Notes: Harry's POV this chapter. I apologize for the delay in my postings but life is a bitch right now. My muse is also giving me the proverbial finger so I pushed through the block and got this out. I hope it's up to par. Anywho thank you to all who reviewed, fav'd, followed or did all three! Enjoy Lovelies!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. I will make no money from the posting of this fic.
But he had faith, for some reason, that Bill would understand why he did what he did and how he became how he was. The red head seemed to want to know him for him and that was nice; most wanted his power or money or some other favor. Maybe he was spending too much time with Slytherins? Well it was a good thing that Mr. William Arthur Weasely was as Gryffindor as they came.
"I think I could do that with you but you have to be patient... I'm new at this... feelings thing. I can't promise it will be easy to be with me but I'll try my hardest to make you happy." Bill nodded, a bright smile on his face; "All I can ask isn't it. Now, I only have today with you so let's enjoy the day. No planning or conspiring just relaxing."
Marvolo stood and offered his arm to his red head; "Well then let's have a walk around the grounds. The garden isn't at its liveliest right now as its winter but the Malfoys have several plants that bloom beautifully in the cold weather." The red head allowed himself to be led outside and into the gardens.
The elder male watched Bill's reactions when he showed him different plants and shrubs, enjoying how expressive the younger man was. All in all if he had to go to the Ministry holding cells tomorrow he was glad he would have this memory of his time with Bill to keep his spirits up.
Today was the day. The day his father and Lord would stand trial for his crimes and Harry could only hope to Mother Magic that his father knew what he was doing. Harry of course would vote in favor of Marvolo's innocence no matter what, as would their allies, but if too many of the Light or Neutral families were not convinced of his father's innocence they were screwed.
Neville was able to court over several of the more neutral oriented Light families but as for the diehard Light Houses in the Wizengamot; well it was anyone's guess as to how they would vote. All Harry could do was vote in his father's favor and have confidence that Marvolo would be able to pull off his greatest acting performance to date.
The only thing he needed to remember about the Light Houses was their diehard public sense of justice and what was right. Despite their personal feelings they would never think to convict an innocent man in a public trial; a closed trial well they probably wouldn't even give Marvolo the chance to defend himself.
Sirius' lack of trial was still fresh in his mind. After all it was the Light families who allowed his godfather to be tossed into Azkaban without so much as an inquiry into the merit, or lack thereof, of the alleged charges against him.
Harry had no delusions about these so called pinnacles of Light. They were just as crooked as any other non-Light inclined person or family. They just presented themselves in a prettier, seemingly more harmless, packaging. It was always easier to believe the Light families were loyal, innocent of any wrong doing, and abided the law to the tee.
Dark families were exactly that Dark. Many a fool believed that being Dark meant you were sneaky and disloyal. Many of those blinded by the Light believed a Dark wizard would stab their own families in the back to get ahead.
It was ridiculous that people still believed your personality and morals depended on the type of magic you possessed, or descended, from. Harry, himself, was born from union between a notable Light wizard and a muggleborn; he was a Dark wizard but just because he was Dark didn't mean he did not love his precious people. Harry would lie, torture and kill to protect those he considered his family and friends.
Also, just because he was Dark didn't mean he didn't believe in justice; he did. Harry just believed sometimes you had to bend your views to ensure the right outcome for the betterment of all. Marvolo may have been guilty, there was no denying the man had done horrid things, but Harry and their allies would twist the rules to suit their needs so their goals could be met.
By skirting the rules in a few instances they could make sure their world thrived and stepped out of its bloated, stagnant sense of complacency. The stagnation of their world was sickening and it needed to end; if they needed to rig a few trials then so be it.
Harry had no issue with playing loose with the rules; Dumbledore never abided the rules of their courts, or the laws of their land, so why should Harry? At least Harry and his people were circumventing the rules for the betterment of all not just a few favored families or people.
Dumbledore; the man was actually helping them build their support and Harry wanted to cackle out loud at the fact that the old man, however inadvertently, was helping his mortal enemies in their conquest of the wizarding world. It was just too sweet and rich! The people who once followed the old man so religiously were now seeing the manipulative man for what he was; a bastard and they were confused and looking for a new leader. For once the sheep were good for something.
However, once his father, Rookwood and the Lestranges were declared innocent the manipulations of the justice system would end. Why manipulate the system when they would eventually demolish and rebuild it for the better? The same thing applied to the Ministry itself; the decay and mediocrity would be ushered out and a new era of intelligent wizards and witches would brought in; blood would not matter anymore.
Harry believed muggleborns had just as much right as a pureblood did in their consideration for a position in the Ministry, or anywhere for that matter. No, what would be the deciding factor in their employment and acceptance into the magical world would be their intelligence coupled with the willingness to adapt to the world they were living in.
No more muggleborns shoving their preconceived notions and beliefs into the magical world. No longer would muggleborns straddle the two worlds; if they wanted to belong in the magical world they could but they would not run back to the muggle side whenever they had enough.
If a muggleborn chose to leave the wizarding world for good their magic would be bound and they would sign paperwork renouncing their magic and any ties to the magical world; this was another piece of legislation he wanted introduced. If they didn't want to be involved in the wizarding world and turned away from their rightful home they would not take the gift of magic with them. It may be a bit extreme but secrecy must be maintained at all costs; wayward muggleborns slipping and exposing their magical brethren would not happen.
Harry had no issue if the muggleborn wanted to visit their family every now and again; as long as the secrecy contracts were signed by the muggles and muggleborn in question there was no issue. But muggleborns would live in their world and if they married a muggle another secrecy contract would be signed.
These existing laws dealing with secrecy added in with the new, and upcoming legislation, involving newly identified muggleborns and their early education of the magical world left little doubt, at least within Harry's mind, that within a generation or two their world's secrecy would be ensured to the best of their ability.
An added bonus of the new laws passed was that muggleborns would treasure their magic and the world they rightfully belonged in. When Marvolo and their allies brought the magical world back to the glorious place it should be muggleborns would have little reason to cavort with lowly muggles; muggles who would never understand them or truly except them for what they were.
Magical beings belonged with other magical beings not with muggles who would fear them or use them for their own gains. The best example Harry could give would be his treatment at the hands of his muggle family; he still carried the scars from his uncle and cousin's abuse. Not to mention his growth had been effected by the prolonged starvation he was forced to deal with in his childhood and every summer.
The Dursley family; he would have to pay them a visit in the near future once everything was said and done. His life had taken such a turn and with so many things in the works he had forgotten his delightful muggle relations. Soon they would be screaming and screeching under his wand, begging for mercy which would not be given. They would feel as helpless and worthless as they made him feel all his life. No doubt this excursion would make a nice family outing; Marvolo, Lucius, Severus and Draco would love to meet them. Though the Dursleys wouldn't be so excited to meet them.
The Lord of House Potter and Black stepped into Courtroom One, his thoughts of the things to come stopping as he surveyed the space; the room was cavernous, much bigger than the courtroom his farce of a trial took place in before his fifth year. However, the mood surrounding the place was the same; dark, foreboding and cold. Hopefully, the outcome for his father's trial would be the same as his; innocent of all charges. Any other outcome would be unacceptable for their cause.
Perusal of the room done Harry took the open seat next to Lucius, who was seated amongst their allies. Draco was in the front row of the gallery behind the defendant's table; his blonde was seated next to a composed Severus Snape and a nervous, fidgeting Bill Weasely. It made the raven feel distinctly happy that the red head wanted to join them for Marvolo's trial; it seemed the eldest Weasely son cared for his father more than Harry originally believed.
Seated around the three men were several of his father's many supporters. The people in attendance were about to see how much influence and power his father actually commanded. Many of the people seated on Marvolo's side of the viewing gallery were related to Lords and Ladies serving on the Wizengamot. The ones not related to Wizengamot members held substantial clout and pull in the wizarding world; quite the showing of subtle force if Harry were to say so himself.
He then cast his intelligent green eyes around the assembled members of the governing body, nodding politely to their gathered allies and observing the overall mood of the people in the room. The other members were a mixture of emotions and responses; some were looking excited, some were looking nervous and others were looking absolutely nonchalant and un-harried.
The Dowager Augusta Longbottom gave him a small smile; this gesture was unexpected but welcome. Augusta was always a staunch supporter of Dumbledore's plans but now that the old coot was out of the way Augusta was adrift and searching for allies; another one of Dumbledore's little sheep seemed to desire coming to graze in darker pastures.
Harry was sure Neville capitalized on his grandmother's anger and confusion with the ex-Headmaster of Hogwarts ruthlessly. Neville loved his grandmother but he was not blind to the woman's faults and if twisting her to their side furthered their goals then so be it. Harry knew Neville would never allow anyone to hurt his gran, as the Longbottom heir called her, but his protection did not extend to her ruining their world with her convoluted beliefs. Beliefs that were no doubt spoon fed by Dumbledore himself.
It was not an easy thing to rebuild and reshape an entire world, especially one that was so corrupt and diseased but it could and would be done by the sacrifice and hard work of others. Tough things and choices needed to be made and just because you loved someone didn't mean their views were right and should be followed blindly.
That was how Dumbledore came to such power; everyone trusted him, adored him even, and now they were finally waking up and seeing how misled they had been by the old, seemingly harmless, man. Fred and George made a tough decision but stuck by their convictions and turned away from their errant family members.
Harry admired and respected them for doing what was right and not backing down and doing what was easy. More people should be so strong in their morals and convictions. Now that he thought on it he hadn't seen the Weasely twins in quite some time, maybe after this trial they could arrange for the two demons to visit the Manor for a little gathering. Bill would probably love to see his younger brothers.
Pushing the thoughts of a party aside Harry went back to surveying the other people in the courtroom; the press section of the gallery was of course a hive of activity. The news of the feared You-Know-Who turning himself in and standing trial was the scoop of the century; only a fool would miss out on this story.
To Harry's annoyance Rita Skeeter was seated in the very front of the pack of leeches; he would have to speak to her once the trial was over. He couldn't have the little bitch forgetting her place now could he? Most of the writers in the wizarding world were gossips and would do a lot to sell a paper but Rita was the most viscous of the lot and one could never forget that.
A violent dog needed to be restrained, or destroyed, before it could turn and strike its master. Skeeter just needed to be subtly reminded who her masters were. Not to mention what the repercussions would be if she wrote anything too displeasing about his father or his trial. No doubt the woman would heed the warning and if not then her death would be no loss, actually it would probably deserve its own celebration; Harry doubted anyone would actually miss the disgusting lie mongering beetle.
The arrival of Madam Bones signaled that the trial was about to commence and the room silenced itself. Every person assembled waited for the esteemed woman to speak; "Good Day Ladies and Lords, members of the gallery. I am Madam Amelia Bones, Head of the Department of Law Enforcement and I will be conducting the enquiry as the interim Chief Warlock."
"The court scribe is Percival Ignatius Weasely. Mr. Weasely please begin the transcription, include the words I have just spoken, now." When Percy's quill began to fly across the parchment Madam Bones continued; "Today we will judge Tom Marvolo Riddle, rightful Lord of the Ancient and Noble House of Slytherin, also known as Lord Voldemort."
Here many people flinched and Harry had to fight not to roll his eyes in annoyance; it was a fucking name! What was so bloody bad about the name Lord Voldemort? Bones' commanding voice broke Harry out of his annoyed mental tirade and back onto the matter at hand; "I must ask for the silence from the gallery. If you cannot comply with this order you will be escorted out."
The severe blonde cast ice blue eyes around the room, expressing the seriousness of her words. When only silence was heard throughout the room the woman continued; "Yesterday Lord Riddle surrendered himself of his own free will to the Ministry of Magic and is standing trial for numerous crimes. Aurors, please bring in the accused."
At this point three Aurors in crimson robes left to fetch his father; the crimson eyed man entered the room, and though shackled, looking none the worse for wear. Once Marvolo was standing behind the defendant's table, the man had no legal counsel as he was defending himself, Madam Bones began to speak again; "Lord Riddle, you have declined counsel, choosing to defend yourself. Was this decision made of your own free will?"
Marvolo sent a small yet disarming smile to the frigid blonde; "It was Madam. I understand the risks of being my own counsel and accept them of my own free will." Satisfied Bones continued with the proceedings; "So be it; the charges are as followed."
The assembled body waited with bated breath for the stern witch to continue; "The first charge is two counts of Murder for the deaths of James Charlus Potter and Lily Marie Potter nee Evans on October, 31, 1981. The second charge is Attempted Murder committed against Harrison James Potter-Black on October 31, 1981."
"The third set of charges are as follows; Fourteen Counts of Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the deaths of Marlene McKinnon, James McKinnon, Allie McKinnon, Jonathan McKinnon, Fabian and Gideon Prewitt, Edgar Bones, Susanna Bones, Michael Bones, Michelle Bones, Benjy Fenwick, Dorcas Meadowes, Jonathan Bones and Edwina Bones."
"The fourth set of charges are as follows; Four Counts of Aiding and Abetting Known Criminals in the escape of Bellatrix, Rodulphus and Rabastan Lestrange and Augustus Rookwood from Azkaban Prison."
"Lord Riddle, how do you plead?" Marvolo looked straight into Madam Bones' blue eyes; "I plead not guilty, Madam Bones, to all the charges against me." This response brought a strangled shout and many gasps from the assembled press and onlookers; everyone, other than the supporters of the Dark Lord, looked shocked at the accused man's proclamation of innocence.
Harry noticed Marvolo seemed to be enjoying himself. Of course the man would, he thrived on the attention and loved to shock people and watch how they reacted. The man he called father truly was a first class actor and Harry couldn't wait to see what Marvolo would do next.
Madam Bones' eyes widened a bit at his father's words but quickly pulled herself together and nodded; "Your plea has been noted, Lord Riddle. Do you consent to answering my questions under the effects of Veritaserum?" The crimson eyed man smiled, charmingly; "I will consent to the use of Veritaserum, Madam Bones."
The witch merely cast a hard look at Marvolo as if trying to figure out what his game was. Harry admittedly understood her confusion; not many would calmly respond, or defend themselves, nevertheless smile when they were being faced with such numerous and grievous crimes. But then again Marvolo wasn't just anyone so his responses were always unpredictable and outside the norm of what most people considered acceptable.
After a few moments of silent observation the formidable Madam spoke; "Lord Riddle, I ask that you step forward and under Veritaserum provide answers to my questions. If you have any witnesses, or people speaking, on your behalf please state their names now."
His father smiled pleasantly once again at the powerful woman; "No, Madam Bones I have no witnesses to call." The blonde woman nodded and gestured for Marvolo to approach the gathered Wizengamot. A hard chair appeared, shackles hanging ominously from the dark wood of the arms and legs. Once the crimson eyed man sat down the aforementioned shackled jumped up and wrapped themselves securely around his father's tall form.
Harry had to stop himself from protesting the treatment being enforced on his father but he held himself back; it was a necessary precaution, just because he loved and trusted his father didn't mean everyone else here did. Besides Marvolo didn't seem too fussed about being trussed up like a chicken.
Taking a calming breath he watched through emerald eyes as the man he cherished as a father, and a mentor, downed the prescribed does of Veritaserum. The effect was almost instant; those gleaming red eyes dulled and became unfocused as the handsome face slackened slightly.
Only Harry, and those who knew Marvolo well, could see the slight spark still burning in those crimson orbs. Madam Bones, who would be the only one asking questions began speaking, her voice even and clear; "Is your name Tom Marvolo Riddle?"
The bound man answered in a dull voice; "It is." With a curt nod of satisfaction that the serum was working Amelia Bones began the questioning it earnest; "Did you, Lord Riddle, murder James and Lily Potter on the night of October 31, 1981?" Harry held his breath and prayed that his father could wiggle his way out of this very direct question.
Marvolo answered in the same deadened voice; "I did not." Well apparently his father was more capable of manipulating Veritaserum than Harry gave him credit for. Feeling better now that he saw the proof of his father's abilities he swept his emerald eyes around and almost laughed at the looks of shock on most peoples' faces.
Harry did wonder how Marvolo got out of providing a truthful answer to the quite straightforward question; it was after all Voldemort who murdered his parents. Wait...that was it! It was Voldemort, not Lord Riddle, who raised his wand that Halloween night and as long as Marvolo believed that as truth he could answer "No" to the question Madam Bones just asked him, despite it being an utter lie.
It was amazing at what a strong mind could do when given the right instruction, a built up tolerance to Veritaserum and the will to succeed. Once Bones collected herself she began again; "Did you, Lord Riddle, attempt to take the life of Harrison James Potter-Black that Halloween night in 1981?" The answer was the same; "I did not." Well now that Harry figured out how his father was evading the answers this trial was going to be quite boring!
However, the expressions on many peoples' faces were absolutely priceless. Many looked like they had just seen Merlin fucking Morgana over the defendant's table. His father would not doubt enjoy watching the reactions he provoked once he was found innocent. Lucius pinching his knee brought him out of his thoughts, blinking Harry shifted in his seat and brought his attention back to Marvolo and Bones.
The questions were continuing on in the same vein; Madam Bones asked her questions and Marvolo danced around them wonderfully. By the time they reached the Aiding and Abetting charges the whole room was looking quite dazed at just how this trial was turning out. Harry wanted to die laughing but refrained, if only just.
When asked about his role in the Lestranges' and Rookwood's escape from Azkaban his father answered that he had no part in it. Which was a complete lie but as long as Bones kept referring to Marvolo as Lord Riddle during her questioning he could continue to deny all involvement.
A bit frustrated the icy Madam asked Marvolo if he had any clue as to how the four prisoners escaped. The crimson eyed Lord remained silent for a moment before answering in a monotone drawl; "It was the night the Dementors revolted and the prisoners were probably trying to avoid the Kiss. Other than that I do not know where they are at this time."
Harry wanted to smirk again at his father's brilliance but refrained from any overt sign of support or agreement toward the man on trial. The result of innocent in this trial would raise eyebrows all over the magical world and the emerald eyed teen didn't need murmurs of duplicity, or favoritism, on his part from the press, or anyone observing the trial for that matter, clouding his father's good fortune in being found not guilty.
After this last question Bones ordered the antidote be given to his father. The crimson eyed man regained his poise and customary blank expression almost within an instant of ingesting the substance. Madam Bones gestured for Marvolo to return, still shackled via the wrists and ankles and accompanied by Aurors, to the defense table and wait while they deliberated.
Once the crimson eyes man was seated in his chair Bones erected a strong privacy ward around them; "Well Lords and Ladies, I do not think we will need to deliberate for long. It seems the man is innocent despite the overwhelming evidence against him and how much I want to believe he is guilty." Elphias Doge, the old codger, began to rail on about how Dumbledore said this and Dumbledore said that about the man and he had to be lying.
All Harry really heard was noise, static noise, and once the idiot stopped ranting he cut in smoothly; "Are you saying the man figured out a way to trick Veritaserum?" Harry scoffed and continued; "That is absurd Doge! Maybe you should retire and rest your weary mind if you believe anyone is capable of tricking such a powerful serum."
Lucius stepped forward; "I believe we were going to take a vote in regards to Lord Riddle's innocence before Lord Doge began to rage at us. I, Lord Lucius Abraxas Malfoy, vote in favor of acquittal of all crimes against Lord Tom Marvolo Riddle." Harry stepped forward and voted the same way his future father-in-law did and the procession began; in the end the only man who voted in favor of Marvolo's guilt was Doge and another older witch who was once close to Dumbledore.
Once the voting was done the silencing bubble was taken down and the stern blonde woman faced the Dark Lord; "Lord Tom Marvolo Riddle, please stand." Once Marvolo was standing tall and proud Bones began; "This court has found you innocent due to the overwhelming proof provided in your testimony under Veritaserum."
"Any vaults, properties or other holdings are hereby immediately awarded back to you. We apologize for any inconvenience done to you in the past and hope you will rejoin our proud society. Is there anything you wish to say before I bring this trial to a close?"
The handsome man with crimson eyes smirked in delight; "I do actually Madam Bones. As I am a seat holder, as a matter of fact I hold several seats, on the Wizengamot I would like to put my name forward for consideration for the post of Chief Warlock."
Harry never thought he would see The Amelia Bones lose her composure but the fact that her eyes practically bugged out of her skull and her jaw dropped slightly was proof that the unflappable woman was stunned by his father's smoothly spoken request.
The bumbling idiot known as Cornelius Fudge stepped forward, a jovial smile on his face; "Of course, Lord Riddle, we will add your name to the list of worthy candidates. We will be discussing and voting on the position during the next session."
Harry noticed Bones was glaring at Fudge; he wasn't sure if it was due to what Fudge said or the fact that he had overstepped his bounds and said anything at all. Probably both, just because Marvolo was found innocent didn't mean they wanted him as Chief Warlock. Clearing her throat Bones interjected; "Indeed, your name will be added Lord Riddle."
Marvolo nodded and with a thought the shackles broke away from his wrists, once again stunning the assembled audience; this time for his raw magical talent and power. Turning around the man strode towards Draco, Severus and Bill but even Harry could see the man only had eyes for the tall red head. Once Marvolo reached Bill he grabbed the younger wizard and pressed a kiss to his cheek.
Dozens of camera flashes went off and Harry had no doubt what the headline would be tomorrow in the Prophet; Dark Lord Acquitted of Crimes, Now Shackled By Love, or some such rot. Sighing, Harry and Lucius stepped down from their places and made their way over to their little family. Handshakes and murmurs of congratulations were given to Marvolo by several people surrounding them. Before anyone from the press could approach the family left the courtroom, all six men glaring at anyone who tried to stop them from leaving.
Harry decided he would call the Weasely twins, Luna and Neville when they returned home to Malfoy Manor. This momentous occasion deserved some form of celebration and Harry also missed, and wanted to see, his friends too; so he could kill two birds with one stone with this little party.
Hopefully, Marvolo didn't kill the overly excitable Weasely twins but Harry had a feeling his father would control himself. After all Bill wouldn't be too pleased if his lover killed his brothers in front of him. Shrugging lightly he followed his fiancée through the floo and back to the Manor.
Well that was the trial; I'm not 100% satisfied with it but it is what it is at this point. Life is insane and up in the air for me right now so hopefully when things settle down so will my snobby muse...fingers crossed!
Also, some people may be thinking that it would not be possible to fool Veritaserum in this way and you may be right and you may be wrong. All I know is that manipulative people can find any loophole and exploit it for themselves.
By referring to Marvolo by an incorrect name the question became void. You always have to be careful how you word things if you want the correct response; at least to me anyway. Then again that's probably why I was such a hellion growing up.
Veritaserum compels you to tell the truth and if the person subjected to it believes what they were saying was the truth then it is. *Shrugs* Maybe that is a very simplified explanation but it is what it is lovelies.
All Mistakes Are My Own!