. Dursley take good care of you?"
Daisy answered, "they didn't take care of me Wolfie did."
Amelia asked, "Who's Wolfie?"
Daisy turned to her, "Wolfie is my papa, he tooked care of me for as long as I member, but I call him Wolfie."
Poppy spoke up, "If I may, Wolfie is what Daisy calls Harry, apparently she called him Papa when she was a baby, but Harry was afraid it would bring awkward questions so he told her to call him Wolfie instead."
The others all raised their eyebrows in shock, but Fudge went on, "When you say 'Wolfie' took care of you what do you mean?"
Daisy answered, "Wolfie changed my diapers when I was a baby, he took care of me when I was sick or hurt, he brought me food and clothes. All Mutter and Fadder did was sometimes give me presents, but most of the time they just yelled."
"Yelled?" Amelia asked in a pensive voice.
Daisy trembled, "Yes, they yelled all the time, they were always angry and always shouting, and I never knew why. Sometimes after they yelled Wolfie got sick, or he was sore for a while, or he would move slower."
The others eyes narrowed at this and Fudge asked, "Did Mr. or Mrs. Dursley ever hit you?"
Daisy shook her head, "No they just yelled all the time."
Fudge asked, "Did they ever lock you outside?"
Daisy shook her head again, "No."
Amelia asked, "How did they treat you?"
Daisy said, "they only had me around when I there were other people there. Wolfie always tooked care of me, if there were other people around Mutter and Fadder would carry me or talk about me, but if there weren't they just acted like I wasn't there. They never wanted me around, they never held me or wanted me around they just let Wolfie and Unca Dudley do everything."
Fudge nodded as Amelia said, "I believe that is enough."
Poppy walked over and helped Daisy up as she walked away Daisy shook her head and practically ran out of the room. As soon as she was outside Daisy ran right to Harry who wrapped her in a hug as he asked, "Are you alright?"
Daisy hugged him, "they just asked me about Mudder and Fadder. That was it."
Harry sighed in relief as Dudley went into the room with Poppy, Harry lifted Daisy up onto his hip and started pacing again, only this time he was rubbing Daisy's back and singing 'Hey Jude' as he did.
Dudley walked into the courtroom and kept his eyes on Poppy as he headed to the seat Daisy had just been in. Dudley felt like if he looked at his parents he would completely lose it. Dudley sat down and the same healer that had administered Daisy's potion gave him one as well. Unfortunately Dudley had looked over as the healer stepped back and met his parents' faces. The blank/terrified expressions they'd worn before were gone and now they were starring at Dudley with a look of complete disappointment and utter betrayal. Dudley had heard the term 'knife in the gut' more times than he could count, but he'd never really seen anyone who made him think of that phrase, but looking at his parents now he understood how 'knife in the gut' looked.
Dudley felt guilt rise up, but he told himself, 'it's not my fault, I didn't betray them, they betrayed me, they failed all of us.' As the healer stepped back Amelia Bones spoke, "Can you hear me?"
Dudley heard himself answer, but it felt more like a conversation he was listening to then something he was actually saying, "Yes."
Amelia Bones continued, "Can you tell us your name and age?"
"Dudley Vernon Potter, 11."
Fudge asked, "Dudley, would you please tell us what your life was like in Privet Drive?"
Dudley answered, "My parents always spoiled me, they gave me everything I always wanted whenever I wanted it no matter what. I don't remember when Harry came to live with us, but for as long as I can remember Mum and Dad hated him and they didn't want anything to do with him, and I took after them."
Dudley swallowed, "I was always mean to Harry, my friends and I beat him up for fun, I always took food from him. Whenever mom made food for us I would take whatever he really liked. I made sure he didn't have any friends at school, and I was as awful to him as possible." Dudley's voice had gone quiet as he spoke, he could feel tears falling down his face, now he didn't feel so separate from what he was saying.
Dudley continued, "If things had stayed the same, Harry and I probably would have hated each other forever, but then Mum got pregnant with Daisy. I didn't want her to have another baby, I was used to getting all the attention and everything in the house and I didn't want to lose that or end up playing second fiddle. I even suggested Mum put Daisy up for adoption, but she hit me when I said that. I can't say I blame her for it, I had that one coming. When Daisy was born everything was fine, Mum and Dad showed her off to the neighbors, they took care of her, they loved her like crazy. I was jealous, but I kind of got used to having Daisy around."
Dudley paused, "then weird things started to happen, one time when Harry was getting shampoo to give to Mum for Daisy's bath, the bottle started floating through the air. Harry started screaming there was a ghost in the house." Several members of the Wizengamot chuckled at this and Dudley went on, "weird things kept happening to Daisy, she would clap her hands and sparks would come out, and other strange things. Mum and Dad started spending a long time talking to each other, then one day I came home and they were waiting for me in the kitchen. Mum had been crying, and Dad looked like he'd seen a ghost ten times over. Mum told me to sit down, she said she had something important to tell me."
Dudley's face went white as he remembered, "I thought something had happened to my Aunt Marge, you know that she had gotten sick or hurt or something like that, but that wasn't it. Mum and Dad said that Daisy was a freak just like Harry, they said that they had noticed strange things about her and they had tried to explain it all away, but they knew it was true. They told me that Harry was going to be taking care of Daisy from now on, and that they wanted me to stay away from both of them, they didn't want Harry to turn me into a freak to. I remember that I just sat there not saying anything, I don't think I would have known what to say even if I could have managed to talk. I was so shocked, I didn't understand, I didn't know why they didn't want Daisy anymore, I didn't see what had happened. What scared me the most was that I didn't know what made her a freak. I know this sounds weird, but Mum and Dad had always called Harry a freak, and that's how I always saw him, he was a freak and we were normal and that was that, but with Daisy things were different. Daisy had been normal, Mum and Dad had loved her, then they said she was a freak just like Harry. I didn't understand what made her a freak, and when I thought about it I realized that I didn't really understand what made Harry one either, it was the first time I had ever really thought about or realized that."
Dudley had gone pale as he talked, "My parents told me, that they knew this must be hard for me, that they knew I didn't understand, but that someday when I was older I would see that they had done what was best for me, that I would become the type of man they would be proud of because I understood the kind of boundaries that have to exist in this world to keep everyone safe."
Dudley paused as his body shook unable to speak anything but the truth he continued, "Even now, all these years later, I still feel terrified thinking of those words. It scares me to know that they loved Daisy so much, and then they just stopped for no reason, at least that's how I saw it. I didn't know Daisy had magic, I didn't know what made her a freak. When I realized that I didn't understand what made Daisy a freak I also realized I didn't really understand what made Harry a freak either and I didn't know if I could become one or not. I was terrified my parents would decide I was a freak to, that they would just push me away like they did Daisy. I didn't know how to stop it, so I went to Harry and talked to him. He did something my parents never did for me, he promised me that he would always be there for me no matter what happened. That the two of us would be a family along with Daisy, and that he would stand beside me regardless, he made me feel safe. We swore a blood oath to do that, to be a family for each other and for Daisy."
Dudley swallowed, "After that I stuck my lot with Harry and Daisy, I got a paper route to help him pay for the things he needed to buy for Daisy. I tended his wounds whenever Dad beat him, and that happened a lot, I helped take care of Daisy, and left my old 'friends' behind and started standing up for Harry when people tormented him."
Amelia prompted, "you talked about beatings, would you explain that please?"
Dudley sighed, "My father always hit Harry, he's been beating him for as long as I can remember. I don't know if the beatings got worse as Harry got older, or if I just wasn't paying attention before Harry and I got close and didn't notice how bad the beatings were, but after Harry and I got close I saw how nasty they were. My father usually used a cane or a hit belt to beat Harry, but sometimes his fists as well. The beatings with the cane left welts on Harry's bottom and legs, he would usually sleep on his stomach and put ice on his rear, but he would always be sore afterwards. The days after the beating he would be hobbling around, limping and looking rather sorry for himself, he always said the worst were the days when we had school after getting a beating, sitting in the seats was hard for him."
The Wizengamot looked angered as Dudley continued, "the beatings with the belt were worse, Father always went hard on Harry, and the wounds went deep. Probably the worst beating Harry ever got was when this kid at school named Piers was chasing Harry with a bunch of his 'friends'. I used to hang around with those kids, but I stopped when I realized what jerks they were. Anyways, Piers and his friends went after Harry one day at school, and Harry ran away from them, he was trying to escape and used magic to put himself on the school roof. Father was furious, I have never seen him so angry. Harry told me to pick Daisy up from day care and keep her out of the house for as long as possible. I remember coming home that night, we ate dinner and then I settled Daisy in and checked on Harry."
Dudley's face went white as his voice started to shake, "I walked into my 'second bedroom' the room my parents had given me to put all my junk in, and I saw Harry lying on the bed. There was blood everywhere, for moment I thought he was, I thought he might be dead, but then he coughed and I knew I had to help him fast. I ran downstairs and filled bowl of water with some soap, I cleaned his back, and put honey on it. I knew the lashes had to be treated so they didn't get infected, and Neosporin or something like that wouldn't work, so I used honey because we had learned in school that's what people used in the middle ages and stuff before there were antibiotics and things like that. I put honey all over Harry's back, as I did I felt this tingling in my fingers that I didn't understand, but now I know it was magic. That was something that happened a lot when I was with Harry and Daisy or helping them, I would get this tingling in my fingers and they would calm down or get better faster. Once the honey was on I wrapped Harry's back and cleaned him up as best I could. Harry slept through the night and most of the next day so I took care of Daisy."
Dudley paused again as he said, "My parents asked why I was looking after Daisy, and I told them it was because Harry was sick, but they said he was using me. They said that my father hadn't done anything wrong, that the only way to deal with 'freaks' like Harry was to use a firm hand, that my father had done what was right and one day I would understand that. That's when I realized it."
"Realized what?" Madame Bones prompted.
Dudley answered, "Realized that my parents are completely insane."
Petunia and Vernon looked absolutely shocked at hearing this, but Dudley just kept going, "Being with Harry had helped me move away from the how my parents had raised me. They always let me do whatever I wanted, but after I got with Harry and Daisy I started to see the truth of things and changed my ways. I stopped beating up on the smaller kids at school, I started working hard at school and doing my best instead of half-assing things and barley scarping by with passing grades. I stopped eating junk food constantly and went on a diet, but despite all that I still felt a connection to my parents, after that day I lost any former respect I had for my parents and basically walked away from them. The beatings that Harry got were usually for doing magic or if Daisy misbehaved, when my father got mad at Daisy for doing magic and such he would want to take it out on her, but Harry always took it instead."
Dudley shook his head, "In fact, most times Harry would either piss father off purposely to avoid Daisy being hit, or Harry would remind Father that Daisy was his responsibility so that whatever she did wrong was Harry's fault. Harry did everything for Daisy, he changed her diapers, and fed her, he even bought everything she needed. Harry got part-time jobs working for people in the neighborhood to pay for food and diapers and stuff and I got a paper route and convinced my parents to let me start a recycling center at the house to help him get extra money. Harry managed to scrap by, but it was never easy. We never knew that Harry or any of us had magic then we started getting those letters. My father tried to stop us from leaning the truth and coming to Hogwarts, but in the end it didn't work. Harry and Daisy are the only ones that I really consider family anymore, I don't want anything to do with my parents. In fact, I don't really think of them as my parents anymore and I hope I turn out better than they were."
Dudley stopped and the members of the Wizengamot were all looked shocked, several shook their heads in disgust, and a few were crying. Petunia was sobbing into Vernon's shoulder and Vernon had turned his usual furious shade of purple. Dudley shuddered at his father's face as Vernon snapped, "THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGEOUS! IT'S OBVIOUS THAT WHATEVER WAS IN THAT BLASTED DRINK YOU BLOODY FREAKS GAVE MY SON IT HAS SOLIDIFIED WHATEVER FREAKISH TRICK THAT DRATTED POTTER BOY USED TO TURN DUDLEY AGAINST US IN THE FIRST PLACE! I WON'T HAVE IT! HE IS MY SON AND I WANT HIM BACK AS HE WAS RIGHT THIS INSTANT DO YOU HEAR ME?!"
One of the aurors, a tall black man, muttered a spell and Vernon instantly stopped talking. His mouth was still moving, but no sound was coming out, Petunia was crying harder and harder. Eventually Cornelius Fudge said, "Mr. Dursley you will keep your thoughts to yourself, this is a court of law not a debate. You're son has not been put under any spell or enchantment to alter his behavior, we have checked to ensure it, as for the liquid we gave your son it was a truth serum and nothing more. You and your wife both took it upon your arrival at Hogwarts and I am sure you would be aware of any adverse effects it may have. You have no one but yourselves to blame for your sons feelings, and if you ask me you are more than deserving of them."
Dudley spoke up, "excuse me Minister?"
Cornelius Fudge turned to Dudley, "Yes Mr. Potter?"
Dudley turned to his parents and said, "I want you both to know that I loved you very much once, and I'm sorry things turned out like this. I wish it could be different, I wish we could have been a real family, but I can't let you hurt Harry and Daisy anymore and I won't."
Vernon and Petunia looked at Dudley in sheer shock as Cornelius Fudge said, "Thank you Mr. Potter, that will be all. You are dismissed."
Dudley walked out of the courtroom and Poppy walked over to him and put an arm around his shoulder. Dudley leaned into it, feeling as though Poppy were the only thing truly keeping him upright at this point. As soon as they were outside Dudley walked over to Harry, Harry wrapped an arm around Dudley and said, "You look like Hell."
Dudley gave a weak smile as his legs gave out and he slowly slumped to the floor, "I feel like that old sheet of yours that you scrappped out of the dryer after it finally fell apart."
Harry snorted as he shifted a sleeping Daisy onto his hip, "Well it could be worse, you could feel like you just spent the day as a punching bag for the giant squid." Dudley snorted, pretty much all of the adults they had encountered since coming to school had warned them about the giant squid that lived in the lake. Alastor came over to them as Poppy held out a calming potion that Dudley drank without a moments' hesitation. Poppy sat down next to the children while Alastor sat on the other side, they wrapped their arms around the trio as Dudley finally broke down and cried, it had been harder than he'd anticipated. Testifying had left Dudley feeling truly drained, it had awakened all the old emotions of those experiences.
As they sat there like that Harry felt dread welling up inside him, he didn't want to go into that room, but he knew that he would have no choice in the matter. Sure enough before they'd really had the opportunity to deal with it Harry was called in. Harry was hesitant in leaving Dudley and Daisy, and Poppy could see it, "Harry I know it's hard, but you need to go in now. Al will take care of them."
Harry bit his lip nervously, despite Alastor's gruff manner Harry had come to trust the older man (something that was not easy for a young man whose chief abuser had been another grown man), but at the same time Harry couldn't help feeling torn. Harry trusted Alastor, but he didn't want to leave Daisy and Dudley alone, and he didn't want to go in that room after seeing how it affected Dudley. Alastor leveled his gaze with Harry and said, "you've got to go son, I'll look after um for you, I give you my word nothing bad will happen to them while you're gone."
Harry nodded and walked into the courtroom next to Poppy, as he came in Harry saw Umbridge sitting several chairs down from Lucius Malfoy. Umbridge gave Harry what she probably thought as a reassuring smile, but it ended up looking like a twisted grin that just made Harry feel worse. The Dursley's sat in their seats looking angry and shocked, Harry nervously sat in the seat Dudley had just left and clenched the edges with white knuckles as he was given truth serum.
After a moment Amelia Bones asked, "Can you hear me?"
Harry answered, "Yes."
Amelia asked, "what is your name and age and where do you live?"
Harry answered, "Harry James Potter, 11, Hogwarts."
Amelia nodded as Fudge asked, "Mr. Potter please tell us about your life and experiences with the Dursley's during the time you lived on Privet Drive."
Harry answered, "My aunt and uncle never wanted me living with them, and they made sure I knew it every minute of every day I was in that house. When I first came to live with them I didn't have a bedroom for the first seven years I lived there. My aunt and uncle kept me in a broom cupboard under the stairs where I slept on an old mattress."
The Wizengamot members gasped in horror and shock as Harry continued, "I also didn't have any clothes of my own, just Dudley's old hand-me-downs. My aunt and uncle never fed me properly, they would give me the left-over scraps after dinner or small things like a lump of cheese and some bread for dinner. A lot of times I wouldn't be able to sleep because my stomach hurt so bad, so at night I'd sneak out of my cupboard and steal food from the kitchen. A few times when it got really bad I ate old food or took things out of the garbage, it was the only way I could get something to eat. My aunt and uncle blamed me for everything that went wrong in the house. If Dudley got a bad grade or a bad report it was my fault, if Vernon had trouble at work it was my fault, if aunt Petunia had a problem with one of her neighbor groups it was my fault. Whenever something bad happened my uncle would beat me, sometimes he'd use his fists, sometimes he'd hit me with his shoe, mostly he'd beat me with an old cane that belonged to my aunt Marge or his belt."
Harry swallowed hard as he went on, "The worst punishments came from when I used magic. I didn't know that I was a wizard and that all the weird things that happened around the house, like things breaking or stuff floating around, was magic. My aunt and uncle always called me a 'freak' and said the strange things that happened were caused by that. They wanted Dudley to stay away from me so he wouldn't catch my 'freakishness'. My aunt and uncle made themselves as 'normal' as possible they never did anything or talked about anything that was unusual, in fact if I ever even said the word 'magic' I would get my mouth washed out with soap, or get a beating."
Harry paused and said, "Dudley took after his parents, he hated me and everything to do with me, he and his gang would beat me up for fun. They made a game out of it called 'Harry hunting' they made sure I never had any friends of my own and I had gotten used to the idea of spending my life isolated and friendless, but everything changed when Daisy was born."
Harry gave a weak smile, "When Aunt Petunia found out she was pregnant, she was thrilled. She had me paint the guest bedroom pink as a nursery for Daisy. When Daisy was born aunt Petunia was gushing and showing her off to the neighbors, but as Daisy got older strange things started to happen. One time a shampoo bottle floated through the house and I ran away from it screaming because I thought it was a ghost."
The Wizengamot chuckled weakly at this, "Aunt Petunia said it was me and locked me in my cupboard for it, but other weird things kept happening around Daisy, sometimes when she clapped there would be sparks, and sometimes things would break or float around her. Aunt Petunia and uncle Vernon argued about it constantly. Finally, one day they just gave Daisy to me, Petunia said Daisy was a freak like I was, that it was my fault and so I had to take care of her from now on."
Harry's voice shuddered as his eyes widened in fear, "I was scared out of my mind, I didn't know a thing about babies or what I was supposed to do. That first night was rough, I changed Daisy's diaper three different times in one changing because I kept interrupting her in the middle of the process. Dudley came home and aunt Petunia and uncle Vernon told him to stay away from both of us from now on. Dudley was scared, he didn't understand what made Daisy a freak and he was afraid they would decide he was one to. Dudley said he wanted to help me from now on, we swore a blood oath to treat each other as brothers form then one. Dudley helped me figure out how to get everything Daisy needed, he got a paper route to help me pay for things, and I put up signs to do cleaning and yard work, and stuff like that for people. During the winter we sold cookies, and later the recycling business helped as well, but I still had to be careful."
Harry licked his lips as he said, "I clipped coupons and bought as much of our clothes and stuff as could second hand. I made sure neither of us ever starved by getting food that would stay good a long time, like peanut butter or granola bars, and keeping it hidden in our room."
Amelia prompted, "I thought you said you lived in a cupboard?"
Harry nodded, "I did, but after I started taking care of Daisy I moved into her nursery and it became our room. I did everything for Daisy; fed her, clothed her, paid for her birthday parties and presents. It was never easy raising a child alone when I was only eight, it has been hard and frustrating and wonderful, and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but Daisy being a witch made things harder. Aunt Petunia and uncle Vernon were furious that Daisy had magic like I did and they became even harder on me than before. Uncle Vernon was more likely to beat me for something that happened than he was before Daisy, and he always used more force or would go longer. The worst was when Daisy would use magic, one time at a birthday party she stopped a cake from hitting the ground and uncle Vernon got furious. I thought he was going to hit Daisy."
No one failed to notice the terror in Harry's voice as he continued, "I couldn't let that happen so I told Vernon to hit me instead, I said that because Daisy was my responsibility everything she did wrong was my fault. From then on whenever Daisy did magic or got into trouble Vernon would beat me for it. It was hard, but I would rather it was me than her. However, with Dudley things weren't as bad, he would help me take care of my wounds, and I could have friends now. I met these two guys at school named Scott and Franklin and the four of us became great friends. Dudley actually arranged things with them to give me my first birthday party when I was nine. They took me to the park and we played soccer and ate cake, it was great. First time I ever got real presents for my birthday, every year after that they had a party for me and we'd get each other Christmas presents."
Amelia asked, "You said you were beaten often, what was the worst one you ever received?"
Harry went white, "one time some of Dudley's old friends jumped me. I tried to run away and ended up on the school roof. I must have used magic to put myself there, uncle Vernon was furious. When I got home he beat me with his belt until I couldn't move. When Dudley came home he cleaned me up and wrapped my wounds, he saved my life."
Harry shook his head, "The other beatings I got were like that, but less serious.
Uncle Vernon would hit me with his belt or the cane, or a shoe, or his fists and Dudley would help clean me up afterwards. I had a plan worked out for how to get out of the house, when I turned 18, I was going to apply to college and also apply for custody of Daisy. I knew uncle Vernon and aunt Petunia wouldn't care or fight against my getting custody so we would leave. I would get a real job and raise Daisy alone, just like I had been for the last three years before, but everything changed when the letters started coming for Dudley and I. Uncle Vernon and aunt Petunia tried to keep the letters from us, but that didn't work either. Hagrid and Professor Dumbledore came to use and told us we had magic and things have gone from there."
Madame Bones asked, "Harry you said you never knew anything about magic or the magical world?"
Harry nodded, "Yes, I never knew I had magic or that magic was real, I wasn't allowed to say the word, and I was lied to all the time about who I am and who my parents were. Aunt Petunia and uncle Vernon told me that my parents died in a car crash; that they had gotten drunk and gone out one night, and then got killed. Aunt Petunia and uncle Vernon said that I had gotten my scar in the same accident, so their story was that my parents had gotten drunk and gotten into a wreck while I was in the back in my car seat. Aside from that they never talked about my parents except to say that they were both freaks just like me who got what they deserved. They said my dad was an unemployed deadbeat and that my mum ran off with him and basically threw her life down the toilet. They told people in the neighborhood that I was some mentally defective delinquent, most people believed them, but after a while people saw that it wasn't true. Because I started buying my own clothes and putting on weight from buying my own food people stopped being suspicious of how I was treated. Some people noticed Petunia never had birthday parties for me, but she said it was because my parents were Jehova's Witnesses and didn't believe in celebrating birthday parties."
Fudge asked, "Did Mr. and Mrs. Dursley ever discuss your grandparents?"
Harry shook his head, "They never talked about them or my parents, they didn't keep any pictures of my family in the house. I didn't know what my parents looked like until Dudley found some pictures of them and gave them to me for an Easter present. I wanted to know more, but I didn't have the time to find anything out about them and didn't know where to look in the first place so I simply learned to live without knowing anything. Living on Privet Drive I always learned to deal with the situation as it was, I took care of as much as I could whenever I could, I dealt with things as they came and did everything I could to stay on top of the situation I was facing, it was the only way I got by in that house."
Madame Bones was about to dismiss Harry when Lucius Malfoy spoke up for the first time, "Do you hate muggles?"
Harry said, "No." Without a moments' hesitation.
Before Amelia could reign Lucius back in he asked, "Why not?"
Harry gave a weak chuckle, "Because my mother was a muggle-born, so's my brother, and our daughter. Franklin and Scott are both muggles and they're my best friends, I never would have gotten by without help from them and Scott's brothers, and Franklin's sister Fin is Daisy's best friend. Also, I know that not all muggles are like Vernon and Petunia, saying all muggles are like them is like saying all Wizards are exactly like Voldemort."
Everyone gasped at the sound of Voldemort's name, but Harry kept going, "I don't hate muggles, and even if things hadn't turned out the way they had I don't think I would have started hating muggles, at least I hope I wouldn't have.
Everyone in the room starred at Harry in amazement as Madame Bones nodded, "Very well Mr. Potter you may go."
Harry walked out with Poppy and sat back down with Dudley and Daisy as soon as he got outside. Once he had left Vernon and Petunia were given truth potion and then questioned then the same way she had at Hogwarts.
Madame Bones asked, "Now Mr. Dursley I would like to talk to you about your nephew Harry Potter. How do you feel about him?"
Vernon scowled, "I hate that miserable little freak, from the moment he arrived in our house he's been nothing but trouble to all of us. Always using his freaky little powers to make things happen, making things fly through the air and disappear. It's unnatural, my wife and I tried to take him in hand, to make him normal and keep him from doing that awful freaky stuff, but nothing worked. The boy is a freak and then he went and contaminated our daughter."
Everyone in the room, including Dumbledore and Snape, looked truly shocked and disgusted, Madame Bones got a hard angry look in her eyes and Kingsley Shacklebolt (who had come to act as one of the guards for the Dursley's felt like he wanted to tear this muggle into pieces. Madame Bones continued in a short clipped voice that did very little to hide her anger, "What do you mean contaminated your daughter?"
Vernon snapped, "that boy turned our daughter into a freak just like him, he made her into an unnatural monster. It was all his fault, Daisy was a perfectly normal baby until he got involved in things and made her like him, it was all his fault."
Madame Bones pressed, "And what did you and your wife do when Daisy showed signs of magic?"
Vernon said, "It was the boy's fault she turned out that way, so he should be the one to clean up the mess. The boy made her a freak like him so we made her his responsibility. It was what was necessary."
Madame Bones looked furious, Snape felt ready to spit fire, and Kingsley glared angrily at them as Madame Bones continued, "And how old was Harry when you placed Daisy in his care."
Vernon thought for a moment, "I think he was 8, I never paid much attention to him or his age, but yes, 8."
Madame Bones asked, "and how old was Daisy when this happened?"
Vernon said, "three months."
Everyone else gasped, as Madame Bones continued, "Before this had you ever mistreated your nephew?"
Vernon scoffed, "Never, little brat had it coming every single time."
Madame Bones asked, "had what coming? How did you discipline your nephew and what did you discipline him for?"
Vernon said, "I gave him what he deserved, whenever he did something freaky or made a mess or caused trouble I would give him what he deserved. Freaks like him need to be handled with a strong hand, hard force is all that will get through to them and teach people like that how to behave normally. Even with all we did it wasn't enough."
Madame Bones asked, "So you beat Harry?"
Vernon said, "yes."
"More than once?"
Madame Bones looked truly irate, "Did you ever deny him food or shelter?"
Vernon said, "We'd lock him in his cupboard or his room without food for certain periods of time. It was necessary. We never locked him outside of the house or anything like that. He always had a roof over his head and clothes on his back, and the food he deserved in his mouth. I think that is more than enough to be expected considering we never wanted him in the first place, and we weren't even asked to take him in when you gave him to us. You just left the little brat on our door step without so much as a by-your-leave. We didn't have any way of getting in touch with you people to see about trying to send him back or anything like that. Personally it doesn't seem to me like any of you like him all that much either."
Madame Bones pressed, "Have you ever beaten Daisy?"
Vernon said, "No."
Madame Bones asked, "Have you ever beaten your son Dudley?"
Madame Bones nodded and Severus administered the antidote as Cornelius stood, "Vernon Dursley, you are here-by under arrest for child abuse, child neglect, depraved indifference, and child endangerment. Severus if you would please administer the truth serum to Mrs. Dursley."
Kingsley placed a binding spell on Vernon while Severus gave Petunia Veritusserum, Madame Bones questioned Petunia quickly, "Mrs. Dursley, did you agree to place your daughter in the custody of your eight year old nephew or did your husband force you to do so?"
Petunia tried to fight the potion, but it was useless, "I agreed, I was upset when I realized what Daisy was. I never wanted my daughter to be a freak and I couldn't handle it. Vernon said it was Potter's fault and that Potter should fix it, I was upset at first, but I came to see it was the truth so I agreed."
Madame Bones asked, "Did you know that your husband was beating your nephew?"
Madame Bones looked furious, "Did you ever try to stop your husband from beating your nephew?"
Petunia said, "No, Vernon is right, that type of punishment is the only thing that can get through to freaks like Harry and the only way to teach him to behave properly."
Madame Bones pushed, "Have you ever struck your nephew?"
Petunia said, "I've slapped him a few times, and spanked him once or twice, believe me he had it coming. He knocked into a table and broke my favorite picture frame, he burned our dinner, he took things from Dudley."
Madame Bones asked, "What did he take from your son?"
Petunia said, "Food, it wasn't enough that I gave the greedy little brat his own lunch he had to take Dudley's food as well."
Madame Bones' eyes flashed, "what was Mr. Potter's lunch?"
Petunia answered, "a peanut butter sandwich."
"What else had Mr. Potter eaten that day?"
"What else did you give him besides a sandwich?"
Madame Bones asked, "have you ever struck your daughter Daisy?"
"Did you ever hit your son Dudley?"
Madame Bones said, "I believe that is enough."
Once they were done Fudge called Harry, Dudley, and Daisy back in with Poppy and Alastor. As soon as all five of them were back in the room Fudge said, "Vernon and Petunia Dursley rise."
Vernon and Petunia stood and Fudge said, "Mr. and Mrs. Dursley you have hear by been found guilty of criminal negligence, child abuse, child endangerment, depraved indifference, and a number of other crimes regarding the raising of these three children, you are hear-by stripped of all familial rights regarding Mr. Harry James Potter, Mr. Dudley Vernon Potter, and Ms. Daisy Ann Potter, you are sentenced to spend the rest of your natural lives in Azkaban prison for crimes committed against Wizarding children, all of your assets will be seized and placed in a trust for the children when they come of age. Aurors take them."
As the aurors moved forward and took Vernon and Petunia out Petunia started screaming, "NO, NO, IT WASN'T OUR FAULT!" She pointed at Harry, "IT'S HIM, IT'S THAT FREAK, IT WAS ALL HIM, WE DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG HE DID!"
Vernon simply turned stone faced to Dudley and said, "you have betrayed your mother and I, you have thrown away everything we fought so hard to give you and denied everything we have taught you, as far as I am concerned I have no children."
Dudley gave him a cocky smirk, "that is the best news I think I've heard all day." And turned back to the rest of them saying, "Let's go home."
Alastor nodded, "Sounds perfect." And they did without a moments' hesitation, as soon as they got home Alastor made them hot chocolate again and they all sat down on the couch for a drink, Harry felt himself relax a little, it had been a long and tiring day, but at least now it was over and they could move on to the next bit of insanity they would have to face.
a/n, that's all for now, sorting for certain in the next chap, and we will see Tonks as well, sorry it took so long but there was a family issue that had to be dealt with.