AoC 56

Harry Potter and the Ashes of Chaos

Year 3: The Blackest of Truths

Chapter 2: A Day of Reckoning

By ACI100

Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction based on the Harry Potter universe. All recognizable characters, plots and settings are the exclusive property of J.K Rowling. I make no claim to ownership.

Acknowledgement: Thank you as always to my editor Fezzik, as well as my other betas Luq707, Athena Hope, Yoshi89, and Raven0900 for their incredible work on this story.

Self-Promotion: I have a discord server where you can chat and read all of my chapters early. If you would like to join, simply copy the link on my profile. If you would like to dive further into the AoCverse, you can check out the story’s ever-expanding web presence by following the other links on my profile. You can do likewise to follow me on Twitter for live updates and to check out my official website.

If you enjoy this story and would like to support me directly, I now have a P*T*E*N page! You are by no means obligated to support me, but for those generous enough to do so, you will be receiving Patron-exclusive benefits and getting chapters even earlier than Discord!

Harry Potter and the Ashes of Chaos

By ACI100

Year 3: The Blackest of Truths

Chapter 2: A Day of Reckoning

July 4, 1993

Weitts Manor

7:32 AM

Early morning rays of sunlight had long since started streaming through the large window to Harry’s room at Weitts Manor by the time Hestia — the family’s house elf — popped into his quarters to inform him the family was having a rare, early breakfast.

Along with feeling relatively peeved that the sun would pick this of all days to taunt him with its vibrancy, Harry felt his stomach squirm at the idea of food. It felt to him as though a hundred angry serpents had begun coiling and uncoiling in his chest. The last thing he wanted right now was food.

Despite the assurances of his solicitor that everything would work out for the best, Harry’s confidence had begun to wane over the past number of days. When the trial had first been announced in the Daily Prophet, he hadn’t possessed much doubt as to the trial’s outcome. On paper, it appeared a whitewash. There was no real defence that Dumbledore or James could put forth. It wasn’t as though a valid justification of their actions existed, and it wasn’t as though Harry or his solicitor, Veronica Tate, could think of any way either of them could wriggle their way out of the current predicament. 

Now that the day had finally come, however, Harry found himself far less confident.

Daphne’s words about Dumbledore rang true in his mind and he had given them much more thought ever since. The man had always had his fair share of enemies — most of them being fairly powerful individuals in their own right — yet none had ever managed to bring the Chief Warlock down. Harry’s orchestrated strike on Dumbledore this past spring was probably the most damage his reputation had taken since the defeat of Grindelwald, and even that reputation could be regained if the trial ended in a manner that was favourable for the man in question. 

Harry had awoken the morning of the trial feeling more nervous than he had in a long time. The last time he had felt anything like this, it had been the Quidditch match against Charlus and the rest of the Gryffindors. He hadn’t even conducted his usual practice of going down to the library. He’d simply awoken, dressed, and sat stoically on his bed, staring at the door to his room with a vacant expression. He was sure that, in those moments, he bore a terrible resemblance to the numb, emotionless sociopaths awaiting their own criminal trial — or perhaps even execution in certain corners of the world.

Despite his reservations about the day, Harry slowly made his way down to the dining table. The whole family — plus the Greengrasses were already there waiting for him. Even Grace wasn’t absent this morning. Harry took his customary seat beside Daphne, but he didn’t reach for food.

“You should eat something,” she told him. 

He just shook his head.

“It’s going to be fine,” said Charlotte. “It’s not like they can possibly defend themselves. Your father’s broken a few of the family laws and Dumbledore hasn’t done any better. I don’t see how they could possibly have defended themselves.”

Harry shrugged. “I doubt many people could have believed Dumbledore was going to beat Grindelwald at the time, either.”

Charlotte flushed. “Well… this is different—”

“It is, but some people just know how to win. I just hope knowing isn’t going to be enough to actually make it happen.”

“It won’t be,” said Adriana. Harry peered at her curiously, rather taken aback by the certainty in her words. She had always struck him as the most reserved of the Weitts family about such things. “Charlotte is right. Dumbledore has more tricks up his sleeves than anyone, but throwing cards at a brick wall won’t do him any good.” She seemed to choose her next words very carefully. “Especially not if that brick wall decides to play some tricks of its own.”

Harry had no idea what that meant, but the odd gleam in Adriana’s eyes warned of a great many things. A great many things that he, on the whole, wasn’t sure whether he was excited for or utterly terrified to know they existed in the first place. 

With a loud pop, Hestia suddenly appeared, carrying with her that morning’s edition of the Daily Prophet. Sigmund took it with a thanks and laid it out on the table.

At which point he immediately choked on his tea and had a violent coughing fit. Adriana quirked an eyebrow and leant over to read the headline before her eyes briefly widened. “Oh dear.”

“What is it?” asked Charlotte, leaning over to get a better look for herself. Both of the Weitts parents looked visibly hesitant to allow their youngest to read the paper, but she had snatched it up before either could protest and dragged it over to her side of the table.

She gasped and with it now in range, Harry looked over at it. For the first time since waking, all thoughts of his trial were wiped clean from his mind as he read the lurid headline and took in the paper’s gory front-page imagery. 


By Rita Skeeter

“Merlin,” breathed Charlotte, open-mouthed as she stared in horrified fascination at the front page. Harry crushed his visible reaction far faster, but it was a gruesome scene to be certain. 

Beneath it, the article gave the little context which the authorities currently possessed. 

Last night, the bodies of three muggles — a family — were discovered by their authorities. As you can see in the image provided, they were not only killed, but their corpses were desecrated. Aurors did their own investigation and quickly came to the conclusion that magic was involved in this bit of brutality. 

“It was all too precise,” said one. “There’s no muggle tool we know of that could have done that in such a manner. A witch or wizard was absolutely involved.”

No one at the DMLE would provide me with any more information at this time, though they do intend to make information available as it releases. 

Some are putting this down to a simple bit of muggle hunting by one of the more radical thinkers in our society, where others are citing the brutality as linking this to something entirely different. I pride myself on my investigative journalism, but I think it only right if I allow the reader to make their own assumptions and not speculate too wildly on this occasion.

“Doesn’t that say it all,” muttered Harry. “A report so dark that not even Rita Skeeter will speculate on it.”

“Um… I don’t mean this in a disrespectful way,” prefaced Charlotte, “but why is this front-page news, exactly? Do they just think the image will get them more sales?”

The adults in the room all exchanged glances, but it was Grace who answered her little sister’s question in a way more ominous than even Harry had expected.

“Charlotte… it’s been a long time since something this brutal has happened in Magical Britain. The most famous case of something similar to this… well, it was when Voldemort first announced her presence to the world.”

Several hours later, in the Lounge of Lords…

Off of the Wizengamot’s main meeting chamber, a smaller, more hospitable one was situated. It was large but instead of featuring rows of benches and a podium, it featured comfortable armchairs and countless tables blanketed by every kind of confection one could hope for prior to a meeting with the potential to become quite monotonous. 

This was informally referred to as the Lounge of Lords, since it was the place where the lords and ladies of the Wizengamot waited before meetings and it was the place they convened during any intermission in the proceedings.

It was jam-packed on this morning and it would have been even more full had the public been permitted access. This Wizengamot meeting had been highly publicized and thus it was open to the public. It was yet another reason this lounge was so sacred to those who occupied it. It offered an escape from the often rabid crowds who flocked to the more publicized gatherings as if they were some cheap form of entertainment.

Despite the gravity of the meeting, most in the lounge were actually quite relaxed. The more personal business of the day didn’t concern most of them, and the repealing of the designated clause within the Hogwarts Charter was, by this point, a mere formality.

This was not the case for everyone, though.

At one of the tables, a man with messy black hair and distinctive glasses sat alongside his temporary solicitor; who had been granted access into the lounge due to his inclusion in the day’s affairs. This man wore the standard, plum-coloured robes expected for this meeting, but he was constantly tousling them as he was so fidgety.

“Relax, James,” said Peter, who would be serving as his solicitor today. 

Peter had toyed with the idea of becoming a solicitor full time before James and Sirius had convinced him to instead join the DMLE, at which point he quickly fell into the field of detective work. He hadn’t gone overly far into the process of becoming a solicitor, but he was a quick study and had been looking into the craft for a number of years, even whilst at Hogwarts. That, mixed with James’s unconditional trust and loyalty, was enough to earn Peter a spot as his friend’s solicitor any time the matter arose — even though he absolutely was not qualified to fill such a position.

Not that qualifications were everything.

Peter had represented James in court before. He had done so during the ongoing dispute over the Boy-Who-Lived children’s books years earlier and they had won. That specific case had actually been quite black and white, but it had earned him James’s trust in such affairs. Dumbledore had been more reluctant to allow Peter to speak for him and he would instead be representing himself. He’d offered to do the same for James, but the Lord Potter had chosen his oldest friend for the position.

“How am I supposed to relax?” James asked through gritted teeth. “I might be about to lose guardianship of my heir, not to mention money or whatever else he’s after.”

“I’m sure the court will be agreeable,” said Peter with a charming smile. “The actions might not be on our side, but I’m sure when they hear your justification, all will be fine in the end.”

James wasn’t so sure. Least of all when it was so clear his son and heir had been planning this for months before any of them had become aware of it. He had given himself ample time to prepare while handicapping James’s side. It was remarkably Slytherin. James supposed that shouldn’t have surprised him, but it was still an odd thought when it pertained to anyone with the surname Potter. 

“It’s all about explaining things, James,” said Peter. “It’s not always about what happened. Sometimes, the court just needs to be… enlightened on certain things. It can… really give them a new perspective.”

James wasn’t at all sure how to answer that, but he didn’t need to. 

A deep gong had rang through both their chamber and the one they were about to enter. It signified the start of the meeting and that all gathered in the Lounge of Lords needed to make their way into the main, Wizengamot chamber.

James clambered to his feet with his eyes forcefully looking towards the ground. He was tense and pale and it was only through an admirable amount of self-restraint that he wasn’t shaking. He felt as though he would vomit at any moment and the closer he drew to the massive doors leading into the primary chamber, the more he felt like he was being led to his execution.

He was so self-absorbed with perilous thoughts and physically painful emotions that he failed to notice the way his solicitor’s eyes gleamed. Especially when they met a pair of deep blue ones belonging to an angelic, yet older looking man with golden-blond hair.

The two of them shared a nod before Peter — being near the front of the queue — walked through the massive doors with a reassuring hand on his best friend’s shoulder. 

Meanwhile, in the Wizengamot’s primary chamber…

Harry’s heart was beating faster and faster as the time ticked closer and closer to the meeting’s opening. 

He was waiting in the visitors’ section of the stands, his solicitor sitting beside him. Their business wasn’t actually going to be the first thing covered during today’s meeting, nor was it the sole reason the meeting had been called. They were simply another mark on the docket, in the grand scheme of things, so they would take centre stage when their time came.

Harry spent much of the time waiting just looking around the room. In theory, he would be sitting in this room one day, representing House Potter and its interests. It was a surreal feeling to be here for the first time; especially as a Slytherin — a house so driven by politics.

He nearly jumped a foot into the air when a resounding gong rang through the chamber, sending powerful vibrations up his spine and causing a rattling sensation in his chest.

The time had come.

One by one, the lords and ladies of the Wizengamot began marching into the room from what Harry could only assume to be an antechamber. Along with them, he saw Peter Pettigrew, who must have been his father’s solicitor. The hairs on the back of Harry’s neck stood on end. He hadn’t forgotten about his suspicions pertaining to Pettigrew that he had fleshed out with Blaise in the Speaker’s Den all those months ago. This was actually the first time Harry was forced to be in the same room with him since that instance, and the feeling he gave off was now very different from the one he remembered.

He kept his face blank even while these thoughts ravaged his mind and even when he met the eyes of not only Pettigrew, but also his father and former headmaster. 

The same former headmaster who took to the podium which dominated the floor, banging a large gavel hard against the stand to force silence from the gathered crowd. The Wizengamot themselves weren’t terribly boisterous, but the crowd of gathered spectators could politely be described as energetic.

“We must pass the motion to begin this weekly installment of the Wizengamot’s typical meetings. All in favour?” Every wand from the plum-robed figures rose into the air and lit brightly. “Very good. I officially declare the weekly Wizengamot meeting of July 4th, 1993 to be in order and under way. 

“There are three major pieces of business to take care of today. First and foremost, we have what we all hope will be the final act in the longstanding saga to repeal clause eleven of the Hogwarts Charter. I am sure we are all painfully aware by now, but for the visitors and for the sake of obligation, I will restate the clause. 

“Clause eleven of the Hogwarts Charter states that no occupying force may reside within the walls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This clause is not currently subject to any restrictions, nor are any exceptions currently written as law. The charter defines an occupying force as three or more people or beings working on an official, united front. 

“Ever since this… er, not-so-well-known clause of the charter became a hindrance to the court’s wishes during the emergency Wizengamot meeting of January 14th earlier this year, the court has voiced its wishes to repeal this particular clause. It has been a long and arduous process riddled with its complexities…”

“Not least of which being that the Headmaster of Hogwarts needs to give their approval and you wouldn’t do it when you were in power,” Tate muttered from beside Harry. He raised an eyebrow. He knew she wouldn’t answer, but he found the remark oddly surprising. She hadn’t struck him as the type to be so invested in such things.

“Nevertheless, with the blessing of the new Hogwarts Headmaster and months of work on the court’s collective parts, the clause is now just one majority vote away from being officially altered. 

“This is a matter that has been gone over in great detail and the proposition stands as thus. Clause eleven of the Hogwarts Charter will stand, however, its applicability is subject to a majority vote by the Wizengamot. This means that if the court sees fit, they can overrule this clause via a majority vote and grant an occupying force access onto the Hogwarts ground and even into the castle itself. Before we officially put forth the vote, are there any final objections or proposed alterations to our proposition pertaining to clause eleven?”

No one in the courtroom so much as moved.

“Very good. And with that, the vote is now in the hands of the court. All in favour of the proposed alteration?”

Wands rose into the air. It was actually closer than Harry had expected. The way Sigmund had spoken about it at Weitts Manor, the man had made it sound like a foregone conclusion. There were definitely more wands in the air than not, but the spread was not too terribly wide. It was close enough, at least, that Dumbledore did at least have to put forth the opposition’s view and have the court scribe count up the votes.

The proposition did, of course, have the majority, but it was far from unanimous. The final vote was 339-170. The Conservatives’ vote was unanimous and about three quarters of the Neutrals voted in favour. The Liberals, on the other hand, were largely opposed to the proposition, though a fair number of them had supported it. They were by far the most divided faction, and it showed by the way they were not-so-subtly glaring at each other before Dumbledore once more called for order. 

Dumbledore cleared his throat in what Harry considered to be a poor attempt at subtlety. The man was suddenly a touch fidgety and Harry knew what the next order of business was before the Chief Warlock announced it to the gathered crowd.

“Very well; the motion has passed. Let it be known that clause eleven of the Hogwarts Charter has officially been amended by the Wizengamot on July 4th, 1993.” There was a long pause. “For this next…segment of business, I will concede my position to the more than capable Minister for Magic. As a directly involved party in the latter half of these next proceedings, I cannot reside over them, nor would I ever want to risk any unintentional bias on my part. To you, Bartemius Crouch, I concede the chair.”

Dumbledore stepped down from the podium and made his way over towards where James sat with Peter. He took a seat beside the two of them and folded his hands in his lap. To most observers, Dumbledore would have looked serene and even at ease, but Harry knew better. He knew what a forced state of calm via Occlumency looked like.

When Crouch cleared his own throat, there wasn’t even an attempt at subtlety. “Our next order of business is the trial of Lord James Charlus Potter.” The room immediately erupted into muttering, which clearly displeased the Minister for Magic as he waited not-so-patiently for them to quiet. “He is being formally accused of familial negligence by his son, Heir Harry James Potter. Familial negligence — in the context of a lord and an heir — is when that lord in question knowingly puts their heir in a situation which can lead to less than ideal effects on said heir themselves. At this time, I invite all involved parties to step forward and take your places on the floor.”

Harry watched Tate stand and move forward and he watched how Pettigrew did the same from where he sat with James. Harry truly felt sick now, but he had already decided to resort to Occlumency to crush the unwanted emotions.

“Lord James Charlus Potter,” boomed Crouch. “As stated, you are being charged with familial negligence in regards to your heir. This is an offence of the Wizengamot’s familial laws and the definition was outlined in the introduction. Mister Pettigrew, how does your client plead?”

“Not guilty, sir.”

Pettigrew spoke with visible ease and confidence, but Harry could see his father on the opposite side of the stands. For however nervous Harry felt, he was at least mollified by the fact he surely couldn’t look as bad as James did in that moment. 

“Very well,” said Crouch, looking displeased by the whole thing. “Miss Tate, your opening statement, if you would.”

“Thank you, Minister,” said Tate smoothly, her expression perfectly impassive. “We are here today to see justice served for James Potter’s transgressions, as the Minister has already laid out. Both myself and my client believe that James Potter has knowingly violated the familial laws pertaining to negligence due to his treatment of his heir over the years.

“Specifically, Lord Potter knowingly and willingly sent his heir to live with a muggle family who was connected to his heir by blood through his mother’s side. He did so knowing full well that his wife’s sister was not only envious of her sister’s magical abilities, but spiteful of their existence. He did so knowing full well that the family in question had stated, in no uncertain terms, that they wanted nothing to do with the Potters under any circumstances. 

“Yet despite knowing all of this and even though he was both physically and mentally capable of taking on Harry himself — not to mention the existence of numerous other candidates who could and would have taken his heir in — James Potter had his heir sent to live with this family, where he resided until the beginning of his first year at Hogwarts.”

Muttering was filling the court now more than ever. It was low and quiet, but it was persistent. Like the constant drone of traffic heard from the interior of an apartment on the side of the motorway. 

Crouch silenced the crowd with nothing more than a glare and signalled for Tate to continue.

“Along with keeping his heir completely ignorant of not only his role in society, but of that wider society itself being a potential violation of the clauses pertaining to familial negligence, Lord Potter left his heir to a household in which he was not only neglected, but actively abused by the muggles we have spoken of.”

There was no muttering now, but the oppressive silence said a thousand words. It was as though someone had died in the courtroom. The atmosphere was heavy, morbid, and filled with utter hatred and disgust from at least the Conservative faction — who made up nearly half of the Wizengamot on their own. Most of the Neutrals seemed to be in a similar state; Harry noticed that both the Weitts and Greengrass representatives looked absolutely furious.

“Worse still,” continued Tate, “after his son and heir made him aware of his poor treatment at the hands of his relatives, Lord Potter would again send his heir back to the same family after his first year at Hogwarts.”

The muttering was definitely growing louder now. 

“For all of these reasons, my client and I believe that Lord James Charlus Potter is guilty of all charges and that he should atone for the crimes he has committed. During this trial, it is our intention to show not only the drastic effects this had on his heir’s life, but also that all of this was done both knowingly and deliberately. By the end of today’s proceedings, it is our hope that Lord James Potter’s claim to guardianship over his heir will be revoked. We will, of course, make no attempt at weakening his position as the house’s lord, nor any of the powers he may hold over his heir in direct relation to family affairs. We do, however, remind the court that guardianship does not fall under this particular categorization.”

Tate took her seat and Crouch spoke at once, not giving the audience — the visitors’ section, in particular — an opportunity to hijack the trial.

“Your own statement, Mr. Pettigrew.”

“Thank you, Minister,” said Pettigrew as he stood to his feet, brushing off imaginary dust from his robes as he straightened his posture and prepared to address the gathered crowd.

It was not an enviable position.

They were already glaring down at James and, by extension, Pettigrew. They were quiet, but it was clear their silence was given with great reluctance. Probably because none of them wanted to be thrown out of the courtroom during such a juicy trial. Rita Skeeter in particular was on the edge of her seat, sucking on the end of a lime-green quill as she eyed Pettigrew like a bird of prey.

Harry might have actually felt bad for the man had he not had his suspicions about him. There was also the small inconvenience posed by the fact that Pettigrew’s mere presence here fundamentally opposed Harry’s own objective.

“There is of course no counter to the claims that these events did indeed take place,” said Peter. “However, I think you will all be aware that a person cannot be convicted of a crime they were not deemed mentally responsible for. At the time Lord Potter’s heir was sent to live with his muggle relatives, the lord himself was suffering great mental damages as a result of the aftermath of Samhain, 1981. At the time Heir Potter was sent back to Privet Drive at the end of his first year, Lord Potter had just seen both of his sons in the hospital wing and one of them was close to death. 

“In short, it is the belief of myself and my client that Lord Potter cannot be held mentally responsible for his actions, and it is this fact we will seek to prove.”

“What is his game?” Tate muttered from beside Harry, and he couldn’t help but agree.

There was no way that defence would work. It would almost definitely minimize the repercussions, since it would, potentially, account for the two most major violations. On that front, Harry supposed it was clever, but it wasn’t going to explain the ten years he spent there or why James never had second thoughts. By claiming the defence, Pettigrew was basically conceding from the onset and just hoping to minimize the damage.

Something about that seemed off to Harry.

Pettigrew didn’t strike him as the man to concede when backed into a corner. He reminded Harry of an animal at times. One that, when cornered, would lash out with everything he had. 

This strategy on his part did not at all fit that categorization, and Harry wasn’t sure how he felt about it, all things told. 

“Thank you, Mr. Pettigrew,” said Crouch. “If the prosecuting solicitor would like to begin her direct examinations?”

“Thank you, Minister,” said Tate, taking centre stage once more. “The first witness I would like to call upon is a well-respected member of this governing body and he has been for some time. Firstly, I would like to call upon Lord Cyrus Greengrass.”

Harry had been briefed on the plan already, so this came as no surprise to him. Many others in the room were obviously taken aback, however. He saw Dumbledore in particular eyeing Cyrus with great suspicion, and Harry couldn’t help but wonder whether or not Dumbledore suspected him of staying with the Greengrass family. It would make sense, but he obviously hadn’t found any evidence supporting the fact last summer or he would have made a move. Obviously, he would never find that evidence, since he had never resided at Greengrass Manor.

Before the questioning began, Lord Greengrass first swore an oath that he would tell only the truth and that he would make no attempts to deceive the court. This wasn’t fool-proof, by any means. Somebody couldn’t swear an oath in court that they were telling the truth. An oath only enforced one to tell what they believed the truth to be. They had fallen out of fashion over the centuries, and this one was more for the sake of formality as opposed to anything else. 

“Lord Greengrass,” Tate began when the man took a seat across from her. He was doing an admirable job of ignoring the stares of the crowd. He was completely composed and looked as though he was doing nothing more strenuous than sipping tea at his dining-room table. Harry had to admire that, at the very least. “Can you tell me what happened on the night of July 17th, 1992?”

To most in the room, the date would have seemed oddly specific and generally innocuous. To Harry, it was anything but. That specific date was one he would likely have remembered even without his gift for doing just that; for it was the final night he had ever spent inside the home of Vernon and Petunia Dursley.

“Well,” said Cyrus, “I think I should give some background before I do that. My daughter and heiress is not only in the same year and house as Heir Potter, but they are also very close. For the first month or so of summer after their first years, my daughter wrote to Heir Potter almost daily and never once received a reply. She took the issue to my wife some days before the night you mentioned, and we all agreed that something seemed wrong. Especially after certain… observations that our daughter shared.”

“Can you tell us any of these observations your daughter made?”

“She told us that Heir Potter didn’t like talking about his home life, or much about anything before his first year at Hogwarts. According to her, he would even go as far as to change the subject. He also seemed uninformed about certain things someone of his status should know and what he was aware of seemed very textbook, as if he had only ever learned about it through reading. The most worrying though, at least for my wife and I, was the fact that he, according to my daughter, viscerally reacted to most forms of physical contact.”

“Thank you for the additional information, Lord Greengrass. Please continue with your original answer.”

Tate spoke over the crowd in anticipation of more muttering. It hadn’t come, but an angry sort of silence had, and there was no shortage of rustling and fidgeting; particularly from those flying the banner of the Liberals.

“Yes, well, as I said, my wife and I were concerned and we thought Daphne’s suspicions about his relatives making trouble might carry some weight. Heir Potter had given her enough information to work out his home address, so we paid them a visit.

“The first thing we noticed was that there were no pictures of Heir Potter anywhere in the home. The muggles didn’t even mention him. They went as far as to tell us that the only child living in the house at all was their own son; a detestable boy who spent most of the night leering at my eldest daughter. 

“When Heir Potter did eventually make his presence known, it enraged his uncle. The man even attacked him. He pinned him up against the wall by his throat and looked as though he might strangle him before we took care of things. We had seen more than enough and decided it was time to remove Heir Potter from his home. He did not stay with us that summer, but we were the ones who finally thought enough was enough.”

This last bit was added mostly so that James couldn’t try and retroactively make accusations of kidnapping his heir. Not that it seemed he would be in any position to, but one could never be too careful.

“Thank you, Lord Greengrass.” Tate looked up towards Crouch. “That is the only question I had for this particular witness, Minister.”

“Thank you, Miss Tate. Mr. Pettigrew, do you wish to cross examine this witness via the asking of any of your own questions?”

Pettigrew’s expression remained completely blank as he answered in a perfectly modulated tone of voice. “No, Minister; I have nothing to ask.”

“Very well. Miss Tate, you may call upon your next witness.”

“Thank you, Minister. With the already expressed permission of her mother, father, and the lord of her house, I would like to call upon Charlotte Weitts; the youngest member of the House of Weitts.”

If the questioning of Lord Greengrass had served as a surprise to many in the court, the inclusion of Charlotte — a twelve-year-old girl — in the trial clearly baffled many watching. 

But not for long. 

“Miss Weitts, you’ve mentioned to me when we’ve spoken that it was relatively obvious that Heir Potter not only had never been to his family home, but that he seemed largely ignorant of the magical world as a whole. Can you explain how you came to these assumptions?”

“Well, the first part is easy, ma’am. He seemed surprised by a lot of the things that are typically in ancestral family homes. Simple things like crests and mottos, and slightly more complicated things like passages that only the family usually know about. It was obvious he had never been to Potter Manor — even before he told me — which I found odd, since he was already eleven at the time.”

“And the ignorance in regards to the magical world?”

“Harry did a great job of catching up on everything he could. He read up on wizarding culture and etiquette, so he could have fooled most people who just casually spoke with him that he grew up in the world, but there were some things he just didn’t understand that he should have. How the Trace works is one example. It was something that actually really confused him, and I had to explain how it works and how it was enforced. If he grew up with his father, I’m sure he would have known something like that. 

“There are other things, too. During the gala we held on Samhain of 1991 — the same one when the conversation about the Trace happened — the event sort of fell apart because of an… incident. Earlier in this last school year, it came up in conversation that my family wasn’t just going to demand that everyone submit their wands to Priori Incantato and Harry seemed confused. Heiress Greengrass, Heiress Parkinson, and I had to explain to him why that would be frowned upon and the importance witches and wizards hold on their wands. It isn’t something that’s written about, but I think anyone here who grew up in the magical world would know that it’s one of the first things we learn; to never give up our wand under any circumstances unless we legally have no choice.”

“Thank you, Miss Weitts; those were the only questions I had.”

“If I may, Minister?” 

“Go on, Mr. Pettigrew.”

“Miss Weitts, when you explained these things to Heir Potter, did it take him a while to catch on, or was it like he was finding something he had just forgotten?”

Pettigrew’s angle was so desperate that Harry’s nerves — at least in regards to the trial’s outcome — actually diminished. He was actually hoping he could play it off as though he’d just forgotten something James had made him aware of years earlier.

“It took him quite a long time to understand the Trace and it took a lot of explaining. Even then, he seemed confused. Less so about the wand, but I’m still sure he didn’t know of it before. Harry also has the best memory I’ve ever seen. He can look at his timetable once on the first day of the year and never forget which classes he has on what day or time.”

“That was the only question I had,” said Peter and for the first time, Harry saw a spark of annoyance in his eyes. He felt a fair amount of satisfaction at it. He had chosen his close friends well; none of them were incompetent enough to be led into such an easy slip up. 

“Thank you, Mr. Pettigrew. Miss Weitts, you may return to the stands.” Crouch looked back at Tate. “Are there any other witnesses whom you wish to question?”

“Just one more, Minister. I would like to call forth Heir Harry Potter himself.”

Whispers swept through the court as Harry got to his feet. He felt oddly proud that his legs didn’t shake beneath him, for he could tell they wanted to so very badly. He redoubled the grip he already had on his Occlumency as he stepped forward and deftly slid into the chair opposite Tate. He remembered the way Cyrus had stayed completely impassive and been impossible to read and did his best to model not only his expression, but his posture and entire demeanour after that of Daphne’s father.

“Heir Potter,” began Tate, “where is it that you grew up?”

“Number 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey. A house in a muggle neighbourhood with my aunt and uncle on my mum’s side.”

“What was it like growing up there?”

“Horrible.” Harry clamped down even harder on his emotions as he prepared to make a revelation that would physically pain him to say aloud and in public. “I lived in a boot cupboard until Hogwarts started sending me letters. I only got my own room when I got back from Diagon Alley, and I’m pretty sure it was only because my uncle was afraid of more wizards coming back.”

“What did you know about the magical world before you got your Hogwarts letter?”

“Nothing. My relatives didn’t tell me anything about it. They actually got upset with me any time I even talked about stuff like magic. Anything with imagination involved seemed to worry them, and I was punished for it. One of the first things I can remember my aunt telling me was to never ask questions; especially if they involved my parents.”

“When was the first time you can remember talking to your father?”

“During a meeting we had in Hogsmeade in October of my first year. Until the school made me aware of the magical world, I was told that my parents had died in a car crash.”

Resounding silence filled the courtroom; silence more absolute than Harry had ever experienced. The atmosphere was palpable and the very air seemed to crackle with the waves of fury which sought to bowl straight over James Potter and anyone associated with him. For his part, the lord in question looked as though he was doing his best not to vomit, as well as meeting none of the stares which were aimed in his general direction.

“How much of what was going on at your relatives’ house did your father know prior to sending you back at the end of your first year?”

“I don’t know, exactly. I don’t think he knew that I had lived in a cupboard or about the specifics, but he knew I wasn’t treated well. It… came up during our meeting and he even promised me I would never be sent back.”

“That is all of the questions I have for Heir Potter, but there is… an additional piece of evidence this witness wishes to put forth to the court.”

“The authorized pensieve memories, I take it?”

“Yes, Minister.”

Harry watched as both James and Peter paled at that revelation. They obviously hadn’t been aware Harry had gained permission to use pensieve memories and suddenly, Harry could see that Pettigrew realized nothing he said or did was about to matter. 

Several men who had left the room upon Crouch’s words returned a minute or so later carrying a pensieve far larger than the one Harry had used at Black Manor. He didn’t have much experience with the device, but this one was the size of a basin.

“Play the memories,” authorized Crouch.

One of the wizards reached out with their wand and tapped the surface of the silvery substance within the pensieve, prompting a holographic-esque display to rise out of the surface and project the memories put forth for the entire Wizengamot to see.

They weren’t pretty.

All of the worst instances of abuse suffered at the hands of Vernon and Petunia. The sickening sound of a belt on wet skin wracked the court room just before the barks of Marge’s beast of a dog followed. A cupboard door slammed a great many times, and Petunia’s shrill voice reminding a very young Harry over and over again that questions were not permitted pierced the ears of all present.

They heard the explanation Harry had received about the way his parents had died. They saw several instances of the Dursleys snapping at him for his own imagination, and they saw the shock on his face when Hagrid had arrived to reveal the truth to him.

But still, the memories didn’t stop.

They saw the relevant components of Harry’s meeting with James in Hogsmeade, as well as the conversation at the Samhain gala Charlotte had earlier spoken of. Next up was the end of Harry’s meeting with Dumbledore at the end of his first year; the one during which the man had told him he would be returning to Privet Drive. 

On and on the memories went, leaving out nothing of relevance until, finally, they ceased, leaving the courtroom in a shocked and horrified silence. 

Then, slowly, the room came to life.

Obscenities were hurled towards James and even Dumbledore. Some members in the visitors’ section were even shouting. Crouch had to shoot off a number of fireworks from the tip of his wand before he could quell the crowd.

“We will have order!” he bellowed. “Anyone who does not cease shouting or disrupting this court will be thrown from the chambers immediately!” 

That effectively shut up the crowd. This was far too juicy for any of them to ever risk missing out on.

“Mr. Pettigrew, do you have any questions for Heir Potter?”

“No, Minister.”

“Very well. You may call upon your own witnesses then.”

Harry wondered whether or not Pettigrew might just decide to pack up the whole ordeal and just concede the case, but he didn’t. He was evidently too far in by now, and he clearly had an agenda of some kind to push. Likely the same agenda that had led him to take the rather… weak approach he had left with. An agenda that Harry had still yet to deduce.

“I would first like to call forward an old friend of James Potter and someone, as you all saw, who has been present every step of the way. I call upon Albus Dumbledore.”

Dumbledore still managed to look nonplussed by everything, even as he took his seat across from Pettigrew. It took a special kind of confidence — or a lot of prowess in Occlumency — to ignore the glares that were being levelled towards the still Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, but Dumbledore managed it.

“Describe to me, from what you observed, of Lord Potter’s mindset on the night of Samhain, 1981.”

“He was most definitely not himself,” said Dumbledore. “As I told him on that night, there is no force in this world more powerful than that of love. It can do great things, but it can also have terrible impacts on people. James loved Lily more than most people will ever love another. When she was so brutally taken from him that night, it left a profound impact. Not only was he traumatized and heartbroken, but his own self-confidence was shattered. Particularly after his valiant attempt to stop Lady Voldemort himself had failed, leading indirectly to the death of the woman who he loved so very much.

“I think in any matters pertaining to himself and his family, James’s mindset was heavily compromised. He did not trust himself to do what was best in any situation, but especially in those pertaining to his son. He was doubtlessly overwhelmed by the prospect of having to raise even one child — let alone one who was poised to become a national treasure. I have no doubts that the prospects of raising a second were more daunting than most can ever comprehend.”

“And what about at the end of his sons’ first year at Hogwarts?”

“Quite similar, I think. In many ways, I think seeing the both of them badly injured in hospital beds brought him back to the worst night of his life and brought upon him once more horrible insecurities that I do not believe he himself has even shaken.”

“Thank you, Chief Warlock. That is all the questions I have.”

“Miss Tate, any of your own?” asked Crouch.

“Yes, Minister.” She turned to Dumbledore. “How long after Samhain 1981 did it take for you to be sure Lord Potter was relatively back to normal? At least, how long did it take before the more… severe effects ran their course, in your opinion?”

“Who is to say,” mused Dumbledore. “As I have said, love is one of the strongest forces the mind can perceive. Why, our minds often fail to do just that when confronted with the realities of something so beautiful, yet so terrible. I am unsure if James ever recovered fully, but I would imagine the effects lasted for some time.”

“You mentioned they resurfaced at the end of his sons’ first year?”

“They did, yes. It was quite reminiscent of that night.”

“That’s all I have, Minister.”

“Thank you, Miss Tate. Your next witness, Mr. Pettigrew?”

Harry couldn’t help but think Pettigrew looked annoyed and he had the distinct impression — likely, he thought, via some sort of natural Legilimency — that something about this particular part of the trial hadn’t gone to plan. 

“My next witness is a squib who lived in the same neighbourhood as Heir Potter and his relatives. I now call upon Arabella Figg.”

Harry was more than a little bit surprised to see his childhood babysitter stand shakily from her spot in the visitors’ section and walk towards the seat across from Pettigrew. She was practically the opposite of how Cyrus — and how Harry hoped he — had looked. She was as white as a ghost and shaking as though she had recently been pulled from an ice-cold river. 

“Miss Figg,” began Pettigrew, “Lord Potter informed you himself that his son and heir would be living with the Dursley family, did he not?”

“That-that’s right, yes.”

“What was he like on that night? Was there anything… different about him from the few others times you’ve met him?”

“He was… shaken — badly shaken. He’s always been confident, you see. I’ve never known James Potter to be anything but sure of himself. He’s always been a leader and someone who makes the rest of us feel confident, but that night… well, he was a bit of a mess. Stuttering over his words like he couldn’t think straight, babbling about things I could hardly understand, breaking down in front of me… well, it was obvious that he wasn’t right in the head.”

Harry could tell Pettigrew wanted to ask more. He had probably planned to ask Figg about the Dursleys, but any prospect of that going well had been shattered the second Harry had shown pensieve memories. Now, the witness was far less useful than he was sure Pettigrew had planned.

“That’s all I have,” he said. To his credit, his voice betrayed none of what Harry suspected, though he was sure his assumption was correct.

“Miss Tate, any cross-examination questions?”

“Yes, Minister. Miss Figg, how many times have you met Lord Potter?”

The old woman seemed to think very deeply about that, as if remembering such a detail was causing her great mental strain. “Um… three, I think?”

Harry could see James bury his face in his hands. Even he knew that low of a number had just greatly taken away from the validity of her evaluations of his psyche.

“Were you ever asked to watch over Heir Potter at the Dursley residence?”

Harry held his breath and he could see several people in the stands fidgeting. That question had been very murky in terms of its viability. Pettigrew had technically provided a segue for Tate to use, but it wasn’t exactly a straightforward question. Pettigrew would have absolutely been within his rights to call an objection for a leading question, at which point this whole thing could have gone downhill.

Yet he didn’t.

For some unearthly reason Harry couldn’t deduce, Pettigrew stayed silent and did not pursue an avenue which could potentially change the course of the entire trial.

And that was when Harry began to put the pieces together for an odd theory that made a startling amount of sense.

Pettigrew didn’t want James to win this trial.

It was the only solution he could think of. In the beginning, he had assumed Pettigrew’s mentally compromised defence had simply been a weak attempt at minimizing the damage, but now, he thought he may have read the situation wrong.

Pettigrew was now letting something go that even Harry recognized, and it was clear from the expressions of those around the room he wasn’t alone. It was a crazy thought, but Harry wondered whether Pettigrew’s attempts at proving James’s mental instability under pressure might just be an attempt to subtly undermine his father and to set up future plans. It fit neatly in with all of his assumptions surrounding Pettigrew and the Death Eaters, and Harry was all at once convinced that was exactly what was happening.

Whether or not it was a good thing or not, he wasn’t sure. 

On the one hand, it would almost definitely mean he would win this trial — not that such a thing had looked in doubt — but on the other, he had no idea how this played into Pettigrew’s wider plan, which worried Harry more than he would care to admit.

Arabella Figg wrung her hands and suddenly wasn’t looking at anyone in the room. “I… I was, yes.”

Harry could practically feel the disgust radiating from most purebloods present as Tate sat back with the hints of a satisfied smile threatening to creep their way onto her face. 

“That was my only question, Minister.”

“Good. Any other witnesses, Mr. Pettigrew?”

“Just one more, Minister. I would like to call forth the man himself — Lord James Charlus Potter.”

James didn’t look much better than Miss Figg as he stepped forward and took his seat across from his long-time friend. He looked as though he was suffering from some kind of withdrawal; pale, sweaty, and shaking like a leaf. Harry took no real satisfaction in the image — his problem was more with Dumbledore than James — but he felt no pangs of sympathy either.

“Why was it you sent your son and heir to the Dursley’s household?” asked Peter.

“I… I don’t know,” said James. “It was the worst mistake of my life. I just… I knew I was going to have to raise Charlus and I could hardly imagine everything that was going to come with that. I… I didn’t trust myself to raise one kid. Lils was always the one who was good with that sort of thing. I just walked in, did something funny, and left. The idea of raising two kids on my own… I just… I thought Harry would be better off without me. I’d probably have sent the both of them off, but I knew Charlus couldn’t possibly be raised in the muggle world; I knew he would be too important to our culture. 

“It was just… panic. I panicked and I wasn’t thinking right. Merlin knows I didn’t think right for months after that, maybe even longer.”

“Can you ever remember feeling like you did on Samhain night of 1981?”

“That was the worst I had ever felt,” admitted James. “I… the night my parents died wasn’t far off, though. And when I saw my sons in the hospital their first year.”

“That’s all the questions I have.”

Crouch just looked towards Tate, already knowing this was one witness who she would absolutely like to cross-examine. 

“You have said already that you weren’t thinking right for months after that night — maybe even longer. That perhaps explains why you initially sent your heir to Privet Drive, but can you explain the thought process behind never retrieving him or explaining to him anything about the world he really belonged to?”

It was a clear example of another leading question, but again, Pettigrew did nothing and James seemed too far gone to even realize what was truly going on.

“I… it crossed my mind,” admitted James. “I just… I felt like he would hate me more than anything. I… couldn’t bear to think about that after losing my parents and Lily.”

Tate’s expression didn’t soften, not even by a margin. “You mentioned how you felt off for some time. Did you ever see any professional about these thoughts?”

“No,” admitted James. “I… figured I would get over it.”

“Those are all the questions I have.”

“Very well,” said Crouch. “We will take a very brief intermission while both sides prepare their final statements. Once they have been read, the Wizengamot will cast their votes.”

Harry let out a deep breath. He was by now sure of the outcome, which did alleviate a great deal of stress. There was still the trial of Dumbledore to follow, but he couldn’t see how even the old man would get out of it.

Tate made her way back to him; she had prepared statements for almost every outcome imaginable, so there was no real preparation needed now. 

“We’ve got them,” she said simply.

Harry nodded. “The leading questions were risky, but they worked.”

“I would normally never take that chance, but it’s clear Pettigrew is either incompetent, or has ulterior motives. I was very confident he wasn’t going to call me on them.”

Harry just nodded again, unwilling to voice his outlandish suspicions regarding the DMLE’s top detective. 

After five or so minutes had passed, the court was called back to order; at which point Tate made her way back to the centre of the floor.

Tate was up first, clearing her throat and drawing the undivided attention of the gathered crowd.

“As you have all seen through Heir Potter’s memories and the information presented today, Lord James Charlus Potter did indeed send his son and heir off to an abusive household not once, but twice. Neither he nor his solicitor have once mentioned the second occasion, and they offered not a single defence for it. In addition, their primary defence holds no validity. There is no professional opinion that can support Mr. Pettigrew’s claims regarding his client’s lack of capacity to act rationally. 

“I would even go as far as to respectfully question the validity of his witnesses’ opinions on the matter. Both Lord Potter and Chief Warlock Dumbledore have direct investments in this trial’s outcome, and Arabella Figg herself said she had only met Lord Potter on two other occasions. She also failed to identify what was going on at Privet Drive despite being asked to keep a close eye on the matter, which implies a lack of observational ability.

“Irregardless of the attempted defence, it fails to explain the ten years during which Heir Potter was subjected to the muggles’ neglect and abuse. Lord Potter’s justification of not wanting to alienate his son only serves to further the problem. It is an open admission in a court of law that James Potter violated his rights as Lord Potter for entirely selfish reasons with no legal justification behind them. 

“As you have both seen and heard, this negligence on his part has not only led to physical and mental damage on the part of my client, but it has also led to him being significantly disadvantaged in his position as Heir Potter. 

“It is for these reasons my client and I believe that Lord James Potter is guilty for all he is accused of and that the defence put forth by his team fails to account for the actions which they are attempting to defend.”

It was concise, but that was really all it needed to be. The trial looked like a formality by this point, so Tate needed only to remind everyone gathered exactly what they had seen.

Despite everything, Harry had to admire Pettigrew’s facade as he stood to make his own final argument. He looked completely calm despite everything. 

“I think we have done our part to make it obvious that Lord Potter was not in the right state of mind on either occasion he sent his son and heir to live with the Dursley family. The three occasions mentioned during which he was most affected were the death of his parents, Samhain 1981, and the day he saw both of his children in the hospital wing.

“This indicates a clear connection. They are all traumatic events, and Lord Potter reacted poorly to all of them, by his own admission. I don’t think it’s terribly unreasonable to link these things together. Lord Potter has a naturally hard time coping with trauma. Something that he has no control over, and something that seems to have obviously played a major part in the offences he is being accused of.

“We make no attempt to claim Lord Potter didn’t do any of these things, nor are we making any effort to take away from the effect he had on his son and heir. As he himself said, it is the thing he regrets the most. We are only justifying why Lord Potter made those choices in the first place and why we believe he should be ineligible for conviction when considering the clear inability to think rationally at the time.”

It was a good attempt, Harry thought, though he did fail to mention Tate’s points about his witnesses, and the fact that this excuse didn’t explain the ten years in between. More likely, Harry thought it was Pettigrew’s best attempt at looking as though he was trying his utmost to get his friend out of a sticky situation. On that attempt, at least, he had succeeded.

After all, he was a detective, not a solicitor. It wasn’t his fault James had chosen him over more decorated candidates. No one would likely think anything of his performance; least of all when he was battling one of the best in the business.

“Very well,” said Crouch. “It is now up to the Wizengamot’s decision. All who view Lord James Charlus Potter guilty of all he was accused of?”

Wands lit up everywhere and it was already apparent that Harry had won. The vote wasn’t unanimous — there were a number of Liberals who did not convict one of their faction’s leaders — but most everyone else in the room had raised their wands.

In the end, the vote was overwhelming, and Crouch brought his gavel down hard. “The votes have been counted. I hereby proclaim Lord James Charlus Potter guilty. Guardianship of his son and heir will officially pass to the House of Weitts and for his crimes, I hereby decree that Lord Potter forfeit two hundred thousand galleons to his son and heir by his next birthday, July 31st, 1993.”

Many in the visitors’ section were actually applauding, and many were booing a despondent James as he buried his head in his hands. It didn’t help that of all the families, Harry was being passed to one he and Dumbledore had no hope of influencing.

“The next order of business,” said Crouch, “is the trial of Albus Dumbledore.”

Obviously, the former Hogwarts Headmaster had chosen to represent himself which — after Pettigrew’s recent display — Harry thought was actually quite wise. 

Dumbledore clambered to his feet, still looking nonplussed. He reached into his pocket and pulled from it some sort of colourful confection that he unwrapped and popped into his mouth before striding forward and taking his seat in the chair, folding his hands as he peered pensively up at the Wizengamot and their visitors. It was a mark of the man’s well-known eccentricity that nobody mentioned the sweet.

“Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, you are accused of criminal malfeasance in your previous position as Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is the obligation of the Hogwarts Headmaster to alert the authorities of transgressions of the nature of what Lord Potter was just convicted of. How do you plead?”

“I will plead guilty,” said Dumbledore, taking many in the room by surprise, “but I would like to say a few words that might cast my actions into sharper relief for you all.”

“We care not for the opinion of criminals, Dumbledore.”

The voice spoke from the far side of the room and most turned so fast, they might have been electrocuted. The doors to the Lounge of Lords had silently opened, going unnoticed by all, and a figure had stepped through.

A figure who had not attended a single Wizengamot meeting since the summer of 1979.

He wore the customary plum robes of the Wizengamot, though they clashed vividly with his white hair and vibrant eyes. 

It was Lord Giaus Weitts.

Crouch technically could have called the man on interrupting a major Wizengamot meeting, but he didn’t. Even he seemed surprised to see him and it took the great Albus Dumbledore a moment to gain his composure.

“Ah, Giaus. A pleasure to see you after all these years.”

“I am afraid I cannot return the sentiment. You should know better than any that I do not consort with criminals.” 

Many in the room muttered at this. It was well-known that Giaus had received the Order of Merlin, First Class, for mysterious contributions to the allies near the tail-end of the Blood War. 

“I merely wish to speak a few words. None of them will change my current standing—”

“You wish to save face, Dumbledore. After all these years, you have still learned nothing. You wish to bury what has happened and willingly vacate your position in this very court in order to save an ounce of your reputation. I will not allow you that luxury, as it is not something you should have the right to do on your own terms, nor should it be a method with which you can rally support.

“Was burying the fact you ruined the life of one child not enough?” Dumbledore actually flinched, something that made Harry’s eyes narrow. That line had hidden depths which had gone far over his head. “Or is it two before now?” Giaus asked. “There is of course the one that ended fatally for the person involved, and there is also the one that ended fatally for the families of so many gathered in this very room.”

Muttering was everywhere now as people tried to put together exactly what was going on. Crouch looked torn, as though he wanted to jump in but he was too morbidly fascinated to do just that. He almost seemed to be in a sort of trance.

“Do not defend yourself, Dumbledore. Not in matters opposing me. Nobody has more skeletons in their closet than you, and I doubt very much you would like for me to open that closet door.”

With that, Giaus strode confidently across the room, ascended the steps and took a seat beside his regent, peering down at Dumbledore like a Roman spectator might have while watching the death of a fallen gladiator.

Crouch cleared his throat when it became apparent Dumbledore would speak no more. 

“Albus Dumbledore, you are hereby guilty of all accused charges, and I decree that you immediately forfeit your position as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot. I also decree that you pay Heir Potter the sum of fifty-thousand galleons, to be in his possession by the same date as Lord Potter’s own payment. Finally, I hereby suspend your ancestral Wizengamot seat for the duration of one year as a provisional reminder of what happens when power is abused.”

Crouch looked towards the court scribe. “Is that all on the docket for this meeting?”

“Y-y-yes, sir.”

“Very well. I hereby declare the scheduled Wizengamot meeting of July 4th, 1993 concluded.”

Everyone scrambled to their feet, though Harry did so in a dazed sort of state. It was all so much to take in; not only the emotions, but what had been said. He couldn’t help but remember Lord Weitts’s words, particularly when linking them with a seemingly baseless hatred held by a sixteen-year-old girl.

“Was burying the fact you ruined the life of one child not enough? Or is it two before now? There is of course the one that ended fatally for the person involved, and there is also the one that ended fatally for the families of so many gathered in this very room.”

“Heir Potter.”

The voice was cool, smooth, and unfamiliar. Harry looked up to see a man with golden-blond hair and dark blue eyes.

“Yes, sir?”

“I am Lord Evan Rosier of the Ancient and Most Noble House of Rosier. My daughter has spoken highly of you and I have been eager to arrange a meeting. I wonder whether or not you would be amiable to meet with the both of us this month at my family’s home?”

“I… yes, sir. It would be a pleasure.” It was the only acceptable answer in a circumstance such as this.

“Excellent. I will have Calypso send you a owl to confirm both of our schedules and we will proceed from there.”

Harry watched the man retreat with oddly mixed feelings. The Rosiers had at least some ties to the Death Eaters; Calypso’s mother had died on a raid, after all. Yet he liked Calypso, and she had been one of those to follow him down into the Chamber of Secrets. Come to think of it, their interactions had been shockingly scarce since that night.

Harry jolted back to the present when the Weitts family reached him, joined this time by their patriarch, who rested a hand on Harry’s shoulder and looked him directly in the eye.

“We shall speak soon,” said Giaus. “Remember our last, Harry Potter, and think on what was said. On the day you turn thirteen, we will have that conversation I had mentioned.” 

Giaus was walking away from them before Harry could do so much as respond, and he couldn’t help but wonder just how many significant events could happen before the afternoon was old. 

Author’s Endnote:

I am quite unsure of the trial scene, to be completely honest. This went through a horrific number of drafts, but I’m going with this one. I apologize if it wasn’t as interesting to read as I intended; as that was the thing I struggled most with.

Regardless, I hope you all enjoyed it and am glad it’s out of the way. Now, the summer can progress.

Please read and review.

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

%d bloggers like this: