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Starting Over by Lily_James4ever
Chapter 16 : The Verdict
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 12

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MAJOR DEATHLY HALLOWS SPOILER IN THIS CHAPTER!! don't read this chapter if you haven't read D.H. yet!!

That's all. Here is the next chapter for you all!! Enjoy :]

Chapter 16: The Verdict

Everyone in the courtroom watched as Remus took out a piece of parchment and began to read from it.

“Draco Lucius Malfoy, you were brought before the Wizengamot because you are a known Death Eater. You are charged with aiding in the murder of Albus Dumbledore. If convicted of these crimes, you will be given the Dementors kiss.” Hermione involuntarily shuddered at the thought of Draco getting the Dementor’s kiss. She looked down at her feet as tears began to well up in her eyes. Susan Bones stood up next.

“Mr. Malfoy, you have brought 5 witnesses in your defense. They are Sarah Thomas, Mark Green, Joshua Walker, Jessica Florence, and Hermione Granger. Is this correct?” asked Madam Bones. Draco nodded. There was a bit of commotion in the courtroom. Many people exchanged glances at the mention of Hermione’s name. Wasn’t Hermione Granger Harry Potter’s best friend? Didn’t she fight beside him in the war? Remus banged the gavel as the chatter grew out of hand. There was silence immediately.

“Madam Bones will now question the accused and his witnesses.” Remus said addressing the Wizengamot.

“Thank you Minister. I would like to begin with Mr. Malfoy. Mr. Malfoy, do you have the Dark Mark?” Madam Bones asked.

“Yes.” He replied.

“Well, does that not make you a Death Eater? Your have the Dark Lord’s mark on your arm, signifying you were one of his followers. Is that not true?”

“This mark,” he said lifting his sleeve to see the faint out line of a Dark Mark. “Does not make me a Death Eater. I have not participated in any Death Eater activities for the past 6 years. I have never gone to the Dark Lord when I was called over these past 6 years, and I was as sought after as Potter. I abandoned the Dark Lord. I’m a traitor. Anyway, I was forced to get the mark in the first place.” He replied trying very hard to keep his temper in control.

“What about Albus Dumbledore’s murder? Was that not the act of a Death Eater?”

“If you would all remember, it was Severus Snape that killed Dumbledore, not I. I had no choice in the matter of letting the Death Eaters into the castle. They threatened my mother’s life. That’s the same way they got me to join the Death Eaters in the first place. Would you not do anything for the ones that you love?” Draco replied matter-of-factly. He noticed that most of the Wizengamot was actually paying close attention now.

“Thank you, Mr. Malfoy. I have one question that we all want to know the answer to. Where have you been for the past 6 years?”

“I have been working at a muggle summer camp for the past 6 years.”

“Do you have any proof of that?” she inquired.

“Yes. My four witnesses, not including Hermione, have worked with me for four of the past six years. Hermione also has some payroll record from the camp, showing that I have worked all year round at the camp for the past six years.” He told the Wizengamot. Hermione stood up and walked over to the guard and handed him the records. He gave them to Susan, and she quickly read over them.

“Very well. Mr. Malfoy, did you ever perform magic at all during the past 6 years?”

“Obviously I didn’t perform magic; you would have found me sooner. Just to point this out, if I never performed magic, that also shows that I never apparated to meet the Dark Lord.” Draco stated a little smugly. Hermione smiled at him. Things were looking pretty good for him.

“That will be all Mr. Malfoy. I’m just going to ask your witnesses some questions now. Actually, it’s just one question. I would like all of you to describe Mr. Malfoy for me, the good and the bad. I would like to start with Miss Thomas.” Susan said looking at Sarah.

“Well, Dan- Draco is one of the best people I’ve ever met. He’s very kind and sensitive. He’s one of my best friends. He works hard, and is a very responsible person. The only bad thing I can think of is he has a pretty bad temper. I have really only seen him completely lose it once.” Sarah said trying to suppress a smile.

“Would you please share this instance when he lost his temper?” Madam Bones asked. Sarah, Josh, Jess, and Mark all exchanged glances and smiled. Jess started giggling and Sarah had to try really hard not to laugh as she replied to Madam Bones.

“Well, it was last year at camp, his first year as director. We decided to sort of, pull a prank on him. One morning we put a plate of pancakes in his chair right before he sat down, and he… he sat right on them. After that, he completely lost it. He was yelling at everyone and then he stomped out of the mess hall, giving the whole camp a nice view of his sticky backside. It still annoys him to bring it up. ” Sarah said breaking into a fit of giggles. The four friends were snickering at the memory. Draco shot them a look that said ‘Remember where you are!’ and they stopped immediately.

“Mr. Green, would you please tell us what you think?”

“I completely agree with Sarah. He’s one of my best mates, and I can’t imagine life without him. Everyone at camp loves him, and he runs the place great. I think it’s a lot more fun then when I was a camper. He’s improved the place a lot. He keeps everything running smooth, and I think the place would fall apart without him. The only bad thing is he’s really bossy, but you get used to it.” Mark said with a smile on his face.

“Thank you, Mr. Green. We will continue with Mr. Walker.”

“Draco is a really cool guy. He’s great at his job, great at sports, and awesome with the kids. I think most of them like him better then our last director, Tony, to be honest. He’s respectful of everyone and wise beyond his years. I can ask him about anything. He’s kind of a slob though. I don’t recommend living with the bloke. He’s like my brother, and I love him regardless of his flaws.”

“Now, how about you tell us some things Miss Florence?”

“What can I add except that I love him to death! They said it all, and as you can see he’s a great guy. He’s one of the most caring people that I’ve met. I know for a fact he has changed a lot. I remember when Hermione used to come to camp and complain about this evil guy from her school that she absolutely loathed. Do you know who that guy was? Yes, it was Draco. Now they are dating. What other evidence of how much he has changed do you need?” Jess finished.

“Thank you all. Now, I have some questions for Miss Granger. To start, you are muggleborn, correct?” asked Madam Bones. Hermione nodded. “Did Mr. Malfoy tease you at all in school?”

“Well, yes. He actually teased me all of the time. He made fun of my looks, intellect, and blood. He also called me mudblood on several occasions.” Many members of the Wizengamot gasped at the mention of that horrible name. Draco flinched a little, he was not happy with what he had done in the past. “But, I forgave him for that. He is a changed man. If I can forgive him after the hell he put me through in Hogwarts, you should all be able to see that he is not a Death Eater. Harry is my best friend, and I fought beside him in the war. Who, besides Harry, would know dark wizards better than me? I know Draco Is no Death Eater. I love him, and he loves me, a muggleborn. If you can honestly accuse him of being a Death Eater after hearing all of these testimonies, then I think you’re all crazy.” Hermione stated passionately.

Everyone had their eyes on Madam Bones and the Minister for a reply. “It seems Mr. Malfoy may not be a Death Eater, but that doesn’t change the fact that because of his actions, Dumbledore is dead.” She said.

“That is not entirely true.” said a voice from behind Madam Bones. Harry stood up and everyone was instantly quiet. “May I say something Remus?”

“Go ahead Harry.” Remus urged. Harry took a deep breath.

“Dumbledore’s death was not Draco’s fault. Dumbledore and Severus Snape had planned Dumbledore’s death. Dumbledore had been very badly cursed, and had a year or less to live. Severus knew of Draco’s mission from Voldemort to kill Dumbledore, so they planned for Severus to eventually kill Dumbledore if Draco didn’t succeed. They didn’t think Draco would be able to, so the plan was for Severus to kill Dumbledore from the beginning. Draco was pretty much being used for their plan. Draco didn’t know of this at all.” Harry told everyone. The whole room was too shocked to speak. Madam Bones broke the silence.

“How did you find this out?”

“Severus gave me some of his memories before he died. They prove all of this, and they also prove he was always on the good side, too. He was best friends with my mother, and he loved her. Trust me; everything I’ve said is the truth. Draco is no Death Eater, and he had nothing to do with the death of Albus Dumbledore.” Tears were flowing down Hermione’s cheeks at this point. There was really no case against him anymore. There was no way they could convict him of any of the previously mentioned crimes.

“It’s now time for the Wizengamot to vote. All in favor of convicting Draco Malfoy and sentencing him to life in Azkaban please stand.” Only about half a dozen people stood up.

“All in favor of clearing him of all charges?” The rest of the Wizengamot stood up.

“Cleared of all charges.” Remus said before banging the gavel. The chains on the chair disappeared and Draco stood up. Hermione threw her arms around him and hugged him as tightly as she possibly could. She wasn’t ever letting go.

“Hermione, the guy has to breathe.” Josh said from behind her. She loosened her grip a little.

“He happens to have other friends as well.” Sarah said with fake anger in her voice. Hermione let go of him as Sarah and Jessie both came over and gave him hugs. The guys shared a very ‘manly’ hug as well.

“We’re going to go sit down outside of the courtroom. You guys take a little time alone.” Jessie said winking at the couple. The four friends left the courtroom and Hermione and Draco were pretty much alone. She wrapped her arms around his waist and pressed her head to his chest. She could hear his heart beat, and it comforted her instantly. He wrapped his arms around her as well.

“I missed you.” He whispered.

“I missed you too.” She replied. He stepped back a little and looked into her eyes.

“Can you do me a favor?”


“Kiss me, right here.” he said putting a finger to his lips. It took less then a second for her lips to be on his. A fire ignited inside of both of them. The kiss was full of passion and love. Her hands were on either side of his face, while one of his hands was on her neck and the other was placed firmly on her lower back. They were completely lost in each other, and oblivious to the world around them. They broke apart when there were flashes of blinding light coming from all around them. About 50 reporters had entered the courtroom. They looked at each other and smiled. Nothing could ruin their moods, even crazy reporters. They smiled at the cameras and placed their arms around each other’s waists. They were together again, and that was all that mattered.

About an hour later, Hermione and Draco emerged from the courtroom. Out side, Jessie and Josh were sitting together on the bench. Jessie was in Josh’s lap, and she was leaning back against him and he had his hands around her waist. Sarah and Mark were sitting on the floor playing cards. Sarah carried them everywhere just in case. The four of them looked up when they heard Hermione and Draco coming over.

“You guy’s finally done? Because I’m pretty starving.” Mark told them. Everyone laughed.

“When are you not hungry? It’s okay though. We should leave now if we want to eat. It’s about quarter til 5, and the bus leaves at 6:30. Well, actually if we leave now we can actually take our time and eat. So we all ready?” Hermione asked. Everyone nodded. “Okay, let’s go.” The group of friends started walking toward the lift.

“Hermione!” Someone yelled from behind them. Hermione turned and saw Harry and Ginny walking toward them. Hermione ran up to Harry and gave him a hug.

“Thank you so much Harry! We wouldn’t have been able to do it without you!” Hermione told her best friend.

“It’s okay. I would do anything for you Hermione. Honestly, you should know that after 13 years of being my best friend. As long as you are happy, I’m happy.” Harry replied. Hermione then turned to Ginny with an apologetic look on her face.

“It’s okay, Harry explained. You are going to have to explain it to mum and everyone though.” Ginny said.

“I will, I promise. I’ll call you at the Burrow later on this week. Family day is Saturday, so I’ll see you there. Harry knows where he’s going. I’m really sorry but we have to bet back to camp.” Hermione said. Ginny nodded and gave Hermione a hug. Hermione walked back over to Draco and the others. Draco, Hermione, Josh, Jessie, Sarah, and Mark all piled on the lift. After leaving the Ministry they all loaded onto the Knight Bus to head back to the village. When they arrived, it was about 5:30 and they had enough time to eat dinner before it was time to leave. They all stuffed themselves full of pizza at the pizza parlor. At 6:30 they went and got on the bus with all of the campers and other staff.

All the kids were chatting happily with their friends about their days and the purchases they made in town. They couldn’t wait to get back to see their friends that had stayed behind. During the ride back, Hermione laid her head on Draco’s shoulder and fell asleep instantly. She was knocked out for the entire ride back to camp. When they pulled up to the office, all of the campers fled off the bus and ran to go find their friends so they could tell stories about their day and show each other what they bought.

Draco picked up Hermione and carried her bridal-style to the Blue Jay cabin. He laid her down on the bed and gently kissed her forehead. He gave Sarah a hug as well before he went off to go and find the guys. It was only 7 o’clock. Even though everyone else at the camp was too excited to sleep, Hermione slept like she had not slept in years. She slept through the night, and late into Sunday morning. Little did she know that something bad was coming her way. She may have thought her troubles were over, but they were just beginning. 

Somewhere Unknown…

A man in a tattered black cloak was walking through the woods. He was going to meet his companions at the site where they were hiding. He had gone into the town to scrounge up some food for them, but he found something far more interesting. He knew that his friend would be furious with what was written in the newspaper in his hands. His wife would be just as angry.

He walked into the clearing and pulled down his hood. His face was gaunt, and his skin was ghostly pale. He walked up to one of his longest friends and threw the paper at him before sitting beside his wife.

“What’s with the paper? Where’s the food Rodolphus?” asked Bellatrix.

“Just wait and see Bella. Food is the least of our worries now.” He replied with a sinister smirk on his face. Lucius opened the paper and glanced at the front page. His face immediately twisted in anger.

“That traitor is dead! He’s a filthy little blood traitor like those god damn Weasleys! He will pay for soiling the Malfoy name. I have no son.” Lucius yelled throwing the paper on the ground. Bellatrix went and picked the paper up. She read the cover and a scowl appeared on her face.

“It thought my nephew was better then that! If I would have known he had stooped to this level, I would have killed him a long time ago! Now that we know, He will not live to see another week!” Bellatrix screamed throwing the paper into the fire.

“I take it we are going to find him?” Rodolphus asked.

“Not only find him, but kill him and his little mudblood as well.”  Lucius replied. The threesome looked into the fire as the paper burned. There was a small piece of parchment that had not yet burned up. The headline was visible along with a tiny fragment of a picture visible. The headline read, “Draco Malfoy, CLEARED OF ALL CHARGES!” Underneath was the slowly burning image of Hermione and Draco, lips locked in a passionate kiss. 

Thanks for reading everyone :D

I hope you liked it, it was a joy to write, with all the evilness and everything ;]
The quote "Kiss me, right here." was another quote from Grey's Anatomy. Maybe not and exact one, but oh well. I love that show :)

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