Lucius Malfoy struggled in the chair that he was chained to. Dementors lurked nearby and he knew that he would have to play his cards correctly, were he to get out of this one. It was a little over a week since the Dark Lord Voldemort had fallen from power by a mere defenseless baby and he was one of the few Death Eaters who had remained back to be caught by the Ministry. His sister-in-law believed that she would be pleasing her fallen Lord by going to Azkaban, and whatever he tried, he couldn't sway her decision. He didn't want to go to Azkaban, no. Instead, he wanted to accomplish something, that would benefit the Malfoy name.
He looked around the Wizengamot and saw that it had been filled to capacity and a few who were unable to find seats were standing in the gallery towards the other side of the courtroom. He scowled, evidently, people would be very pleased to see him locked up in Azkaban. He laughed in his head, sneering at them all, as he ran through the plan in his head. Today, he would walk out a free man.
The general chatter in the room ceased almost immediately the Minister for Magic Barty Crouch Sr. strode into the room, levitating a stack of file folders in front of him. He took his position behind the raised podium and shuffled through the file folders before taking a look at the courtroom.
"Today, we are here for the trial of one Lucius Malfoy," he began, glancing around at the gathered people and pausing for a moment to consult his notes before going on again. "Who has been accused of assisting He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named against the conspiracy against the Ministry knowingly, for the torture and murder of one Emmeline Vance and providing monetary support to the afore mentioned Dark Lord." He paused and looked at the room again to see the reaction of the people. Many were looking at Malfoy with hatred, while others were looking at him, keeping their faces void of any emotion.
"Further," he continued, consulting his notes again. "We have heard that the accused is known to have taken the Dark Mark willingly-"
"Objection, Your Honor," Lucius Malfoy drawled, as the entire room looked on, a surprised look on their faces. "The last accusation is based on hearsay and is not acceptable in the Court of Law."
The court scribe who had been looking on in surprise like the others, hurriedly wrote down what Malfoy had said. The Minister looked flustered for a moment before nodding his head curtly and consulting his notes again.
"What does the accused have to say about the charges?" he questioned, looking up again at Malfoy. Malfoy stated calmly back at him, seemingly unaffected by the Dementors around him. He straightened up in his chair and looked at around the room once.
"I was not of straight mind when the alleged deeds were committed," he said slowly, speaking to the room at large. "I was Imperiused by Lord Voldemort to take the Dark Mark. The Curse only lifted a week ago, after the fall of the Dark Lord. I have hardly had enough time to look through the old papers to see the deeds committed by me when I was under the Imperius Curse." The room was silent for one whole minute and then the whole room broke out into a babble of different unintelligible noises, most of which were coming from the spectators who were witnessing the hearing of Lucius Malfoy.
"SILENCE!" Dumbledoe roared, standing up from the row of seats occupied by the Wizengamot members. As the red sparks he had produced from his wand in an attempt to bring peace in the courtroom faded out, the whole room had his attention. "Minister, I would like to take over the rest of this hearing, and as the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, if anyone so much as tries to oppose me, they will find themselves paying a fine of 20 Galleons," he said, without so much as a glance at the Minister, who was too slow to react. Dumbledore used this to his advantage, and pushed onward.
"Mr. Malfoy," Dumbledore began, as he got out of the seats and made his way over to the chair that held Lucius. "Would you be able to say the same that you said a few minutes ago, under the influence of Veritaserum?" He stopped in front of the chair and walked back to the raised podium where the Miniser of Magic was standing. Crouch Sr. seemed to have found his courage and he spoke up.
"Look here Dumbledore," he said, stammering. "You have no authority here in the Wizengamot to conduct the hearings-"
"Please forgive me for doing this, Barty," Dumbledore said, surveying the Minister over the rims of his half-moon spectacles, a smile playing on his face. "But I wasn't aware that the Chief Warlock had been ripped of his previliges in the court of law. The last time I read, page 362, 4th paragraph clearly stated that the Chief Warlock had full authority to take over the hearing if the Minister couldn't handle it well."
"Rules can be changed Dumbledore," Crouch Sr. snapped, clearly irritated by the fact that Dumbledore had more power than him in the court of law. His scowl was such a good one that Lucius was sure he would've given Severus Snape a run for his money.
"I propose we call for a vote," Dumbledore said, still smiling.
"I second that," a tall sharp featured woman called out from the Wizengamot side of the seats.
"Proposal seconded and carried forward," the court scribe announced. "All those in favour of Barty Crouch Sr. continuing the hearing?" Several hands raised into the air and the number was quickly jotted down by the court scribe. "All those in favour of Albus Percival Dumbledore continuing the hearing?" This time, more hands were raised, and the court scribe said, "You may continue with the hearing, Professor Dumbledore." Dumbledore smiled at the young court scribe and drifted back in front of Lucius Malfoy.
"Lucius," Dumbledore said softly, but loud enough that the voice carried around the room. "Suppose I take your word on you being Imperiused as true, what about the crimes committed during that time?"
"I would like to be punished, under the name of justice," Lucius answered quickly. "I should not be put into Azkaban for the crimes I committed, but rather I should be give the Dementor's Kiss." There were several gasps of surprise around the courtroom, certainly no one had expected a Malfoy to take that path. Dumbledore smiled and turned around to face the courtroom.
"Kingsley, the Veritaserum, if you please," he said to the man that was guarding the entrance to the courtroom. The man called Kingsley nodded and hurried out of the room, returning shortly with a vial of clear transperent liquid in his hand. He handed it to Dumbledore and went back to guarding the entrance doors. Dumbledore uncorcked the vial and strode back to Lucius and instructed him to open his mouth and then proceeded to pour 12 drops of the potion into his mouth. Once Lucius had swallowed the potion, his eyes took on a glazed look.
"What is your name?"
"Lucius Malfoy," he said in an emotionless voice.
"Were you a part of the Death Eaters?"
"I was forced to be a part of the Death Eaters."
"And who forced you?"
"Lord Voldemort," he answered, and his voice seemed to take on a tone of anger as he felt the apparsnt dislike for Voldemort even through the potion.
"And how were you forced?"
"The Imperius Curse was cast on my wife and me, some time after we had graduated in our own house."
"Were you responsible for the murder of Order of the Phoenix member, Emmeline Vance?"
"No, I was trying to help her, when I had control of my own mind and my actions during those rare moments when Voldemort could not control the inner circle of the Death Eaters when they were fighting. It was my sister-in-law, Bellatrix Lestrange who killed her."
"Who were the inner circle among the Death Eaters?"
"Bellatrix, Rabastan and Rodolphus Lestrange, Walden Macnair, Evan Rosier, Severus Snape, Narcissa and myself," he replied, his eyes still having the glazed look. "Peter Pettigrew was also inducted into the inner circle a few months before he sold the Potters to the Dark Lord," he added.
There was once again a collective gasp around the room and the chaos that ensued this time couldn't be controlled by Dumbledore's repeated shouts for silence. At last, he waved his wand in a sweeping gesture and the whole room fell silent, the inhabitants finding that they had lost their voices. Dumbledore turned back to Lucius Malfoy and his twinkling eyes were filled with anger.
"Was Sirius Black ever a Death Eater?"
"No, he was a sworn enemy of ours and he wouldn't join us for all the gold in the world. The only Black that ever was amongst our ranks was Regulus Black." There was nothing anyone could do to stop the pandemonium that arose this time and hardly very few people heard as Lucius Malfoy was declared "cleared of all charges."