Chapter 14: Epilogue
After giving a public statement where he confirmed that Peter Pettigrew was really alive, Minister Fudge joined Amelia Bones and an Auror team for Pettigrew's questioning. "Mr. Pettigrew, after all those years, why didn't the Wizarding World know you're alive?" Bones asked.
"I was afraid Sirius Black would come after me." Pettigrew answered.
"But he stayed in Azkaban for the rest of his life!" The Minister exclaimed.
"I was afraid he'd cheat justice." The traitor replied. "He was heir to one of the Darkest families."
"And what about after Sirius Black's death was announced?" Auror Kingsley Shacklebolt asked. "Were you afraid he was just faking his death like you faked yours?"
"I was afraid of how people would react and Harry made things worse by making Black out to be innocent as part of his frivolous lawsuit." Pettigrew explained.
"Honestly, Mr. Pettigrew, after all that time you spent pretending to be a mere rat only helps making me think you really framed Sirius Black as his godson suggested." Amelia Bones commented. "You'll have to state your innocence under Veritaserum to convince me."
"Is it really necessary?" Pettigrew pleaded.
"The Wizengamot granted Sirius Black's estate more money than they would had they not believed him to be innocent, Mr. Pettigrew." Madam Bones explained, making Pettigrew understand his situation.
"I can give names!" Pettigrew offered. "Lucius Malfoy…"
"He was already cleared on grounds of the Imperius Curse!" Fudge quickly replied.
"I'll confirm under Veritaserum that he was pretending!" Pettigrew pleaded.
"Just because you weren't around to see You-Know-Who pointing his wand at Lucius Malfoy that doesn't mean it didn't happen." Fudge pointed out and Amelia Bones begrudgingly understood the Minister's point.
"Mr. Pettigrew, when discovered, you said James Potter and Sirius Black helped you to become an Animagus." Amelia Bones commented. "What about the other Marauder? Remus Lupin."
"He's a werewolf and the rest of us became Animagi to be able to be near him during full moons." Pettigrew answered. "The Wolfsbane Potion still didn't exist back then."
"I'll have him arrested for obstruction of justice." She stated. "As for you, Mr. Pettigrew, you will have a day in court where you'll be tried and sentenced."
At the trial day, Pettigrew was desperate. "The Da… You-Know-Who was becoming more powerful every moment. What else could I do?"
'You could have refused to become the Secret-Keeper, you despicable coward.' Harry thought with a frown.
"Peter Pettigrew, James and Lily Potter were killed and Sirius Black imprisoned because of you." Chief Warlock Dumbledore berated the traitor.
"You're giving him too much credit, Chief Warlock." Harry commented. "Yes, it was Pettigrew's fault that Voldemort killed my parents but the only ones at fault for my Godfather's wrongful imprisonment are those who decided to deny him a trial. Thinking he's guilty is no excuse for such a decision."
"Mr. Potter, you're here just as a viewer." Amelia Bones berated him. "Remain silent or I'll have you escorted out of the courtroom."
Minister Fudge decided to call for a verdict. "All in favor of declaring Peter Pettigrew guilty of being an unregistered Animagus raise your wands." All Wizengamot members did as asked. "Now all in favor of declaring him innocent." Fudge had to fulfill that formality. "It's unanimous!" He then went for each other crime with the same results. "Peter Pettigrew, you've been found guilty of all charges." The Minister declared. "Do you have anything to say before we decide your sentence?"
"I had no choice!" Pettigrew pleaded.
"All in favor of sentencing him to the Veil raise your wands!" Fudge declared and all but one did. "Now all against it." No one opposed the sentencing. "Aurors, throw this properly convicted traitor to the Veil right now!"
"No! Mercy! Mercy!" Pettigrew desperately shouted.
"We're already being more merciful than you deserve by not making you rot in Azkaban with the Dementors for years." Fudge replied and practically everyone agreed.
After that, everyone else left the courtroom. Harry was about to go back home when Dumbledore interrupted him. "Harry, my boy."
"Don't call me 'my boy', Chief Warlock." Harry demanded.
"Mr. Potter, I'm terribly sorry for not believing you or Sirius." Dumbledore apologized.
"Why didn't you defend his right to a trial?" Harry demanded.
"Because I genuinely believed him guilty and couldn't risk him having access to you, Harry." Dumbledore sadly explained.
"Or so you say." Harry replied. "For all I know, you played along with Pettigrew's scheme because my Godfather wouldn't approve your plans for me." He didn't care about Dumbledore's downcast expression. "Anything else you'd like to say, Headmaster?"
"Yes, Harry." Dumbledore answered. "Would you put up a good word for Remus with Amelia?"
"What're you talking about?" Harry asked.
"Pettigrew's confession implied that Remus already knew about him being an Animagus." Dumbledore explained. "Amelia's holding it as grounds to accuse him of obstruction of justice because Remus refused to mention it when she questioned him about Pettigrew."
"Serves him right." Harry stated with no regrets. "He should have told her even if he really thought the traitor was dead. Nobody else was alive to suffer the consequences anyway."
Dejected, Dumbledore left. Harry was then interrupted by Hermione Granger. "HARRY JAMES POTTER, HOW DARE YOU IMPLY THAT PROFESSOR DUMBLEDORE WAS PRETENDING TO HAVE FALLEN FOR PETTIGREW'S TRICKERY? I CAN UNDERSTAND YOU BEING MAD AT HIM FOR NOT HOLDING A TRIAL FOR SIRIUS BLACK BUT YOU'VE GONE TOO FAR!"
"Or not far enough and don't yell at me!" Harry replied. "Goodbye."
Hermione was so non-magically stunned she didn't keep him from disaparating away. The next morning, Harry read at the Daily Prophet that Remus Lupin said he didn't say anything about Peter Pettigrew being an Animagus because he genuinely believed Pettigrew died at the explosion. Like Harry, Cornelius Fudge and Amelia Bones also believed it was no excuse.
Meanwhile, Headmaster Dumbledore was evaluating how the latest development was affecting the students. "Severus, how are the students under your care reacting to Peter Pettigrew being found alive and well?" He asked.
"They see it as a confirmation of what some of their parents always said about Sirius Black being an innocent who was left to rot in Azkaban because he abandoned his dark roots and the Light side isn't really welcoming of anyone from Dark families." Snape explained. "They're now more determined than ever to stay in the Dark side so the Light side will have to prove them guilty of crimes to make them rot in Azkaban."
"And I always thought Lucius Malfoy was twisting the facts to trick his son into following his footsteps." Dumbledore sadly commented.
"So did I, Headmaster." Snape replied. After the meeting, Snape left the Headmaster's office and was worried about how depressed his employer was.