Over the next several days, both Harry and Luna were very busy, and Hailey and Kieran hardly saw them at all, save for the few hurried meals they shared. They continued to have very secret meetings with various people at Hazelwood and in other unknown places. Hailey and Kieran had tried a number of different creative tricks in an effort to find out as much as they could about Harry and Luna’s business. Somehow, Harry was always one step ahead of them. After catching them outside his study with extendable ears one evening, he finally got so angry with both of them he forbade them to come downstairs while he was conducting any sort of business. The next morning, however, Harry decided to have a little chat with them.
Hailey and Kieran were having a late breakfast when Harry joined them in the kitchen.
“Good Morning,” Harry said flatly as he sat down and buttered a piece of toast. Hailey noticed that he was looking even more tired than ever, and she deduced that he must’ve had yet another long night.
“Where’s mum?” Hailey asked sourly in return. She was still annoyed with her father for scolding her the night before.
“She’s feeling a little sick this morning, so she decided to stay in bed for a bit longer,” Harry replied. “At any rate, I need to talk to the two of you about something.” He looked upset as he said those last words.
“Look, Harry, I’m really sorry about last night,” Kieran stammered, staring at his plate. “We won’t-“
“It’s not about that,” Harry said with a sigh, pushing his plate away from him and abandoning his toast. “But, I have to warn you both that I was once one of the most nosy and interfering children in the world, and so if you think of any tricks to find out things I don’t want you to know, chances are I’ve already thought of it, and so it won’t do you any good to attempt it.”
Hailey and Kieran smiled across the table at Harry, but he did not return the grin. On the contrary, he looked very uncharacteristically serious indeed. He sighed loudly before continuing.
“As you both know, the Malfoy trial is coming up in a few days,” He said grimly, his brow furrowed. “And I just found out last night that…the two of you are going to have to be there, and you might have to testify.”
Hailey felt as though the wind had been knocked out of her. For a few seconds, she couldn’t seem to catch her breath. Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy’s leering faces appeared so clearly in her mind it was though someone had pasted a moving picture of them in front of her eyes. After several moments, she looked over at her father, and saw that he was watching her with the same pained and weary expression that he has worn when she’d first seen him in Saint Mungo’s the day she woke up. Kieran, too was shaken, but his face remained stoic and unflinching, as though he had expected this.
“When will we know for certain about testifying,” Hailey asked quietly, as she tried to hide the fact that her hands were shaking. She laid her fork down on her plate and put her hands in her lap.
“I’ve been talking to Celesta Hurley, the witch who’s in charge of the investigation now, and she thinks that it’s likely that you will have to speak. I’m doing my best to find a way around that, but I won’t know anything for certain until I talk to her a little later this morning,” Harry said sadly. “I’m hoping that we might be able to take an official statement from the two of you before the hearing so you won’t have to do it in front of the entire Wizengamot.”
This news brought little comfort to Hailey and Kieran, because either way, they were going to be forced to relive the ordeal.
“Will the Malfoys be tied up, or anything,” Hailey blurted nervously, looking for the first time directly at her father. He winced once again as he got up from his chair and approached her.
“They can’t hurt either of you any more,” He said, placing his hand on Hailey’s shoulder. “I promise. I’ll be right there with you every second.”
This made Hailey feel a little better, and she tried to force a smile, but all she managed was a feeble sort of sigh.
“I don’t want you to worry,” Harry said to both of them, his eyes full of unease and understanding. He’d been through so much himself after all, that the empathy he felt for his daughter and Kieran went far beyond fatherly love and concern. “I just wanted you to be prepared for the worst, so I thought it was best that I tell you now,” he went on, staring at both of them.
“We’ll be alright,” Hailey said in an overly confident voice, trying to reassure her father. Just then, Luna appeared in the kitchen, looking even paler than usual.
“Good Morning,” She said quietly, taking her usual seat. She was still wearing her dressing gown. This was not like Luna, who generally preferred to be up and about early.
“I suppose your father has been discussing the trial with you,” Luna said frankly as she picked up a piece of toast. Seconds later she made an odd face and laid the toast aside. Harry stared at her with a soft, concerned expression. Luna smiled in reply.
“Harry was just telling us that we may have to testify,” Kieran said.
“Yes, the ministry thinks that your testimony could be crucial to getting a conviction,” Luna said in reply, “And I think it will be good for you to speak at the trial.”
Harry’s mild, affectionate expression evaporated, and Hailey could tell that he was desperate to lash out at her. But, he took a deep breath and said nothing. Personally, Hailey thought her mother was being really insensitive, and she didn’t see any benefit to being forced to relive the worst night of her life.
“Your father does not agree with me,” Luna continued, giving no indication that she had noticed her husband’s reaction. “But, I think that it will only make things worse for you if you don’t talk about what happened that night.”
“If you want to talk about it, I’ll talk, but I’d rather not have to do it in front of a hundred spectators, the Wizengamot, and the Malfoys,” Hailey uttered before she could stop herself. Even Kieran was surprised by her reply. Harry glanced sympathetically at his daughter, and shot Luna a very nasty look. But, before Luna or Harry had a chance to respond to Hailey, Mrs. McMullen bustled pleasantly into the kitchen.
“Good Morning,” Mrs. McMullen said pleasantly. “Celesta Hurley is here to see you, Harry. I asked her to wait in the study for you.”
“Thanks,” Harry replied, casting another nasty look in Luna’s direction and tossing his napkin onto the table. “Tell her I’ll be right with her.” He got up and left without another word.
“Well, that didn’t go well, did it?” Luna said blandly, taking a sip of her juice. She hadn’t eaten anything at all, and she still looked rather peaky. “I know you think I’m being harsh, but I really think it would be for the best if you got up there and told the truth.”
Hailey knew exactly what Luna was getting at this time; she was talking about Percy.
“But, what about Mrs. Weasley?” Hailey asked indignantly. “And dad has already had a load of trouble because everyone thinks he’s been covering up for Percy.”
“Well, that is precisely what he did, isn’t it?” Luna continued. “And it didn’t do anyone any good.” Hailey found that she too was becoming more and more angry with her mother by the second. Kieran watched her worriedly, because he knew she was about to lose her temper.
“How can you say that!!” Hailey snapped, rising from her chair. “He was protecting good people! This isn’t his fault!”
“Of course it isn’t,” Luna replied mildly, as though this were a mundane, casual conversation. “But, I warned him when all of this happened, that a lie, no matter how well-meaning, would make things worse in the long run. Because of the lie, he’s had leave the ministry just to try to make sure the Malfoys won’t get away with what they’ve done, and Molly is acutely aware that Percy’s role in your kidnapping was not innocent, so, in the long run, covering for Percy backfired.”
Hailey sat back down and sighed. In spite of Hailey’s reluctance to ever recognize any sort of shortcomings in her father, she knew that her mum was right. Harry had a tendency to make hasty decisions sometimes, and in this case, it had been costly.
“You said that he was considering leaving the ministry anyway, though,” Hailey said in a much calmer manner.
“He was, but,-“ Luna stopped short of saying more. Hailey looked at her mother curiously, but Luna didn’t respond.
“But, what,” Kieran interjected.
“He was going to wait a bit longer,” Luna said lamely. “Anyway, I’m still not feeling very well, so I think I’ll get some fresh air.”
“What was that all about?” Kieran asked Hailey as soon as Luna was out of earshot. “D’you think Harry was forced out of the ministry?”
“I don’t know,” Hailey replied, frowning. “It doesn’t make sense.”
Hailey and Kieran knew better than to try to eavesdrop on Harry, so they restrained themselves by spending most of the morning outside in the water, discussing anything that would keep the Malfoys off their mind. By noon, they decided it was time to get out of the water and get some lunch. Just as they started inside, Harry approached them.
“Are you finished with your meeting, then?” Hailey asked indifferently as she towel-dried her hair.
“Actually, I’m not,” Harry said slowly. He was still wearing the same grim expression he’d had that morning. “I came to ask Kieran to join us.”
Kieran and Hailey gaped at him, open mouthed, and Hailey felt her stomach squirm uneasily. This clearly had something to do with the trial.
“Can’t I come, too?” Hailey asked, not sure that she really wanted to be there if this had to do with the trial, but she was too curious not to ask to be included.
“I’m afraid not,” Harry replied. “Please go inside and get dressed, Kieran. We’ll be waiting for you in my study.” Harry turned and walked back inside wordlessly.
“What do you reckon they want with you?” Hailey asked as they went upstairs to change.
“I guess I’ll find out soon enough, won’t I?” Kieran replied with a shrug.
By the time Hailey had changed, she found that Kieran was already downstairs with Harry. She walked back inside her room, trying to think of a way to pass the time. She sat back down on her bed and sighed. What did Harry want with Kieran anyway? If it were about the trial, surely she would have been included. She was anxious to know what they were talking about, and was just getting ready to try to find a set of extendable ears when Luna came into her room.
“Don’t bother with the extendable ears,” she said as she came in and sat beside Hailey on the bed. “Your father charmed the door.”
“I wasn’t-“ Hailey began.
“Yes you were,” Luna replied serenely. “They are taking a statement from Kieran about the kidnapping just now, and you are not supposed to hear each other’s statements because it could compromise the case.”
So that was what they were doing! Hailey thought. “But, how would it compromise the case if I was there,” Hailey asked. “Don’t they want to talk to me, too?
“They will need to make sure that you all are telling the truth and not just going on a story that the two of you cooked up together from listening to the other’s testimony,” Luna replied. Then, in a very Luna-like fashion, she unexpectedly changed the subject.
“I didn’t mean to upset you earlier,” her mother said apologetically. “You know that I love your dad very much, but he’s a bit reckless at times, and I shouldn’t have said anything this morning.”
“It’s alright,” Hailey said quietly, not really surprised at her mothers candor. Luna had always been blunt, particularly with Hailey. “What’s been going on with you two lately anyway?” she blurted without thinking. “Why have you been having so many rows?”
Luna sighed as she stared at Hailey with her prominent eyes. Her face was unreadable.
“Well,” She began in a very uncharacteristically cautious manner. “Your father has been under a lot of pressure lately, and I’ve just been a bit more sensitive than usual to his moods. You know what he’s like when he’s frustrated and grouchy.”
“Why didn’t you want him to go with that Fleur lady to France?” Hailey pressed on, thinking of how annoyed they had been with each other when Harry had left for his business trip a couple of weeks before. She was hoping Luna would tell her some more about the letters.
“I don’t like that Fleur woman,” Luna said calmly, though Hailey noticed that her tone of voice was rather sharp. Hailey was taken aback by her mother’s attitude. “She fancies your father.”
Hailey chuckled in spite of herself. Not really out of pleasure, but relief. Perhaps those letters she’d heard her father talking about weren’t ominous at all.
“But, dad doesn’t-“ Hailey began.
“Of course not,” Luna said. “But all the same, I don’t trust her. She’s a veela, after all, and it’s common knowledge that veelas are in league with the Giants of Norway.”
“Who are the Giants of Norway?” Hailey asked in curious amusement.
“They are a band of rogue giants that established a colony in Norway three centuries ago in hopes of breeding a new race of magical creatures to destroy wizardkind,” Luna replied in one whispered breath. “ Plus, she used to be married to Bill Weasley.”
“What!” Hailey exclaimed, wide-eyed. “I never knew that Bill-”
“Anyway, I came up here to ask you to stay away from your father’s study and to not ask Kieran too many questions about what they talked about today,” Luna interjected.
“Alright,” Hailey replied mirthlessly, not really wanting to get into a lengthy discussion about the Giants of Norway or Veelas with her mother, although she would have liked to hear more about Bill and Fleur.
True to her word, Hailey did not question Kieran at length about his conversation with Harry and Ms. Hurley. Harry had told her in private that evening that she would have to testify at the trial because it was she, Hailey, who was actually kidnapped from Hogwarts. Kieran was allowed to make a statement before the trial because he merely showed up to help her, and was not the victim, but a witness. She and Kieran spent the next few days doing all they could to keep the upcoming trial out of their thoughts, but this was difficult, considering that it was front-page news in the Prophet. Not to mention, the nightmares had returned full force, and sleeping was out of the question for both of them. Fortunately, Hailey and Kieran had managed to keep this hidden from Harry and Luna, so they weren’t being forced to drink sleeping potions.
Dinner the night before the trial in the Potter household was a somber and tense affair. Hailey and Kieran spoke little and ate even less. They sat across the table from Harry and Luna wearing identical looks of tired anxiety. Harry stared worriedly at both of them as he too, played moodily with his food. After several awkward minutes of silence, Harry got up from the table and addressed his daughter.
“Hailey, why don’t you come join me in my study for a few minutes before you go off to bed,” Harry said as he pulled his chair back to its rightful unoccupied place. “We have a few things to go over before tomorrow.”
Hailey nodded wordlessly and followed Harry out of the dining room. He ushered her inside and closed the door.
“I know testifying tomorrow isn’t going to be easy for you, but if you tell the truth and stick to the facts, everything will be fine,” He said as the two of them sat down. “I tried everything that I could think of to avoid you having to go through this, but…” He broke off with a sigh, as though continuing was a bit of an effort for him. “But, since you seemed to be the main target-“
“I’ll be fine,” Hailey said resolutely, trying to reassure herself as much as Harry. Seeing her father so worried and upset was making her even more determined than ever to be brave, like he would be if he were in her shoes. She wanted to prove to him and to everyone else that she could handle the pressure.
“I know that, because I’m going to be with you, and if anyone…” Harry began, but Hailey interrupted him.
“Don’t lose your temper if the other side starts asking me tough questions, dad,” Hailey said softly. “I know that David Wilkes is going to be interrogating me on behalf of the Malfoys, and that he’s probably going to be pretty hard on me, but I can take it.”
Harry smiled down at her with an expression of wonder. “I love you,” he said in reply.
“I know,” Hailey said with a smile.
That night, however, Hailey wasn’t feeling as brave as she’d hoped. Her fitful sleep was filled with visions of the leering, cold faces of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, and Percy’s crumpled body lying in a heap on the dirty, threadbare floor of Grimmauld Place. When those dreams ceased, she imagined the Malfoys being cleared of the charges against them, and the fear that they would come after her and Kieran again.
She woke up screaming aloud in the darkest hours before dawn, drenched in cold sweat. She remained semi-conscious for a few minutes, jumping out of bed and brandishing her wand when she heard hurried footsteps coming down the hall and into her room.
“It’s only me,” Kieran said urgently as he came inside. Hailey sighed with relief and collapsed back onto her bed. She was still trembling all over, and her heart was racing. Kieran took the wand from her hands and replaced it on her bedside table.
“That was some dream you were having,” he said shakily, as he sat down beside her on the edge of the bed. He, too, was shaking and white-faced. He had seen the dream firsthand.
“I’m sorry,” she said as she rubbed her eyes in exhaustion. “I know you’re not looking forward to tomorrow, either.”
“It’ll all be over soon,” Kieran replied in a soothing voice. “Harry will be there with us, and you know the Malfoys aren’t going to do anything while he’s around, plus, there isn’t a wizard alive that isn’t at least slightly afraid of your dad, so I think we’ll be fine.”
Hailey didn’t respond; she still had this sinking feeling that the Malfoys weren’t really going to be punished for their actions. The two of them sat in the silent darkness for a few moments, while Kieran fussed with her blankets and she wiped the sweat from her brow with a damp cloth he’d brought her.
“You should try to get some more rest,” Kieran said as he started to get up. He still looked rather pale and concerned.
“I’ll rest when tomorrow is over.”
Hailey tossed and turned for two more hours after Kieran went back to his room, and they both finally gave up on sleeping any later at half past five. Hailey got up and dressed carefully in a new set of dress robes that her mother had picked out for the occasion. She had been a little apprehensive about what sort of clothes Luna would choose, but she was pleasantly surprised; the robes were made of a silky green fabric that matched her eyes. She looked very respectable.
Hailey decided to go downstairs and make some coffee, assuming that the everyone (even Mrs. McMullen) would still be in bed, but she was surprised to find that Harry was already awake and dressed in formal black dress robes, and Mrs. McMullen was trying to get him to eat something.
“You should have slept in a little longer,” Mrs. McMullen said as Hailey sat down beside Harry. She gave Hailey’s father a reproachful look that suggested she thought he should make her go back to sleep, but he ignored her.
“You look very pretty,” Harry said with a small smile as he poured Hailey a cup of coffee. “I don’t suppose you slept, though, did you?”
“A little,” Hailey replied evasively. She really didn’t want Harry to start on her about sleeping potions.
“Well, we are set to begin at 8:30, and you’ll probably get to testify early, so I can send you home once…”
“I want to stay for the whole thing,” Hailey blurted forcefully. No matter what the outcome was, she had decided she wanted to be there to see it.
“You don’t need to do that,” Harry said quietly. “You don’t have to prove to me how strong you are, because I already know. I want you to come home and rest after you are done.”
“I won’t be able to rest until I know how it turns out, one way or the other,” Hailey said truthfully. She looked into her father’s eyes and saw that he looked just as tired as she was.
“I won’t rest until they pay for what they’ve done,” Harry blurted. He looked surprised and a little abashed at his outburst. It was plain that he hadn’t meant to say this aloud.
Just then, a very drowsy Kieran joined them. He was wearing a new set of maroon robes that Luna had bought him for the trial. He sat down next to Hailey and began to nibble on a piece of toast.
“What time are we leaving,” He asked as he twirled his hair absently. “Is Luna coming with us?”
“Um, I’m afraid she can’t,” Harry said, blushing in a way that made Hailey very curious. “She has an appointment today that she can’t miss.”
Hailey understood that her mother was a very busy woman, but she couldn’t help but feel hurt that Luna wasn’t going to be there, especially after she had been, Hailey thought, rather callous about her testimony to begin with. She said nothing, but Kieran knew what she was thinking, and he patted her hand under the table.
“I think we should try to get there a bit early, just to make sure that you can chat with Ms. Hurley before you speak,” Harry said. “The members of the Wizengamot are, for the most part, honest and decent witches and wizards, and so I think they’ll be fair to you.”
“How are we going to get there?” Hailey asked as the tried to take a bite of toast, but her mouth felt as though it was stuffed with cotton.
“I’ve arranged for us to have a portkey,” Harry said with a smile that was meant to be reassuring, but merely looked forced and painful. “We are authorized to leave in fifteen minutes, so we’ll finish breakfast and get going.”
None of them wanted to finish their food, so the extra time was totally unnecessary. They arrived just moments later in a large entry hall full of fireplaces that were continuously alight with green flames from wizards arriving and departing from the premises via the floo network. The fountain of magical brethren tinkled soothingly in the center of the lobby as the ceiling above them changed continually. In spite of the gloomy weather outside, the enchanted windows showed a sunny summer sky. The three of them were handed visitor’s badges at the security desk, and they made their way to the courtroom.
Several witches and wizards waved hello to Harry, and others eyed them curiously, whispering as they made their way through a corridor to an old elevator.
“We’re down in courtroom ten,” Harry said quietly as he ushered them into the lift and they headed downstairs. They stopped at the bottom level in the Department of Mysteries corridor and made their way down a flight of stairs to the dungeons. Feeling so sick she thought she might collapse, Hailey nearly tripped down the last three steps, but Harry caught her before she could fall.
Just outside the courtroom doors, a group of reporters and photographers from several newspapers were gathered outside, waiting for Harry, Hailey and Kieran.
“Harry!” Called a pretty woman in purple dress robes. She was holding a bright purple quill that matched her robes, and there was a rather handsome wizard carrying a large camera following close behind her.
“I have no comments to make, Lavender,” Harry snarled as he walked around the anxious group.
“How do you feel this morning, Hailey!” Called an older witch with elaborate blonde hair. “Are you confident that the Malfoys are to blame for your kidnapping, or-“
Harry lunged at the blonde woman, his face furious and his wand drawn. She let out a small squeal and tripped over her high-heeled shoes.
“If you say one more word to my daughter, Rita, you will live to regret it, but not for more than a few minutes,” Harry said in a quiet but ominous voice. He pushed past the rest of the reporters.
Hailey’s first thought as they entered the courtroom was it was more dismal than she had imagined. The damp, dark and depressing stone walls were dimly lit by torches that hung all around the room, which was furnished in battered wooden benches. At the front of the rows were two large tables, one of which had a threatening high backed chair with chains dangling ominously from the arms. Hailey assumed those were for the accused. In the very front, there was a row of raised benches reserved for the Wizengamot. The room was already starting to fill up as Harry ushered Hailey and Kieran toward a bench right behind one of the tables.
“We’re going to sit here until its time for you to testify,” Harry said as the three of them sat down, Hailey nearest to the aisle. Just then, Harry turned and waved to a pretty, slim witch in red dress robes that Hailey recognized from Kieran’s description as Celesta Hurley. She approached them quickly, her arms overloaded with piles of parchment, and sat down at the table in front of them.
“I have some bad news,” She said in a breathless whisper. “The charges against Narcissa Malfoy have been dropped.”
“What!” Harry spluttered furiously. “ When… Why wasn’t I told!” Harry continued, his eyes blazing with fury as the inkpot beside Ms. Hurley, along with several lanterns shattered for no apparent reason. Onlookers gasped at the sound, and a court scribe repaired them with a wave of his wand. Hailey’s stomach dropped to her feet so suddenly that she clasped her hand over her mouth to keep from being sick. Kieran stomach churned with hers as he grabbed her other hand and squeezed it so hard that she forgot her stomach because of the pain in her fingers.
“I only just found out five minutes ago,” Ms. Hurley replied, her face pale and fearful. “International Cooperation cut a deal with her; she agreed to testify against Crabbe and Lestrange in exchange for the charges against her being dismissed, but we still have a very good chance of putting Lucius away. …I’m sorry, Harry, but there was nothing I could do. But, I do have one bit of good news; the Wizengamot has agreed that Kieran is entitled to the remainder of the Black family estate, so Narcissa is going to be a lot less comfortable.”
Harry shook with fury as he put a protective arm around Hailey, pulling her closer to him. Hailey said nothing, but she was feeling rather faint.
“I don’t want that money, I-“ Kieran began to Ms. Hurley, but he was distracted by the sight of several witches and wizards in royal purple robes embellished with fancy silver embroidered W’s making their way into the now full and silent courtroom and seating themselves on the benches. Hailey was surprised to see a tall, elderly wizard in black robes sitting at the table opposite them. Although she had never seen him before, she knew that he must be David Wilkes, who would be speaking on Lucius Malfoy’s behalf. He turned around and spoke to a man with a pale pointed face and icy eyes that was sitting just behind him. With another horrible jolt, Hailey realized that Draco Malfoy was sitting right beside her in the opposite row. He caught her staring and shot her a nasty smile in reply. Feeling sicker than ever, Hailey stared stonily back at him, determined not to show any signs of weakness.
“Are we ready to begin?” Said a tall wizard with a thick graying brown beard and a commanding voice from the front row of the Wizengamot benches. “All being present save for the accused?”
“We are prepared to begin, Mr. Diggory,” Said Ms. Hurley in a calm, clear voice. Mr. Wilkes nodded in agreement.
“Then, Mr. Flannery, please go and get the accused.” The wizard called Mr. Diggory replied. The court scribe who had repaired the lanterns Harry shattered in his anger sprinted out the doors. Seconds later he returned, followed by two large wizards in grey robes that Hailey was sure were Azkaban guards.
Lucius Malfoy staggered inside weakly, being dragged by the two guards. His wrists were chained, and he looked worse for the wear. His wrinkled face was unshaven, and his light hair was no longer sleek, but dirty and disheveled. The guards ushered him to the horrible seat in the center of the room; He stared angrily at Hailey as the chair’s chains wrapped automatically around him. Hailey was trembling all over, but she did not avert her eyes from the man who had haunted her dreams since he’d almost killed her two months before. The court scribe who had summoned Malfoy approached the front of the courtroom and began to read off an official-looking piece of blue parchment.
“Trial of Lucius Argo Malfoy, July 31st, into offences committed on May 30th. Mr. Malfoy is charged with the Kidnapping of Hailey Brian Potter, and the murder of Percy Ignatius Weasley. Interrogators; Amos Diggory, Head of the Department Magical Catastrophies; Celesta Hurley; Assistant director of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement; Hermione Jane Weasley; Head of the Department of International Cooperation; Court Scribe Mr. Metrius Flannery. Interrogator on behalf of the defense, Mr. David Cassius Wilkes, Department of Mysteries.
“The charges against Mr. Malfoy read as follows;” said Ms. Hurley from in front of Hailey. “-That he knowingly, deliberately, and without remorse kidnapped Hailey Brian Potter, age 12 from Hogsmeade village and tortured her for information regarding the whereabouts of her father, Mr. Harry James Potter, former Head of the Department of Magical Law enforcement, with the intent to mortally injure Ms. Potter; torturing Kieran Orion Morris in the process and the intentional murder of Percy Ignatius Weasley. Mr. Malfoy, how do you plead to the charges against you?”
“I am innocent,” Lucius Malfoy said in a quiet but defiant voice. “And I wish to present Mr. Wilkes to testify on my behalf and to interrogate witnesses who accuse me of these crimes.” Hailey’s stomach continued to churn more violently with every second.
“Very well,” Ms. Hurley said in a curt voice. “I would like to begin by reading a summary of a statement taken on behalf of the Ministry of Magic by myself, Celesta Hurley, from Kieran Orion Morris on July 27th. Mr. Morris states that on the night of May 30th, he discovered that his friend, Hailey Brian Potter, was missing, and he went to look for her. He discovered that she had been lured away from school under false pretences, and he attempted to follow her. Kieran managed to figure out that Ms. Potter had been taken to the old Black family estate, located at Number 12 Grimmauld Place in London. Harry James Potter currently owns the property. Mr. Morris traveled by floo powder to said location, where he witnessed Lucius Malfoy torturing Hailey Brian Potter, and murder Percy Ignatius Weasley. He himself also suffered minor injuries at the hands of Mr. Malfoy. Next I would-“ Hailey gasped audibly as Mr. Wilkes interrupted Ms. Hurley.
“I would like to offer a rebuttal,” Mr. Wilkes said smoothly. “How did Mr. Morris manage to determine Ms. Potter’s whereabouts on that evening? I think we would all like to know how he was able to find her so quickly.”
Both Hailey and Kieran’s insides turned to ice; they should have anticipated something like this, but they hadn’t. How would Ms. Hurley explain this without revealing anything about the connection between them? But, surely, she herself didn’t know anything about it.
“Mr. Morris isn’t the one on trial here!” Snapped Ms. Hurley. “It is enough that he managed to figure out where she’d gone using a note she’d left behind, and fortunately he managed to alert one of his classmates before he went looking for her, and members of the Hogwarts staff were able to contact Mr. Potter, who managed to rescue his daughter and Mr. Morris. Now, if you are quite finished, I would like to call Ms. Hailey Brian Potter as a witness, if the Wizengamot agrees.”
“Please continue, Ms. Hurley,” said Hermione and Mr. Diggory at the same time, much to Hailey’s relief.
Mr. Wilkes said nothing else, and Hailey was vaguely aware that Harry was gently tugging on her arm in an effort to get her to stand. Ms. Hurley came over and guided Hailey to another large wooden chair in the front of the room.
“Please state your name for the record of this court,” Mr. Diggory said, looking down at Hailey with a kind face. This made her feel better.
“Hailey Brian Potter,” She said in a voice that was much louder and more confident than she expected. She did everything she could to avoid the piercing, hateful stares of the Malfoys and Mr. Wilkes.
“I would like for you to tell the court about what happened to you on May 30th, starting with the event that led to your leaving the castle and going to Hogsmeade on the evening in question.” Ms. Hurley said.
“On May 29th, I received a letter that I believed to be from my father,” Hailey replied in a clear voice, she looked instinctively at Harry, who was staring from her to Lucius Malfoy. “The letter said that my dad wanted me to meet him in the shrieking shack the next night at midnight, and not to tell anyone where I was going, and so the following evening, I sneaked out of the castle on my own and I went to the shrieking shack, following my dad’s instructions…or at least I thought they were his instructions.” Hailey added. She felt as though the words were coming from someone else, because her throat was so tight and dry she was sure there was no way any sound could be coming from her.
“What made you think that it was really your father that wrote the letter,” Ms. Hurley asked her encouragingly.
“Well, it looked like his handwriting, and, at the time, my dad had been away on a dangerous assignment for the ministry. No one had heard from him in several weeks, and I was really scared…” Hailey said, her voice trembling. “I thought that maybe there was something big going on that he needed to tell me about in secret, and I was…” she stopped, feeling the tightening in her throat was really making it impossible to speak at last. Recalling how worried she had been about her father had caused a lump to form in her throat in a way that nothing else during the trial had. “I was really worried about him since I hadn’t heard from him in almost two months, and so I was so desperate to see him that I didn’t think much at all, I guess.” Hailey finished. Harry was looking at her with his sad green eyes. He still felt guilty about the reason Hailey had left school that night.
“Was your father there when you got to the shrieking shack, Hailey,” Ms. Hurley asked.
“No, there was another wizard there, and he stunned me before I even realized what was happening…” she paused, not wanting to reveal the identity of the wizard who’d attacked her. “Anyway, he stunned me, and when I woke up, I was in the middle of the floor in a strange house, and there was a man standing over me. He was holding my wand, and he had tied me up. It was Lucius Malfoy.”
Several of the onlookers in the audience gasped and stared at the restrained man sitting opposite Hailey, watching him for a reaction, but he simply stared at the wall, stone-faced and furious. Hailey was finding it much easier to speak now; it seemed that her mother had been right when she’d suggested that telling the truth would make it easier for her to move on.
“What did Mr. Malfoy say to you?” Ms. Hurley continued.
“He introduced himself, and his wife and….” Hailey broke off. She had been about to say, Percy, but she hesitated. But, Harry nodded encouragingly at her and she went on. “…and Percy Weasley.”
There was a great deal more muttering and conversation this time, causing the court scribe to warn everyone if they did not remain quiet, they would have to leave.
“Mr. Malfoy told me that we were going to play a little game, and he said that if I answered his questions truthfully he would make things painless for me, but if I didn’t, he was going to hate having to send me home to my mum in…pieces.” Hailey continued as the crowed reacted dramatically once more. She felt her throat tightening uncomfortably, and she swallowed hard.
“Where was Percy Weasley during all of this?” Ms. Hurley asked, but Hailey froze. She had just caught sight of one of the spectators. Molly Weasley was sitting in the very back row by herself. Hailey’s heart sank because she knew that what she had to say next was going to break Molly’s heart.
“He was standing behind Lucius Malfoy,” Hailey muttered, tears filling her eyes as she tried not to look at Mrs. Weasley.
“While we are discussing Mr. Weasley, I would like to ask Ms. Potter a couple of questions myself,” interrupted a cold voice from the other side of the room. Mr. Wilkes had risen from his chair, and he and Ms. Hurley were staring daggers at each other. Mr. Diggory nodded.
“When did you first see Percy?” Mr. Wilkes said evenly, giving Hailey a cold hateful look that he failed to conceal with a condescending sneer. Hailey was trembling all over; she didn’t want to do this to Mrs. Weasley, but she had no other choice. She had to tell the truth. Her mother’s words about the subject echoed in her stuffy mind (-telling a lie, no matter how well-intentioned will only make things worse in the long run).
”I saw him in the Shrieking Shack when I got there,” Hailey said staring him defiantly. She wasn’t going to give him any reason to make her look dishonest. That was exactly what he wanted; he needed to make Malfoy look good by making her look bad. “Percy was waiting for me when I arrived there, looking for my dad; he stunned me before I could even grasp what was going on, and I woke up in Grimmauld Place.”
Hailey turned her gaze once more to the back of the courtroom, and she saw that Mrs. Weasley had buried her face in her hands.
“So, it was Percy Weasley who actually kidnapped you, Ms. Potter,” Mr. Wilkes said with a triumphant, cold grin. “Not Lucius or Narcissa Malfoy, but Percy Weasley, isn’t that right, Ms. Potter?”
“Yes,but-“ Hailey began, but Mr. Wilkes interrupted her.
“I would like to request that the Wizengamot drop the charges against Mr. Malfoy in light of this revelation from Ms. Potter,” Mr. Wilkes said delightedly. Hailey felt her insides freeze in horror, and she glance over at Harry and Kieran; they were looking furious.
“I think we should vote on dismissing the kidnapping charge against Mr. Malfoy,” Mr. Diggory said in his commanding voice. “Those in favor of dropping the kidnapping charges, please raise your hands.” More than half of the Wizengamot raised their hands. Hailey couldn’t believe it; he was going to get away with what he’d done.
“The kidnapping charge against Mr. Malfoy is hereby dismissed,” said Hermione in a quavering voice. “However, the charges of murder, attempted murder, and torture still stand.”
Hailey gave a small sigh of relief; she glanced at Lucius Malfoy, but his face was oddly blank.
“Shall I continue with the questioning, then,” Ms. Hurley replied, staring at Mr. Wilkes with cold hatred.
“Carry on,” said Mr. Diggory.
Ms. Hurley approached Hailey again and gave her a small, reassuring smile.
“Hailey, what did Percy Weasley do while Mr. Malfoy interrogated you?” she asked.
“He didn’t say anything, but I spoke to him,” Hailey said clearly. She was still feeling terribly sick, but she kept going. “I told him- t-that I couldn’t believe he would have anything to do with trash like the Malfoys- and” she stopped again, unconsciously clutching her cheek as she remembered. “Then, Mr. Malfoy hit me in the face, and he told me to mind my manners.”
“What was Percy doing at the time?” Ms. Hurley pressed.
”He was staring at the wall, but during Mr. Malfoy’s speech, he told me that Percy had brought me there on his orders, and Percy got upset when Mr. Malfoy started talking about torturing me; from what he said, he didn’t know what the Malfoys had planned when he brought me to them. Mr. Malfoy asked me to tell him where my father was, and I told him that I didn’t know, but even if I did, I wouldn’t tell him, and-“ Hailey found that she couldn’t continue. Tears spilled down her cheeks and she had to pause for a moment. Harry got up and started toward her, but Ms. Hurley gave him a quelling look, and he sat back down. Seeing Harry made Hailey determined to keep going.
“Then, Narcissa Malfoy told him that she wanted to be fair to me, and so I had a right to know why I was-I was…going to die,” Hailey said. “She said that she wanted Mr. Malfoy to wait for the boy to arrive while she had a talk with me. I knew she was talking about Kieran, and at this point, I could tell that Percy was panicking, but he didn’t know what to do, so Mr. Malfoy went back downstairs to wait for Kieran, and I kept hoping that Kieran wouldn’t show up.”
“What did Narcissa Malfoy want to talk to you about?” Ms. Hurley asked, but Mr. Wilkes interrupted her again.
“Narcissa Malfoy is not the one on trial in this case,” He said smoothly. “So I don’t-“
“Mrs. Malfoy’s conversation with Hailey explains part of the motivation behind the kidnapping,” Ms. Hurley cut across him, and Mr. Diggory indicated that she should continue.
“She told me about how Grimmauld place used to be her family’s home, and she showed me her family tree, and she started telling me about her cousins, and about how Sirius left my dad this house,” Hailey replied very quickly. She was still crying, but the words were tumbling out of her. “She told me how angry that made her, and then she told me Sirius’ brother, Regulus was no better, because he had a child with a muggle woman and he betrayed Lord Voldemort. She said Regulus’s son was a muggle, but that his grandson was a wizard, and that she wasn’t going to let him inherit her family fortune, so she was going to kill us both.”
“So, to whom was she referring when she was talking about Regulus’s grandson?” Ms. Hurley prodded, staring at Hailey intently.
“She was talking about Kieran,” Hailey replied, and again the audience gasped. Hailey looked at them and saw that Mrs. Weasley had stopped crying.
“Then, Mr. Malfoy came back with Kieran,” Hailey went on. “And they started torturing both of us with the Cruciatus curse. Kieran managed to get a wand and tried to free us, but they got the better of him, and they threw me against the wall, and broke my legs. They continued to torture us, and when Percy tried to stop them, they-“ Hailey stopped as tears coursed down her cheeks against her will. “M- Mr. Malfoy killed him w-with the Avada Kedavra c-c-curse.”
Mrs. Weasley was sobbing audibly now, and many of the spectators were staring at her in pity. Harry had gotten up and he was hugging her tightly in an effort to soothe her, but she was inconsolable.
“Then my father came and rescued us and captured the Malfoys,” Hailey said with a tremble in her voice. She was crying harder now. “A-a-and that’s all I remember until I woke up in the hospital a few days later.”
“Thank you, Ms Potter,” Ms. Hurley said gently. “You may-“ but Mr. Wilkes cut across her.
“I would like to ask Ms. Potter a few more questions,” He said coolly, his face devoid of any compassion. An elderly witch with the Wizengamot nodded curtly, but the others didn’t look pleased about the request. Mr. Wilkes continued.
“Isn’t it true that in the past your father repeatedly accused Lucius Malfoy of murder?” Mr. Wilkes said angrily, staring at Hailey with disgust.
”Yes, but-“ Hailey stammered, feeling flustered and angry. She was trying to wipe her eyes.
“Isn’t it true that he hid the fact that Percy Weasley was the one who actually kidnapped you, and you are helping your father by falsely accusing Mr. Malfoy and covering for the real culprit, which is Percy Weasley!” Mr. Wilkes cried dramatically, staring at the elderly witch, who nodded. Lucius Malfoy was smiling sickly, making Hailey even angrier.
“No!” Hailey roared angrily. “Lucius Malfoy and his wife nearly killed me, and they did kill Percy when he tried to stop them!”
“LEAVE HER ALONE!” Hailey heard Harry scream. The courtroom was silent with fear as Harry leapt from his seat beside Mrs. Weasley. He sprinted up the aisle with his wand brandished.
“Harry, please sit down,” Hermione said fearfully. Harry ignored her, as he approached Hailey, the lanterns flickering and benches vibrating from his anger. Malfoy and Wilkes were terrified, and Mr. Wilkes was crouching near his chair.
“My daughter has been through enough!” Harry said dangerously as he helped Hailey out of her chair. She felt nauseous with worry that someone was going to arrest Harry for interrupting the trial, but no one approached him; they were clearly terrified to do so, because most believed that he was one of the greatest wizards who had ever lived. He had, after all, killed Lord Voldemort.
Harry took Hailey back to her seat beside Kieran, and she sat down, putting her arm around Kieran for support; she felt as though she was going to be sick from crying so much. Harry then strode back to the front of the room and addressed the stunned Wizengamot.
“My daughter has just sat before you for the last hour telling the truth about being kidnapped and nearly murdered,” Harry said quietly in a much more controlled tone of voice. “Something that no one should have to endure; she is 12 years old. She told the absolute truth about what occurred that night, and she cannot do anything more to help you make a decision about Mr. Malfoy’s guilt. If Mr. Wilkes wants to question me about my role in this case, or about the integrity of my motives, he can talk to me.” He looked very angrily in Hermione’s direction, but she didn’t respond.
“ I agree with Harry that Hailey has been through enough,” Mr. Diggory said, shooting a rather disgusted look at Mr. Wilkes as he addressed him. “Do you wish to address Mr. Potter, David?”
“N-no-,” Mr. Wilkes replied, his cool, confident demeanor gone. “I am finished.”
“Very well, then,” said the elderly witch with a scowl. “If Mr. Potter would be so kind as to take his seat and restrain himself for a few moments, we shall vote on a decision and decide on a punishment, if applicable. She waited for Harry to sit back down next to Hailey. All in favor of convicting Lucius Malfoy with the murder of Percy Weasley, raise your hands.”
Several people raised their hands, including Hermione and Mr. Diggory, but over half did not. Hailey’s heart sank; he was going to get away with it. Harry had wrapped a protective arm around her; he was white with fury.
“Mr. Malfoy is hereby cleared of the charge of murder,” the elderly witch continued. “All in favor of convicting him of the attempted murder and torture of Hailey Brian Potter and Kieran Orion Morris, raise your hands.”
Nearly everyone raised their hands to affirm their belief that Lucius Malfoy was guilty, everyone but a stern looking black wizard in the back, and the elderly witch who had been speaking.
“Very well,” Mr. Diggory said, looking down at Lucius Malfoy, who was looking gravely terrified. “Lucius Argo Malfoy, you have been convicted of attempted murder and torture. The Wizengamot will take a twenty minute recess to discuss your sentence.”
The courtroom was suddenly filled with muffled voices as the Wizengamot filed out of the room one by one, into a chamber behind the courtroom. Hailey jumped up out of her seat and ran down the aisle, with Harry and Kieran close behind her. She stopped halfway down the corridor and vomited. Kieran, too felt violently ill, but he didn’t get sick.
Harry guided her down the hallway into a bathroom after he vanished the mess that she’d made. He helped her wash up and gave her a small bottle filled with a calming draught. Hailey’s mind was instantly tired and numb. A few minutes later, the Wizengamot had returned with their decision. Everyone waited in absolute silence as the elderly witch rose from her chair and spoke.
“The Wizengamot hereby sentences Lucius Argo Malfoy to fifteen years in Azkaban,” the old witch said. “He will begin his sentence immediately.”
“No!” Draco Malfoy cried, staring at his father in horror as the guards came and took a very shaken and weak looking Lucius back out of the courtroom in chains. Reporters tried to talk to him as they dragged him away, but he seemed to be in shock.
“You’ll pay for this,” Draco Malfoy shouted, looking at Hailey with his cold, grey eyes as he followed the guards out of the room.
Hailey would have felt intense relief if she’d been able, but the potion was still affecting her, and Kieran was feeling it’s effects as strongly as if he’d taken some, too. The two looked over at Harry and smiled weakly, but they could see that he was looking furious.
“They only gave him fifteen years!” He said incredulously to Celesta Hurley. “He killed a man and tortured two 12 year olds with an unforgivable curse!”
“You should be glad they didn’t let him off altogether,” Ms. Hurley said severely. “You know that he’s paid off so many people that it could’ve easily went the other way.”
Harry took the two of them home moments later via floopowder. Both Hailey and Kieran were exhausted, and surprisingly hungry in spite of being sick just an hour before. They all shared a sense of great relief that it was finally over; they could put the ordeal behind them. Mrs. McMullen ushered them into the kitchen as soon as they climbed out of the fireplace in the sitting room, and served the three of them lunch. Just as they were finishing, a very happy-looking Luna came inside and joined them. Harry jumped out of his seat anxiously, staring at his wife with a mixture of anticipation and concern. Hailey and Kieran exchanged looks of complete confusion and curiosity.
“Well?” Harry asked her as he got up to give her a kiss.
“It was just as I suspected, “she said simply. “We’re going to have another baby.”
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