Hijacking the Kangaroo Court
Part One: Instinct
Chapter One: Hijacking the Kangaroo Court
There is a relief in losing yourself to hatred. In forgetting about the existence of that thing called mercy. In drowning yourself to the cruelty of denying forgiveness. There is a relief in these things that is seldom seen anywhere else.
It’s difficult to find such tempting forbidden fruit outside of Adam’s garden, after all.
However, Harry Potter had always found it impossible to lose himself like he watched others do. He was always aware, always knew, on an instinctual level, exactly how the things around him, both those he instigated and those he didn’t, would affect him, good or bad.
It was this knowledge that helped him get through Quirrell’s murder – he had already come to the conclusion that if he had to kill the person on the other side of that magical fire that he wouldn’t feel regret for it.
Although, whether that was because he said he had no reason to (as he and many others told him) or because he couldn’t regret killing others to begin with (which he secretly feared, despite knowing that Quirrell was already as good as dead before Harry ever laid a hand on him in the first place) was debatable.
However, this instinctual knowledge, this ability to know when to intervene, even if he didn’t know how to do so, had always been an unconscious decision...
Damn that old man, Harry thought to himself, sitting in a chair in the middle of a courtroom full of adult wizards out for his blood. A chair usually reserved for the worst criminal offenders.
Damn that old man to hell, Harry thought again, glaring at said man, one Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, as the man made no real concerted effort to do anything but throw sad glances his way and then avoid his eyes when Harry looked at him.
Harry took a deep breath, and let it, and any frustrations he had, out in a deceptively quiet exhale.
He looked down at his hands, thinking to himself. Dumbledore was here as his defense, but he wasn’t defending him. That meant he had to defend himself.
Really. Tell him something he hadn’t heard before.
Now, how to get out of this situation? Well, he supposed, the best place to start would be at what he knew regarding the laws of the Wizarding World.
Sadly, that wasn’t as much as he wished it was right now.
And what he did know wouldn’t help him at all here, while taking a kangaroo court trial for Underage Magic Use and breaking the Statute of Se...cre...cy...
Harry’s thoughts stuttered to a halt before suddenly taking off in a completely new direction. His thoughts churned, making plans, throwing out plans, debating with himself, and wondering how he knew, when the plan was finished, in all its glory within his mind, that it would work. And not just because it had to.
Because instinct is intuition, and intuition allows one to See, said a voice in the back of his mind.
Harry didn’t really notice it – he had never noticed it before, though it had always been there. This time however, instead of the voice’s whispers just fading away into his subconscious, the words were acknowledged on a slightly higher level, just below that of truly conscious awareness.
It was there, though, to be found again at a later time.
A time when he wasn’t busy with other things, like he was right now.
“Excuse me?” Harry waited to be acknowledged for a moment, before continuing on blithely. “I’m afraid that I find myself confused here. I realize what I am on trial for right now – using underage magic and the breaking of the Statute of Secrecy – but that’s what’s confusing me, to be honest. How can I have broken the Statute if my cousin, Dudley Dursley, is the only one who was in that alley with me, besides Dementors, and he is already aware of magic?”
“You are not on trial just for that, boy –“ Fudge said, his face turning red. Harry wondered, for a brief moment, if this man and his uncle were related, because the colors were disturbingly similar.
“Like I said, I’m aware of that. But, considering that most underage magic trials aren’t conducted under a full Wizengamot trial like this, I am left with the only conclusion left to me – that somehow my breaking of the Statute of Secrecy has resulted in my being, not only tried as, but apparently considered, for the second time now actually, an adult by governmental authority figures. So tell me – how did I break the Statute if the only Muggle present during my confrontation was already aware of magic before the Dementor’s and my own interference?”
“Quit with this foolish Dementor rubbish, boy! Your lies are not going to get you anywhere!” Fudge shouted in rage, spittle flying from his mouth.
Harry recoiled back into the chair, affecting more shock than he truly felt at that moment, before looking at the man as if fearful, and asking, “Are you okay, Minister Fudge? I don’t think one with a station such as yours is supposed to respond to a simple question with verbal abuse when an answer would have been sufficient.”
Fudge’s face started to turn purple in anger, but before he could continue, a voice interrupted. “Mr. Potter, you mentioned that this is the second time that you have had to deal with being considered an adult by governmental authorities – what do you mean by that?”
Harry turned to see a blonde woman with a severe face and monocle in one eye. He bowed his head respectfully in her direction, unaware that he was, in fact, following etiquette rules he knew nothing about. “You are aware that I participated, unwillingly, in the Triwizard Tournament last year?” He continued without waiting for an answer, since the question was mostly rhetorical. “At the time when I requested to be allowed to simply drop out, all of the authority figures in that room, which consisted of two foreign headmasters, the Head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports, and the Head of International Magical Cooperation, as well as the Supreme Mugwump of the ICW, Chief Warlock, and Hogwarts Headmaster, refused to allow me to, saying that I was going to have to compete in a tournament that was restricted to only those who were seventeen or older, and thereby saying that they considered me to be an adult in my own right. Is that not so?” Harry turned to look at the old man who was supposed to be defending him, only to find said man staring at him in shock and – was that dismay?
Harry’s eyes narrowed for a moment, wondering, for the first time, whether or not the old goat-fucker hadn’t been unable to defend him properly, but instead unwilling to defend him. If that was true, then that man was one hell of an actor, because those sad glances that had been thrown in his direction had been very convincing.
He was pulled back from his suspicious musings by a voice asking him a question. “What is the point that you are trying to make here, Mr. Potter?”
He turned back to see that ugly pink toad lady looking at him nastily after having spoken.
“The point?” Harry said, raising an eyebrow. “I should think the point would be obvious. You cannot put me on trial for using underage magic – not only because doing so would set a dangerous precedent, but also because I am considered, by one of the highest authorities in this country, and some significant authorities outside of it, to be an adult – therefore, I did not use underage magic, I used magic. And as for the breaking of the Statute of Secrecy, well, it can’t be any more broken than it already was, seeing as I did not perform any magic in front of anyone who did not already know about such things. I think the real question you should be asking yourselves isn’t “How can we arrest Harry Potter for doing magic?” but rather, “Why on earth was Harry Potter doing magic in a Muggle area, magic that is specifically meant to defend against Dementors?” After all, casting a corporeal patronus takes a significant amount of magical power, and, though I do not think using one would tire me out overly much, I don’t consider myself powerful enough to just be casting that spell around, willy-nilly, so to speak. Therefore, on must ask themselves – why on earth would I have wasted such a large amount of magic, if there was nothing there, hm? Or, at least, if there was nothing there according to the Ministry?”
“Are you insinuating something, Mr. Potter?” The pink toad woman hissed out angrily.
“I insinuate nothing,” Harry stated flatly. “Merely point out the facts and ask questions. Or is that now considered a crime?” He asked, raising an eyebrow. He narrowed his eyes suddenly. “If this is how the British Ministry of Magic treats its denizens, then I am ashamed to call this country home. Is this the country my parents sacrificed their lives for? Quite frankly, I see very little of worth, and I’m starting to wonder if I shouldn’t just leave you all to your fate, here and now, and Voldemort take you. After all,” and here, his eye glittered almost maliciously, “just because you refuse to look at him doesn’t mean that he isn’t after your neck.”
“Are you threatening us, Mr. Potter?!” boomed Fudge, who had grown steadily paler during Harry’s monologue before turning purple at the end of it.
“Of course not. Why on earth would any one bother to threaten you, Minister?” Harry deadpanned. “Of course I’m not threatening any of you. I was merely stating an observation.”
“And what observation is that, Mr. Potter?” asked the monocle-wearing woman.
“That evil can only flourish when good people do nothing. And right now, I see no one doing anything of consequence. After all, here we all are, dealing with my underage magic trial – for which I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience of – and yet, none of you, outside of the Head for the Department of Underage Magic, should have to deal with this trial. However,” here, Harry sighed sadly, as if to say it’s unfortunate but we have no choice – I’m in the same position as all of you, “when the Minister insists, what can us citizens do but follow? I suppose the best option right now would be to get this over and done with a minimal amount of hassle and paperwork involved in the aftermath of it. Shall we vote now?” He looked the Minister dead in the eye while sounds of approval rang around the room. His face stayed neutral, but his eyes glittered dangerously. “It seems we shall.”