Trial of a Legend
A/N: This is a one-shot that came to me near the end while writing "Potter of Legends." It's part of my Legends series and the third installment. There are two other stories that follow this one. The fourth installment, "In Need of a Legend" has been posted, but the last one is moving rather slowly. I hope you enjoy this short one.
It was now around two and a half years after Harry had defeated Voldemort. Harry was nineteen and had settled in to his life at home, devoting most of his time to his businesses and running Potter Place along with his other holdings. All this was done with the help of his head house elf Mattie who doted on Harry as much as he would allow.
Harry was quite fond of Mattie who was very old. He regarded her as family along with his other house elves. He made sure she didn't overwork herself and convinced her that taking care of the books should be her chief concern, after him of course, she reminded him quickly. He also convinced her to let Lucy start taking over the more physical aspects of the job and allow her to be trained as the next head house elf. It was a forgone conclusion that she would be Mattie's replacement.
Harry had taken his last two NEWTs at the end of summer after his sixth year so had graduated from Hogwarts a year ahead of time with ten NEWTs to his name, half of them with Special Recognition. He was still dating Ginny who had finished her schooling and was picked up by the Holyhead Harpies as a chaser. She was on the road a lot and had a ton of practices so they only saw each other at games Harry attended or when they were given a chance.
Harry did teach during what would have been his seventh year but after that he decided to concentrate on his Potter estate for a while. Remus was still teaching Defense so picked up Harry's first and second year classes the following year. On rare occasions Harry would still fill in for Remus if he needed it. The kids all got a kick out of it when Harry Potter taught their Defense class.
This was especially true since Harry no longer concerned himself too much about hiding his abilities. He still kept some of his abilities secret but others not so much. This was causing him to be talked about even more. Consequently, Harry spent more time away from the crowds unless he was completely disguised.
Harry and Mattie were going over all their holdings in the study where Henry, Harry's grandfather in his portrait, was helping where he could. Harry's grandmother, Elizabeth, in her portrait, provided some information when needed as well. They were busy working when Lucy came into the study.
"Harry, Kingsley Shacklebolt has arrived and needs to talk to you."
"Thank you, Lucy. Show Kingsley to the lounge and I'll join him momentarily," said Harry standing up. "We'll continue this later Mattie. Don't bother getting up. I'll have Lucy provide Kingsley and I with some tea while you finish looking that over."
"Okay, Harry. I will figure the rest of this out with Henry and Elizabeth's help and report to you later."
"Thanks Mattie. I'll see you guys in a bit."
Harry headed toward the lounge and called Lucy who he sent to get some tea for himself and Kingsley. By the time Harry walked into the lounge Lucy popped in with tea and fixings on a tray.
"Kingsley, to what do I owe this pleasure?"
"Hello, Harry. I'm afraid I have some bad news."
"Well, have some tea and you can tell me all about it."
"Thanks Harry. This is not easy for me," Kingsley replied fixing his tea and taking a sip.
"Take your time. I have plenty of it now to spare." Harry drank some of his tea while waiting on Kingsley.
"Harry, as you know Dumbledore retired from the Wizengamot last year. Since then there has been maneuvers to gain power for those on the pureblood mania side. Some of these were left overs from the previous administration that have somehow hung on to their power. Now they've managed to get enough signatures to bring you in for questioning and a trial. Of course, some are afraid of the power you wield. Basically, I'm supposed to be here to arrest you. Sorry, Harry."
"Don't worry about it Kingsley. I knew the Ministry still needed cleaning out. I was just hoping I could have a little rest before tackling that job. I guess I've rested enough. What exactly are the charges?"
"Murder, the destruction of pureblood family lines, and failing to register as an animagus."
"Interesting. The only one I'm guilty of is destroying pureblood family lines but that was the result of ridding this world of Death Eaters during a war. It couldn't be helped and what is this nonsense with my animagus forms? I registered the last one around two and half years ago right after I accomplished it."
"They're just afraid of you Harry and what you stand for. They're using the legal system to their advantage. I have my orders so I'm supposed to bring you in. By the way, no one else was willing to do this. All my aurors threatened to quit if I tried to make them do it and I'll get fired if I don't get it done."
"Well, we can't have that. We need you right where you are, fighting the good fight. Mattie?"
"Mattie, it appears the Voldemort sympathizers have gathered together to make a stand. They have legally forced my good friend Kingsley to have to come here and arrest me." Harry turned toward Kingsley. "Don't worry Kingsley, your name will not be removed from the guest list for this year's Potter Christmas Ball."
"What do you need me to do Harry?" asked Mattie.
"Not a thing. Just carry on with business as usual and I'll get this straightened out and be back when I can."
"Be careful Harry."
"Always, Mattie. Don't worry about me. I'll be fine. Shall we?" asked Harry turning back to Kingsley.
Kingsley and Harry came out of the floo inside the Auror office so less attention was brought on by Harry going through the atrium. Too many fans would see him. He had a lot of fans in the Auror department as well but Kingsley could control them since he was their boss.
Harry said hello to several aurors he knew as he walked with Kingsley toward his office. Harry had been there a couple times in the past training the aurors in special classes so he knew quite a few of them. Once seated Kingsley began the paperwork and filling out the forms for the arrest. Harry answered all the questions put to him and chatted with a few more aurors who dropped by to say hello while Kingsley finished up. Kingsley noticed all the hard looks he was getting from his aurors as they all passed by to speak with Harry.
Once he was finished he looked at Harry with a sad look on his face.
"I'm sorry Harry but I'm supposed to put you in a holding cell until your trial."
"I see. Let me make this easy on you, Kingsley. You do realize that there is not a cell or a prison that can hold me?"
"I guess I never thought about that but now that you mention it I know it to be true."
"I'll volunteer and stay in the cell if that's what you need me to do."
"Thank you Harry. We will get to the bottom of this so you can go home as soon as possible. The cells are this way." Kingsley got up and led Harry back to one of the holding cells.
"No problem, Kingsley. Anywhere I can help," replied Harry as he followed Kingsley shaking hands with aurors along the way.
After Kingsley took Harry's wand and other possessions and put him in the holding cell he turned back to Harry.
"Harry, I'm going to go now and see when the trial will be. It shouldn't be more than a day or so away."
Harry nodded and sat down on the cot in his cell. After a while he began to think this was a waste of time. If he was going to have to stay here then he was going to need some things to do to keep him busy while he waited. All he really needed from home was his trunk but he didn't want to destroy the security on his cell just to go get that. He then had an idea.
There was an auror that checked on the prisoners every hour and the next check was due in about five more minutes. Harry waved his hand and turned himself invisible. Next he cast spells to make himself completely silent. He could now move without making any sound. When the auror came by and didn't see anyone in Harry's cell he opened the door and checked all around for Harry, not finding him anywhere.
While the door was open Harry left and made his way out until he could apparate home. Once there he quickly went to his room and shrunk his trunk, pocketed it, and then returned to the Ministry. When he got back to his cell he saw no one else around so let himself in and closed the door.
Harry quickly setup his trunk against the cell wall and disillusioned it so it looked just like the wall. Opening the door and going in Harry made his way to his library, grabbed a book, and came back out. He made sure the trunk door was fully disguised and then laid back on the cot to read his book.
Pretty soon Kingsley and some aurors came to his cell and looked surprised when they saw Harry laying on the cot reading a book.
"I swear Kingsley he was not in here when I checked before," said the auror who had unknowingly let Harry out.
"Harry, where did you get that book?" asked Kingsley.
"This book?" Harry asked pointing at it.
"Yes, that book."
"Oh, I got it from home. I was getting bored so popped home and got something to read."
All the aurors with Kingsley had their eyes opened wide with surprise, staring at Kingsley.
"Listen up guys. Harry is here on a voluntary basis. He's cooperating with us as we deal with this stupid case. He can leave from this cell anytime he wants. He's too powerful for it to hold him." Kingsley turned to Harry. "Harry do you think you have all you need now?"
"Oh, yeah. I've got enough to keep me busy. I won't need to leave again. How long until the trial?"
"It looks like it'll be at 2:00 on Thursday. Just two days away."
"Sounds good. Thanks Kingsley."
"Alright, everyone back to work," announced Kingsley. "And don't worry about locking his door. What's the point?"
That evening Sirius and Remus showed up at his cell. Harry looked up from his book and gave them a smile.
"I'm so sorry Harry," said Sirius. "I tried to stop them but they did it legally and got just enough people behind them to push it through. Now you're sitting in a cell and you don't even belong here. This is so stupid. I don't know what they hope to accomplish so you best keep your eyes open. Their goals are likely nefarious."
"Hey Harry!" said Remus.
"Hey guys! Come on in. The doors not locked. Have a seat and make yourself comfortable." Harry wandlessly conjured two very comfortable chairs for them.
"What do you mean the door's not locked? Why would they leave it unlocked?" asked Sirius incredulously.
Remus opened the door and stepped in followed by Sirius.
"I'm here voluntarily. Kingsley knows there's not a cell or a prison that can hold me. I'm trying to cooperate until we settle this."
"That's very noble of you Harry," Remus offered.
"Well they did lock the door at first but when I got bored I went home and got a book to read. Then came back. They decided after that there was no point in locking it."
Sirius cracked up laughing.
"Be ready for anything on Thursday during the trial. If I can clean up the Ministry and Wizengamot while I'm at it, I will," said Harry.
"Sounds like fun," replied Sirius.
"It could be. Will you be there Remus?"
"I'm going to try. I might just have to cancel classes and come."
"Don't worry about it if you can't get away. It might turn out to be a good story to tell though," Harry replied with a grin.
"It's likely going to be a circus, Harry," replied Remus. "The media will want to be there. I'm not sure if the Wizengamot will allow it but since it's the trial of Harry Potter everyone is interested in it. Just be careful."
"That's the plan. Hey, can I get you guys something to drink?"
"What? Where are you going to get a drink in a Ministry cell?" asked Sirius.
"Tell me what you want and I'll show you."
"Okay, I'll have a cold butterbeer."
Harry looked at Remus.
"I'll have the same."
Harry got up and made sure no auror was coming then opened his trunk door and went inside. A few seconds later he came back out with three cold butterbeers. He handed them theirs and sat back down. The both of them were just staring at him.
"Don't tell anyone but I grabbed my trunk when I went home to get a book. This way I can get some things done instead of wasting all my time while here."
All three smiled and took a good swig of their drinks.
"I've got to hand it to you Harry," said Remus. "I'm very much impressed."
"You would make your daddy proud, Harry," said Sirius with a swipe at a fake tear in his eye. "I know that I am."
"Thanks guys," said Harry smiling at his godfather's antics. "I just didn't see the point of being inconvenienced while I wait for this circus to begin. The charges are all trumped up so I might as well make the most of it."
"I couldn't agree more, Harry," said Sirius finishing his butterbeer and standing up. "I'll see you for sure on Thursday. I have a busy day tomorrow so will not likely make it back here."
"No problem. See you Thursday."
"I'll likely see you on Thursday too Harry," said Remus. "I'm not sure how I could ever miss this," he said smiling. Remus started to leave then turned back. "Oh by the way, Harry, would you like to see my animagus?"
"You have an animagus and didn't even tell me you were working on one?" asked Harry.
"Well, I was wanting it to be a surprise."
"Let's see it then."
Remus suddenly transformed into a large white Bengal tiger.
"What? No wolf?" asked Harry.
The tiger shook his head no. Harry examined him for a bit and gave him a few pats on his head. Remus quickly turned back and stood before Harry smiling.
"Sirius helped me a bit and Minerva too. Between the two of them and my own personal study I managed it quickly enough."
"Congratulations Remus! That's a fine looking tiger you have there."
"Thanks, Harry. We'll see you at the trial."
"Great! Looking forward to it. You guys try to stay out of trouble."
"Says the man from his jail cell," answered Sirius walking away while shaking his head.
After they left Harry removed their chairs and conjured a dummy with black hair that he put on the cot and covered him up facing the wall. He then cast a ward on the cell door so he would be notified when someone was there. He then went into his trunk to get some work done.
The next morning he was up at 5:30 running around his track he had setup in his trunk. He followed that up with his usual exercises in his workout area. Afterwards he grabbed a shower and dressed in comfortable jeans, a t-shirt, and trainers. Since he was going to be stuck here all day he checked the cell for any activity then went back and made breakfast.
He was sitting on his cot reading a book when the first auror of the morning came by.
"Did you sleep well Harry?"
"Yes, thanks Richard. I slept fine."
"Great!" He started to move on but stopped. "Wait a minute. You weren't wearing that yesterday. Where did you get a change of clothes?"
"Change of clothes? Are you sure I wasn't wearing this yesterday?"
"Pretty sure. At least I think so… oh well, I guess it doesn't matter. See you around Harry." Richard continued on finishing his rounds.
Harry chuckled to himself then conjured a table and chair then went into his office and grabbed some items he was working on. He brought them out to the table and sat down in the chair. Harry obscured the view so no one else but him could clearly see what he was working on. It was Potter business and no one else's anyway.
Harry was working at his desk when Ron and Hermione showed up.
"Hi, guys! Step into my office."
"Harry, you are certainly chipper to be locked in a cell," Hermione offered.
"Not really. The door's not locked. Come on in." Harry conjured a couple of comfy chairs for them to sit in.
"I don't understand Harry," said Ron as he sat down.
"It's simple. They can't really hold me here against my will since I could easily escape so I volunteered to help Kingsley out. I'm just waiting on my trial to start tomorrow."
"What are you going to do?" asked Hermione.
"I'm still working on the details but I'll likely just wing it. I imagine the Ministry is going to look a little different when I'm done though."
"That sounded a bit ominous," replied Ron.
"It should be fun. I'm counting on it. Are you guys going to be there?"
"Of course, Harry. We're your best friends and business partners. We wouldn't miss it," Hermione answered.
"Great! Then I hope you enjoy the show."
"You know you really worry me when you say things like that," said Hermione looking at him with that devious smile on his face. Ron started laughing.
"Seeing that look on your face, Harry, I'd say we're in for a treat tomorrow," said Ron after he stopped laughing.
"I'm not making any promises but I suppose it could be fairly entertaining once I start making my point."
"Just be careful and don't hurt anyone," said Hermione. "I doubt that would help your case."
"Yes, ma'am," Harry answered with a smile. Ron smiled too.
Later that day, after Ron and Hermione had left, Harry was delivered a hand written note. Ginny had sent word that due to her schedule she would not be able to visit him in jail but would definitely be there tomorrow for the trial.
The next afternoon just before 2:00 Harry was taken to courtroom ten where they chained him to the chair located in the center of the room. Harry complied with everything and put up no resistance or fuss. He then just sat quietly waiting for the circus to begin.
The courtroom was already packed with people. Dumbledore was there. Harry saw Hermione sitting with the entire Weasley family. Neville was there as well with his parents. Luna was also there ready to take notes for the Quibbler, a smile of amusement on her face. Remus and Sirius just smiled at him.
When his eyes met Ginny's she gave him a questioning look. He just winked at her and smiled. Ginny smiled back knowing this was likely going to get interesting. Harry continued to look around the room to see who all was in attendance. Apparently a few from the media were allowed in. Harry recognized most of them.
As everyone was getting into their places so they could start Harry began pinpointing all the people in the courtroom with Dark Marks using his magic. He was surprised at how many there were and especially that more than half of those he located were in the Wizengamot.
A few minutes later the trial was called to order and the proceedings began. Minister Rufus Scrimgeour rose to stand at the podium. He was in charge of the proceedings for the trial.
"The trial of Harry James Potter is now called to order. I expect everyone to remain well behaved during these proceedings. I will especially warn the press to not interfere in any way. Lord Potter is well known and I realize his life is of great interest to your readers but this trial will be handled in an orderly manner. I will remove anyone who refuses to follow proper protocol."
Scrimgeour waited a couple seconds for that to sink in before continuing.
"Kingsley Shacklebolt, our head of the DMLE will now present the charges. Mr. Shacklebolt?"
Kingsley stood tall and presented the charges in his deep, booming voice. He read from a parchment in his hand.
"The defendant Harry James Potter has been accused of the following: 1) Multiple murders of many respected witches and wizards, 2) The destruction of pureblood family lines, and 3) Failing to register as an animagus."
Kingsley walked over and handed the parchment he read from to the minister then returned to his seat.
"Harry James Potter," stated Scrimgeour, "you have heard the three charges against you. How do you plead to the first charge – multiple murders of many respected witches and wizards?"
There was some slight murmuring from the onlookers. Scrimgeour looked up from the parchment and eyed the area the sound came from. He was met with silence.
"Harry James Potter, how do you plead to the second charge – the destruction of pureblood family lines?"
"Guilty… no, wait! Not Guilty."
There were more murmurs from the audience.
"SILENCE" Scrimgeour yelled, then set off a loud bang with his wand. When it was quiet again he turned back to Harry.
"Lord Potter, would you care to explain why you answered that way? I want to make sure we are clear about your plea."
"Certainly. While I can't deny that was the end result, it was never my intention or my goal. I plead not guilty."
There were some furtive looks from the audience, especially from the press, but no one made a sound this time.
"Very well. How do you wish to plead for the third and final charge – failing to register as an animagus?"
"That one's easy. Not guilty."
"Lord Potter, you do not seem to have a lawyer to represent you. Why is that?"
"I didn't think it necessary. After all, the charges are a complete sham so I don't foresee any issues with wrapping this up quickly."
Scrimgeour looked around at the audience expecting an outburst but all he saw was amusement on some faces and nervousness on others.
"Very well, Lord Potter – "
"I'm sorry to interrupt Minister but since I am representing myself, I have a request before we go any further."
Scrimgeour paused for a couple seconds before he responded.
"That is a bit unusual but does not go against any legal proceedings as far as I am aware. What would you like to request?"
"Thank you Minister. I seem to be at a disadvantage. While my accusers know who I am, I have not been informed as to who my accusers are. If I may, I would very much like to have them all stand to be recognized. That is all I'm requesting. I believe the law states that we all have a right to face our accusers. How can I face mine if I don't know who they are?"
"Very well, I see no harm in that. All those who signed the petition and have accused Harry James Potter of these three crimes, please stand so the accused can know who you are."
All the Death Eaters stood and just a few more stood with them. Kingsley took a second parchment over to Scrimgeour and handed it to him. Scrimgeour looked at the people standing and then looked down at the parchment.
"We either have several people refusing to stand or they are simply not with us today in the courtroom. I shall read off the names on the parchment so you can at least hear who the others are. Please answer if I call your name."
Scrimgeour read off the list for everyone to hear and a few more stood up answering "here" when he came to their names. The list showed that only 16 accusers were in the courtroom while another dozen or so were missing. Now that Harry knew the names of the 7 Death Eaters he was able to make his first move.
"Thank you Minister," said Harry. "That helped tremendously, especially since 7 of those standing are all Death Eaters. Shouldn't we clean house a little before we continue this charade?"
"Are you sure? Which ones are Death Eaters?"
Harry pointed them all out, calling them by name.
"This is preposterous!" one of them complained. "I am a member of the Wizengamot!"
"If I'm wrong then you won't mind showing us all your left arm," replied Harry.
"You are merely trying to take the focus off yourself. I refuse to lower myself and dignify your sad attempt," he said haughtily.
"No matter," responded Scrimgeour. "All seven of you have been accused of being Death Eaters. If you refuse to bare your arms to prove Lord Potter wrong then the aurors will have to arrest you and verify that information. After all Lord Potter has faced hundreds of Death Eaters in his lifetime including the Dark Lord Voldemort himself. He's pretty much an expert on Death Eaters and certainly would know a Death Eater when he sees one. If he says you're Death Eaters I believe we need to at least verify his information."
"You wouldn't dare," another Death Eater said.
"This is your last chance to show us your arms willingly or I will call in the aurors," Scrimgeour warned.
"Come on guys," said another Death Eater. "This is getting out of hand. Let's just give Potter exactly what he needs."
With that they all pulled their wands and cast 7 Killing Curses right at Harry. Many in the courtroom screamed when they saw the wands and the green Killing Curses. There was a loud explosion when the curses hit. When everyone looked there was hardly anything left of the chair and the shackles.
Slowly they realized that Harry's body was not in that tangled mess. He was actually standing a few feet away from it with both hands raised out in front of him. As their minds were catching up to the fact that he was still alive, they next saw all 7 Death Eaters fly from where they were standing and head towards Harry. However, when they landed on the floor around him they were all tied up and their left arms were completely bare showing the dark mark on each one.
The Death Eaters were all yelling and complaining, struggling with the ropes binding them. Harry took all their wands that he had in his hand over to Kingsley and gave them all to him. Next, Harry turned back to the tangled mess, waved his hand at it, and everyone watched as it all came back together completely repaired and whole. Harry calmly walked back over to the chair and took his seat again like nothing had ever happened. He didn't bother with the shackles this time.
Kingsley stunned all the Death Eaters to shut them up. After he finished there was complete silence in the courtroom. Not a sound was heard. All eyes were on Harry as he sat there. He then started looking around at the accusers still standing. They all appeared very nervous. When they saw those green orbs staring back at them they shuddered at the power.
After Harry completed looking at each of the accusers still standing he said, "I believe the rest of my accusers no longer have a complaint against me. Would one of you like to speak up and tell the court exactly what the Death Eaters did to you?"
After a pause, one man spoke up.
"Those seven tortured us and threatened the lives of our families if we refused to sign their petition."
"Any of you others standing want to add to that or disagree?" asked Scrimgeour.
"No, that's exactly what happened," another said. The rest shook their heads no.
"You may all be seated," instructed Scrimgeour. "Mr. Shacklebolt, do you have anything more to add or say to the court regarding this case?"
"Just one thing, Minister. I recommend we drop all charges against Harry James Potter."
"All in favor of dropping all charges?" asked Scrimgeour.
The entire Wizengamot, or what was left, all raised their hands in support of that motion.
"All those opposed?" Scrimgeour asked but got no takers. "Very well. Case dismissed."
As aurors showed up to take the Death Eaters through the passageway where they had brought in Harry, Ginny ran down to where he was at and jumped into his arms.
"Oh, Harry. I was so worried when I saw all those Killing Curses cast at you. You scared me to death!" she whispered to him in his ear as they hugged each other.
"Why were you worried? I had everything under control."
"Oh, Harry. I love you, you prat!"
"I love you too, Gin."
By that time his friends had caught up to them and surrounded the couple so that the press was not able to get close enough to bother Harry. Before he left, Harry recommended that Scrimgeour have every Ministry worker tested to make sure no more Death Eaters or sympathizers were missed. Scrimgeour agreed.
Harry received all his possessions from Kingsley while his friends continued to surround him until they arrived in the atrium. Harry invited them all over to Potter Place for dinner and a short get together that evening. Meanwhile he and Ginny portkeyed to Potter Place for the remainder of the afternoon so they could enjoy some private time together.