A Darker World Book One: Changing Identity

Chapter 14: Wizarding Trials

Disclaimer: I do not in any way, shape or form own any recognisable characters and settings. Everything belongs to JK Rowling.

Chapter Fourteen

Wizarding Trials

A few days after the incident, Severus had to visit the Ministry for a hearing.

'This may upset you, Harry,' Severus told his son, 'but what I'm going to tell the Wizengamot will probably result in a trial for the Dursleys on a charge of child abuse.'

Harry looked at Severus blankly.

'You would be asked to testify in front of them,' Severus added.

Harry inclined his head. 'Yes, father,' he said.

Severus gave Harry a searching look before he stood and swept out of the room, seemingly satisfied with what he found.

Apparating to the Ministry, Severus made his way to courtroom 3, where they held hearings. Upon entering, Severus noted, with a sly smirk, that Fudge was heading the hearing, much to Dumbledore's annoyance.

'Severus,' Fudge said, 'please do take a seat.'

Severus eyed the hard, uncomfortable chairs before Conjuring a softer one to sit on.

Once Severus had settled himself, Fudge cleared his throat to garner everyone's attention. 'I call this hearing to order!' he called loudly. He paused and looked at his notes. 'We are here to discuss whether Potions Master Severus Snape is a worthy guardian for the Boy-Who-Lived. Professor Snape, have you anything to say that will prove your worth?'

'Indeed I do, Minister,' Severus said calmly. 'I am the boy's biological father.'

The Wizengamot started muttering amongst themselves. 'Explain!' Fudge called over the noise.

Severus inclined his head. 'Lily Evans and I were wed straight out of Hogwarts,' he said. 'We were married less than a year before I was pressured into joining the Death eaters. Because she had just found out she was pregnant, we decided it would be best to divorce. She went and married Potter for protection, which was good for him as he was sterile.'

'Professor Snape,' Amelia Bones cut in. 'Would you happen to have proof that Mr Potter is your son?'

'Like what?' Severus asked.

'Like the original birth certificate?' Bones suggested.

Severus shook his head. 'No, the original was lost when Godric's Hollow was destroyed.'

'So you have no proof?' Bones said.

'No,' Severus reluctantly admitted.

Bones looked at Dumbledore who very slightly shook his head. Bones fell silent.

'Would you be willing to submit a paternity test?' Fudge asked, anxious for Harry to stay where he was, if only for the political advantage it would give him.

'Of course,' Severus immediately agreed.

A nod to the security Auror had a medi-wizard enter the room with two vials; one was empty and the other was filled with blood.

'It's easier if you don't watch,' the medi-wizard told Severus.

He dabbed a Potion on a veiny bit of Severus's arm before producing a syringe. He gave Severus an apologetic look before plunging the needle into Severus's arm and drawing out enough blood to fill the empty vial.

Withdrawing the needle from Severus's arm, the medi-wizard performed a healing Spell and transferred the blood over to the vial.

'I've got the Potion in an ante-chamber, Minister,' the medi-wizard said nervously. 'It will take me roughly ten minutes to get the results.'

'Good man,' Fudge said.

The medi-wizard left and the Wizengamot began questioning Severus again.

'Professor Snape, are you aware to whom custody of Mr Potter will go if you lose today?' Bones asked.

'Yes,' Severus said. 'Mr and Mrs Dursley.'

'Is that acceptable for you?' Bones asked.

This was it. Severus took a deep breath. 'No,' he said simply.

Bones smirked. She had been expecting this. 'Why not?' she asked. 'Is it because they're Muggles?'

Severus had to force his jaw to relax. 'No,' he said. 'I have nothing against Muggles.'

'Then why?' Bones asked, not expecting Severus to have a valid answer.

Severus remained calm as he replied, 'Because they were abusive to my son when he previously lived with them.'

There were horrified gasps and exclamations of "No way!" and "Impossible!". Some of the witches began crying, wondering what Harry had been through.

'Order!' Fudge shouted. 'Order!'

It took a whole ten minutes to calm the courtroom down. Dumbledore frowned the entire time. By this time the medi-wizard had returned with the results of the paternity test.

'Minister?' the medi-wizard said timidly.

Fudge looked over. 'You have the results?' he asked wearily.

The medi-wizard nodded and handed over the result. Fudge studied it for a moment before looking up. 'Case dismissed,' he said with an air of finality. 'Custody of Harry Snape née Potter goes to Potions Master Severus Snape. Custody is hereby never to be challenged again due to the paternity test proving Severus Snape's claims to be true. Professor Snape, you will be sent a letter regarding your accusation of child abuse against Mr and Mrs Dursley. Court dismissed.'

Looking over at Dumbledore, Severus could see he was angry. Very angry in fact.

A/N: I know it's incredibly short but I didn't feel it necessary to make it any longer. It says everything it needs to say. I will warn you, however, that no matter what Fidge ruled in Court, Dumbledore and McGonagall will still find a way to try and take Harry from Severus and get him under their control again.

Oh my God! I can't believe there's only four more chapters left to this! It's my longest fic ever!

Thanks to iGymnast for betaing this for me.

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