Anne woke up on her birthday but there was no brother pouncing on her like there usually would be. Kreacher had laid out her clothes for the trial today, she was the only witness to the attack so she had to attend the hearing.
There was a knee length black skirt, a light blue silk blouse and a pair of nylon tights and her black high heels which she usually only wore for special occasions, but she knew they had to make a good impression today.
She got out of bed and brushed out her hair.
There was a knock at the door.
“You awake Anne?” asked Tonks who had just gotten up.
“Yeah,” she sighed.
“Do you want me to do that hair for you?”
Anne shrugged and handed Tonks the hairbrush.
Tonks brushed Anne’s hair into one long neat plait rather than her usual two braids, and then Anne got dressed checking carefully for holes in the tights as she pulled them on.
“Wow you two look four years older, you sure you’re not starting apprenticeships at the ministry?” chuckled Julian when Harry and Anne came down into the kitchen.
Harry was wearing a dark suit with a tie, Remus had even somehow managed to flatten Harry’s hair for once using copious amounts of Sleakeasys Hair Potion.
Harry gave Julian an ominous glare.
“I’d best get to work,” said Julian leaving via the flu, it was only half past six, Julian didn’t usually leave for at least an hour or two.
“Is Master Harry and Mistress Anne not hungry?” asked Kreacher when they both left their plates untouched.
“Not really no,” muttered Harry.
“Its lovely Kreacher,” assured Anne, “we’re just not very hungry.”
“We should get going,” said Arthur.
“We’ll see you both in a few hours,” said Remus.
“Whatever happens we’re going to celebrate,” said Sirius, “my kids don’t turn fifteen every day.”
Mr Weasley, Harry and Anne took the underground and stopped outside a muggle phonebox. Mr. Weasley usually apparated to work but today he was going the muggle way today because of the trial.
“Are we at the right place Mr. Weasley?” asked Harry uncertainly as they all crammed into the phone box.
“Oh yes,” said Mr Weasley as he typed out the number, 62442.
A voice appeared within the box.
“Welcome to the Ministry of Magic. Please state your name and business.”
“Um,” stuttered Mr Weasley , “Arthur Weasley, Misuse of Muggle Artefacts office, here to escort Harry and Anne Potter to a disciplinary hearing.”
“Visitors to the ministry please attach the badges to your robes.”
Anne was handed a badge saying Anne Potter, Key Witness.
The phone box suddenly began to move and they were soon in the atrium of the ministry of magic. There appeared to be a wizened old man waiting for them at the visitors entrance.
“Arthur Thank Merlin!” exclaimed the old man, “I just write to your wife I hoped it wouldn’t be too late.”
“Whatever is the matter Perkins?”
“They’ve moved the hearing, old court room ten at eight o’clock.”
“What!” shouted Mr. Weasley, “Old Court Room Ten? But it wasn’t supposed to be till ten o’clock.”
“I know but you’ve got to get going.”
“You’re right,” exclaimed Mr Weasley, “they’re starting in ten minutes.”
Mr Weasley, Harry and Anne quickly scrambled into a lift and headed down to the court rooms.
The lift stopped on several floors including a tiled floor called the Department of Ministries. They had to get off here as the lift didn’t even go as far down as the old court rooms, they ran down the stairs and reached the courtroom at second before eight o’clock.
“Good luck,” said Mr Weasley patting Harry on the back.
“Can’t you come with us?” asked Harry desperately.
“No, I’m afraid not, you’ll be fine you’ve done nothing wrong Harry.”
Harry opened the door and walked into the courtroom followed by Anne. Harry was slightly shocked this was the same room he had seen in the pensive during the deatheater trials, and the room was full of just over fifty witches and wizards looking down at them imposingly.
“Mr Potter, you are very nearly late,” snarled Fudge. It was almost as if he had wanted Harry to be late.
Harry took the seat in the middle of the room and was relieved when the chains didn’t grab his arms. Anne sat down in another chair close to Harry’s.
Anne looked around at the court, there was Fudge, an woman who was wearing a bright pink hairbow with her robes and somebody that Anne had known since she was a tiny little girl. Percy Weasley was sat next to the Minister taking the court notes!
She knew that Percy had always supported the ministry but being actively involved in trying to expel Harry?
“Disciplinary hearing of the thirty first of July, into offences committed under the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery and the International Statute of Secrecy by Harry James Potter, resident at number 12 Grimmauld Place, London.”
“Interrogators: Cornelius Oswald Fudge, Minister for Magic; Amelia Susan Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement; Dolores Jane Umbridge, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister. Court Scribe, Percy Ignatius Weasley.”
“Witness for the defence, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore,” said Dumbledore who had just popped into the court room as if out of nowhere.
“Dumbledore?” stuttered Fudge, “I see you got my message about the time and place being changed?”
“I must have missed it but fortunately I was three hours early.”
The Wizengammot were muttering and staring at Dumbledore as he sat in his chair that he had just conjured.
“Right so the charges,” stuttered Fudge who still looked slightly disconcerted.
“Mr Potter performed a patronus charm in a highly populated muggle area, on the twenty-third of July at one minute past seven, which constitutes an offence under Paragraph C of the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, 1875 and also under Section 13 of the International Confederation of Warlocks’ Statute of Secrecy.”
“You are Harry Potter of number twelve Grimmauld Place,” asked Fudge peering at Harry over his parchment.
“Did you conjure a patronus on the night of the twenty third of July?”
“Knowing that you are not permitted to use magic outside school while you are under the age of seventeen?”
“Knowing that you were in an area full of muggles?”
“Yes!” said Harry getting fed up, “I only used it because of.”
“Wait a moment,” said the woman with a monocle, “You produced a fully-fledged Patronus?”
“Yes because of the,”
“A corporeal Patronus?”
“A what?” asked Harry.
“Did it have a form Harry?” muttered Anne.
“Oh yeah, it’s a stag always a stag.”
“Always?” exclaimed Madam Bones astounded, “you have done this before now?”
“Yes!” said Harry getting impatient, “I’ve been able to do it for a year, Uncle Sirius taught me in third year.”
“Impressive, a true Patronus at your age is very impressive.”
“Shouldn’t how impressive the magic it was make it worse?” scowled Fudge.
Anne flinched at the little nod that Percy gave at this.
“I only did it because of the Dementors!” shouted Harry.
“Dementors?” asked Madam Bones, “what Dementors?”
“The two that we bumped into down that alleyway, they tried to kiss me and Anne, my sister nearly lost her soul!”
“Don’t be so ridiculous boy,” smirked Fudge, “there are no dementors in London they are all at Azkaban.”
“Dementors are a perfect cover story, muggles can’t see dementors, and you haven’t got any witnesses.”
“I’m not lying,” shouted Harry over another outbreak of muttering, “they went for me and Anne, if I hadn’t cast a Patronus my sister wouldn’t have a soul!”
“Not to mention the fact,” added Professor Dumbledore “that there actually was a witness.”
“I meant a reliable witness,” said Fudge, “one who is not a sibling of the accused, and also a witness whose mental stability is not,” he smirked for a moment, “questionable.”
“Anne’s not mad!” said Harry, “its you lot who are mad for not believing me!”
“Yes thank you Harry,” said Dumbledore gently.
“Miss Potter is not mentally unstable she is very emotional and also autistic. This means that she reacts to things worse than other people might.”
“This still doesn’t the prophetic visions she says she has, if thats not mad what is?”
“Decent ability at Divination?” offered Dumbledore, “Anne’s dream are real and they are the reason that Anne was able to kill Greyback a year ago.”
Fudge decided to let the point drop and they began to question the witness.
“Miss Potter,” began Madam Bones, “could you explain the Dementors please?”
Anne looked up at her nervously.
“Um, they were terrifying,” she stuttered, “we were walking home from getting some dinner at a local place. Suddenly it went cold, it had been a very warm summers evening. Harry and I stood still suddenly, I started to hear the screaming that I associate with Dementors.”
“Screaming?” asked Madam Bones.
“The Dementors make you remember your worst memory, which for me is,” she stopped for a moment and pulled at her plait, “my parents last moments, trying to stop Voldemort from getting to me and Harry.”
A couple of people in the court drew in a collected breath at Anne mentioning Voldemorts name.
“What happened next?”
“One of the Dementors went for me and the other for Harry. It pinned me up against the wall and I could see under its cloak. It was fleshy as if the skin had been removed from a living head.”
A couple of people shuddered again.
“It started to suck out my soul, I felt as if I would never be happy again there wasn’t any point. Just as I was about to give up, and the Dementor was about to take the last of my soul, Harry cast his Patronus, the two Dementors glided away and I got my soul back.”
“Is this what happened?” asked Madam Bones turning to Harry.
“Yeah, that’s what happened, I had to help Anne home because she was really shaken up, Uncle Remus was in the middle of giving us both chocolate when we got the letter saying that I’d been expelled.”
“What I’m confused about,” said Fudge, “I mean the odds of Dementors wondering around a crowded city like London without being noticed.”
“I don’t think it was a coincidence Minister,” said Dumbledore.
“What do you mean by that?” barked Fudge.
“That they were sent there, either by the someone at the ministry or someone else.”
“What do you mean someone else?” snarled Fudge.
“You know what I mean,” said Dumbledore calmly.
“I am certain that I would be aware if there were dementors missing from ministry control.”
“Is it possible that someone from the ministry sent them?” asked Dumbledore curiously.
“What!” screamed Fudge.
The woman in pink bow sitting next to Fudge was smiling ominously.
“Professor Dumbledore,” she simpered, “I’m sure that you must be mistaken.”
“In that case I suggest that you put an inquiry as to why two dementors are outside of ministry control.”
“We are digressing Dumbledore, it is not the behaviour if the demntors fictional or not that we are discussing today but Mr Potters actions,” said Fudge trying to regain control of the trial.
“But if the dementors were there,” explained Dumbledore, “then Harry was fighting for his and his sisters soul, if he hadn’t cast the spell neither he or his sister would be here today.”
“And what about the highly muggle populated area?” interjected Fudge.
“The alleyway was completely deserted, no muggles saw anything,” said Dumbledore.
“Yes well, that highly convenient isn’t it,” said Fudge.
“I still think that Harry Potter should be expelled,” said Fudge.
“But this is his first offence, he never even got a warning,” pointed out Dumbledore.
“I was confused as to why we were confiscating his wand after the first offence,” said Bones, “I wouldn’t have sent the letter if you hadn’t asked me to Cornelius.”
Fudge blushed slightly.
“Minister,” said Madam Bones, “as we have heard all the evidence I think the court should come to a decision.”
“Fine,” glared Fudge.
“Those in favour of clearing the accused of all charges?” asked Madam Bones.
Many wizards and witched raised their hands including Madam Bones
“And those in favour of conviction?”
About six people raised their hands including Fudge and the woman with the hair bow.
“Cleared of all charges,” spat Fudge.
The court got up and started to leave, Dumbledore left the dungeon without stopping to talk to either Harry or Anne once.