No, I do not own the Harry Potter franchise, though I do own copies of all the books and films. The people who do own the Harry Potter franchise are JK Rowling, Bloomsbury, Warner Bros. and a few other publishers. Thank you to JKR for letting us play about in the sandbox of the Wizarding World.
Harry Potter and the Court of Magical Brethren.
Chapter 1: Condemned.
Harry Potter sat quietly in the chair, barely moving a muscle. Well he couldn't, given the thick, cold metal chains that bound him to the chair, and he was pretty sure that the two Aurors standing behind him would curse him if he so much as blinked at the wrong moment.
The members of the public that had been invited in to witness the trial were silent, almost as if they were trying to hear what the members of the Wizengamot were saying, despite the silencing ward that had been put up.
The only sound in the courtroom seemed to come from the quill in Rita Skeeter's hand as she feverishly scratched notes onto a piece of parchment that was more than seventeen feet long at this point. Harry was certain that she had noted down every little detail, from every word said, to every facial expression, and each was sure to have received her own trademark spin when it all finally appeared in the Daily Prophet.
Once it had the seal of approval from the Ministry, of course.
Harry kept his eyes facing forward, facing the members of the Wizengamot as they deliberated. Most of them were people that he had never met before, but there were some faces that he could put names to.
Cornelius Fudge was the Minister for Magic, though how he still had that job was anyone's guess. He had spent a full year fervently denying the return to power of the Dark Wizard who called himself Voldemort, then the truth of the matter was revealed when Voldemort and his followers broke into the Ministry of Magic building and was seen by many people, including Fudge himself. Once the truth was out, there were calls from all quarters for Fudge to resign from his position. Somehow he had held on to his position. Harry supposed that the Minister must have some real dirt on some members of the Wizengamot that he had threatened to go to the press with if they threw him out of office.
Dolores Umbridge was Fudge's Senior Undersecretary, whatever the hell that meant. She was also one of his major toadies (physically as well as in personality) and a complete megalomaniac to boot. The year before, when Fudge was trying to quash the rumours that Voldemort had returned, the Minister had posted Umbridge at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, under the guise of the Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor, and someone who would see to it that the school was up to Ministry regulations. What she was really there for was to spread Ministerial propaganda and stamp out the rumours of Voldemort's return. She took these orders to the extreme, going so far as to torture students by having them write lines with a blood quill (a special quill that used the writer's blood instead of ink and carved the words into the writer's hand), and in some cases she tried to find out what was going on in the school by dosing the students with Veritaserum, a potion designed to force the drinker to tell the complete truth, no matter what. Both of these punishments were highly illegal, and some, Harry included, were subjected to both, and on more than one occasion. Umbridge had even once threatened Harry with the Cruciatus, or Torture Curse.
That Umbridge not only still worked for the Ministry, but also was a part of the body that would determine his fate made Harry's blood boil. It was taking so much effort to keep himself calm and impassive. Harry suspected that the whole reason Umbridge was present was to try and get an angry reaction out of him. Indeed, every time he heard her voice he longed to hit her in the face with a bludgeoning hex, or better yet a Beater's bat.
Harry recognised only a couple of other faces. He knew that Griselda Marchbanks had something to do with the examination's body, but that was all he knew. She had supported Dumbledore a year ago, but given how Dumbledore wasn't supporting Harry in this matter, she was an unknown. Harry hoped she was a woman capable of making up her own mind, but if the was a Dumbledore supporter, she'd go along with his thoughts on the matter, as Dumbledore's supporters usually did.
Augusta Longbottom was the grandmother of one of Harry's schoolmates, Neville Longbottom. She was an unknown as well. This time last year Harry would've hoped that she'd have been supportive of him. However Neville had given testimony against Harry during the trial, and did not paint a pretty picture. Harry had a sinking feeling that he knew which way the Longbottom vote was going to go.
Amelia Bones was the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. She was missing an arm and bore a nasty-looking scar on the side of her face; the end result of an attack by Death Eaters upon her person just a few months ago. By all accounts she had faced Voldemort himself before managing to flee. Likely Voldemort wasted time bragging about how superior he was, which allowed her the chance to escape, as opposed to her actually fighting her way out. Harry had herd that Amelia was firm but fair, though he had no way of knowing whether that was true or not.
Amelia's niece, Susan Bones, was another classmate of Harry's, though they didn't know each other that well. However, Susan and a couple of her friends had joined the defence club that Harry had set up at Hogwarts the previous year when Umbridge refused to teach them anything useful, and in the eyes of the Ministry, or Fudge at least, that meant that Susan knew Harry well enough to act as a character witness. Susan had been very truthful in her words, though that ultimately went against her. Susan thought Harry a good person, and said he was an effective teacher. Fudge had then asked if the group Harry had lead might be the beginnings of his own army, and that was where the truth had been Susan's downfall, though really it didn't matter what her answer was, as the Wizengamot would have taken any answer the way they did. Had she said that it could have been the beginnings of Harry's own army, the Wizengamot would've packed Harry off to the deepest, darkest, dankest cell in Azkaban Prison before you could say "Unfair."
Susan instead gave the true answer; that the club was formed to learn defensive magic. When asked why the group wanted to do such a thing, again Susan answered truthfully; they believed Harry when he said Voldemort was back, and Umbridge flat out refused to teach them anything remotely useful in her class.
That had not gone down well with either Fudge or Umbridge. Susan refused to back down when Umbridge accused her of lying, and in an odd way Harry was proud of her. Her words would ultimately do him no good, but that was the Ministry's fault, not hers. Had Fudge and Umbridge been investigated properly and then booted out, Susan's words would likely have been accepted as the truth that they were.
In the end, Fudge had ordered Susan removed from the courtroom and that her testimony be stricken from the record.
Her testimony may now prove useless to him, but Harry was glad that she had told the Wizengamot, and the gathered public, exactly what had happened at Hogwarts.
Amelia, however, was still a virtual unknown to Harry. He could only hope that Susan had learnt her honest traits from her.
The last person whom Harry recognised in the sea of faced that made up the Wizengamot was Albus Dumbledore, the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot (which essentially meant he was supposed to be in charge, though he had mostly let Fudge run today's show) and also the Headmaster of Hogwarts School. A year ago Dumbledore was in the same boat as Harry; trying to spread the news that Voldemort was back whilst being public enemy number one, at least as far as the Ministry was concerned. Now, though, after the truth had come out, Dumbledore was back in power. Unfortunately he had elected to keep his mouth shut during the proceedings and merely spend his time looking very sad and disappointed.
Harry had realised about ten minutes in that Dumbledore wasn't going to lift a finger to help Harry. He suspected that that had something to do with the chief witness to Harry's supposed crime. Severus Snape, Hogwarts' potions master, and Harry's least favourite teacher of all (now that Umbridge had left) was the one who had apparently found Harry at the scene of the crime and raised the alarm.
As far as Albus Dumbledore was concerned, Severus Snape's words were golden, and it seemed that no amount of evidence (what little there was) to the contrary would change his mind.
Harry strongly suspected that he was screwed.
Dumbledore might be holding his tongue, but there were many others willing to spill the juicy details. Ron Weasley, who Harry had long thought of as his best friend, had claimed that he had had a feeling that Harry might go dark on them for years, and his sister Ginny Weasley had said that there always seemed to be something "a little off" with Harry.
'Should've left that one to rot in the Chamber of Secrets' Harry thought as Ginny gave her testimony. After that the betrayals had just kept on mounting up. After Ron and Ginny came the other Weasleys, or at least the ones that Harry had ever had regular contact with. Molly, Arthur, Percy, Fred and George had all turned on Harry. Bill and Charlie were absent. Remus Lupin was of no help, admitting that the loss of his Godfather Sirius Black might've been enough to push Harry over the edge.
That one had hurt.
Minerva McGonagall, Harry's Transfiguration teacher and Head of House said that she'd always had cause to be concerned about Harry's actions. Rubeus Hagrid's testimony was no help. No was Ernie MacMillan's (another member of Harry's defence group, who said he had suspected some sinister motive underlying the group's actions).
Most of the rest of the group testified as well. Many of them (Lee, Cho, Marietta, Michael, Terry, Anthony, Angelina, Alicia and Zacharias) gave pretty damning testimonies. Those who followed in Susan's footsteps and told the truth (Hannah, Parvati, Padma, Lavender, Seamus and Dean) got barely ten words out of their mouths before they removed and their testimonies following Susan's in being stricken from the record.
Harry noted that Justin, Colin and Dennis were absent; perhaps that had something to do with them being Muggleborn.
The only one of Harry's friends that was a Muggleborn to be in attendance was Hermione Granger, once of Harry's closest friends. She was not asked to testify, but then that was probably because Dumbledore knew that she would side with Harry.
At least, Harry hoped she would. He hadn't spoken to her since before all this began, and he didn't dare look at her now.
It seemed that Harry had for more enemies than he thought, and the Wizengamot saved the best of them until last. Draco Malfoy, school bully, son of one of Voldemort's greatest supporters, and Harry's greatest enemy out of the entire student body, did not paint Harry in a very good light. It is therefore needless to say that his testimony was allowed to go on for a very, very long time. Draco painted Harry as an arrogant, spoilt brat that sauntered around Hogwarts Castle as if he owned the place, breaking every rule going and getting away with it each and every single time.
Harry wondered if Draco realised that he was actually describing himself.
Either way Draco's words went along with the tale of woe that Snape had spun right at the beginning. And then, of course, there was one final witness to put the final nail in Harry Potter's coffin.
Dolores Umbridge had positively relished affirming everything Harry's enemies had said about him before adding her own master strokes to the tainted picture the court and the public were building in their minds of Harry Potter. She told the court how he was a liar who willingly defied authority, who refused to be brought into line despite all attempts, who put the lives of his fellow students in danger.
Not once was it mentioned that all of Harry's so-called lies had been proved to be the truth in the end, and not once was it mentioned that everything Harry had done in the year Umbridge had ruled Hogwarts was in an attempt to show people that truth.
In fact, Harry Potter had not been allowed to say one word in these proceedings, and it didn't matter now if he did, because who would believe Harry Potter, the little liar now?
Suddenly the silencing ward came down, and the tension in the courtroom suddenly increased tenfold.
It was Cornelius Fudge who spoke, and when he did, he addressed Harry.
"Harry James Potter, we the Wizengamot hereby find you guilty of the murder of one Luna Celeste Lovegood."
Yup, that's right. That's what Harry was accused of doing.
Believe that Harry's capable of that and you'll obviously believe anything. Harry would not have hurt a single hair on Luna's head, far less murder her.
"It is the decision of the Wizengamot," Fudge continued "that your wand will be snapped and your magic bound. You are expelled from Hogwarts' School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, effective immediately, and you are hereby sentenced to one hundred years in Azkaban Prison."
Fudge was silent for a moment, allowing that to sink in. Harry heard a sob from somewhere behind him, and he knew that it was Hermione.
An Auror whom Harry Potter knew to be called Rufus Scrimgeour moved over to Fudge and he handed the Minister Harry's wand. Fudge held it for a moment, with a considering look on his face. Then he handed it to the person on his right.
Harry Potter would never forget, even until his dying day, the superior, gloating look that Dolores Umbridge had on her face in that moment.
The snap of his wand seemed to echo around the courtroom.
A man dressed in heavy robes and with a hood covering his face stepped forwards. Harry supposed that the man must have been an unspeakable. The unknown man drew his wand and waved it around in the air whilst chanting strange incantations. Harry had never studied Ancient Runes at Hogwarts. If he had, he might've understood one or two of the words being said.
There was, however, no doubt as to what the chanting was for. Harry could feel it.
It started as a tingling sensation in his fingers and his toes. Then the tingling swept up his arms and legs. He felt it in his head, and then it moved to his torso. Then it faded from his fingers and his toes, and they felt numb. Then his legs and arms felt numb, and it continued to spread like that, until he was just that; numb.
And his senses, sight and hearing felt dull. He could hardly sense the atmosphere in the room anymore.
"Aurors take him away." said Fudge, finally, though to Harry it sounded distant, as if it came from the opposite end of a Quidditch pitch.
The two Aurors who had been standing behind Harry, John Dawlish and Gerald Williamson both grabbed Harry by the shoulders. Harry barely felt their grasp, and he barely felt the chains slacken and fall off of him.
As he was dragged from the room, he heard a dim roar. It was the crowd; members of the public and many people whom he once called 'friend' booing and jeering at him as he was dragged off to meet what they considered to be his well-deserved fate.
And then something happened; something broke through the haze. It was a touch to his hand. He moved his fingers a little and found that his hand was in the grasp of another. He blinked and looked, and for a moment his vision cleared, and he saw Hermione, tears streaming down her face. She was saying something to him, but he couldn't make it out over the noise of the crowd, which was much louder now.
One of the Aurors shoved Hermione away and Harry was dragged on. The cloud over his senses returned as Hermione was swallowed up by the jeering crowd.
The Aurors dragged Harry through the doors of the courtroom and away down a long, dark corridor.
Harry Potter had a portkey to catch; destination Azkaban.
Hermione Granger arrived at her home to find that her parents were not there. She went upstairs to her bedroom, where she collapsed on her bed and cried her eyes out.
Harry Potter was a good person, and there was no way he would have killed Luna Lovegood. Why couldn't everybody see that?
Hermione was dreading returning to Hogwarts tomorrow morning. It would be horrible without Harry there. Even worse; Harry's betrayers would be there.
The cell door squeaked as it was opened, and then Harry Potter was hurled inside. His nose was broken, and he was covered in bruises and blood. The Aurors had taken it upon themselves to dish out some of their own "personal justice" before bringing him up here.
The door shut behind his, and even through the haze that dulled his senses, Harry heard Auror Dawlish's parting taunt.
"Enjoy your murdering Godfather's cell, scumbag."
Harry quickly found the corner furthest from the door and curled up there, but nothing was going to protect him from the Dementors that were already gathering towards his cell.
A/N: So what do you think? Sorry to any Luna fans out there, but as you can see she's not in this one. Don't worry, her being picked as the victim isn't meaningless, it is important to Harry's later actions. Also, sorry this isn't an update for 'Damn Wizards', truth is that that story is giving me a bit of trouble, but I am working on it. This story might take priority over it though.