"Sirius Orion Black. You are accused of murdering eleven muggles in cold blood and injuring many more on the evening of November 1 of 1981. You are also accused of murdering Peter Pettigrew on the same day near Henley Street, London. How do you plead against these charges?" Fudge thundered from his elevated seat.

"Not guilty." Sirius said, staring unflinchingly at the Wizengamot members looking down at him.

"Very well then. Your attorney has filed a request for the trial to be conducted using Veritaserum. Do you object to an interrogation using the Truth Serum?"

"I'm willing to be questioned under Veritaserum." said Sirius.

"So long as the questions pertain to the crimes that are allegedly committed by my client then he will answer to the Wizengamot's satisfaction." Andromeda carefully pushed in making it clear that questions should remain strictly pertaining to the crimes.

After all, the last thing she wanted was for Sirius to get convicted of something illegal that has nothing to do with the charges levelled against her cousin.

"Noted Mrs Tonks. Administer the Veritaserum on the accused." Fudge ordered gesturing with his hand to Auror Dawlish.

Dawlish took a small glass container and poured three drops of Veritaserum down Sirius' throat. After making sure the Truth Serum was properly administered Dawlish returned to his post while the Wizengamot waited for the potion to take effect.

A minute passed before Minster Fudge began the interrogation.

"Reveal your true identity to the court."

"Sirius Orion Black, son of Orion and Walburga Black."

"What is your date of birth?"

"January 27, 1959."

"The name of your brother?"

"Regulus Orion Black."

Sirius was in a haze but he could still see Fudge and Bones exchanging a look. This was just the standard procedure for Veritaserum trials to ensure the accused was no imposter. As a hit-wizard who served in the Auror force, he was familiar with DMLE procedures for a trial.

"Were you at any point in your life a willing spy of He-who-must-not-be-named?" asked Madam Bones.

"No."

Sirius could hear gasps from the gallery.

"Are you a member of the group called Death Eaters?"

"No."

"To your knowledge have you passed any information to a Death Eater under duress?" asked Minister Fudge who now looked a bit pale.

"No."

"Did you pass on the location of Potters to anyone without their express approval?"

"No."

"Did you know the hiding place of the Potters when they were under the Fidelius charm?"

"No."

"Who cast the Fidelius charm to hide away the Potter family?"

"Lily Potter."

"Did James and Lily Potter ask you to be their secret keeper?"

"Yes."

"Did they make you their secret keeper?"

"No."

"Who was the secret keeper of the Potters?"

"Peter Pettigrew."

This time there was a considerably more percussive reaction from not just the gallery but the Wizengamot members as well. It took some time for the Minister to take back control to proceed with the trial.

"Did you chase after Peter Pettigrew with the intent to kill?"

Now, this was a trick question. Did he think he was going to kill the rat at the time?

Certainly, yes!

Would he have gone through with his thoughts once he had Peter under his grasp?

Probably, no!

At least, not at that time. He'd kill that accursed rat without a hint of hesitation if he could have the chance right now.

Because of the truth serum, Sirius could not omit the truth despite it not being the whole truth. So, his answer came out unaltered.

"Yes."

"Did you kill Peter Pettigrew?"

"No."

"Where did you confront Peter Pettigrew?"

"London, Henley Street."

"Did you cast any spells to attack Peter Pettigrew once you confronted him on the street?"

"No."

"Who cast the spell that caused the destruction of Henley Street?"

"Peter Pettigrew."

Sirius could see Minister Fudge looking totally worn out and pale as he exchanged a look with Madam Bones. The Minister slowly leaned back in his seat and looked like someone killed his pet cat.

So, it came as no surprise to him that the next question came from Madam Bones.

"Mr Black, explain the events that transpired on Henley street of London city when you confronted Peter Pettigrew."

Finally, he got his chance to say his side. Sirius took a deep breath and explained his side of the story. He started the tale by how he tracked Peter's magical signature left in his hiding spot. He explained the spell he used to track Peter down and how he tracked Peter all the way to Henley Street. Then he explained the events that transpired between them. It was quite a story actually.

By the time he explained how Peter escaped into the sewers after leaving a finger to fake his death, Sirius felt his throat had dried up. Thankfully, he was not the only one who had enough with the court proceedings.

"I think we have all heard from Mr Black and I say with certainty that's hopefully shared by many here that this man was unjustly imprisoned and a grave injustice was done. Before I call on a vote I'd like to inform the members of the Wizengamot that there will be a special committee formed to inquire whether Bartemius Crouch misused his position as the head of the DMLE against the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black."

"Nice of Minister Fudge to carefully place all the blame on Crouch." Andromeda muttered to Sirius.

Sirius was no longer interested in any of that. He could care less about what would happen to Crouch if the petty politics Fudge was undoubtedly going to play in the wake of his trial. After years of imprisonment and the subsequent struggle his godson went through for this trial, Sirius was perhaps reevaluating his priorities. With all that's happening with the Tournament, Sirius was more worried about Harry and the enemies his godson was facing or will be facing in the near future. He was not there to support Harry all these years as James and Lily wanted him to.

But, he could support Harry now. Perhaps, in more ways than he would have been capable of when Harry was just a baby.

"I believe everyone is satisfied with the questioning. Auror Dawlish, you may administer the antidote."

On Fudge's order, Dawlish administered the antidote. It only took a few seconds for the antidote to take effect. Sirius felt as if a fog was lifted from his eyes.

"If the Wizengamot has no further questions then I suppose it is time to cast our votes. For those who find the accused guilty?"

No one raised lit wands which means the Wizengamot didn't find Sirius guilty of the crimes he was accused of.

"For those who find the accused innocent?"

Sirius counted some forty-four wands raised in the air with their tips glowing white.

"The Wizengamot has spoken. This court finds Sirius Black not guilty of any crimes he has been accused of. This court will gather three months from now to deliberate on the findings of the special committee led by Madam Umbridge regarding the misuse of DMLE and its emergency powers by its former head, Bartemius Crouch."

It was as if a great weight was lifted from his shoulder as Sirius watched the Wizengamot adjourn.

'I'm free. I'm finally free!' Sirius thought, overcome with joy.

Sirius was led towards the exit of the Wizengamot chambers by Andromeda as the crowd grew thick. Still, Sirius paid it no mind as he was focused on Harry who was greeting and shaking hands with a number of Wizengamot members.

"What's Harry doing? Why isn't he coming out with us?"

"He will join us eventually. The kid has been writing to all the Wizengamot members to vote in your favour for the last two weeks. And let me tell you, you don't want to get on the bad side of Harry Potter. Truly, the things he planned with Malfoy gives me nightmares. He is the most ruthless and brilliant fourteen-year-old I have ever known. Our grandfather would have loved him." said Andromeda, as they struggled to get out of the lens cover of the reporters not to mention the crowd of curious wizards and witches.

By the grace of Merlin, they somehow left the reporters and other curious parties behind. Sirius now sat snuggly between his godson and Andromeda in Madam Bones' office. While the trial set him free there were some other procedures left.

Sirius watched as Madam Bones handed over a small black pouch to him.

"It must contain all your belongings. If something is missing please file a complaint. The DMLE shall endeavour to find the item in question."

Sirius made a cursory look into the pouch. There was his trusted wand and everything else was inconsequential to him. Taking the Elm wand into his hand after fourteen years was like getting his wand from Ollivander all over again. Sparks sputtered out from the tip of his wand. He was truly happy now. He got his life back and he could spend the rest of his life helping Harry as James and Lily would have wanted. He was no longer a burden for his godson or any of his friends.

"Madam Bones, what will happen to Lucius Malfoy?" asked Harry all of a sudden startling not just Sirius but Andromeda as well.

"Why? Do you plan on having Mr Malfoy released from prison?" Madam Bones asked, raising an eyebrow curiously.

"No. Not after all the struggle I went through to destroy the man. I'm curious whether you'd use this opportunity to use Malfoy to drag all the rest of 'Imperuised' Death Eaters to where they belong."

Sirius didn't like the way Madam Bones was eyeing Harry. He knew how dangerous Bones could be as he had worked under the woman during his time in the Auror corps.

"I'm afraid not. Lucius Malfoy may have to pay a hefty fine or even spend a few months in Azkaban for the crimes he is currently accused of. Other than that, I don't plan to dig deep into Mr Malfoy's past actions." said Madam Bones, leaning back into her chair and staring unflinchingly at Harry.

"How can you.."

Sirius immediately grabbed Harry's hand and shook his head. But, Harry merely pushed him away and faced Amelia Bones head-on.

"I fail to understand you Madam Bones. You have lost a brother and sister-in-law to the Death Eaters. You have lost your parents and even most of your family died at Voldemort's hands. Why, after everything that has happened, do you not act?"

"Act against whom Mr Potter? The same men who unleashed a bloodbath and now are declared upstanding members by the Wizengamot. For whom should I act? I'm sure my brother and his wife would rather have me take care of their orphaned daughter rather than chase justice blindly. Even if I did as you ask who'll take care of my niece should something happen to me?"

Sirius stayed silent just like Harry and Andromeda. He could understand Amelia better than anyone. In a sense, Sirius supposed Amelia Bones was someone he aspired to be. He had chosen the path of vengeance after James and Lily were murdered instead of taking care of Harry. Amelia made the choice of setting aside the pursuit of vengeance for her niece, something Sirius wish he had done with Harry.

"This silence speaks enough. You are a child Mr Potter. You assume my lack of retaliation against the murderers of my family as a weakness on my part. Rather, it takes enormous restraint on my part to not retaliate in a manner that jeopardizes the future of my niece." said Amelia Bones before turning her sharp brown eyes on Sirius.

"Now, if you have confirmed all your valuables you may take your leave, Mr Black."

XXXXXXXX

Lucius sat in the cold dark cell deep underneath the Wizengamot chambers. He was intimately familiar with these cells as he had visited many of his compatriots here before arranging for their release in exchange for political favours and influence of some sort. He had even stood on the other side of the cell and boasted to his enemies of his prowess and influence within the Ministry.

The instrument of his political salvation has now become the stage for his damnation.

Lucius never thought he'd be in this position. He had carefully manoeuvred all these years into a position of strength. It had taken him years to properly set the stage for the rise of House Malfoy. The desolate and broken status of his wife's family had suited him just fine and fueled his rise in the Ministry. There was a time when he had even proudly thought that he stand on even grounds with Dumbledore.

And look at him now! Brought down to the lowest of the low by a teenager.

It was a sad day indeed.

He knows what comes next. Lucius was not ignorant of the fact that in his desperation he probably must have made many people worried. There are valuable secrets in his mind and it has the power to crush some very powerful people who are enjoying prestigious positions in their society. They could not afford to see their positions and stature disappear overnight.

So, he was now a threat to the elite group he once belonged to.

Even his wife and child will be in danger. Narcissa at least has some value as she is a beautiful pureblood witch from the House of Black. He was sure suitors would be lining up if she becomes a widow today. His son on the other hand would take the brunt of the fallout. The Malfoy name has its value because of the Wizengamot seat and their long history of pureblood heritage. Without his protection, Draco would be easily led around by powerful men who covet the power of House Malfoy.

The only option before him was to somehow escape and find the Dark Lord. There was no one else he could turn to for help. If he could aid the Dark Lord to rise then he could reclaim most of what was lost.

Lucius suddenly looked up when the bars of his prison parted away. A wizard stepped into his cell who was concerning his face under a hood. The wizard flicked his wand and a piece of rope came out of thin air and wrapped itself around Lucius' throat.

"No, please." Lucius gasped as the rope tightened around his throat.

Lucius thrashed around as he struggled to breathe. He tried to pry the rope away but the room was starting to spin in front of his eyes. With great terror, Lucius realized he was about to die.

Then, out of nowhere a bolt of red light flashed in the cell. The assassin fell down on the floor unconscious and Lucius found himself able to breathe once more. He took long deep breathes with tears running down his cheeks. After coming to his senses he looked around the cell but there was no one sans the assassin.

Suddenly, the air near the prison bars shimmered and a man stepped out of the invisibility charm. A man he was quite familiar with.

"Damien Greengrass!" he gasped.

"Surprised Lucius. You must be wondering why I'd help you. We both know we have been moving in the shadows building up our respective powers to dominate the other. It'd seem time has allowed me to win over you Lucius." said Damien Greengrass, stepping into the cell casting a dismissive look at the assassin lying on the floor.

"Have you come to gloat Greengrass?" Lucius asked, gasping for air.

"On the contrary, I've come with an offer. I offer you the chance to save your family from the hungry sharks that circle them looking to take a hefty bite." said Damien moving to a side as another figure materialized itself at the cell's entrance.

"An Unbreakable vow shall suffice to ensure your loyal servitude. In return, you get to keep your life and your family." said the witch.

It was a witch, there was no doubt in Lucius' mind. But, he wondered who it'd be for Greengrass to be in leagues with.

"Who are you?" Lucius asked as he tried to get a good look at the face.

"A dog does not need to learn the name of its master to serve. However, should you require a name you may call me Lilith."

AN:

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