Willing

Chapter 50

The Trial Reaches A Conclusion


"The trial will be resuming in ten minutes," Cornelius said as he momentarily joined the group after grabbing a cup of coffee. He was so very curious about Harry, and everything he'd been through. It couldn't be good; he knew that, considering how dark his attitude could be. Most seventeen-year-olds couldn't contemplate such an attitude never mind act it out. Who knows how many years out on the street would do that to anyone; he couldn't even try to understand what he'd been through. At least he seemed to have someone now, although not someone he'd ever envisioned having a relationship with James Potter's son, no less, but he wouldn't judge. "Before you leave, would you mind going to the Atrium and restoring the wands to their rightful owners?" Cornelius added, suppressing his amusement.

"They couldn't get them down?" Minerva asked in surprise, placing her cup on the table. She was amazed, not only by the fact the wands were stuck, but that Cornelius Fudge didn't seem the least bit perturbed. If anything, he was amused; he wasn't the wizard she'd thought he was.

"Why should I? Don't they know it's rude to point?" Harry sneered irritably. They'd pointed their wands at him! Threatened him; he wasn't going to put up with stuff like that.

"I think they've learned that lesson," Cornelius said. "They're hiding away in the Auror meeting room, mourning the loss of their wands."

Sirius sniggered into his cup, hiding his large grin totally amused. Not even he and James could have come up with such an awesome idea. And without meaning to ― or seeing the funny side… Harry was simply really great. He did magic that nobody else could, a powerful strong bugger, and Sirius didn't want to get on his bad side again. So far Harry had been nice to them, and that was a miracle.

"I don't know if I can," Harry wryly admitted.

"He will give it a try," Severus told Fudge, he didn't want Harry getting on the wrong side of the Ministry or the Aurors. They could be rather vindictive if they wanted to be. Yes, Harry could take care of himself, but to defeat the Dark Lord they needed all the help they could get. The Minister on their side would help matters a great deal.

"Thank you," Cornelius said.

"We have some concerns, regarding Hagrid; we think he may actually be innocent of the crime he was expelled for during his Hogwarts education," Minerva said unexpectedly.

"If he is, it will help reduce his sentence, if he is even sentenced during his trial," Cornelius said, nodding in understanding. "I assume by this you want me to question him about what happened fifty, maybe sixty years ago."

"Actually, Harry suspects Albus may know the truth," Severus said, his black eyes glinting proudly at his submissive. "Ask him about what happened during the time the chamber of secrets was opened for the first time."

"Of course," Cornelius said. "If it turns out he is innocent… I assume the charges will still be going forward?" This time he was looking at Harry enquiringly.

"Not completely," Harry grumbled. "I suppose making him leave Hogwarts and not being allowed near children will have to be good enough."

"Harry, if you want to go ahead, nobody will blame you," Remus firmly said.

"Send him to Romania," Sirius suggested. "He loves dragons, and he'd be within his element."

"Not without a wand, he wouldn't," Remus said before taking a drink of coffee.

"If he is found innocent he can procure a new wand," Cornelius pointed out as he drank his own brew. "Learn what he needs to survive on the reserve."

"There's a dragon reserve?" Harry asked, his interest caught.

"Yes, they are an endangered species. Some wizards like to hunt them down and sell them on the black market. We caught two just last month; they're in Azkaban, sentenced to one year each. They might think again before attacking them," Cornelius said, primarily to Harry. He was happy to educate Harry on the magical world, something he should already know; it was horrific really. The last Potter heir, not knowing everything about his world.

"Wizards get the better of Dragons?" Harry asked, staring in disbelief.

"It takes around ten, maybe eleven wizards, flinging stunning spells at them to subdue them, but yes, we can get the better of them. Whether it is for their own safety or ours," Cornelius said. "You'd be surprised by how many reports we get of dragons in the area. People buy them on the black market, trying to raise them by themselves. Idiocy at best; they don't even know the first thing on how to control them." The Minister's exasperation was evident.

"That's bloody cool," Harry said, wondering if they were anything like the dragons he saw on TV and in movies.

"Indeed," Severus said dryly. The closest he got to Dragons was using their body parts in potions, such as their scales. This admittedly wasn't often; as Fudge had stated, Dragons were an endangered species and they were protected.

"Minister Fudge?" a wizard called out, standing there looking awkward.

"Excuse me," Cornelius said, "It was nice meeting you, Mr. Potter," he added before disappearing, his cup of coffee still clutched in his hands. He began walking away with the wizard who had asked for his attention, looking to be in a deep discussion.

"That was the Minister of Magic, one of the most important people in our world, although he does have to answer to the Wizengamot on a whole when passing laws and such…but he basically has a free rein," Severus said in explanation.

"He seems like he knows what he's doing, competent," Harry gave his opinion of the Minister.

"A year ago I would not have agreed to the same thing," Severus said dryly.

"I agree, Severus, the changes we've seen in him cannot be a coincidence," Minerva said fully in agreement.

"He has always come across as a doddering idiot, being seen with the likes of Lucius Malfoy, and doing everything Dumbledore asked him to, while constantly asking for his advice," Sirius said somewhat distainfully.

"That isn't being an idiot, that is a purely Slytherin move to make," Severus said immediately, his black eyes twinkling at the deviousness of it.

"He is a Slytherin," Minerva said, butting in.

"With the backing of Lucius Malfoy and Albus Dumbledore, he basically has the entire wizarding world voting for his election in the votes. The purebloods always back Lucius, whether through blackmail or bribery, and with Dumbledore it was simpler: until recently, they believed every word that came out of his mouth," Severus explained.

"Politics," Harry said, rolling his eyes and rubbing his forehead; he hated politics.

"Indeed, pure politics," Severus said in agreement.

"I can't stand it; the backstabbing, the lies, the pretences…I'd rather just tell the truth," Harry said honestly.

"We know," Minerva, Sirius, and Remus said in unison.

Harry just shrugged, unaffected by their words.

"I suggest we get back; word's probably spread across the ministry already," Minerva said. "If anything, the place will be even more packed."

"I agree," Severus said standing up, leaving his finished mug for the witch to clear up.

"Who was that woman?" Harry asked standing up and replacing the chair in its original position before following everyone, standing as close to his Dom as he could.

"Her name is Rita Skeeter; as I said before, she's a journalist, and greatly disliked by the majority of wizards and witches. She had the ability to get into places she had no right being in, which it seems she was doing by using her Animagus form," Severus explained.

"How long will she get?" Harry asked, still curious about everything.

"Anything from six months to six years," Sirius answered; being the Auror he knew those things without needing to think.

"The fact she came into the Ministry will make her sentence longer," Severus added.

"Is it easy being Animagus?" Harry asked.

"Animagi, turning into one is being an Animagus," Severus automatically corrected.

"I myself am an Animagus," Minerva said.

"You aren't a cat, are you?" Harry asked, biting the inside of his lip at the look on Minerva's face; she was unaware that he already knew.

Minerva stopped, stunned; Harry truly was an odd one. And how the hell could he possible know what her Animagus form was? It was creepy, that's what it was.

Severus smirked. "I told him earlier," he said spoiling Harry's fun.

Harry 'tutted' at Severus but continued listening in.

"Only powerful wizard and witches can become Animagi. The process of becoming an Animagus is long and arduous; it has the potential to backfire. Which means the transformation could go horribly wrong. Many wizards or witches feel their time could be better spent with other branches of magic. Once you have learned it, you have the ability to change forms with or without your wand." Minerva explained in her usual teaching voice.

"Is it harder without a wand?" Harry asked.

"No, actually it isn't," Minerva said thoughtfully, she hadn't used her wand since she began learning.

"Then why bother using a wand?" Harry bluntly asked.

"Focus, unsure of one's own ability, or the simple fact they are so used to using their wands, they cast without thinking," Severus said. Opening the courtroom door, he walked in front of Harry, so the idiots trying to get a good look at him couldn't. Harry didn't like being looked at; it annoyed him to no end. He rather wanted the public on Harry's side; with a bit of luck they could get through the day without any incidents. He stood to the side, waiting on Lupin, Black and Minerva as well as Weasley who had just entered the room before letting himself and Harry sit down.

Severus observed Black and Lupin tensing again, as if they had just remembered what Dumbledore had said previously. Black was too calm, he wouldn't be surprised if he'd taken a Calming Draught. Not long after, a very reluctant Albus Dumbledore was dragged in, so different from his usual confident walk. His life was being laid bare for all to see, and it thrilled Severus to no end. Unlike last time, the chains wrapped immediately around the wizard, preventing him from moving in the slightest.

"Replay the last few sentences to refresh everyone's memories," Cornelius said from where he sat, tense in his seat.

"Yes, sir," Percy said, scrambling to do what he was told, leafing through the parchment to get to what he needed. "Minister Fudge: Did your Potion-addled influence ever cause the death of a witch or wizard. Albus Dumbledore: Yes. Amelia Bones: Who. Albus Dumbledore: James and Lily Potter." He did not bother reading the words that Sirius Black had spoken.

"Administer the Veritaserum!" Cornelius ordered, gesturing to Amelia, who was in charge of the Potion and administering it. She wasn't just the Head of the Department of Law Enforcement; she had experience with Potions and studied them regularly.

Amelia nodded curtly, and moved to give him the Potion; unfortunately it seemed Dumbledore was past his tolerance for anything. He refused to open his mouth; in the end Amelia had no choice but to use magic to pry open his jaw and keep it open until she was done. The three drops of the clear, tasteless, odourless potion landed on his tongue; she carefully watched it being absorbed before releasing the opening charm.

"What is your name?" Amelia enquired, rolling her eyes; normally she didn't have to repeat herself in one trial. Most of the time it only required one dose of the potion to get all the answers they needed. It was after lunch time now, and they still didn't even have half their questions answered.

"Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore," was the forced reply from the bound and drugged wizard.

"What year were you born?" Amelia asked; the urge to get this over with was strong.

"Eighteen eighty one," the wizard replied immediately.

"It is working," Amelia said to the completely silent room; the only sound heard after her statement was her shoes on the cement floor.

"What did you do to cause the deaths of Lily and James? What did you suggest?" Cornelius asked, delving right into a question no doubt people wanted answers to. Lily and James were the two most known parents in the magical world,

"I told them to accept Sirius Black's suggestion and switch secret keepers," Albus said.

Cornelius stared at Albus blankly, Veritaserum didn't usually work that way, and he had to have felt more than guilt at what happened. There had to be more to it than that, but what? How did he go about getting answers? Sitting forward he contemplated his next move.

"Did you know that Peter Pettigrew was the one who was spying on the Potters?" Cornelius asked.

"Yes," Dumbledore admitted without so much as a flicker of guilt.

"Do not make me stun you," Remus snapped, holding Sirius down, stopping him from making a mistake he'd probably be fired for.

"Did you suggest to Black that he switch secret keepers?" Cornelius asked.

"I merely implied that everyone would know he had been chosen, that they could get the truth from him in different ways," Dumbledore said.

"Why?" Cornelius asked, baffled.

"I was furious they denied me as their Secret Keeper; they were wavering even with the potion, they had to be dealt with," Dumbledore replied. "In the end it turned out well; they died for their son and in doing so gave the magical world peace."

Severus froze, unable to believe what had come out of Dumbledore's mouth. He had expected the prophecy to be brought up, and the whole 'Greater good' spiel he liked to spout. He sat digging his nails into his palm, as the urge to strike out at Dumbledore rose like a tidal wave. He didn't want to end up banished from the courtroom; he wanted to see Dumbledore sentenced. The fact that Harry was so calm, helped Severus control his own emotions and bring Harry's calm feelings to the forefront. This really should have been Harry's reaction, getting angry and ready to kill Dumbledore for what he did. But Harry had no empathy. He didn't feel bad for others; nobody had for him, so why should he really? He had no connection to his parents; it was as if he was hearing about strangers. If Harry had learned more about them he might have felt a little something, unfortunately he hadn't had the time to regale Harry with stories about his parents.

"Who opened the chamber of secrets sixty years ago?" Cornelius asked, remembering the Hogwarts teacher's request.

"Tom Riddle," Dumbledore confessed.

"Why did you let Rubeus Hagrid take the blame?" Cornelius asked, totally unsurprised. He doubted there was anything Dumbledore could say that would shock him now.

"I couldn't tell people I was reading my students' minds," Dumbledore said almost bluntly.

Severus stood up and went forward, whispering into the Minister's ear. Everyone in the room watched Cornelius pale drastically, looking sick before nodding jerkily. "Tom Riddle is the birth name of the Dark Lord," Severus announced to the packed courtroom.

"You knew that You-Know-Who began killing people while he was still in Hogwarts?" Cornelius rasped.

The Wizengamot exclaimed angrily, furious with this new admission of guilt.

"Yes," Dumbledore replied.

"Why did you do nothing?" Amelia asked seeing as Cornelius was speechless. He had been proven wrong ― he was surprised by something Dumbledore had said.

"I was waiting on him getting powerful, noticed, and biding my time, waiting for people to ask me to do something," Dumbledore said. Just like the time they had when Grindelwald had been at the height of his power. "But I underestimated him; he grew too powerful, too threatening. Then the prophecy revealed that I wouldn't be the hero this time around. I had to make sure that I was revered for training the new hero, and making sure he held my ideals and that his power didn't grow much either."

"Wait, what did you mean by that? What did you plan to do to Harry Potter's magic?" Amelia asked worriedly. She shuddered as raw, undiluted magic flashed momentarily around the room; someone was extremely pissed off.

"I bound his magic," Dumbledore said.

Cornelius swallowed the bile crawling up his throat, wincing as he felt another bout of powerful and menacing magic. They would be lucky if Dumbledore wasn't killed by the raw magic if they weren't careful. It made him cold all over, there was no doubt Harry was powerful without his magic being bound.

"When?" Amelia demanded.

"The night Voldemort attacked," Dumbledore stated.

"That's why he took twenty-four hours to get Harry to Privet Drive," Minerva whispered, closing her eyes; it was obvious it had been a question lingering at the back of her mind for quite some time.

"What spell did you use?" Cornelius asked urgently.

"Praeligo etenim vita," Dumbledore confessed, struggling briefly, in the bindings.

Cornelius sagged in relief, so profoundly grateful that it had a counter, despite the fact the spells literal translation was bind for life. Like most magic, they came up with counter curses, or potions to reverse any magic done, with the exceptions, of course, being the unforgivable curses.

Severus held onto Harry, his grip tight and bruising, having trouble controlling Harry's magic in his anger. He was powerful now, what would he be like with the bindings removed? Which is exactly what he planned on doing as soon as the trial was over. He was furious with Dumbledore but his concern for his submissive overrode it. Finally after two harmless outbursts, he finally gained complete control. It didn't help that his own magic was acting up in his own fury.

"You use dark magic despite the fact you want to limit everyone else's education to light magic?" Amelia asked sardonically.

"Yes," Dumbledore replied.

"Calm down, Harry," Severus said, his voice curt and demanding, "Before you hurt not only us, but everyone else here."

Harry cringed, nodding without saying anything. His anger drained away at the fact he knew his Dom was probably disappointed in him. There were many things he could tolerate, but disappointment wasn't one of them. His other Doms hadn't affected him the same way Severus did. He didn't know why, but Severus had been able to understand him in ways the others hadn't. In the end he'd fallen, extremely hard. It was the hardest thing he'd ever had to do when he ran when he saw Dumbledore. That year had been the worst; he hadn't approached the club, just remaining out on the street, occasionally shoplifting to get what he needed. He wasn't sure what he felt, but what he did know was that it was horrible. He never wanted to feel that way again, ever.

"Was anyone aware of your actions that night?" Amelia demanded.

"No," Dumbledore replied, struggling more forcefully.

"Where was Rubeus Hagrid? And what did he think you were doing?" Amelia asked.

"He brought the boy to me, waited for me to finish; I do not know what he was thinking," Dumbledore stated.

Harry flinched before gritting his teeth; he hated that word more than anything else in the world. Even more than freak, if that was possible. Breathing deeply, he relaxed against Severus, who sensing his emotions comforted him. The thought of that bastard anywhere near him was enough to make his skin crawl, it was a good job Severus had such strong control otherwise…his magic would have reacted to his intentions and killed Dumbledore.

Cornelius stood up, walking over to Amelia, "Have you ever seen anyone fight the potion so much?" he asked her looking worried and suspicious.

"No," Amelia replied, shaking her head negatively.

"I suspected as much, how long do you think it has left?" Cornelius added, looking at his watch.

"Not long, I suggest we ask the final question and get this trial over with," Amelia said grimly.

Cornelius nodded, having suspected that it was going to be Amelia's response. "Very well,"

"How did you get into the records room?" Cornelius Fudge asked, remaining standing but moving over to his own desk. The room tensed immediately, nobody even dared to breathe as they waited on his answer. This wasn't the worst of Dumbledore's crimes by far, but it was the most concerning. If they didn't get their answer, and couldn't fix whatever it was, they would be removed back to the vaults underneath Gringotts.

"I didn't," Dumbledore said.

Everyone stared around cautiously, a weak hope blooming, was Dumbledore innocent of at least one crime he had been accused off? They didn't allow themselves to hope too much, since there was many ways in which someone could not answer a question under Veritaserum.

"How were you able to acquire Harry Potter's magical signature?" Amelia demanded.

"I used his file record," Dumbledore answered.

"How did you obtain it?" Cornelius demanded, getting extremely irritated.

"I used my personal House-elf," Dumbledore said.

Everyone exploded in shock; that was one way they hadn't contemplated someone getting in. Cornelius sat down feeling weak, but also relived. If it had been a House-elf, at least they could ensure it didn't happen again. They would need the Goblins' help, which would require a heavy price indeed. Goblins didn't do anything out of the goodness of their hearts; they bargained and haggled like hell.

"You used the information in the file to locate and kidnap Harry Potter?" Amelia asked, if he did, then they had him for treason, whether he entered the room personally or not.

"Yes," Dumbledore confirmed.

"Members of the Wizengamot, you must now deliberate what must be done to Albus Dumbledore. You all will swear to judge this fairly, disregard anything this wizard has done in the past. His actions today are the reason he is here. At two PM we will let everyone know if this verdict will be reached today or if it will need to wait until tomorrow morning," Cornelius declared, facing the Wizengamot, his face serious and reserved.

"I seriously doubt they will take that long, the truth speaks for itself, quite literally," Severus commented wryly.

Harry snorted, amused by Severus' words.

"Café again?" Minerva suggested, "I really need to stretch my legs, and I have a hankering for another coffee; I do not normally go this long." By this time she'd usually had at least six or seven coffees.

"I agree," Severus replied.

"May I accompany you three?" Arthur asked; no doubt Harry would be going with them.

"Of course," Minerva said, before Severus could get a word in edgewise.


Twenty minutes later, everyone was informed that the Wizengamot had finished deliberating and the trial was recommencing. Everyone made their way back to their seats, all of them wondering what the Wizengamot had decided for Albus Dumbledore ― traitor to the wizarding world.

"I bet Skeeter's in her cell cursing, this could very well be the trial of the century," Sirius said vindictively, grinning at the thought of her shouting and screaming at the door of her cell. "It would have made her career."

"That it would," Remus admitted.

"Instead she has no career, the Daily Prophet will not accept her back after she gets out," Minerva said.

Everyone quieted when Cornelius Fudge stalked back into the room; the other door, at the opposite end of the courtroom, opened almost at the same time and the Wizengamot entered. They retook their seats for the final time during Dumbledore's trial proceedings.

"I assume a decision has been made?" Cornelius asked, first clearing his throat as he stood up. He was facing the Wizengamot, not even sparing Dumbledore a glance. Percy Weasley was as he always was, scribing away everything everyone was saying.

An elderly wizard stood up from his seat in the middle. His name was Tiberius Ogden, and he was now the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and presided over their meetings. He and the others had made a vow to fairly judge the case as any other, so nothing could influence them. Which was why the deliberating had taken so long, with fifty wizards and witches having to first swear the oath. "We have, Minister Fudge," Tiberius officially replied, nodding his head seriously.

"What say you, Tiberius Ogden, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot?" Cornelius inquired; everyone was tense with anticipation.

"Albus Dumbledore, we have decided, will serve fifteen years in Azkaban prison for his aforementioned crimes. However, for his treason, we wish to see the Dementor's kiss administered after his sentence. During these troubling times we must secure the future for the next generations," Tiberius firmly said.

"What say you all?" Cornelius asked, staring at the rest of the Wizengamot to make sure it had been a joint decision.

"Agreed," they all replied in Unison.

"Why are they talking like Pirates?" Harry asked, arching a curious eyebrow.

Severus let out a short laugh before he managed to stifle it, much to the shock of everyone sitting next to him. Arthur, Sirius, Remus, and yes, even Minerva gaped in shock. Nobody had heard Severus laugh before, even just for a second; simply put they were stunned speechless. Not because of the verdict, but because of one boy's ability to make everyone act out of character.


Edited by Jake and Jordre thank you guys :)