Harry Potter and Future's Past

Starts out the day after the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry and Hermione meet the Goddess of Love, and she offers to let them go back in time. Strictly Harry and Hermione. Minor - well maybe major Ginny, Ron and Dumbledore Bashing. Soul Bond - Time Travel

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5664828/1/Harry-Potter-and-Future-s-Past

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30. Chapter 30 Trials

July 2nd, 1996

"You look like crap this morning Sirius, what's up?" Harry asked the next morning when he opened his bedroom door to the knock. "Thought Wormtail's trial would have you in a pretty good mood."

Sirius sighed as he glanced over his shoulder and then entered the room shutting the door behind himself. He noticed Hermione already sitting on the bed. "Morning," Sirius said in her direction and then continued to Harry. "I think I screwed up."

"What do you mean," Hermione asked instantly on alert that Sirius might have told someone about the future.

"Moony and Tonks," Sirius said. "I told them both they had my blessing hoping that it might bring them closer. Then of course helping Tonks the night before last..." Again he sighed as he rubbed his face.

"It took a whole year last time," Harry said with a shrug. "Give them time, besides as much as I want them to have what they had in the future we know it's possible it might not happen."

"I know but you said he was happy and...I don't know. I'd like something good to come to one of us," Sirius explained. "I mean the Marauders. Your father and mother..." Sirius swallowed as that familiar haunted look passed into his eyes before he recovered and continued. "They never got their happiness and...well it would be nice to see Moony happy."

"So why do you think you messed up?" Hermione asked.

"Tonks is down in the kitchen crying her eyes out and from the redness in her eyes, I think she's been doing it all night."

"What happened? What makes you think it has anything to do with Moony?" Harry asked though memories of seeing the despondent Tonks in the previous time line came to mind.

"It's what she told me, at least I think it was that through her sobs," Sirius explained. "It seems Remus' big hang-up..."

"Is that he thinks him being a werewolf makes him unsuitable for her," Harry said. "Remember we already know."

"Yeah right, but things are different this time. You remember that Madam Bones asked Tonks to be on her staff?" When Harry and Hermione nodded, Sirius continued. "Tonks told Amelia about her wanting to date a werewolf just in case it made Amelia change her mind, but not only was Amelia fine with it, but even offered him a job...sort of."

"What kind of job?"

"Basically she wants the information that Remus is giving Dumbledore about the werewolves," Sirius replied. "Unofficially of course, but she offered to pay him and even suggested she'd have a real job for him once the war was over."

"That was nice of Madam Bones."

"Maybe, but it seems Remus took it wrong or something when Tonks told him about it. He accused Tonks of trying to use him to better her career," Sirius said. "He said she was trying to get him to betray Dumbledore."

"It isn't like Dumbledore deserves any loyalty," Harry muttered.

"You have to look at it from Remus' point of view," Hermione explained. "Remember that it was Dumbledore who let him come to Hogwarts which gave him his friends and it was Dumbledore who gave him a job when he nee...wait a minute..." Hermione paused as her eyes went wide.

"What?" Harry asked.

"What Dumbledore did for Remus...why did he do it? I mean why only Remus?"

"What do you mean?" Sirius asked.

"Why is Remus the ONLY werewolf child to be taught at Hogwarts? I mean if Dumbledore really was trying to help the werewolves, why has there not been another one?"

"Because it's too dangerous. Remember that Sirius here tried to have Snape eaten," Harry replied.

"Got to keep reminding me don't you?" Sirius said.

"Only because you failed," Harry smirked.

"But that was what? Your sixth year?"

"Beginning of the sixth but yes, so?"

"Why wasn't there another werewolf child during those years?" Hermione asked. "Dumbledore's precautions were working perfectly, or at least he thought so. Besides wolfsbane has been available for several years now, and again not a single werewolf child."

"So what are you getting at Hermione?" Harry asked. "Do you think Dumbledore had another reason for letting Moony go to Hogwarts?"

"What if Dumbledore was grooming his very own werewolf spy?" Hermione replied. "Think about it. According to the 'Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts', it was nineteen seventy when Voldemort's began his reign of terror, at least openly. A lot of his support came from werewolves; group of individuals Dumbledore had absolutely no influence over. So what Dumbledore needed was a werewolf loyal to him and the only way that was possible was to get him under his influence...Hogwarts."

"Remus and I both started the very next year...nineteen seventy-one," Sirius muttered.

"Amazing coincidence isn't it?" Hermione asked.

"Why would he give him a job later then?" Harry asked.

"Besides the fact he couldn't get anyone else?" Hermione responded. "Actually I wonder if that was true? Again, it was right after you had found the Horcrux. Dumbledore knew Voldemort would be coming back, and he'd need that loyal spy again wouldn't he?"

"You really think Dumbledore has just been using Moony?" Sirius asked.

"It's what Dumbledore does," Harry said.

"That bastard..." Sirius started.

"Remus did benefit from what Dumbledore did," Hermione reminded Harry's godfather. "But yes I think Moony is just another pawn in this game to Dumbledore."

Breakfast was a subdued affair with Tonks having puffy eyes and glancing every few seconds at Remus; Remus was keeping a conversation going with Arthur trying to ignore Tonks, Mrs. Weasley was scrambling around the kitchen making sure she had all of her cooking things, while the youngest Weasleys were sitting next to their father and had obviously been told not to say a word.

Near the end of the meal Kreacher popped in and said "Master Sirius, the bloody git Dumbledore is upstairs."

Every sound, every movement stopped immediately as every eye turned to the house-elf.

"KREACHER!" Molly finally screeched.

"Kreacher," Sirius said through the mirth on his face, "You can tell the bloody git, we'll be up soon."

"Kreacher will be glad to tell him."

"Sirius Black," Molly turned her attention to Sirius, shaking a wooden spoon in his direction as she continued. "How dare you let Kreacher speak of the Headmaster that way?"

"Actually I'd have used the words bloody arsehole, but git works fine," Sirius replied as he got to his feet. "Molly, your cooking has been excellent and appreciated."

Tonks rose from her seat as well. She glanced at Remus who was still ignoring her and then turned to Harry and Hermione. "Well, we should get going."

Dumbledore had his wand out and was tapping the frame of the new portrait of Regulus Black when they arrived upstairs. He turned to look when came into the hall. "I see there has been a significant change in the decor, for which I understand you are responsible Harry. May I ask what spell you used to remove Mrs. Black?"

"You can ask," Harry replied with a shrug, "But I won't answer."

Dumbledore sighed. "Must we continue with this hostility? I'm doing my best to accommodate your rebelliousness, but if you truly wish me to confide in you, don't you think I would expect you to confide in me?"

"Obviously your idea of confiding differs from ours," Harry countered. "Do you contend that you've told us everything that you know about Voldemort?"

"As much as is prudent at this time," Dumbledore replied.

"Uh..." Tonks spoke up as she looked at her watch. "We need to get going. Madam Bones would like to see Harry and Hermione before the trials begin."

"Ah...speaking of Madam Bones," Dumbledore said. "May I have a word with the two of you in private?" He was looking at Harry and Hermione.

Harry glanced at Hermione and after a quick mental conversation Harry nodded. "Why not."

Dumbledore led them a few steps away and said. "I am in need of a bit of help. Because of your actions, I do not have one of my most useful tools in discovering Horcurxes. I mean of course, my Pensieve. I am positive I know where one of the Horcruxes is located, but I need access to my Pensieve to obtain a vital piece of information. I have approached Madam Bones on several occasions about returning my property, but obviously my attempts have failed."

"Are you trying to make us feel responsible or was there some other reason for wishing to speak to us?" Hermione asked.

"You are responsible, but in this case, what I need is for you to approach Madam Bones on my behalf about the use of the Pensieve. It can be in her office, but she cannot see the memory."

"The ring?" Harry asked his wife.

"Most likely," Hermione replied as she led Harry away. "We have to pretend we're talking in whispers since we don't want Dumbledore to know we can do this. Just move you lips randomly."

"Randomly?"

"I'm personally reciting the twelve uses of Dragon's blood to myself. If he's trying to overhear us or read our lips, he'll be very confused. Now do you think we should do what he wants?"

"I think we have too," Harry said. "We need him to deal with the ring, but we can also insist on seeing the memory and going with him."

"Good idea," Hermione agreed.

"Sir, we'll talk to Madam Bones, but we have a condition," Harry said when he and Hermione returned to the Headmaster. "We would like to see the memory as well to make sure you aren't lying about why you need to see it, and we'd like to accompany you to search for the Horcrux."

"Such an endeavor would be extremely dangerous," Dumbledore replied as he felt a rush of satisfaction that he was finally regaining some control of the situation. He let out a sigh to show he was hesitant about giving into their demands but then continued. "Though maybe if you two will drop your rebellious attitudes and promise to obey my instructions, even if you disagree with them, you can accompany me."

Harry glanced at Hermione and they both mentally agreed.

"Sir," Hermione replied. "While we are in your company in search of the Horcrux, we will obey your instructions with anything that pertains to our safety or the search, the agreement is only until we return from the search."

"A simple yes would have sufficed," Dumbledore replied.

"No sir, it wouldn't have," Hermione returned.

"I'm sorry you feel that way, Mrs. Potter," Dumbledore said. "Now please wait inside the house while Tonks and I make sure there are no Death Eaters nearby. We do not want a repeat of the events the last time you were escorted to the Ministry though I am quite certain that even if there were any nearby, there would be no problems."

"Why?" Hermione asked.

"Because you'll be with me," Dumbledore replied as if it was obvious.

"Interesting," Harry said a minute later.

"What?" Hermione asked.

"When I came out, Dumbledore was staring at me, not looking around for possible dangers," Harry replied.

"Why?"

"Arrogance I guess. He truly believes no one will dare try to attack while he is around," Harry said. "He basically said the same thing he said to you last time when I went with him to convince Slughorn."

*** E E ***

"Dumbledore, you may wait outside," Madam Bones said a bit later when they arrived at her office. "Or go on to the courtroom. I will personally escort Harry and Hermione shortly before the trial is to begin."

Dumbledore gave a significant glance toward Harry and Hermione and then with a nod. "Of course Amelia. It will be a busy day for the Wizengamot."

Amelia stared at the door for several long seconds after the Headmaster had left before turning back to the other people in her office. That's when she noticed Tonk's puffy eyes. "Tonks...are you okay?"

"Yes Ma'am," Tonks replied. "I'm fine."

"You sure don't look fine," Madam Bones replied. "Do you need the day off?"

"No ma'am."

"Very well. For now please wait outside the office." Amelia said. "I have several things I wish to discuss with Mr. Potter and Miss Granger."

"She knows," Hermione spoke up. "We had an incident a couple of days ago and that Harry and I are married came out. Dumbledore knows as well as the Weasleys."

"Incident?" Madam Bones asked. "Anything I need to be aware of?"

Harry glanced at Hermione. "Do we tell her?"

"I don't know."

"Ma'am, actually I should tell you," Tonks spoke up as she glanced guiltily at Harry and Hermione.

"You know what happened? Was it illegal?"

"Yes ma'am, I believe so but it's complicated because if I report the person who committed the crime, then I'd have to also report the Potters for possible entrapment."

"What?"

"There was a person who attempted to use an illegal potion on Mr. Potter...eh...and the Potters admitted to knowing about it."

"Ah...Miss Weasley and her brother?"

"You knew?" Tonks asked with a bit of relief.

"Yes," Madam Bones lied as she glanced at Harry and Hermione. "The Potters informed me at an earlier time that they suspected something might happen. I'll take it from here. Now Tonks, I do need to discuss a few matters with the Potters that you cannot be privy too."

"Yes ma'am," Tonks replied and left the room.

"Now...would you like to tell me the story of Mister and Miss Weasley?" Bones asked. "What did they do this time?" Amelia had learned of the jealousy potion usage in the previous timeline when they had brought up Miranda.

"She tried to seduce Harry with some combination of lust, love and jealousy potion a couple days ago," Hermione explained. "We knew she'd brewed them and wanted to have her caught in the act by her parents to prevent it from becoming a ministry matter. She's being a lot more aggressive this time around."

"What really is the problem is that Dumbledore has convinced the Weasleys that it was just an act of infatuation," Harry said, "but we think...we think that she might have issues."

"Issues?"

"Ma'am, did you ever hear about the Basilisk at Hogwarts?"

"BASILISK?" Madam Bones exclaimed in astonishment. "AT HOGWARTS? When?"

"Surely you knew about students being petrified at Hogwarts in our second year?" Hermione said. "I mean Susan was there."

"Of course, some dark curse left by Voldemort according to Dumbledore. Are you saying it was a Basilisk?"

"Yes," Harry replied and explained the events of their second year. "I ended up killing it to save Ginny Weasley's life."

"You...you killed a Basilisk? How? Wait, if I remember correctly, roosters are effective against them."

"No...all the roosters at Hogwarts had been killed, but there was a bird involved," Harry chuckled. "Fawkes, Dumbledore's phoenix helped. He clawed the Basilisk's eyes out and then I got lucky with a sword."

"A sword? Now you're joking right?" Madam Bones asked. "I mean why would you have a sword?" She paused as her eyes flew open wide. "Wait...your second year? That's when Dumbledore told the Wizengamot the Sword of Gryffindor had been discovered while ridding the curse from Hogwarts. That's not...I mean you..."

"I pulled it out of the Sorting Hat," Harry explained. Seeing the disbelief in the head of the DMLE's eyes, he quickly added. "I can show it to you in a memory if you have the Pensieve handy. The Basilisk I mean and the sword."

"You're serious aren't you? You killed a Basilisk with the Sword of Gryffindor?"

Harry nodded then said, "But that's not the point. I brought the Basilisk up because of Ginny Weasley. She was there...unconscious when I killed the Basilisk. What I presume Dumbledore also didn't mention was the Ginny had been slipped one of Voldemort's horcruxes by Lucius Malfoy. She didn't know it of course. It was a diary and she wrote in it. Over the year, the horcrux, or Riddle's soul took her over. It was her, acting under the influence of Riddle who killed the roosters and let the Basilisk out," Harry explained what Ginny had said and the suspicions that the Weasleys were convinced by Dumbledore not to seek care for her both after the third year and after this latest potions incident.

"I'm going to want your memories of that year," Madam Bones said as she glanced at the clock. "I just wished we had time to see them now. Now here's a suspicion of my own for you. Mrs. Potter, you mention the Weasleys going off to Egypt. I trust you remember how they afforded that trip?"

"They won the Daily Prophet Galleon Draw," Hermione replied.

"The Daily Prophet has famous wizards and witches who do the drawings each year. Now who do you think did that particular draw?"

"Dumbledore?" Hermione asked.

"Exactly," Bones replied. "And if your suspicions are correct, then he probably planted the idea of them going to Egypt and gave them the means to do so to get their daughter away from the country."

"Of course," Harry murmured. "I mean I watched Mrs. Weasley take their very last galleon out of their vault before the second year to afford the supplies her children needed," He glanced at his wife. "He manipulates everyone doesn't he?"

"Yes he does," Hermione replied.

"I'll give you those memories later," Harry said to the head of the DMLE.

"Speaking of memories," Hermione started. "Would it be possible to borrow the Pensieve this evening? We'll return it tomorrow."

"Why?"

"My parents," Hermione explained. "I promised them that I would tell them everything that has happened in the last few years, and Harry suggested we show them instead. I've kept a lot of the dangers we've faced a secret from them."

"Guilt?" Madam Bones asked. She also knew what Hermione had done to her parents in the future.

Hermione nodded.

"I would prefer not to have it out of the Ministry," Amelia said, "but if you promise to give me copies of those memories, the dangers you've faced in Hogwarts in the last few years then I think I will let you borrow it. When this is all over, Dumbledore is going to have a lot to answer for," Amelia shook her head and muttered, "I can't believe Susan was walking the halls of a castle where a Basilisk was roaming free."

"We also believe Dumbledore knew it was a Basilisk," Harry said. He quickly explained what he'd overhead the night Colin Creevy had been petrified.

"I definitely want that memory as well," Bones said. "And anything else that can be laid at the feet of Albus Dumbledore."

"Speaking of Dumbledore, he asked us to approach you about the use of the Pensieve," Hermione said.

"No." Bones replied instantly. "Though if I didn't need it so badly, I'd be glad to break it over the man's head."

"Actually we think you should let him, but here in your office and with no way for him to remove it," Harry suggested. "He says it's so he can find a Horcrux. We think it's the one he found about this time, the last time."

"The one that cursed him?"

Hermione nodded and said. "Yes, but we only agreed to ask you if he allowed us to go with him. Maybe we can save him this time."

"Are you sure you want to take that risk?" Amelia asked. "If the curse was powerful enough to take down Dumbledore, it might be a serious threat to you."

"It only succeeded because Dumbledore has a huge weakness he doesn't admit to," Hermione explain. "Though we're sure there probably is a compulsion charm on the ring, Dumbledore was not willing to fight it; he wanted to put it on."

"Why?"

"He wanted to see his sister...and apologize."

"What do you mean?" Bones asked. The Hallows had never come up in the previous conversation.

"It would take too long to explain that part of it, but we can another time," Hermione replied. "So Dumbledore can use the Pensieve?"

Amelia Bones sighed and then nodded. "After the trials and before you borrow it. I'll make sure he knows I will test the device before he leaves and if it's been swapped or disabled in any way, I will have him arrested for obstruction," She glanced again at the clock. "Now we do need to go, the trial is to begin in ten minutes."

"One last thing," Harry said. "Did you offer Remus Lupin a job?"

"Yes," Bones answered. "It's obvious from your memories that werewolves were involved in that final battle in full support of Voldemort. The only way I can neutralize them is to get the same information Dumbledore is getting," Amelia shrugged. "Besides, I thought it might help Tonks."

"Well it appears the offer didn't go to well," Hermione replied. "That's why Tonks is a bit out of sorts. He accused her of trying to use him to get ahead with you."

"That definitely wasn't my intentions," Amelia replied.

"We know," Hermione replied. "We wanted to ask your thoughts of telling her about the future. If she knows there is a possibility of happiness maybe...it might be better for her."

Madam Bones sat back in her chair for several seconds and then sighed as she leaned back toward the teens. "I wish I could have someone to confide in on my staff about the information you've provided, but unfortunately I can't recommend it. Two reasons come to mind. First, it appears she's in a very emotional state right now and that is not conducive to keeping secrets. The other reason is simply that it would be cruel to show her a future with Mr. Lupin and then have it not turn out the same."

**** E E ****

"Harry Potter," Minister Fudge said with a smile as Harry and Hermione were escorted into the very familiar courtroom ten. He held out his hand and when Harry accepted it, Fudge pulled him closer and then turned toward the photographer who snapped their picture. Only a sharp "Stay calm," From Hermione kept Harry from jerking his hand away from the Minister.

"We still need Fudge on our side," Hermione continued.

"This way," The Minister said, "I've arranged for you and your friends to sit near me. Can't be too careful with your safety."

"Safety?" Harry thought to Hermione. "He just wants us seen with him."

"Of course," Hermione replied with a mental shrug. "It's what Fudge does, but it also makes him vulnerable to our manipulations if we need something."

"I hate this," Harry groused.

"I know, but it's another reason to get rid of Voldemort...just so we can get rid of Fudge."

They had stopped as the Minister shook another important wizard's hand while making it perfectly clear that Harry Potter was with him.

"...Terrible business, though I'm glad Mr. Potter uncovered her treachery, I had already had my own suspicions of course..." The Minister was saying in response to a question from the Wizard.

"His own suspicions?" Hermione asked Harry. It was all they could do to keep a straight face.

Three more times the Minister stopped to shake hands but finally he led them to seats next to the Wizengamot. Neville and Luna were already there, as was Augusta Longbottom and Luna's father. Sirius and Remus were sitting just behind where the Minister indicated Harry and Hermione should sit.

Xenophilius Lovegood was holding some kind of contraption up to his eyes. He was jerking his head in various directions in quick, violent motions.

"Daddy," Luna said to her father who stopped his strange actions. "I want you to meet..."

Mr. Lovegood lowered the device from his eyes and Harry could see the slight cross-eyed look he'd seen before. Xeno reached out his hand and said "Hello young man. Has anyone ever told you that you look like Harry Potter?"

"Uh..." Harry started as he shook the man's hand. As he did he glanced from Xenophilius to Luna. "Yeah.." He finally murmured.

"He's going to be here soon, so try not to get yourself mixed up with him," Xeno continued as he raised the contraption back to his eyes and started jerking his head quickly back and forth once more.

"Daddy, this is Harry Potter," Luna exclaimed.

Xenophilius lowered the contraction once more. "Well why didn't you say so. Luna has been telling me all about you and you must be Hermione?" The last as Xenophilius had looked past Harry.

"Yes sir," Hermione replied reaching her hand out. "What is that?" She indicated the contraption in Mr. Lovegood's hand.

"It's a new invention of mine," Xenophilius said with pride in his voice. "It's going to allow me to see the..." He then noticed Minister's Fudge was still standing near Harry so he lowered his voice to a loud whisper, "Umgubular Slashkilters that Minister Fudge uses to steal secrets from his opponents minds."

"Now see here Mr. Lovegood," Fudge said. "I don't know what this Umbublar thing is, but as I told many people who asked about it when that article appeared in your magazine, I don't steal people's secrets."

"Just their galleons?" Harry mentally smirked to his wife.

"Donations you mean?" Hermione replied as she took a seat next to Luna who continued her father's explanation while he was busy arguing with the Minister. "An Umgubular Slashkilter burrows into people's minds and steals secrets. Daddy is sure that Minister Fudge will have them working in such a large gathering."

Hermione nodded as if she understood which prompted Luna to continue. "Of course they can only be seen in your peripheral vision so that's why Daddy made the visionscope. It freezes the peripheral vision for a second so you can turn and see what you could only see in your peripheral vision."

"At least that explains WHY he's jerking his head like that, but I'm quite certain there are no creatures like that," Hermione said to her husband.

Harry and Hermione were saved when Dumbledore stood up from his seat. "Silence..." He said in a voice that was gentle but carried throughout the entire courtroom. Almost immediately the cavernous courtroom fell into absolute silence. "Today we are here for the trial of Delores Jane Umbridge for unimaginable crimes against the Wizarding World," Dumbledore glanced over at the young man with horned-rimmed glasses sitting at the end of the bench. "Mr. Weasley are you prepared?"

"Yes sir," Percy Weasley replied as he dipped his quill into the inkwell and pulled a roll of parchment closer.

Harry and Hermione already knew that like last time, Percy was making no effort to make up with his family.

"Very well," Dumbledore said. "Aurors, please bring in the accused."

"GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME!" The voice of Umbridge said as two blue cloaked aurors escorted her through the door. "I AM the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic."

"Madam Umbridge, either take the seat of the accused voluntary or you will be forced," Dumbledore said.

"How dare you Dumbledore," Umbridge spat. "You are nothing. You're then one who should be in that chair. I am the Senior..."

"SILENCE," Dumbledore commanded, This time it was in a voice that radiated his power causing Umbridge to take a step back as her eyes flew open wide in fear. "As of the hearing on the eleventh of June you have been removed from the position of Senior Undersecretary. You WILL take the seat of the accused now."

Umbridge swallowed, an act that reinforced her toad like appearance. She didn't seem to notice the two aurors physically pick her up off her feet and carry her to the chair. It was only when the cold chains started to snake across her body that she regained her senses. "CORNELIUS!" She shrieked as she started to struggle against the restraints. "YOU CAN'T LET THEM DO THIS!"

"Chief Warlock, may I suggest a silencing charm?" The Minister of Magic said. The last thing Fudge wanted was for Umbridge to keep calling out his name or the fact she had been his Senior Undersecretary.

"Certainly," Dumbledore replied and with a flick of his wand, Umbridge's voice failed even as her mouth kept opening and closing.

The trial would have been over fairly quickly as Umbridge was given the truth serum once more and unsilenced, but as she admitted to each crime, the Minister of Magic interrupted and requested that it be confirmed that he knew nothing of the crime.

"Now Madam Umbridge," A weary Dumbledore said almost two hours later when she'd been given the truth serum antidote. "You have confessed to all of the crimes you were charged with, do you have anything to say in your defense?"

"I did what was necessary for the good of the Wizarding World. Without me, we'd be overrun by muggle loving people and muggleborns would be allowed to continue to steal our magic."

"Anything else?" Dumbledore asked, again his voice was calm but sliced through the increased murmuring from the crowd of onlookers.

Umbridge once again looked toward Cornelius Fudge but her eyes fell on the dark-haired bespectacled young man near him. A boy who was staring right at her with a smile on his face. "IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT HARRY POTTER," Umbridge screamed. "YOU AND THAT MUDBLOOD..." Her voice fell silent once more as Dumbledore put his wand away.

"I believe that concludes her defense," Dumbledore said. He'd silenced Umbridge as quickly as he did because he'd been concerned about Harry defending his wife with violence and possibly causing Umbridge harm or death. He glanced at the young man in question and sighed a bit of relief to see him sitting calmly next to Hermione. Dumbledore turned back to face Umbridge and continued. "Does anyone else wish to add anything?" The courtroom was silent. "Very well. Members of the Wizengamot, I shall read each charge against Madam Delores Umbridge. I would like a show of wands if you feel she is guilty of that particular charge."

Percy Weasley grabbed a piece of parchment and handed it to the Chief Warlock. Dumbledore proceeded to read off each charge.

"Willfully planned and executed the murder of Matthew Corrigan..." He paused and turned toward the Wizengamot only to find every wand raised and lit. "Guilty," He turned back toward Umbridge and read the next one, "Willfully planned and executed the murder of Thomas Carlton...Guilty," Dumbledore continued until he reached the final charges. "Willfully utilized a Blood Quill in torturing students at Hogwarts..." Only about half the wands rose this time and there was a delay as Dumbledore sent a spell that counted those lit from those not responding. "Guilty," He finally said. "The last charge is of the illegal use of Veritaserum on a minor..."again not all of the wands were lit, but it was clearly evident more than half were. "Guilty," Dumbledore turned to Percy Weasley. "Mr. Weasley please record that today, two July nineteen ninety-six, Delores Jane Umbridge was found guilty of all charges against her."

"Yes sir," Percy replied and quickly inked his quill and started writing.

Dumbledore next faced Umbridge. "Delores Umbridge, by the vote of the Wizengamot, you are hereby found guilty of all charges. We will now consider your punishment."

A single voice shouted from the spectators "Kiss" and then another and another until "KISS" was being shouted from nearly everyone in the courtroom.

"Silence," Dumbledore said once again and again the courtroom fell silent. "I must remind everyone that the Dementors have revolted and joined Voldemort," A collective gasp rose from the crowd at the name. Dumbledore waited for several seconds before continuing. "I can see only one punishment that is fitting of the crimes. A lifetime in Azkaban."

"Chief Warlock," Amelia Bones said as she rose to her feet. "I feel that with Madam Umbridge's connections as well as her understanding of Dementors, if they should ever return to Azkaban, such a sentence would be unwise. In fact if He-who..." Amelia paused and then took a deep breath before she continued. "In fact if Voldemort," Again a collective gasp rose," If Voldemort," Bones repeated, "were to look to our prisons for supporters, it is clear that Madam Umbridge would be a likely ally. She has shown the same propensity toward cruelty, the same disregard for life and the same disdain for muggles and muggleborn as the Dark Lord."

"What are you suggesting?" Dumbledore asked already knowing what was coming.

"Chief Warlock, fellow members of the Wizengamot, I feel her crimes justify her being sent through the veil," Amelia replied.

"Haven't there been enough deaths associated with that device recently?" Dumbledore asked as he glanced at Harry and back at Amelia.

"There are no quotas when it comes to punishment Albus," Amelia replied coolly. "If a hundred men commit heinous crimes, then a hundred men should pay the same price."

Dumbledore could see the nodding of over half of the Wizengamot and he sighed. "Very well. Members of the Wizengamot, we shall have three levels of voting. Please raise your wands lit if you believe, as I do that Madam Umbridge should be sentenced to a lifetime in Azkaban; raise the wand unlit if you believe, as Madam Bones, does that the guilty party should be sent through the veil, and finally if you believe there should be a lesser sentence for her crimes, do not raise your wand at all. If the no wands have the majority, we will then discuss the lesser sentence."

All the wands came in the air almost at once, though several of them were lit, a clear majority remained unlit.

Dumbledore sighed once more but nodded and then turned to Percy. "Mr. Weasley, please record that at this time, on today's date, Delores Jean Umbridge has been sentenced to death. The punishment will be carried out, per custom, on the last day of the month."

Delores Umbridge was in shock. Her mouth hung open and her eyes were open wide. Finally as the Aurors moved to her side and the chains released her, she came to her senses. "NO! NO! YOU CAN'T DO THAT! I AM A PUREBLOOD WITCH OF THE HIGHEST..." The rest was lost as the Aurors jostled her out of the courtroom.

"Well," Harry said with a smile. "That might just be the best birthday present I've ever received."

"Oh...that will be your birthday won't it?" Hermione asked. "I've got to start thinking of a present for you..."

"That concludes this trial," Dumbledore said. "Wizengamot members, I remind you that you will need to be back here by two for the trial of Peter Pettigrew." When he left his seat, he strolled toward Harry and Hermione. "Well, was that the punishment you desired?"

"I think that Madam Bones had the correct line of thought. I do believe that Umbridge would be a prime candidate for Voldemort," Harry replied.

"So you believe everyone who might be recruited by Voldemort should be put to death?" Dumbledore asked.

"A general statement from a specific example Headmaster? You should know better," Hermione said. "The specific person killed several people and tried to kill many others including Harry. Someone who was supposed to be being protected by you and your Order at the time. That specific person deserves the fate that awaits her. Do you know of others who have committed the same crimes?"

"Yet, everyone deserves a chance at remorse," Dumbledore continued. "A chance to regret the choices they have made."

"If that chance does not endanger other, innocent people, possibly," Harry replied. "As for Umbridge, she has twenty-nine days to find her remorse. Maybe if you have her write 'I shall not murder or torture people' several hundred thousand times it might help."

"I see that you fail to see the seriousness of what has happened," Dumbledore said. "But someday I fear you shall. Now, do I have an appointment with Madam Bones?"

"Yes; she'll let you use the Pensieve in her office after Pettigrew's trial," Hermione replied. "She is adamant that if you try to take it or disable it, she will have you arrested."

"I have no plans for anything like that," Dumbledore replied.

Harry, Hermione, Sirius, Remus, Tonks, Luna, Neville, Xenophilius and Augusta Longbottom were invited to have lunch in the Ministry dining room as the guest of the Minister of Magic.

The adults were at one end and the teens at the other. The groups were soon into their own conversations.

"Well she's going through the veil," Hermione said.

"Good riddance," Neville replied. "So she won't have a chance to do what she did last time."

"No...but as we were walking up here," Harry said, "I thought about how we should have linked her to Malfoy's bribes. I mean we have the memories of Lucius telling me who he bribed and could have got that confession out of her as well."

"What good would that have done?" Luna asked.

"The Ministry could have locked down the Malfoy accounts leaving Draco and his mother penniless," Hermione explained.

"Hey speaking of the Malfoys," Neville said. "Did you hear that Draco is missing?"

"What?" Harry exclaimed. "What do you mean missing?"

"I don't know," Neville replied. "We..." He put his hand on Luna's and smiled at her, "were at St. Mungos last week and...and we heard Draco's mother talking to someone. She told someone named Andy that Draco was missing and she was worried since he blamed what happened to his father on you."

Harry glanced at Hermione as he touched his left forearm and she nodded. "Who is this Andy person?" He asked Neville.

"I don't know. I couldn't see them," Neville admitted.

"Draco's mum wanted her to tell her daughter," Luna added.

"Her? Andy was a woman? Of course, Andi...Andromeda," Hermione exclaimed. "Andromeda Tonks."

"I thought Andromeda didn't get along with Narcissa," Harry said.

"They are sisters. Narcissa just lost her sister and her husband," Hermione replied. "We can ask Tonks," Harry and Hermione both glanced down the table at the Auror. She was glancing at Remus who was ignoring her.

"Tonks?" Hermione said.

"Yeah?"

"Is your mother seeing Mrs. Malfoy?"

Tonks nodded. "Mum went to St. Mungos to see if she could help. I mean she is her sister."

"I thought she hated Narcissa?"

"Bellatrix she hated, but," Tonks shrugged. "Mum says Narcissa is hurting and she is her sister."

"What's this about..." Harry started.

"About your new job?" Hermione cut her husband off. "Are you enjoying it?"

Tonks looked at Remus and then back at the Potters. She shrugged. "Barely got my feet wet yet."

"Why'd you stop me?" Harry asked Hermione.

"And bring out that Draco is missing, in the Ministry?" Hermione asked. "We have a good idea of what Draco is doing and what he will be doing. If he is arrested then we lose possible information we can use."

"Think he'll be trying to kill Dumbledore again?"

"We'll see," Hermione replied then out loud so Neville and could hear. "What are we going to do about those two?" She indicated Tonks and Remus.

"I don't know," Harry replied. He lowered his voice to barely a whisper so only Neville and Luna could hear him. "We're concerned about Draco. We think he's off getting his mark. We'll need to keep an eye on him if he comes back to Hogwarts."

"Let us know what you need," Neville replied.

It wasn't long before they found themselves back in the same seats as before in courtroom ten. At precisely two pm, Dumbledore rose from his seat and started the proceedings. "Today we are here for the trial of Peter Oliver Pettigrew for unimaginable crimes against the Wizarding World including the betrayal of James and Lily Potter to Voldemort, murder of Cedric Diggory and returning Voldemort to a physical body," Dumbledore glanced over at the Percy once again and asked the required question. "Mr. Weasley are you prepared?"

"Yes sir," Percy Weasley replied as he dipped his quill into the inkwell and pulled another roll of parchment closer.

"Aurors bring in the accused," Dumbledore commanded.

Harry was half-way expecting the Aurors to report that Pettigrew had escaped in his animagus form, but as the doors opened, he realized how they were preventing such a thing from happening. Peter Pettigrew was not walking. He was immobilized and secured to a pole which was attached to a small cart which was surrounded by six aurors. The cart itself was edged with a two foot high mesh fence. Even if Pettigrew managed to morph into his animagus form, he would find himself caged inside the fence.

As the cart moved slowly down the aisle toward the chair, two wizards stood as if to get a better look at the accused. Just as an Auror was about to tell them to sit back down, they both pulled out wands and sent blugeoning hexes at the Aurors surrounding Pettigrew. At that close of a range, nothing would protect them and two of the guards went down in a scene of blood and gore while the other four Aurors quickly subdued the men who had attacked their partners.

When the four other Aurors had their backs to their charge, another man, who had been sitting across the aisle moved. His own wand came out and he released Wormtail from the immobilization spell. "Your master wishes you to be free," He whispered urgently. "Change."

Sirius saw his old friend start his shape shifting and acted at once. He yelled "Watch the rat!" as he scrambled out of his seat and bolted toward the confusion. He made it just in time to find a hand reaching into the mesh pen toward the rat cowering in the corner. "NO!" Sirius yelled as he grabbed the man's arm while barreling him over. They crashed over two other chairs before hitting the ground.

"IT'S BLACK!" one of the Aurors yelled as he turned toward the disturbance. "He's trying to free his friend."

Though both Amelia and Remus had tried to stop them, Harry and Hermione had followed Sirius and were only a few steps behind him. When the Auror leveled his wand at Sirius, Harry immediately unleashed a shield that covered his godfather. The stunner the Auror had sent at Sirius ricocheted back at the Auror who collapsed.

"Thanks," Sirius said as he kept a grip on the man who'd tried to rescue Pettigrew. "Where's Wormtail."

Harry glanced into the mesh pen and saw the beady eyes of the terrified rat who was missing a paw, staring back at him. "He's still there," Harry said as he then started surveying those around him looking for additional threats.

"STOP!" Dumbledore's powerful voice radiated through the courtroom.

"What's going on here?" A voice said and Harry turned to find himself staring into the yellowish eyes of a man who died protecting his whereabouts, a man he never liked though, Rufus Scrimgeour. Though Rufus was speaking to the Aurors around him, his eyes were darting about looking for dangers. "You," He commanded one of the Aurors, "secure the prisoner."

"Yes sir!" The Auror replied.

"Black, showing your true colors?" Scrimgeour snapped as he pointed his wand at Sirius. "Did you really think you could get away with this?"

"It's not like that Rufus," Sirius replied as he stood up. Two more Aurors pointed their wands at him. "I caught this man trying to get Peter out of there."

"An accomplice you mean?" Rufus snarled.

"Stand down Scrimgeour," Amelia said as she walked up to the crowd. "Sirius Black was sitting next to me and reacted to the events. Without his fast actions we might have lost our prisoner."

Rufus turned his eyes on Amelia and paused for a second before replying. "Of course Madam Bones."

"Now who is this?" Amelia asked indicating the man who Sirius still had a hold of.

"Never seen him before," Rufus said. "Someone trying to help Black free his friend more than likely."

"I wasn't doing nothing wrong," The man said in a wheezy voice. "I was just try'n to help the Aurors."

"He had his hand in there reaching for Peter," Sirius said nodding into the mesh screen while keeping a firm grip on the man's arm.

"I saw'm turn into a rat and thought he was going to escape," The man said as his face fell into a lopsided grin that was more like a leer. "I was just try'n to help."

Something about the man seemed very familiar to Harry but he was sure he'd never seen him before. As the grin emerged on the man's face, he knew exactly when and where he'd seen that grin. He'd seen the same facial expression on a man who'd spit in McGonagall's face. His wand was up in an instant and pointed directly at the man. "Trying to help? Help your Master get Pettigrew back right Amycus Carrow? Who'd you polyjuice yourself as?"

The man's eyes widened but only for an instant. He put his free hand in his pocket and said "Easy lad; I don't know who you're talking about, my name is...eh...Gifford Oldridge."

Amelia didn't understand since Harry's memories had clearly showed the Carrows and this man looked nothing like the man in his memories but she also knew Harry might have seen something that indicated the man was who he was claiming he was. She leveled her own wand at the man. "Gifford is it? Well if nothing else, we'll at least need a statement from you. One that I'm sure will take at least an hour. Now why don't you take your wand out of pocket slowly and hand it over."

"I didn't do anything," The man clamored again. "I'm not this person the kid thinks I am."

Harry eyes were already looking past the man at the chair next to where his was and saw that it was empty. He scanned the rows and noticed a woman moving slowly away, toward the entrance to the courtroom. "I'd also bet that woman is his sister, Alecto."

"Rufus, secure that woman immediately," Amelia said pointing where Harry had indicated. The woman in question started moving much quicker.

Amycus knew the polyjuice would wear off and he'd be caught, so he did the only thing he could. That was to try to give his sister a chance to escape while doing his master the favor of removing the head of the DMLE...permanently. He pulled his wand out and aimed it at the distracted Amelia Bones. "Avada..." but that is all he could say as he was hit with a red light and slumped to the floor.

Though Amelia had been looking where Harry was indicating, Hermione had kept her wand out and her attention on the man. She didn't know what had made Harry sure he was Amycus Carrow, but she knew he believed it and that was all she needed. As soon as the Death Eater's wand came out of his pocket, she hit him with a stunner.

Amelia had turned back to the man as the first sound of the curse, and just had time to see the wand was pointing directly at her before the man slumped to the floor. She instantly knew a half second more and she'd been dead. She looked at Hermione. A simple nod was all she gave to the young Mrs. Potter, but it said more than most books.

Hermione returned the nod.

It took twenty minutes to calm the people in the courtroom and have everyone return to their seats. The two Aurors who had been killed were removed and the blood cleaned up. By the time the trial was to resume, Scimgeour returned with a report for Amelia.

"The man is definitely Amycus Carrow, a Death Eater. According to his answers under truth serum, his polyjuice should wear off in another ten minutes or so. He admitted to imperioing those two guys who killed the Aurors to provide a distraction for all of us so he could just grab Pettigrew and walk out in the confusion."

"What about his sister?" Amelia asked.

"She got away," Rufus admitted. "We shut everything down, but it's possible she had another way out or she repolyjuiced herself as someone else. I still have people looking, but I'm not holding out much hope."

"Ok, make sure Amycus is secured just in case his sister is still around and plans to try to free him. As soon as Pettigrew's trial is over, I'll join you."

"Yes ma'am."

All of this time Pettigrew, who had been forced back out of his animagus form, had been chained to the chair of the accused with four Aurors surrounding him. Finally Dumbledore rose. "Now that our pretrial excitement has concluded, let us have a moment of silence for the two brave Aurors who lost their lives earlier performing a most difficult profession."

Silence descended immediately over the courtroom until finally Dumbledore spoke again. "We are here for the trial of Peter Oliver Pettigrew. He stands accused of betraying James and Lily Potter to Voldemort."

"I HAD NO CHOICE!" Peter screamed. "He was too powerful."

"You chose to take the mark you filthy rat," Snarled Sirius.

"Mr. Black," Dumbledore addressed Sirius, "Please refrain from unsolicited remarks," He turned back toward Pettigrew. "He also is accused of the murder of Cedric Diggory, a young wizard who had a good heart and a promising future as well as twelve muggles. Peter Pettigrew also is accused of seeking out Voldemort and performing a dark magical ritual that allowed the Dark Lord to return."

"I...I had to," Peter's voice broke. "He...he made me."

"In conjunction with the veritaserum to be administered, the Ministry will also present memories of the events in question," Dumbledore explained. "I have once again generously offered my Pensieve for use in these proceedings."

"Generously offered?" Harry smirked to his wife.

Hermione returned a mental chuckle.

"Madam Bones if you will prepare the Pensieve while the Aurors administer the Veritaserum."

The next two hours were filled with the Wizengamot being led through the various crimes of Peter Pettigrew. The truth serum forced him to explain his role in each event. Some of the same memories that had been shown the morning after the Battle at the Ministry were shown again including the confrontation between Sirius and Pettigrew after the Potters were killed. Harry had provided the additional memory of Pettigrew using the Killing Curse on Cedric Diggory. When that particular memory was shown, a sobbing could be heard and Harry saw Amos Diggory leading a crying woman out of the courtroom.

When finally the evidence had been presented and the antidote to the veritaserum given to Pettigrew Dumbledore addressed the pale trembling man. "Peter Pettigrew, through your own words and by evidence provided by memories, you have been shown to have committed the crimes that you are charged with. What do you have to say in your defense?"

Peter glanced around and all he could find was hard glares in the eyes of every wizard and witch he saw. He finally turned back to Dumbledore. "I...I...he was so powerful. I just wanted..." Pettigrew's voice failed as tears started down his face.

"Very well," Dumbledore said. "Does anyone else wish to add anything?"

"I would," Sirius said as he rose from his seat.

"Very well Mr. Black," Dumbledore replied.

Sirius stared at his old friend for several seconds before he started. "Peter Pettigrew was my friend. At Hogwarts, he, myself, Remus Lupin," Sirius glanced at the werewolf before turning back toward the courtroom, "and James Potter were best friends. My friend," He indicated Peter who was staring at him, the tears still leaving wet marks down his cheeks, "betrayed us. James died because of Peter. I was falsely imprisoned and almost killed by pursuing Dementors when I escaped to protect my godson, and Remus lost his friends because of Peter. But..." Sirius turned his eyes to the crowd of observers before continuing. "but...even that betrayal pales in comparison to what he did to all of you. He betrayed each and every one of you as well. His actions have resulted in the rebirth of Voldemort, in the rebirth of the darkness that once again threatens our safety and your children's safety. When another good witch or wizard, like the two Aurors earlier, dies because of the evil that once again walks our land, those deaths should be laid at the feet of Peter Pettigrew as much as they are attributed to Voldemort," Sirius took one last look at his old friend and then returned to his seat. For a short time the entire courtroom was silent and then a person started clapping and another followed. Many people rose from their seats and joined in until Sirius was receiving a standing ovation.

Madam Bones leaned over and said. "Keep giving speeches like that Sirius and you might have a career in politics."

"Merlin help us then," Harry smirked.

Dumbledore waved everyone back down to their seats and continued. "Anyone else?"

Minister Fudge could see the effects of Sirius' speech had upon the crowds and knew it would be in the Prophet the next day. He wasn't about to waste the opportunity to capitalize on it. "Chief Warlock, I would like to speak."

"Very well Minister," Dumbledore replied.

"Peter Pettigrew," Fudge addressed the man in the chair. "The Ministry awarded you the Order of Merlin First Class when it was believed you were the hero in trying to apprehend Sirius Black and died in the attempt," Fudge waved his arms upward toward the ceiling of the courtroom. "That award is on display in this very building. It was placed here as an inspiration for those who must go against overwhelming odds and of selfless sacrifice. Obviously that award was a mistake. The trust our society placed in your name was injudicious and I shall rectify that mistake right now. Peter Pettigrew, as Minister of Magic, I hereby rescind your award and any monetary values that were awarded with it," Minister Fudge then turned to Sirius. "Mr. Black, there was a hero that day. One who, through a miscarriage of justice by the PREVIOUS administration, was unjustly locked away. I plan, upon returning to my office, to start the process to award you the Order of Merlin First Class for your actions that night."

Sirius didn't know whether he should laugh or cry as he sat staring at the Minister who was looking at him expectantly. It was only when Amelia Bones leaned over and whispered "It's obviously political, but it will provide a lot of good will for you and for the Minister in the coming times. Accept it."

Sirius nodded and stood again. "I do not believe myself a hero Minister. My best friend and his wife died and I only was trying to avenge their deaths, but if the Ministry believes my actions were above that then I will be...eh...honored if the award is given."

The Minister smiled and reached over to shake Sirius' hand.

Dumbledore turned back to the courtroom and once again asked. "Anyone else? No? Then Members of the Wizengamot, I shall read each charge against Peter Pettigrew. I would like a show of wands if you feel he is guilty of that particular charge."

Once again Percy Weasley provided the list to Dumbledore and he started the query. There was no doubt as every wand went up for every charge. At the conclusion of the list, Dumbledore turned to Percy Weasley. "Mr. Weasley please record that today, two July nineteen ninety-six, Peter Oliver Pettigrew was found guilty of all charges against him."

"Yes sir."

"Members of the Wizengamot, we shall now decide upon Peter Pettigrew's punishment," Dumbledore said and once again Madam Bones rose from her seat. "Chief Warlock..."

"The veil again?" Dumbledore asked.

"As proven earlier, V...Voldemort has an interest in this man. He's been found guilty of many murders and as Sirius Black so eloquently pointed out, his actions will result in numerous more murders by the Dark Lord."

"Chief Warlock?" The timid voice of Peter Pettigrew spoke.

"Yes Mr. Pettigrew?" Dumbledore asked as he turned away from Amelia to peer over his half-moon glasses at Pettigrew.

Peter had seen the nods within the Wizengamot after Madam Bones' statement and knew he was a doomed man. He then had glanced at Sirius who was sitting next to Remus and in front of them was Harry who looked so much like James. Seeing them grouped like that brought back the memories of his happier days; days when a group of very popular boys called him 'friend'. Deep within the man, the spark that the Sorting Hat had found that made him a Gryffindor reemerged and he knew what he must do. "Chief Warlock," He repeated; this time his voice was a bit stronger. "I know what my fate is to be, one way or another. My only hope for my life is to be rescued by the Master I chose and I do not wish that. I know I made mistakes and it is time for me to face the repercussions of those mistakes," Peter stopped and swallowed hard but finally he continued. "I want the veil sir. If possible I would like it to happen today. I do not wish any more blood on my hands..." Pettigrew raised the stump of an arm as much as the chains would allow. "I guess I should say hand," He glanced once more at Sirius and Remus. "I'm sorry," He said to his old friends. "You gave me so much and I was too much of a coward to understand," Peter glanced around the courtroom before continuing, "Let it be known that I renounce my Master, I renounce..." His voice stopped as a look of pain shot through his face. He leaned toward his left arm. "I...I renounce you," The pain obviously worsened as Wormtail started to sweat and writhe. He lifted his face. "Dumbledore..." This time his voice betrayed the pain he felt, "don't let me die by my mark..." Again Pettigrew grimaced but his eyes kept looking at Dumbledore. "Let me die for my crimes, not by his..." He screamed as the pain worsened even further. Finally he gasped "Please..."

Dumbledore studied the man writhing in the chair in obvious pain. He'd never heard of a Dark Mark taking the life of its wearer. Even Karkaroff had been found murdered. "But he didn't actually renounce his Master did he? He only fled in fear. Then again Voldemort had booby trapped Pettigrew's hand, so maybe he knew that Pettigrew was weak-minded and likely try to switch allegiances again and I would require Peter to renounce his Master," Dumbledore lifted his wand and stunned the main who was crying out as he still stared at him. While the courtroom fell silent as Pettigrew slumped against his chains, Dumbledore continued to study the man for a few seconds. He'd seen the remorse in Pettigrew's eyes as he pleaded not for his life, but to allow him to pay his debt to society. He felt pity for the man. Dumbledore turned to the Wizengamot and in a very quiet voice he addressed the members who were all looking stunned. "Please display a vote to give the guilty party his desire. Who votes for Pettigrew to be sent through the veil immediately?"

At first no one did anything. Each member looked at their companions trying to determine what was the general consensus before committing themselves. Finally Madam Bones said, "It is his desire and it is obvious he will die by He-who...I mean Voldemort's magic otherwise. I vote yes," Her wand lifted in the air and illuminated. Slowly wand after wand followed hers until almost all were lit.

"Very well," Dumbledore said. "Mr. Weasley...Mr. Weasley," He had to repeat himself because Percy was still staring at Pettigrew. When finally Percy turned toward Dumbledore he continued. "Mr. Weasley, please record that at this time, on today's date, Peter Oliver Pettigrew has been sentenced to death. The punishment will be carried out, per his wish, immediately."

"Yes sir," Percy answered.

"Please keep your seats," Dumbledore said to the people who were beginning to rise. "Madam Bones, how do you wish to proceed with this unusual event?"

"I think myself, you, the Minister and three additional members of the Wizengamot should accompany the Aurors to the Veil room."

"I'd like to attend if possible," Sirius said.

"I'm sure that is acceptable, don't you Madam Bones?" Minister Fudge asked still wanting to capitalize on the situation. "Mr. Potter?" He asked the young man who had stood as well.

Harry nodded to the Minister then added. "I'd like myself and Hermione to be there as well."

"Of course, of course," Fudge replied.

"Minister Fudge," A woman's voice rose above the murmuring. "I believe a reporter should also be in attendance."

"And what makes you think it should be you Rita?" A gruff looking man sitting near her asked.

Rita turned to the man and with a cold glare replied, "Because unlike the rag you write for, the Prophet is actually read."

"Why you..."

"Enough," Dumbledore commanded. "This is a courtroom. If either of you would like to be in the chair of the accused at some later time, please by all means continue your disruptions."

Rita and the man stared at each other for two more seconds before the man sat back down.

"I do think it is a good idea for a reporter to witness the event," Amelia said.

"Excellent," Rita said and started moving down toward the Wizengamot area.

It took another five minutes for the members of the Wizengamot to select their three representatives but finally the group of people including six aurors made their way to the Department of Mysteries.

The tattered black curtain filling the archway didn't seem as ominous now to Harry as they descended toward the raised dais. In his mind it no longer represented Sirius' death, but of justice to Death Eaters. He felt the Hermione squeeze his hand and he responded. "I love you."

"I love you too," Hermione replied.

"Well let's get on with this," Fudge said, trying to take charge. He wanted to be able to say he personally made sure the man who had brought back He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was dead by the Ministry's hand. "Are you just going to levitate him through Dumbledore?"

"It would be the most humane thing..." Dumbledore started.

"No!" Sirius interrupted. "Peter wanted to accept his responsibility. Let him do it awake."

"But the pain his mark..."

"Is his own doing," Sirius argued. "He wanted to die for his crimes, so let him. Let him prove he truly regrets what he did."

"I agree Albus," Rita Skeeter said. It would make a much more interesting story if the man walked through the veil himself.

"I'm sure you do Ms. Skeeter," Dumbledore replied. He looked around but no one spoke up for Pettigrew. "Very well," He maneuvered Pettigrew onto the Dais only a few feet from the archway before reviving him.

Pettigrew immediately clutched his arm and cried out as the pain returned several times worse than its previous intensity. It was only after a few seconds that he opened his eyes and found where he was. The memory of his trial and his request returned to him. He swallowed as the pain intensified again. Still clutching his arm, he scrambled to his feet and looked at the veil before turning back to the onlookers. Though tears were steaming down the Pettigrew's face, he only nodded at Sirius before he turned and stared at the stone archway. Another wave of pain staggered him. Pettigrew looked at his arm once again. "NO!" He shouted to it. "You have no more control over me." With a final grimace of pain, Peter stumbled into the veil and disappeared.

Sirius stared at the archway for several seconds before muttering, "Damn, I didn't think the rat had it in him."

"Mr. Weasley, please record that Peter Pettigrew died at this time," Dumbledore said quietly. "May he find the peace that escaped him in this life, in the next."

"Ye...yes sir," Percy said. The young man was still staring at the veil as if expecting something else to happen.

"Peace? Though Death was actually impressed by Pettigrew's last words," The voice of Miranda came into the soul-bonded's minds. "It was not enough to escape his playtime with the mousetraps."

"How will his soul be judged?" Hermione asked.

"I cannot say," Miranda replied. "But I doubt it will be anytime soon. Now I think I will sneak a peek into the mousetrap room."

"Now Mister Potter," Rita said as she moved closer to him and Hermione. "What is your opinion of Pettigrew?"

"He...he's where he belongs," Harry said finally to Rita as he imagined Pettigrew, in his rat form getting caught in mousetrap after mousetrap. "Though he took responsibility for his crimes, he still committed them. Now..." Harry thought of Pettigrew's soul and how it will be judged; "Now it's up to someone far greater than myself to judge his life."

"Excellent Harry. You're getting good at these quotes," Rita exclaimed as her quill scribbled notes. "Now how about a comment on the earlier trial? I mean you were the person behind Umbridge's downfall."

"Is it true you're doing a story on me?" Hermione asked before Harry could answer.

Rita looked surprise but quickly recovered. "Of course. Such a talented young witch at our hero's side. Witch Weekly was most interested in getting the story of the real you."

"And willing to pay a large amount?"

"Well, I do need to make a living don't I?"

"At my expense?" Hermione asked. "You're supposed to be doing a story on the real me, and yet I don't remember being asked a single question."

"Well," Rita replied hesitantly.

"You know there are secrets that can still be revealed, don't you?" Hermione reminded Skeeter. "Look Rita, I think you've seen that working with Harry and me is a bit more lucrative than opposing us," Hermione sighed. "I know a story will be written about me, either by you or someone else will make something up. So how about we make a deal?"

"What do you want Miss Granger?" Skeeter asked. "How about thirty percent? I won't go any higher."

"I'm not interested in Galleons, I just want some input to what is written," Hermione replied honestly. "My friends and family will see that article and we do not want a repeat of that love potion thing you wrote about me now do we?" Hermione's eyebrow rose in question. "I do still have that jar."

"Eh..." Rita replied as a bit of color drained from her face.

"I think you should include an apology in your article about Hermione as well," Harry added.

"Just show me the article," Hermione continued. "I'll even answer some questions and allow you to take a tastefully done picture."

"Really?" Rita asked as she started thinking about how to renegotiate the amount to be paid for the story from Witch Weekly. "And what's in it for you?"

"That apology would be nice," Hermione replied with a shrug, "But really isn't it more about what is in it for you? You slander me in that article and do you really think you'll get another word from Harry or me?"

"I'm on a tight deadline..."

"We have to speak to Madam Bones before we leave the Ministry," Hermione said. "How about we get together in about an hour?"

"Where...oh wait, I know. We'll use the Minister's office," Rita said. "I can see the picture of you sitting at his desk with the caption of 'Aspirations of Greatness' under it. Yes...in an hour you say?" Without waiting for an answer she turned to Fudge, "Oh Minister..."

"But..." Hermione started but Rita had already moved away. She turned to Harry and sighed. "The Minister's office?"

Harry shrugged. "I can see you there some day."

"A muggleborn?" Hermione asked. "Not likely," But Harry couldn't help but smirk since he could see she was already thinking about the laws she could get changed.

 
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