Harry Potter and the Price of Being Noble

Harry helps Fleur in the second task of GOF and pays the price. HP/Fleur/Gabrielle/Hermione. A Veela bonding fic based on love. T Rated and it will stay that way. Thirteen year old Almost fourteen Gabrielle to start the story. Good Dumbledore.



37. Chapter 37 Trials of a Toad and a Rat

"Arthur," Amelia Bones said as she walked up to the balding red haired man. "I'm sorry I didn't get back to you earlier, but I've been busy checking into something very serious and it concerns your son."

"What do you mean?"

"You said your son Percy," Bones started "stated that Dolores wanted him to check on security for the Deputy Minister of France right?"

"Yes, well more of him in conjunction with Harry Potter," Arthur replied. "And I appreciate you helping me getting the information for him."

"That's a problem," Amelia said. "I asked Dolores and she denied ever asking Percy to make any inquiries."

"Ma'am, Percy wouldn't lie about something like that."

"But..." Amelia sighed. "Look Arthur, your son made some large leaps in assuming authority last year and now he's again saying his boss is telling him to do things that she's denying, " She shrugged. "I have your son making security inquiries about Harry Potter and a visiting official and no reason for it."

"What are you suggesting?" Arthur asked suddenly wary.

"I can't risk Percy being a threat in the proceedings today," Amelia replied sternly. "Arthur, you're a good man and I know you have a good family, but it's not a risk I can take, especially…especially after last year. In some way your son might hold Mr. Potter responsible for what happened."

"He doesn…"Arthur stopped when he realized how circumstances must look to Amelia. He sighed as he nodded his head slightly in understanding before saying, "Of course. Can I explain it to him?"

"Yes, but if he's seen in the Ministry after two thirty, he will be detained."

"May I ask one other question?"

"Of course Arthur," Amelia replied.

"What if it's the other way around?" Arthur asked.

"What do you mean?"

"What if Dolores used my son to get the information for some reason," Arthur asked, "knowing that if it was questioned, he'd be the one under suspicion."

Amelia Bones looked thoughtful for a few seconds. "It is possible but why would she?"

"You know how much Dolores does not like.." Arthur paused as he searched for a word.

"I'll save you the trouble of trying to find a delicate way to say what you want to say and agree already," Bones said.

"You do know that Minister Delacour's wife and daughters are part Veela? And that Harry himself is dating one of those daughters?"

Amelia Bones again had a thoughtful look upon her face for a few seconds, though to herself she muttered "both of his daughters you mean," She finally looked back to Arthur. "It wouldn't hurt to be prudent and keep an eye on all possible problems, but I can't keep Dolores out of the proceedings based on a possibility. She's a member of the Wizengamut."

"Thank you for at least considering it though," Arthur said.

"I'm just doing my job. Remember to make sure Percy goes home," As Amelia turned to leave an idea came to mind. "Wait," She said as she turned back to Mr. Weasley. "Do you really believe your son Arthur?"

Arthur responded without hesitation. "Yes I do. Though I admit I am biased in this matter, I know my son is a good man Amelia. He can be a bit pompous and sometimes he might not think for himself to well, but he's not a liar."

Amelia could see the honesty in Arthur Weasley's eyes. She nodded. "Bring him by my office then so I can discuss this matter personally with him, say in a half hour?"

Arthur's brow furrowed in question but he knew Amelia Bones was a fair person. "Of course," He replied and left to find Percy.

***** E E *****

Harry stared at the large Atrium that he stood in with his mouth open. They were standing in the middle of a long, majestic hall with a dark polished wood floor and a peacock blue ceiling that had inlaid golden symbols that kept changing. All along each side of the hall were ornate fireplaces just like the one they had just come out of. Very near them was a fountain. In the middle of the fountain a group of golden statues caught his attention. He could see they depicted a wizard, a witch, a centaur, a goblin, and a house-elf, all spouting water into the fountain. At one end of the long hall was a set of golden gates. As he continued to stare around the Atrium a fireplace flared and what appeared to be a Ministry employee came out and walked toward gates.

Harry looked around. "What about Sir...I mean Padfoot?"

"He's staying at Bathilda's cottage for now," Remus replied. "If he's needed to testify for some reason, we can get to him pretty quickly, but until the Ministry has officially cleared him he'll stay away."

Harry walked over to the fountain and noticed that the bottom had silver Sickles and bronze Knuts scattered on its bottom. There was a small sign that read.


Thinking of his godfather, Harry reached into his pouch and pulled out a golden Galleon and tossed it into the fountain. "For luck," He said as he turned back to the others.

"There are rooms over there to change into robes," Remus said as he pointed to a little hallway. Fleur pulled out the shrunken bag that held their robes and she started to pass them to everyone who then disappeared into the changing rooms.

When they came out of the changing area, there were four blue cloaked Aurors waiting. One of them was Tonks with her pink hair clearly visible. Beside her was a large black gentleman who was bald and wore a single gold earring that glinted in the torchlight. Beside him stood a brown straight haired gentleman and finally a brownish-blonde haired woman with an eye patch over her left eye that came across to Harry as someone that he didn't want to mess with.

"We'll be escorting you down," The man with the earring said in a deep voice as he looked at Harry. "In case this gentleman didn't mention me, my name is Kingsley Shacklebolt. I understand you've met Nymphadora Tonks..."

"Shack..." Tonks growled.

"Calm down Tonks, unless you want 'doesn't play well with others' on your next performance report," Shacklebolt joked before turning back to Harry. "I hope Remus warned you that she doesn't like her first name, I'd hate to lose you while we're guarding you," He flashed a brilliant white smile at his own humor. "Now this is William Williamson," He nodded toward the brown-haired gentleman, "and this lovely lady is Sonja Dervens."

"I'll lovely you Kingsley," Sonja snarled.

"Aren't we safe here?" Harry asked. "Do we need guards at the Ministry?"

"Harry, right now you aren't safe anywhere," Remus said. "We are going down to a courtroom and while we're there you're going to be in close contact with plenty of witches and wizards. We still don't know who all the bad guys are and would prefer not to take chances."

"Fine," Harry replied.

"Now if you'll walk between us," Kingsley said to Harry. "And the rest of you can follow behind."

"No!" Harry said sharply. "If you're protecting me, then you're protecting all three of these ladies as well."

"But.." Shacklebolt started but Tonks cut him off.

"That might be for the best Shack," She said and shrugged when he looked at her questioningly. "I don't think you'll get Potter to go along without them."

"If that's the way it's got to be," Shacklebolt said after holding Tonks' gaze for a couple of seconds. "Remus, I'd like to go in front with me to help clear a wider area as we go. Tonks, you follow up the rear while Williamson and Dervens, you take either side. Harry, once we get downstairs, don't let anyone near you. Don't shake hands with anyone even if you think you recognize them. They could easily be polyjuiced or Imperiused. And whatever you do, don't stop walking."

They were led down the hall toward the golden gate. As they neared it, Kingsley directed them toward a small desk where a man was engrossed in his copy of the Daily Prophet. Over the desk was a sign that said. "Security".

When the guard didn't look up when the procession drew near, the Auror with the eye patch slammed her hand down on the desk. "Don't let us bother you Eric," She growled. "Think you could pay attention ever so often."

The badly shaved wizard in the peacock blue robes looked up sharply and then jumped to his feet as he dropped the paper. "Yeah sorry."

"Process these guys in," Auror Dervens said. "They're here for Pettigrew's trial of course."

The guard's eyes moved over the assortment of people in front of him and his eyes landed on the scar on Harry's forehead. "You're Harry Potter," He said as his eyes widened.

"Quit gawking and start working," Kingsley said sharply.

"Yeah sir, of course sir," Eric replied timidly. "Who's first?"

Remus nudged Harry forward. When he was close enough, the guard nervously waved a long skinny golden rod over Harry's front and then back.

"Wand?" Eric asked next as he held out his hand expectantly. Harry looked questioningly at Shacklebolt who nodded. Harry pulled his wand from his pocket and handed it to the guard. Eric held the wand gingerly, almost reverently. "Is this the wand you..."

"Just do your job Eric!" Shacklebolt ordered in a clearly irritated voice.

Eric nodded nervously and set Harry's wand gently on a brass instrument with a dish hanging from a chain. The device immediately started to vibrate. After a few seconds a strip of parchment came out of an opening at the bottom. The guard wizard tore off the parchment and read out.

"Eleven inches, phoenix-feather core, been in use for four years. That correct?" Eric asked in a voice that cracked with the pressure to perform his job under the scrutiny of four Aurors and Harry Potter, not to mention the most beautiful girls he'd ever seen watching him.

"Yes sir," Harry replied.

It took Eric three tries to put the paper on a small brass spike that was on his desk before he handed Harry's wand back to him.

"He'll need a badge as well," Shacklebolt reminded the guard.

Eric nodded and directed Harry to speak into a grill covering a hole on a post near the desk. "State your name and purpose for the visit."

"Uhm...Harry Potter and I'm here for Peter Pettigrew's trial."

The security guard reached into a slot on his desk and removed a square silver badge and handed it to Harry. "This needs to be visible at all times you're in the Ministry."

Harry nodded as he looked at the badge. It had Harry Potter/For Trial written on it. He pinned the visitor's badge to his robes.

"Who's next?" the guard asked. Fleur immediately stepped forward. Eric just stared at her for a few seconds before Auror Dervens hit him in the arm, hard. A few seconds later the guard was reading from another piece of parchment as he rubbed his arm where he'd been hit by the Auror again.

"Nine and a half inches, Veela hair core, been in use for seven years."

Hermione was next.

"Ten and three quarters with a Dragon Heartstring core. Been in use for four years."

Gabrielle followed her and her wand was quickly registered and a visitors badge given.

Finally Remus went through the same procedure and the guard said to the eye patched Auror. "Anything else?"

"No," She replied curtly.

Harry and the others were led through the gates as another group had queued behind them. Harry looked back in time to see the guard had picked back up his newspaper and was ignoring the next set of people needing to get through security.

They walked down a small corridor where at least twenty lifts were located. All with gold wrought grills.

"We can't all fit in the same lift, so Mr. Potter and you..." He pointed to Gabrielle. "You come with me and Tonks. You two," He pointed to Fleur and Hermione. "Go with Remus along with William and Sonja."

A lift opened and as Harry started to get on it, he was startled to see Arthur, Percy Weasley and another man he'd never seen before standing there. "Remember to do your part and I'll..." The unrecognized man was saying as the lift opened. He immediately became quiet as he saw all the blue robes about.

"Harry," Arthur said at once. He was smiling but it was obvious he wasn't in his normal jovial mood. "Remus, hello Hermione and nice to see you again Miss Delacour," He said to Gabrielle. "And of course you as well Miss Delacour," He finished to Fleur.

"Fleur please," Fleur responded.

"Thank you. I see you've got your guards," He stated as he saw all the blue robes standing around.

"Weasley," Shacklebolt acknowledged.

"Headed down for the trial?" Arthur asked.

"Yes sir," Harry replied.

"We were too."

Harry looked at Shacklebolt who motioned for him to enter the lift. Seven people were a tight fit but they did squeeze in. Harry saw a bit of motion above him and stared up in wonder as he saw two paper aeroplanes flying above them. They were light purple in color and as they flapped their wings above them, Harry could see the words Ministry of Magic written on them.

Arthur saw what Harry was looking at and said. "Those are inter-departmental memos. We find them to be cleaner than owls."

"I can imagine," Harry replied still watching the memos circling.

The lift clattered to a stop a short time later. As the doors opened a female voice announced. "Level Nine Department of Mysteries."

"Department of Mysteries?" Hermione said. "That's where your father said the prophecy was located. What are we doing here?"

"I don't know...I don't think a courtroom would be there would it?" Harry replied. He suddenly grew nervous at the thought that they were being lead somewhere besides the courtroom. "Uh...what is the Department of Mysteries?" He asked to no one in particular but observed those around him as they exited the lift. Several other lifts were stopped there as well and witches and wizards were exiting those as well causing a backup.

"It's where they study various unusual magic things," Arthur replied.

"Is the courtroom in the Department of Mysteries?" Hermione asked. She had already palmed her wand and knew Fleur and Gabrielle had done the same.

"No," Shacklebolt laughed. "Courtroom Ten is called the dungeon by most people and there is a good reason. You take the lift as far down as you can go...which is here and then still have to take stairs even further down."

Harry relaxed at the explanation but still watched the people around him carefully.

"This way and stay behind us Potter," Shacklebolt said quietly. They had paused to wait for the corridor to clear of most of the people. He led the group down the corridor where a single black door stood. Right before they got there, he turned left and started down a staircase.

"Why are we in that courtroom?" Hermione asked still curious about 'The Dungeon'.

"Largest courtroom there is here at the Ministry," Shacklebolt replied over his shoulder. "Seems every witch and wizard around wants to attend this trial knowing Potter will be here," The steps had ended onto another corridor. Harry could definitely see why he courtroom had the nickname it did. It reminded him of the dungeons at Hogwarts. Here though. witches and wizards congregated in various spots all along its length. "Excuse us, move aside," The deep voice of Shacklebolt commanded to one group and then another as he and Remus pushed through the people. The other Aurors flanked the group of young people as they followed the two men.

As they walked past, the conversations the people had been engaged in ceased and heads turned in their direction. He could hear 'Potter', 'Harry', 'Boy-Who-Lived' and 'there he is' from the groups as he passed. Gabrielle pressed herself closer to Harry and his other bondmates comforted him as they continued toward the end. Finally they arrived at an open door where a rumble of many voices could be heard. As Harry entered through the doorway he felt himself returning to Dumbledore's pensieve. He instantly recognized the courtroom where the Lestranges had been sentenced. He stopped as he looked around. Ahead of him he could see the chair with the chains and rising all around were bench seats made of stone. Many witches and wizards were already seated. On the bench directly in front and above the chair were a few witches and wizards all wearing the plum colored robes with a silvery 'W' woven on the left side.

"We need to keep moving..." Shacklebolt started.

"There you are Percy," a frilly high-pitched voice said. When Harry looked at the noise he saw the same toad-like woman he'd seen with Minister Fudge the night Voldemort had returned. She also wore the same plum color robes as the other witches and wizards Harry had seen in the seats.

"Yes Madam Umbridge," Percy replied. "I had..." He looked at his father and at the man who was with them, "some last minute things to take care of."

Umbridge noticed who was standing amongst the blue robed Aurors. "Mr. Potter," She said in a sickly sweet tone that made an involuntary shudder run up Harry's spine. Umbridge then looked at the two blonde girls beside Harry. "And you must be Minister Delacour's daughters," She said. Harry noticed her facial expression seemed to change. It reminded him of the same look Narcissa Malfoy had at the World Cup.

"Yes ma'am," Fleur responded. "And zis is 'Ermione Granger."

"Yes," Umbridge replied. "A muggleborn from what I hear," She made the word seem more of an insult than a description. Umbridge quickly turned back to Percy. "We have lots to do today before I can take my seat on the Wizengamot, but tell me why I shouldn't fire you? I had Amelia Bones in my office asking why you've been inquiring about Potter's security."

"But you told..." Percy started.

"I did no such thing," Umbridge snapped. "Don't start your lies in here Mr. Weasley, you're already in enough trouble with the Ministry," She glared at her underling. "Now come with me before you cause any more trouble."

Percy nodded and Harry noticed him glance at the man who had been with him and Arthur. That man followed shortly afterwards in the same direction Umbridge and Percy had left.

"She's..." Fleur started as she stared in the direction the toad woman had left.

"Harry," Another voice said, interrupting her. One with a grandfatherly tone to it. Harry would recognize the voice anywhere. He turned to see the Headmaster there along with Alain Delacour. Dumbledore wore the same maroon robes with the 'W' woven as he'd seen in the benches in front of the chained chair. His 'W' was golden.

"Good afternoon sir," Harry said and then he smiled at Alain. "Sir."

"Ze Dursleys 'ave been treating you well?"

"Excuse me, but we need to get Potter away from the door," Shacklebolt said before Harry could answer. His eyes were continually watching people enter and leave the large chamber. "This is not a very secure spot," When he was sure he had everyone's attention he led them through a door near the back of the courtroom. Behind the door was a small room with several chairs and tables.

"This is where witnesses are normally kept until they are ready to testify. You'll stay here Mr. Potter until right before the trial is to begin. Then you'll enter the courtroom ahead of the remaining Wizengamot members," Shacklebolt said as he nodded toward another door. "They'll be coming from their area there."

"Sir, could you call me Harry," Harry said. "I don't feel like Mr. Potter."

"Very well Harry," Shacklebolt said. "I'm Kingsley then. I will be leaving one person in here while the rest of my team and I will be right outside the door to prevent unnecessary interruptions. If you need anything don't hesitate to ask."

"Thank you sir."

"Doing my job Harry," Kingsley replied. He looked at Tonks. "You'll stay in here."

"Yes sir," Tonks replied.

When the other Aurors had left, Harry turned to Alain and Dumbledore. "About the Dursleys...uh.. I need to talk to you both about that," Harry started. "But first, I'd like to thank you sir," He nodded toward Dumbledore. "I know Remus and Padfoot couldn't have done today without your help."

"You're welcome," The Headmaster replied. "It's something that I should have thought to do earlier, but sometimes I find it difficult to return there," The last he said in a much quieter voice.

Harry remembered the headstone of Dumbledore's mother and sister and he again wondered what might have happened to a much younger Dumbledore.

The Headmaster's eyes wandered to each of the young people and ended on Hermione. "Miss Granger, did you enjoy your visit with Bathilda?"

Hermione could barely contain the smile that was on her face. "Yes sir," She replied as she clutched the book she'd been given even more tightly to her chest.

"Is that...may I?" Dumbledore said to her as he recognized the book she held.

Hermione nodded as she held out the treasure she'd been given to Dumbledore.

The old wizard took the book and ran his hand over the cover. He looked at Hermione. "You do understand what this is?"

"Yes sir," Hermione replied.

"You must have impressed her greatly."

"She said she thought I'd value it for what it was and not for what it's worth."

"I'm sure you will at that," Dumbledore agreed.

"She...she also said I reminded her of you at my age."

"I hope you found that to be a compliment?" He asked with a smile.

"Yes sir, I did sir."

"Would you like me to protect this for you?" He asked as he once again touched the book. "Or maybe Alain will store it at his house?"

Hermione looked at the book greedily. She really didn't ever want to let it out of her sight, but she knew it would be safer with one of those two men. She then thought of the perfect person to protect the book. "Can you have Madam Pince look after it?"

"Of course," Dumbledore replied. After a small hesitation he asked. "Can I presume by that request, that you are still considering returning to Hogwarts?"

"We are sir," Harry replied. "But we haven't decided one way or the other yet."

"Of course," Dumbledore replied. "I hope you didn't take my question to be anything but an inquiry. Now you said something about the Dursleys?"

Harry nodded and started describing the altercations they had had with Vernon and Dudley over the past week. Alain Delacour was becoming visibly angered while Dumbledore developed a look of sadness on his face.

"I...we've tried sir," Harry finished. "We tried to just avoid them, but no matter what we did.."

"Zose pigs wouldn't leave us alone," Fleur finished for him.

"Very well," Dumbledore replied. "Can we discuss this further after the trial?"

"Yes sir."

They heard a door open and turned to see a person emerge from the door that Shacklebolt had said the Wizengamot was located.

"Harry Potter," Said the man who had emerged. Harry found himself looking at Cornelius Fudge who stood there beaming with a wide smile on his face. "I'm sure you've been looking forward to this day haven't you."

"This day could've happened a lot sooner if you'd have believed us last year," Harry pointed out.

"Yes well those things happen," Fudge replied as some of the smile disappeared from his face. "You have to understand how it looked to the Ministry. Now I'm sure after today we can let bygones be bygones and move forward."

"And my Godfather? He should be here as well, but he can't because you still haven't cleared his name."

Fudge now had a nervous look on his face. "Harry, it just wouldn't do to have the Ministry look so bad after the last two years, not to mention all the years he was in Azkaban. Now I assure you that after Pettigrew's trial we can make sure that he's cleared quietly..."

Harry's eyes narrowed as he worked to keep his anger in check. "NO SIR!" He said quite loudly. "The Ministry spent two years running him into the ground with his picture in every paper around," Harry felt Alain's hand on his shoulder but he wasn't finished. "That's after you falsely imprisoned him for years," He was glaring at the Minister now.

"Arry be careful," Fleur said. "E is ze Minister of Magic."

"I DON'T care!" Harry exclaimed to her.

"Don't put 'im in a corner," She warned. "You still might need 'is 'elp."

"But Sirius..."

"Doesn't care 'ow 'e is cleared. But if it really matters to you zen make it 'appen. Ze Minister wants something from you and if you give eet, 'e can survive ze damage from publicly announcing Sirius is innocent."

"My support? But he's been paid off..."

"You can always withdraw your support later," Fleur said. "But I think you need to consider zat if ze Minister loses support right now, it could disrupt ze entire Ministry. Zey need to be concerned about Voldemort not political infighting to who gets to be ze new Minister of Magic."

The Minister was watching the Boy-Who-Lived wearily. He knew that he was in a difficult position politically no matter which way he turned. He had hoped that by making today happen; to publicly bring Pettigrew to trial he could garner Potter's support. His eyes hardened as he thought that if he was forced out of office, he'd take a lot of people with him.

Harry Potter sighed finally and continued. "Sir, I know the Ministry and you in particular might be hurt politically by a public announcement for Sirius, but maybe if I was willing stand by your side and thank you in such a case, maybe even give my support to you..." He let the offer linger. Harry felt he'd done the right thing when he felt Alain give his shoulder a squeeze, though he still didn't like it.

Cornelius Fudge wasn't the sharpest wizard around, but even for him it only took a few seconds for him to realize what the offer would mean to his career. A sense of relief flooded his mind. "Maybe it is for the best to have a public announcement for Mr. Black in that case."

"Thank you sir," Harry said. "The sooner the better. Today in fact."

"Yes...eh we'll see," Fudge replied. "Now I must have a word with..." His words faded as he turned and walked away.

When Cornelius had disappeared back through the door, Alain spoke up. "Very well done 'Arry," He said. "I thought you were about to lose your temper."

"I did sir. Fortunately Fleur was there for me," Harry replied. "It still felt wrong."

"It often does when you're 'aving to choose ze lesser of two evils as zey say," Alain explained. "But your Minister is a known entity and to force 'im out right now could result in conflict within ze Ministry itself, at ze very least political maneuvering zat could take away from ze fight zat everyone needs to concentrate on and possibly it would open ze door to Voldemort 'imself."

"We need to start getting ready," Dumbledore said. "The trial is to begin in fifteen minutes," He gave a small smile to Harry and then turned and walked through the door to the Wizengamot room as well.

With nothing to do but wait, Alain Delacour and Remus settled into seats. Alain pulled out several sheets of parchments and started reviewing them. Harry sat down but after only a couple of minutes he grew restless and started pacing as he waited for the trail to begin.

It was another minute when the Wizengamot door opened and Madam Umbridge came out with Percy Weasley beside her. She was carrying something in an open container.

"Now Mr. Weasley you need to take this container to Department of Mysteries and have them tell us what it is..." She was saying as her eyes swept the room.

"But can't it wait until after the trial?" Percy asked.

"No!" She snapped, but at the same time she seemed to trip. The contents of the container went flying and most of it landed on Gabrielle. The bright greenish liquid covered a good portion of her robes.

"Why did you trip me Mr. Weasley," Umbridge almost shouted at her assistant.

"I...I didn't," Percy replied desperately looking at the mess on Gabrielle and then around for someone to support his claim.

Gabrielle was just standing there in disbelief as the liquid poured off her. A smell started rising from the liquid.

Fleur had pulled out her wand but her cleaning spells were having no affect on the liquid stains.

"Come with me young lady," Umbridge said to Gabrielle. "I'll make sure you're cleaned up since it was my assistant's fault."

"No Ma'am," Tonks said immediately, placing herself between the Undersecretary and the door. "I'll take her."

"Nonsense," Umbridge replied. "There is no need for security in this matter. I'll make sure she's cleaned and back in no time," She tried to put her arm around Gabrielle and guide her toward the door.

"I'm sorry ma'am, but these people are under our protection."

"Do you think I, the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister, am a threat to this lady's safety Miss...what is your name Auror?"

"Tonks Ma'am," Nymphadora answered. "But..."

"Then move aside so I may assist this young person so we can start the trial," Umbridge stated in her sickly sweet high-pitched voice.

"I'm sorry ma'am," Tonks tried again, but was looking nervous. "I can't do that."

"Ze Auror is quite correct," Alain Delacour said to Dolores Umbridge as he rose from his seat. "She and 'er Aurors 'ave been been assigned our protection and of course a 'ighly placed person with your responsibilities can't be expected to deal with accidents," He turned to Tonks. "Miss Tonks if you could make sure my daughter is taken care of it would be appreciated."

"Yes sir," Tonks replied with a look of relief as she led Gabrielle out of the room.

Umbridge watched the two leave the room with pursed lips. Before the door closed the Auror with the patch over her eye entered and took up the spot near the door. Dolores turned to her assistant and snarled in bad temper. "Get out Weasley. Get out and plan on cleaning out your desk on Monday."

"But...but..." Percy started but then nodded. He turned and left the room.

"Hem...Hem," Umbridge cleared her throat when she noticed everyone staring at her. "I need to take care of other business then," She said as she also disappeared out the door into the courtroom.

"ARRY!" A mental scream came from Gabrielle five minutes later. "TONKS..." But her voice in his head trailed off.

"Something's wrong with Gabrielle!" Harry shouted to everyone around him. As everyone scrambled to their feet, Harry closed his eyes and concentrated on his youngest bondmate to try to see what was wrong. As he touched her mind he found himself experiencing a familiar floating sensation. There was a whisper, but he couldn't make out what it was saying.

"Arry..." Gabrielle's voice called again but it was much fainter, as if she was in a deep hole.

"Gabrielle!" Harry called out to her.

"Zere's a voice calling to me..." Gabrielle called to her bondmate as her voice came even fainter.

Harry finally realized the feeling he was experiencing. He hoped Fleur and Hermione were alerted to his own thoughts since he felt he needed to keep his full concentration on Gabrielle. "I think someone is trying to imperius you angel. Stay with me..stay with me, don't listen to anybody but me."

"Someone is trying to attack Gabrielle," Fleur said to Sonja, Remus and her father. "Harry's with her trying to help."

"But Potter's..." The Auror said in obvious confusion as she looked past them at the person they were talking about.

"Just do something," Remus said. "Find her, we can explain later."

"Tonks is with..." Sonja started again.

Hermione was already moving. She yanked open the door to the courtroom. "Kingsley right? We think Tonks and Gabrielle are in trouble. You need to find them."

"What? Why do you say that?" He asked.

"Just find zem; quickly," Alain said as he came up behind Hermione.

Shacklebolt knew something had happened and it was easier to react. He turned to his Aurors. "They probably were headed for a place to clean up that mess, spread out and search."

"But Potter..."

"I'll stay here. Find any other Aurors and get them searching as well," Kingsley said. He turned to Alain. "Sir can you let the Wizengamot know we'll have a delay?"

"Yes, but find my daughter," He replied.

"We will sir."

When the Aurors had disappeared he turned to Hermione. "Now why do you think there is trouble," He asked sternly.

"Harry and .. well we are connected sir," She explained. "Harry can hear her thoughts..." She was wringing her hands. "Fleur and I can hear his, he's helping her fight an imperius curse sir...he's saying everything he thinks of to her so we can hear it. He's too busy trying to concentrate to talk to us directly."

"But..." Kingsley started then stopped. "Never mind, you can explain it all later. Can you find out where she is?"

"I don't want to interrupt Harry or cause him or her to lose their concentration, but I'll try."

"Fight it angel," Harry was saying. "Listen to me."

"Harry, can you ask her where she is?" Hermione's voice floated in.

"Angel, did you hear Hermione, can you tell me where you are?" Harry asked.

Gabrielle's voice was stronger but still far away. "Sixth level I think. Ze voice...it's saying to kill you when ze trial starts. It keeps repeating it."

"Sixth level is where you are," Harry repeated hoping Hermione heard. "Aurors are searching for you."

"Arry," Fleur's voice came quietly. "Tell 'er to pretend she's imperiused, if ze person cursing 'er thinks she is fighting it, zey might kill 'er before ze Aurors can find 'er."

"Can you pretend Angel," Harry asked Gabrielle. "Pretend to listen to the voice, but stay with me. Can you do that?"

"You'll stay with me?"

"Always angel," Harry replied and he sent his love over the bond. "Always."

In a sixth level bathroom, a young Veela girl started reciting in a whispered tone what she was hearing the voice say, "I must kill Harry Potter when the trial starts, I must kill Harry Potter when the trial starts, I must..."

"Very good," A high-pitched voice said from under an invisibility cloak. "You'll also not remember who imperiused you."

"I will not remember who imperiused me," Gabrielle replied trying to force her voice to stay calm.

"Some day the world will hopefully be rid of all of you unnatural creatures," Dolores Umbridge sneered, "But at least today you're good for something. Stupefy!" The red beam hit Gabrielle who slumped to the ground next to an unconscious Tonks.

"GABRIELLE!" Harry shouted out as he opened his eyes. Seeing Shacklebolt he quickly filled him in on what he had experienced.

"At then end she said the voice sounded like the lady who spilled the stuff on her," Harry said. He got up and started for the door only to be stopped by Shacklebolt.

"Where do you think you're going Harry?" The senior auror asked as he blocked the door.

"To find my... to find Gabrielle," Harry said forcefully. "Get out of my way."

"No," Kingsley replied. "Sit down. I've got Aurors looking for her; people who know the Ministry. From what you told me, the person wants Gabrielle alive so she's not in any danger."

"I'M GOING!" Harry yelled.

"POTTER," Shacklebolt yelled louder. "Have you ever been to the ministry? Do you know where the bathrooms are? You'd end up lost and we'd have to find you as well. Now sit down and wait. Let us do our job."

Harry glared at the large black man before he sighed. "You better find her."

"We will. Now you said it was the woman who spilled the stuff on her, Madam Umbridge?"

"Yeah that toad-looking lady."

"Damn," Shacklebolt muttered. "I need to get Amelia Bones down here immediately and we need to keep this quiet."

"What?" Harry exclaimed. "We need to arrest her immediately."

"Pot...Harry," Shacklebolt started, "Madam Umbridge is the Senior Undersecretary, basically Minister Fudge's most senior adviser and very powerful politically. You can't just start throwing accusations around until we can build a case. Think about it. What proof at this moment do you have outside of what you experienced? I know without some kind of..."

"What's going on?" The voice of Albus Dumbledore asked. When Harry turned he saw Alain Delacour there as well.

Harry quickly told the two men what he'd experienced and who had done it.

"I was just about to call Amelia down," Shacklebolt said.

"I'm here already," Madam Bones said. "When I saw Minister Delacour ask for Dumbledore and he immediately said the trial was delayed for a short time, I followed expecting trouble," she explained. "What has happened?'

Again Harry started explaining what had happened. When he'd finished the head of the DMLE sighed.

"So Arthur was right," She murmured.


"I'll explain later," Amelia replied. "Have we located them yet?"

"Not yet," Shacklebolt answered. "Do you want me to search for the Undersecretary as well?"

"I'd bet she's already in her seat," Bones replied.

Shacklebolt strolled over and open the door and looked out. A second later he was back. "She is."

"So what evidence do we have?" Amelia asked.

"What do you mean what evidence?" Harry exploded. "Gabrielle can tell you exactly what happened."

"It will be her word against Dolores," Amelia explained. "That will be quite insufficient."

"But...but," Harry sputtered. "She tried to imperius Gabrielle to kill me."

"I know that Mr. Potter," Amelia replied curtly. She sighed as she looked at the young man. "If we just arrest her, she'd never go to trial. There's simply no evidence."

"Sirius was..."

"There might not have been a trial for Sirius Black, but at the time there was evidence," Bones replied, cutting off Harry. "I reviewed his case and to tell you the truth, he probably would have been convicted if he'd been tried. There were plenty of eyewitnesses, the finger of Pettigrew and even Dumbledore claiming Black was the secret keeper, so it is not the same as this. If Tonks can't provide any evidence, then we have the word of a very young lady against the Senior Undersecretary and that isn't going very far; especially with her political allies."

"She is right," Alain replied. "But..."

"She's awake," Harry blurted out. "They found her and Tonks," He said. He again started walking toward the door.

"Where are you going?"

"I need to comfort Gabrielle," Harry said. "Either one of you can show me the way, or you can start looking for me now."

"Kingsley, have your..." Amelia stopped and looked at Harry, "Harry can you just tell Gabrielle to have the Aurors bring her here..."

"Madam Bones, may I make a suggestion?" Alain Delacour said.

"Of course Minister," Madam Bones replied.

"Zis woman thinks my daughter is imperiused to kill 'Arry during ze trial oui?" Alain started. "Zen let's use zat against 'er."


Alain Delacour started explaining his idea. "But we need your Minister to watch and listen," He finished.

Amelia looked at Dumbledore. "Do you have a better idea?"

"Unfortunately no," The Headmaster replied. "We have to convince the Minister to allow the use of Veritaserum on Madam Umbridge and this might be our only shot."

"Then bring the Minister down here immediately," Bones said. She turned to Harry, "Tell Gabrielle to not come to courtroom right now," She then turned to Shacklebolt, "Go tell the Aurors the same thing or we'll have to explain something I think Harry and these women don't won't to bring out yet."

"Yes Ma'am."

Ten minutes later Harry and his group left the small room and started walking toward their seats immediately to the left of the Wizengamot area. Harry had a hard time not looking at the toad like woman who was watching them intently as they took seats directly across the aisle from where she sat. When he sat down the rest of the party left a small area for Gabrielle beside Harry.

"Ready angel?" Harry asked as he glanced toward the door of the courtroom.

"Oui," Gabrielle replied nervously.

Harry's gaze turned to the door to the small room as it opened and the remaining members of the Wizengamot entered the courtroom and filed solemnly into their seats. Had Dolores Umbridge not been lost in her thoughts as to what was to occur, she'd have been surprised by the stare Minister Fudge kept on his Senior Undersecretary. A stare that continued once he sat down in a seat that was behind and to the right of her; a seat that allowed him to see both his Undersecretary and Harry Potter.

Dumbledore glanced at Harry long enough to see the young man give a small nod. He then stood and prepared to address the crowd. He paused when the door to the courtroom opened and Gabrielle entered along with Nymphadora Tonks beside her.

The blue robed Auror and the young french witch walked toward the front of the courtroom and the Wizengamot. Tonks stopped and whispered something to Dumbledore while Gabrielle stared around at the crowds. Tonks then escorted Gabrielle to her seat next to Harry before taking her own seat behind them.

"Before we begin the trial you are all here to see," Dumbledore began after enhancing his voice. "We had a serious crime committed a short time ago. One of our Aurors and the young lady who was with her were attacked and stunned in one of the bathrooms. If anyone saw anything that might help find the person or persons responsible, please see someone from Law Enforcement before you leave today."

"Think it's time love," Harry said as the crowd's murmuring grew louder. "I love you."

"Je t'aime de tout mon coeur."

"My heart is your heart. You remember the spell?" It was a french spell that Fleur knew to clear a person's sinuses, so it was used very close to the face; a spell that would look scary to those who did not know it.


"Now it is time for the trial to begin," Dumbledore said when the crowd noise had settled.

Gabrielle immediately stood and pulled out her wand and aimed it at Harry who was now looking at Dumbledore though his peripheral vision clearly had Umbridge in sight. He could just make out the grin that appeared on the Toad's face.

"She's looking right at you, now!" Harry said to his bondmate.

Gabrielle spoke a word in french and a red light came out of her wand. Immediately Harry slumped forward and fell onto the floor. Several people around them started yelling in confusion.

"SHE'S KILLED HIM! SHE KILLED POTTER," Shrieked Umbridge, who had pulled out her own wand and aimed it at Gabrielle. "THAT CREATURE KILLED POTTER! KILL HER!"

"I'll take that," Amelia Bones said as she snatched the wand from Umbridge's hand before the woman could utter a spell.

"Everyone stay calm," Dumbledore said with his amplified voice. "No harm has come to Harry Potter," He looked over at the raven-haired young man who had stood up and pulled Gabrielle into his arms to make sure no one reacted to Umbridge's words. They both looked over at Undersecretary who was staring at them wide-eyed.

"You failed," Harry said to the toad-like woman. "She was never in your control."

"How did...I mean I don't know what you mean," Dolores replied, though a look of fear passed over her face.

"Minister?" Amelia Bones asked as she looked at the Minister of Magic.

"Umm..." He started nervously. He'd agreed hesitantly to watch his Undersecretary when Harry Potter and Dumbledore had told them who the young french witch had said tried to imperius her. He had to admit that she had acted just as they had predicted."Well..." He vacillated.

"See if this helps you decide," Amelia said. She held up her own wand and placed its tip to the tip of Umbridge's and said. "Prior Incantato," From the tip of Dolores' wand rose a ghostly image that was clearly Gabrielle, and then another also of Gabrielle. "Stunner and Imperius Minister; both on the young witch. You yourself saw her reaction. She was ready to hide her crime by killing the young lady immediately."

"That wasn't me...I mean..." Dolores looked around wildly as she realized she'd been caught. "I must have been imperiused to do it...yes I'm starting to remember. It must be wearing off. It was that Blo...Weasley...Percy he imperiused me. He wants my job."

Amelia Bones smiled to herself before she continued. "So you're saying Mr. Weasley imperiused you and made you imperius someone else to commit murder."

"Yes...of course," Umbridge sputtered. "Cornelius, you have to believe I'd never do anything like this."

The head of the DMLE looked over at Tonks and said. "Can you please go find Percy Weasley and his father? There will be one other gentleman who'll want to come, please let him."

"Yes ma'am," Tonks replied and hurried off.

"When do you think he imperiused you Dolores," Amelia asked when she turned back.

"Right after I fired him of course..." Dolores said. "Yes...I remember coming out of that room and then... I saw him and then ...he did it."

"So just a few minutes ago?"

"YES! That's what I said," Umbridge said regaining her confidence. "Now arrest him and let's get this trial started."

Several other Aurors had joined their boss including the head of the Aurors Rufus Scrimgeour. As they waited for Tonks to return, the noise in the courtroom was growing louder and louder. Finally after five minutes Tonks returned with the two red-headed men and the other gentleman Harry had seen in the elevator earlier.

"Percy Weasley you've been accused of performing an Unforgivable on the Senior Undersecretary," Amelia said. "May I see your wand?"

Percy pulled a wand from his robe and handed it over. Amelia handed it to the head of the Aurors and said. "Rufus, first can you search Percy to insure he has no other wands on him and then check the last spell on this wand?"

Scrimgeour did both a magical search and then a physical search as well. He looked at Bones and shook his head. He then touched the tip of his wand to Percy's wand and said the correct spell. Nothing happened. He tried once again and frowned in confusion when again no spells were detected. "Uh...he must have charmed it somehow..."

"No, he didn't," Amelia replied. She turned to the gentleman who was with Percy and Arthur and she raised her own wand. "Finite Incantatum" She said and his features started to change.

"Gawain?" Kingsley asked the man when it became apparent who it was. "What are you doing?"

"Doing a special task for me," Bones replied. "Has Percy Weasley been out of your sight?" She asked Gawain Robards.

"Only when Madam Umbridge took him into the Wizengamot Chamber," He replied. "I couldn't follow them there."

"So you were with him when he came out after being fired?"

"Yes ma'am."

"Did he, at any time, cast a spell on Madam Umbridge?"

"No Ma'am."

She reached into another pocket of her robes and produced another wand as she turned to look at Dolores Umbridge. "This is Percy Weasley's wand. He's been carrying a fake wand all evening. That's why it's not responding to Rufus' spell," She looked at Cornelius Fudge. "Earlier today I had suspicions of young Mr. Percy, but someone presented an argument that he might be a pawn in a larger endeavor, so I set a trap in case it was true. I took Mr. Weasley's wand and made sure he was followed at all times. He could not have imperiused anyone. Minister," Amelia turned to Fudge. "Your Senior Undersecretary is lying."

Dolores Umbridge's jaw dropped as she tried to speak.

"Minister?" Amelia asked again.

Fudge took a deep breath and replied. "By executive power, I give you the authority to administer Veritaserum on Dolores Jane Umbridge at your convenience to determine her guilt or innocence in the events that have transpired."

"NO!" Umbridge spat. "You can't do that to me. I didn't do anything wrong. I mean she's only a creature not some..." She shut her mouth when she found Harry Potter's wand in her face and a glare that started deep in his green eyes.

'You will never speak of my..."

"Mr. Potter, put your wand away," Amelia Bones demanded. "I do not want to have to arrest you."

Fleur and Gabrielle both put their hands on his arm and tried to pull it down. "Er opinion means nothing love," Gabrielle said.

Harry slowly lowered his wand but kept glaring at the toad-like woman.

"Sir we have a full Wizengamot present, may I question her here and now?" Bones asked. "It won't take very long I don't believe."

Fudge could only nod in disbelief at what he'd just witnessed washed over him.

"Cornelius?" Umbridge asked in her own disbelief.

"Dolores Umbridge, regardless of the results of your questioning you are hereby fired from the position of Senior Undersecretary and Department Head of Magical Cooperation," Fudge said as his eyes took on a hard edge. "Madam Bones you may do the questioning now."

"NO!" Umbridge shouted as she realized she was indeed going to be questioned right then. She looked around wildly and then tried to bolt.

Hermione was standing watching what was happening and as Umbridge moved down the steps, she stuck her foot out and tripped her. The toad faced woman tumbled down the stone steps until she was sprawled on the floor of the courtroom.

"Stun me will you," Tonks muttered as she bound Umbridge. "Either walk or be levitated...either way you're going to that chair." She nodded toward the chair of the accused.

"Cornelius!" Umbridge cried out again, but the Minister of Magic refused to even look at her. She then tried to call out to other political allies, each of whom, like Fudge refused to acknowledge her.

"Levitate it is then," Tonks said. "Mobilicorpus," She said and Umbridge lifted in the air. She moved the toad woman over the chair and released the spell a little before she should have causing Umbridge to hit the chair with a solid thump. "Sorry...Ma'am." Tonks said as she watched the chains snake over the woman's body.

"Administer the truth serum," Amelia said.

"NO!" Umbridge shouted and tried to fight the Aurors. Finally they managed to get the three drops into her mouth and she ceased fighting as her features slackened and her eyes became unfocused.

"What is your name?"

"Dolores Jane Umbridge."

"Did you attempt to imperius Gabrielle Delacour?"



"I needed Harry Potter out of the way and having her kill him would have allowed me to get her kind controlled like they should be."

The uproar from the crowd was deafening. Dumbledore called for quiet.

"Were you yourself imperiused to do this?"


"Did your ask Percy Weasley to get the security plans for tonight?"



"I needed to know how to get close enough to the creature to imperius her and then make sure I could sit close enough to kill her once she killed Harry Potter," Umbridge said with no emotions. "By having the Blood Traitor do it I could blame him if something went wrong since he was already a disgrace to the Ministry."

Amelia looked over at Percy who was standing next to his father. She watched Arthur put his hand on Percy's shoulder and give it a fatherly squeeze. She added her own nod of support to the young man before she turned her gaze back to the Wizengamot and Dumbledore. "I believe that should be sufficient."

"Administer the antidote please," Dumbledore said. Once the antidote had been given to Umbridge he continued. "Dolores Umbridge; under truth serum you have confessed to the attempted use of an Unforgivable and attempted murder. Do you have anything to say in your defense?"

"She's only a dark creature out to control people. Potter's only an attention-seeking brat," She spat as she struggled against the chains that held her. "They're trying to destroy our traditions and the lives of honest witches and wizards. I did what I did to save our society. Can't you see that?"

"Witches and Wizards of the Wizengamot," Dumbledore said when Umbridge had finished. "You have heard a full confession by Dolores Umbridge and she has no remorse for her actions. By our laws, the use of, or even attempted use of an unforgivable against an unwilling person is an automatic life sentence in Azkaban. Does anyone here believe there are any reason that could justify the use of the curse in this case or agree with her reasons for using it?"

Every Wizengamot member could feel the eyes of the people in the seats surround the courtroom watching them. A chant started from the seats. "Azkaban, Azkaban..." Soon it had spread to the entire courtroom. Not even the closest supporters of Umbridge dared raise their wand in her support.

"Then I request a vote to sentence Dolores Umbridge to a lifetime in Azkaban," Dumbledore said after asking for calm in the courtroom. Amelia's wand was first in the air, hers was followed quickly by several others, Minister Fudge's was one of the last to be raised, but within a minute the vote was unanimous.

"Dolores Jane Umbridge, you are hereby sentenced to a life term in Azkaban," Dumbledore said to the witch who was struggling against the chains of the chair. "Aurors please remove her from the courtroom," He then again addressed the courtroom at large. "Peter Pettigrew's trial will start momentarily."

It was another fifteen minutes before the doors opened and the small balding, beady eyed man with a missing hand was levitated in in by a team of Aurors. It was obvious the man was unconscious. Behind them was the clump, clump of the wooden leg of Mad-eye Moody. He had taken it as his personal mission to ensure this man made it to the trial without escaping. Above all else he hated traitors.

"He tried to change into his animagus form when we opened his cell," The lead Auror explained. "We had to stun him," Pettigrew was placed in the chair and once the chains had magically secured him he was revived.

"Peter Pettigrew, you have been brought before the Wizengamot to be tried on several charges," Dumbledore started. "You are charged with the deaths of twelve muggles on the second of November ninety eighty-one. You are also charged with the betrayal of James and Lily Potter leading to their deaths at the hands of Lord Voldemort," A gasp ran through the courtroom as the name was said, "you also are charged with the aiding in the kidnapping of Harry James Potter and his attempted murder by Lord Voldemort, and finally you are charged with treason to the British magical society by aiding the return of Lord Voldemort by use of a Dark Ritual. To each of these charges you have confessed in a private interrogation. How do you plead to these charges at this time?"

Pettigrew now looked like a rat caught in a spotlight. He was frozen in place and shivering as he stared blankly ahead with his beady eyes.

After a few seconds Dumbledore continued. "Very well, we will proceed with a new interrogation under Veritaserum."

The questioning of Pettigrew took fifteen minutes but finally it was over. He had once again told of his being the Secret Keeper for the Potters, of his betraying them to Voldemort, of his encounter with Sirius Black afterwards, of his hiding as a rat for twelve years and finally of his seeking out and helping Voldemort in his return.

"Witches and Wizards of the Wizengamot," Dumbledore said. "You have heard the confession of Peter Pettigrew for the actions he was charged with. I shall first call for a vote to decide his guilt or innocence. Please raise your wands if you consider Peter Pettigrew to be guilty of the crimes against the magical and muggle societies with which he is charged."

The vote was again unanimous as every wand rose in unison.

"I call now for a vote to send Peter Pettigrew to Azkaban for the rest of his..."

"Chief Warlock.." Cornelius Fudge spoke up.

Dumbledore sighed. He knew what was coming and didn't think he could prevent it. "Yes Minister?"

"I personally feel the crimes this man has committed deserve more punishment than Azkaban. I call for a vote to have Peter Pettigrew subjected to the Dementor's Kiss."

From the crowds the chant rose, "Kiss, Kiss, Kiss..." Dumbledore was about to call for the vote that he had wished to avoid when another voice spoke.

"Sir, may I speak?"

Dumbledore looked over at the voice and found himself looking at Harry Potter. The young man had risen from his seat and was waiting for Dumbledore to answer. He stared at the young man trying to determine what he might want to say, but then replied. "You may," At those words the entire courtroom fell silent.

Pettigrew instantly started pleading. "Oh kind Harry, I knew you were just like..." An Auror beside him sent a silencing charm which ended the pleading.

Harry looked at the man who was his father's friend. "I gave you your life last year," He told the man. "And once again you ran to your master and caused more deaths. Last year I would have pleaded for your life," Harry stopped and sighed as he glanced around the large courtroom. He felt a bit exposed as every eye was currently looking at him. Harry collected himself and then continued. "Peter Pettigrew did not just betray my parents, he betrayed this entire country including each and everyone of you. By bringing Voldemort.." Again the crowd gasped when Harry used the Dark Lord's name, "It's just a name; a silly made up name in fact."

Harry laughed when Fleur told him what it meant in French. "Sorry, but his name is a little less frightful in french, do you know his name means in that language? It means 'Flight from Death'," Harry had lost his nervousness now. "Tom Marvolo Riddle is his real name. He shares the muggle name of his muggle father," Another clatter arose around the courtroom but Harry kept up his speech. "Yes he is a half-blood, but this isn't about him, it's about Pettigrew. That man," Harry pointed at Pettigrew, "betrayed us all when he brought back Voldemort. Every death that happens because of that night he will share in the responsibility. For each of those lives Pettigrew needs to be held accountable," Harry looked at Dumbledore and shook his head slightly. "I disagree with both Albus Dumbledore and the Minister in regards to Pettigrew. He should not be in Azkaban reminding the survivors of the victims on a daily basis of his crimes, he needs to be in a cold unmarked grave. But...but having almost been kissed myself last year by a Dementor, I don't believe anyone should suffer that fate. Does not the Ministry have a method for taking a man's life without feeding creatures that only cause despair?" Harry looked over at Remus who was staring back at him, and a final thought came to mind. He turned to the Wizengamot. "Besides, if Pettigrew's soul were to make it to an afterlife, would any of you want to prevent my parents from being able to kick the hell out of him when it does?" The last comment brought forth laughter from several of the people.

Dumbledore studied Harry for a few seconds. Though he hated the idea of death to any man, he felt Harry had struck a balance that fit the situation; justice without unnecessary cruelty. "There are three options of punishment it seems," He said as he addressed the Wizengamot, "life in Azkaban, Dementor's Kiss or the Veil. Those in favor of the Veil as requested by Harry Potter please raise your wands at this time."

Three quarters of the wand rose within ten seconds.

"So be it," Dumbledore said. "Peter Pettigrew, for your crimes you are sentenced to death by Veil at the earliest possible time."

"What's the veil?" Harry asked Remus.

"There is a device in the Department of Mysteries that instantly kills anyone passing through it. Even the body is destroyed," Remus explained. "It's a very humane way to kill someone."

Harry nodded as he watched the man who had betrayed his parents struggling against the Aurors as he was removed from his seat, once again he tried to change into his animagus form only to be stunned by Moody.

"Is there further business for the Wizengamot?" Dumbledore asked.

"Minister?" Harry called to Cornelius Fudge. "What about my Godfather?"

Minister Fudge had suffered a heavy blow politically from the unexpected trial and conviction of his Senior Undersecretary but he knew the first rule of politics very well. That rule simply states that basically the last opinion formed by the people is the one that will be remembered. In this case he wanted the people leaving the courtroom to associate his Ministry with Harry Potter rather than Dolores Umbridge.

"Chief Warlock, I would like the address the courtroom," Fudge said as he rose to his feet.

"Of course Minister," Dumbledore said.

When Alain Delacour nudged Harry, he sighed but knew what he had to do. He left his seat and walked over and stood next to the Minister of Magic.

"In light of the testimony of Peter Pettigrew, I hereby declare that Sirius Black is innocent of all charges," Minister Fudge announced. "I instruct the Department of Magical Law Enforcement to immediately cease any actions in searching for Mr. Black. All legal blocks to his accounts are to be removed and any property confiscated in the investigation is to be returned immediately to its rightful owner," He almost had a pleading look as he turned to Harry.

"Thank you sir. I know the you were only looking out for the public's and my own safety in your attempts to capture my Godfather," Harry said. "He was not sent to Azkaban without a trial under your Ministry," Harry remembered what Amelia Bones had said earlier and he continued. "Even if he had been tried, the evidence in lieu of Pettigrew's capture and confession was convincing. I am glad the Ministry can now put this behind them and work on the goal of eliminating the threat of Voldemort," At a mental nudge from Fleur, Harry offered his hand to the Minister. The *POP* of flashbulbs almost blinded him as the moment was caught for the next day's Daily Prophet.

*** E E ***

When Percy had been cleared of the accusations made by Dolores Umbridge, he and his father had returned to their seats where Bill and Molly were waiting for them. After both trials had ended they had left for the Burrow. She at once started complaining about Gabrielle and Veelas until her husband rounded on her.

"Molly you are just as bad as Umbridge," Arthur said.

"WHAT?" She exclaimed. "What do you mean? I'm nothing like that woman."

"She considers Veelas creatures and that is basically what you've been doing," Arthur said. "You are classifying an entire race of people based purely off of a trait and the antics of a few. What do you know of Gabrielle? What do you know of the young lady who had to fight against being imperiused? Someone was trying to use her to kill Harry but it didn't work because according to one person I overheard her love for him allowed her to fight it. Now if you mention one more bad thing about Veelas you can sleep in your kitchen," Arthur turned and left the kitchen.

At first Molly started packing the stuff from her kitchen she'd plan to take to Grimmauld place, but as she did, she saw the book Ginny had given to her several days earlier. With her husband's words still ringing in her ears, she picked it up and thumbed to the first page. Two hours later her husband found her sitting at the table still reading.

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