Sorry about the lack of updates but with all the overtime I'm working at work leaves very little time for writing.
Thank you to everyone who has stuck by me with these stories and have left a review. Your reviews mean a lot.
On the day of the trial Harry and Buffy woke up early neither one being able to sleep. Like many mornings before, the two got dressed and met in the hallway. Harry was wearing a simple pair of jeans and a dark blue button up shirt. Buffy was also wearing jean but they were black. She was wearing a red sleeveless blouse. They made their way down the stairs and into the kitchen, and weren't at all surprised to see Remus, Sirius, Rupert, and Joyce were already up. Joyce was currently making breakfast.
"Morning you two, breakfast will be ready soon." Joyce told them.
"I'm not really hungry." Buffy told them.
"Me either," said Harry.
"You're both just nervous about your trial today, but you need to eat. It's going to be a long day."
"I'll try but I make no promises." Buffy told Joyce.
Joyce nodded and set a plate with bacon, eggs, and toast in front of Harry and Buffy. Harry ate some of the eggs. Buffy could only manage to eat a single piece of toast.
"So who is all going?" Harry asked between bites.
"Remus, Joyce and I are going since we are your legal guardians." Rupert told them. "We'll be allowed in the hearing. Arthur will also be going since the hearing is on the floor he works."
"How are we getting there? Are we going to Apparate in?" Buffy asked.
"We'll be going the Muggle way." Arthur Weasley said as he entered the kitchen wearing one of his work suits. "We'll be walking to where that underground train system is. That will take us to a stop within walking distance of the Ministry."
"When are we leaving?" Harry asked.
"As soon as you two have finished your breakfast." Joyce told them.
"Then I'm ready." Buffy said and Harry nodded in agreement.
"Then let's get going. It would not do us any good to be late." Remus said as he stood up from the table.
Sirius quickly gave Harry and Buffy words of encouragement before they joined the others in the hall. Mr. Weasley and Remus led the way out the door followed by Harry and Buffy. Rupert and Joyce brought up the rear. The adults were ever vigilant keeping a look out for any sign of evil that included the Muggle kind, the supernatural kind, and the wizarding kind.
The trip on the subway had been an interesting one. Mr. Weasley had been fascinated by just about everything associated with the subway. He would quietly ask Buffy and Harry questions and they did their best to answer them. When the subway finally reached their stop Harry and Buffy were both relieved and nervous. Mr. Weasley had finally stopped asking questions about everything Muggle related but it also meant they were getting closer to their trial. They walked the three blocks it would take to get to the Ministry in silence. Buffy knew the moment that they were there because she could feel the magic through her slayer senses. Mr. Weasley and Harry went into the phone booth. Buffy watched as the inside of the phone booth went down leaving the outer still standing. Within seconds a new inner shell had appeared.
"We're next." Remus said to Buffy.
Remus stepped in to the phone booth and Buffy followed him. She closed the door and watched as Remus dialed a number and then spoke to the operator that soon presented them with two badges that had their names on them and said visitors. Remus and Buffy attached the badges and the phone booth began to go down. Buffy smiled seeing that her brother and Mr. Weasley were waiting below. Remus and Buffy exited and waited for Rupert and Joyce to come down. Buffy moved to stand by Harry. He took her hand and held it giving a squeeze. Buffy gave him a nervous smile.
"You okay?" Harry asked his sister through the link.
"Yeah. Just a little nervous about the whole upcoming trial. Our futures are about to be determined soon."
"We weren't in the wrong. We were just trying to protect ourselves and our friends."
"I hope you're right." Buffy said as Joyce and Rupert got off the phone booth elevator.
They all began walking and soon they were walking down a hallway where there was a group of golden statues that stood in huge pool of water. Both Harry and Buffy went and looked at the fountain. Buffy reached into her pocket and pulled out a silver sickle.
"Let's make a wish." Buffy said taking Harry's hand.
They both closed their eyes and Buffy threw the sickle in and they both made the same wish. They both wished that they would be free of the charges and be able to go back to Hogwarts.
"Come on you two. Don't want to be late." Rupert urged them along.
Harry and Buffy took one last look at the fountain before turning to join the Giles, Remus, and Mr. Weasley.
After getting checked in they began heading toward the elevator that would take them down to where the trial would be. They all piled into the elevator and Mr. Weasley hit the button for the basement floor. The elevator stopped several times to let people on and Harry and Buffy had to scoot closer to Remus and the Giles. A large black man wearing blue wizard's robe entered. The man moved to stand by Mr. Weasley. Both harry and Buffy were sure that they may have seen this man at one of the order meetings. The man leaned over to talk quietly in Mr. Weasley's ear.
"Really? Thank you Kingsley."
The man known as Kingsley got off at the next floor as did everyone who wasn't with Harry and Buffy.
"What did Kingsley have to say?" Remus asked when they were alone.
"He told me that Harry and Buffy will be tried together and that their trial time is now in five minutes. We'll need to hurry if we are going to make it in time."
As soon as they had reached their floor Mr. Weasley led the way at a faster pace than normal. In the hallway just outside the room their trial was to be held, Buffy and Harry noticed Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge mooning over toad like woman in pink. The toad woman gave them a warming smile but neither Buffy nor Harry liked the look in her eyes. Mr. Weasley wished Harry and Buffy good luck before leaving to head off to get a bit of work done.
Harry and Buffy sat in separate chairs side by side in the middle of the room. The Giles and Remus were standing behind the twins chair offering support they knew Harry and Buffy needed.
"The two accused are present. Are you two ready?" Minister Fudge asked.
"Yes sir." Buffy and Harry said at the same time.
"Disciplinary hearing, of the twelfth of August, into offenses committed under the Decree for Reasonable Restrictions of Underage Sorcery and the International Statute of Secrecy by Harry James Potter and Elizabeth Lilly Potter."
Harry and Buffy both took deep breaths trying to calm their nerves as the Minister of Magic rattled on about who their interrogators are. Many of the faces Harry and Buffy didn't know but they did recognize Percy's face.
"…Witness for the defense, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore." Dumbledore said as he entered from the door behind where Harry and Buffy sat.
Harry and Buffy turned to watch him walk in and they both felt a little better knowing he was here. Joyce, Rupert, and Remus gave a bit of a relieved smile that he was here. As Dumbledore made his way to take the floor, Harry and Buffy took notice of the witches and wizards in the room. Some were in awe of him while others looked annoyed.
"Ah Dumbledore…you…you got our message that the time of the hearing had been changed?" The Minister asked.
"I must have missed it. However due to a lucky mistake I arrived at the Ministry three hours early." Buffy and Harry looked at each other and held back a laugh. "The charges?"
"The charges are as follow that the accused knowingly, deliberately, and in full awareness of the illegality of their actions, having received a previous written warning from the Ministry of Magic on a similar charge, each producing a Patronus Charm in the presence of Muggles. You are Harry James Potter?"
"Yes." Harry answered.
"You are Elizabeth Lily Potter?"
"You two received an official warning from the Ministry for using illegal magic three years ago, did you not?"
"Yes…" Harry started.
"…but…" Buffy tried to interrupt but the Minister kept speaking.
"And yet you both conjured very powerful Patronuses on the night of August second?"
"Yes." Both teens said.
"Knowing that you were in an area full of Muggles and in the close proximity of two Muggles at the time?"
This time neither Harry nor Buffy said anything. The room remained silent as they waited for the teens to answer.
"Well, what do you have to say for yourselves?" The Minister asked slightly annoyed.
"We were just making sure it was our turn to talk sir." Buffy said with a polite smile.
"Yes Buffy and I both produce a Patronus to save ourselves and our friends from the Dementors."
The witches and wizard began talking all at once and there were two distinct questions that could be heard. They were "You can produce a Patronus?" and "You saw Dementors?"
"Quiet!" Minister Fudge's voice boomed. Everyone instantly quieted and a woman to Fudge's left spoke.
"Dementors? What do you mean boy?"
"It's just like Harry said. Harry, Cedric, and our Muggle friends were out patrolling with me when we were attacked by five Dementors."
"And you and your brother were able to produce a fully fledge Patronus." Buffy nodded. "A corporeal Patronus?"
"Yes, mine is a doe. Harry's is a stag, and Cedric produced a badger."
"Incredible and you two are only fifteen?"
"Yes Ma'am." Harry replied.
"Really Amelia, why would Dementors be in the States? On a Hellmouth of all places? These two have been thinking it through and decided that Dementors were a nice little cover story to hide the fact that they were showing their magic off in front of their Muggle friends."
"We're not lying!" Harry voiced quite loudly.
"There were five Dementors there." Buffy told them.
"All we have is your word to go on as Muggles can't see Dementors." Minister Fudge told them.
Dumbledore cleared his throat and spoke loudly.
"We do, in fact, have two witnesses to the presence of Dementors in Sunnydale. They're waiting just outside the door. Remus if you would be so kind."
The court waited quietly for Remus to return. When he did it was with Cedric and Willow. Cedric was going to be the first witness to talk. As he moved to take the new arrived witness chair, he let his eyes roam over to Buffy. It seemed like forever since he had last seen her but in reality it had only been a little over a week.
"State your full name." Fudge told him.
"Cedric Edward Diggory. I will be a seventh year Hufflepuff student at Hogwarts."
"You were in Sunnydale on the second of August?"
"Did you see Mr. and Miss Potter perform a Patronus Charm?"
"Yes, Harry, Buffy, and I performed the Patronus Charm to drive away the Dementors that attacked."
"If you performed a Patronus Charm that night why is it only the two Potter's charms that registered?"
"I really don't know. Only thing we could think of is that Harry's and Buffy's Patronus were so strong that it kept mine from registering."
"Thank you Mr. Diggory. And who are you?"
"Willow Danielle Rosenberg."
"Are you an American witch Miss Rosenberg?" Fudge asked.
"I am not but my ancestors were, but due to a curse placed on great great grandfather by his mistress every Rosenberg after that has not been able to carry a wand." That had a few of the witches and wizard murmuring.
"And what that night of August 2nd?"
"Xander and I went patrolling with Buffy, Cedric, and Harry because the activity on the Hellmouth had been mostly quiet. We were walking through the park when it got really cold almost like it was going to snow. I looked up and it was really dark and I could see five black hooded creatures flying above our heads. I felt like I was never going to be happy again. Then when Buffy, Harry, and Cedric did the Patronus Charm and were driving the creatures away. Then everything was clear."
"I don't think any of us believe that the Dementors being in Sunnydale was a coincidence." Dumbledore jumped in.
"What are you implying?" Fudge asked icily.
"The Ministry has acknowledge that Voldemort has returned and that someone could have ordered the Dementors to attack Harry and Buffy."
"The Ministry would not aid Voldemort by ordering Dementors to attack anyone."
"If the Dementors take orders only from the Ministry and since we have witness statements saying five Dementors attacked in Sunnydale then it is only logical that the Dementors must be rogue."
"There are no rogue Dementors! All Dementors are under Ministry control." Fudge told them.
"As Harry's legal guardian I hope that the Ministry will be making a full inquiry into why five dementors were so far away from Azkaban attacking young wizarding children who were in the States." Joyce started. "Harry and Buffy were just defending themselves and under Clause seven even in front of Muggles they can use magic in exceptional circumstances. I would definitely call a Dementor attack an exceptional circumstance."
"Joyce is right. Harry and Buffy falls into the exceptional circumstances of the decree." Dumbledore added.
"Let's take this for a vote…those in favor of conviction?" Fudge asked only about ten hands went up including fudge and the toad face woman.
"Those in favor of clearing the charges?" Amelia Bones asked.
The rest of the hand in the room went up and it was clear that the majority of the wizards and witches were siding for the charges to be dropped.
"Very well…cleared of all charges." The Minister said feeling a bit exasperated especially when was getting the evil glare from toad woman.
"Excellent! Let's be going shall we?" Dumbledore said with a clap of his hands. He began ushering Harry, Buffy, Willow, and Cedric out the door.
Once out of the courtroom Remus, Joyce, and Rupert hugged and congratulated Harry and Buffy. Willow had come next giving Buffy a hug and then Harry talking excitedly the whole time. When Willow released Buffy, Cedric came over and enveloped her in a hug and then planted a loving kiss on her lips. The kiss was a quick one because they knew they were at.
"That was smart thinking Albus bringing Willow and Cedric in to testify on the twins behalf." Remus said with an appreciative smile.
"Well I do have my moments. Now I must get Miss Rosenberg home as I promised Shelia that I wouldn't keep her daughter out too late since today is her first day of school. Also I believe you have a very large group of people waiting to hear about the outcome of your trial."
"Professor, will Buffy and I be able to return home or will we be staying where we're at?" Harry asked Dumbledore making sure not to mention Grimmauld Place.
"I believe with the newly strengthen wards it would be safe for you two to return there. Now Miss Rosenberg if you'll say your goodbyes we'll take our leave."
Willow quickly said goodbye to everyone and gave hugs to Harry, Cedric, and Buffy. When she was done she went to stand by Dumbledore and the two walked to the nearest exit.
"Are you two ready to go home?" Joyce asked.
"More than ready. It'll be nice to sleep in my own bed in my own room." Buffy told her.
"We should get going
"What about our stuff at the other place?" Harry asked.
"I'll go and retrieve your stuff as well as let Sirius, Ethan, and the others know about how your trial went. I'm sure we'll be along within the hour. Shall we head out?" Remus motioned toward the door that Dumbledore and Willow had left.
I hope everyone enjoyed this chapter. I couldn't help myself with making Cedric's middle name Edward.
The next update probably won't be until around Christmas because I get a week off then so bear with me.