Chapter 15 : Dead On the Surface, Screaming Underneath
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Hi everyone! Here's chapter 15....It's my favorite so far:)
Come on, oh my star is fading
And I see no chance of release
And I know I’m dead on the surface
But I am screaming underneath
“Hermione Granger, after all the years that I’ve known you, I would never have guessed that you had such a terrible taste in decorations.”
Hermione shot Ginny a playful glare, and picked up one of the flowers from the basket.
“Come on Ginny, they’re yellow. It happens to be a color of warmth and relaxation.”
Ginny rolled her eyes.
“I would agree with you if they were actually decent looking. But they’re the most ghastly shade of yellow that I’ve ever seen.”
Hermione jumped backwards, attempting to stop Ginny from swiping the flowers from her hand, and almost knocked into Mrs. Weasley. When she caught her balance, Ginny quickly grabbed the bouquet.
“These are going into the “absolutely not” pile.”
Mrs. Weasley grabbed Ginny’s shoulder.
“Ginny, dear, this is Hermione’s wedding, not yours. You already had your time to choose the decorations, and now it’s her turn,” Mrs. Weasley stated, pointed a finger at Ginny. Hermione shot a victorious glare at Ginny.
Hermione watched as Mrs. Weasley surveyed the bouquet.
“But if I had to be honest dear, its, not the most attractive shade of yellow.”
Ginny smiled as she placed the flowers in the “absolutely not” pile.
‘How is everything coming?”
The three turned to see the wedding planner, Ms. Pemviord daintily strutting down the church aisle, with a clipboard in her hand.
“Well, so far we’ve picked out the flowers and decorations for the entrance of the church, the pews, and the aisle. And I’ve decided to go with the floating lights above the alter. I think that’ll look really nice,” answered Hermione.
A grinning Ms. Pemviord finally reached them, checking off a list in her hand.
“And the music for your entrance?”
“Ron and I like the idea of the string quartet.”
“Wonderful. I know of the perfect group that would just love to play for you.”
She lifted a few pages up, searching for more items.
“I think that’s all for the church decorations. And all of the invitations are sent out?”
“We’re almost done.”
Ms. Pemviord smiled as the re positioned the clipboard under her arm.
“Hermione, we are making excellent progress. All that’s really left is the catering for the reception, the bridesmaid dresses, and of course, your own dress,” she said with a wink.
“That’s good to hear.”
“I see that you’re still looking for the right bouquet?”
“Yes, we are.”
“Well, if you want to see more of a selection, I can bring some more another time. Do you have any ones you like?”
Hermione turned to survey the pile of a dozen or so bouquets on the table. She spotted a pretty lavender, pink and white arrangement that she had missed.
“I like that one,” she pointed.
Ms. Pemviord adjusted her glasses to catch a better look.
“Ah, yes. A very, verry good choice. Is this the one? Or would you like to see more?”
“It’s great. I’ll go with that one.”
“I think it’s the prettiest one here Hermione”
Hermione shot a grin at Ginny.
“I’m not as hopeless as you thought.”
Ms. Pemviord grabbed the bouquet.
“That’s everything I had planned for today. Everything looks absolutely wonderful, Hermione. I’ll contact you with any other things I need you to do.”
“Thank you so much Ms. Pemviord.”
“Not a problem at all. It was nice to see you too Ginny, and Molly. I will see you all later.”
They said their last goodbyes as she turned to walk back down the aisle. But something caught her eyes on the table, and she whipped around. Hermione saw her pick up the bouquet of yellow follows with a grimace.
“I don’t have any idea how these ended up in here. These are just hideous.”
She turned to them and smiled.
The three watched her walk down the long aisle to dispose the bouquet in her hands, and out the double doors.
Hermione watched as a smirking Ginny began to speak.
“Don’t you say anything, Ginny”
Ginny attempted to contain her laughter with her hand as Ms. Weasley faced Hermione.
“I’m thrilled the planning is going so well! You are Ron will have such a beautiful ceremony,” she beamed, “Now, we’ll all go to lunch at the Leakey Caldron to celebrate. I’m going to the ladies room, and then we’ll be off.”
After her mother exited at the end of the aisle, Ginny began to gather her things.
“Everything is going to look fabulous, Hermione! I’m so excited.”
Hermione returned her smile.
“It’s all coming together.”
She reached for her bag, surveying the flowers one last time.
“I miss Harry,” she said with a sigh, “I wish they could meet us for lunch.”
Hermione halted, lowering her arms to her side. She closed her eyes for a few moments and turned to Ginny.
“That’s right, they’re preparing for the inquest. I forgot about it until now.”
Ginny narrowed her eyes at Hermione as she finished grabbing her belongings.
“So, are you going or not?”
Ginny crossed her arms.
“Hermione, you’re the head of a department. Shouldn’t you go?”
Hermione walked past Ginny and fell into one of the pews in the very first row. She placed her elbows on her thighs, and placed her cheeks in the palms of her hands.
“I can’t, Ginny. I can’t watch them tear him to pieces.”
Ginny sat beside Hermione, letting a few silent moments pass. Then, she wrinkled her brow in confusion.
“Hermione, what happened when you visited him last night? You barely told me anything about it yesterday.”
Hermione shifted uneasily in her seat.
“Nothing happened. We just talked.”
Ginny sat up straighter and crossed her arms.
“You seemed upset last night. What happened.”
“Nothing…nothing happened. It’s just upsetting to see him like that.”
“Hermione Jean Granger, you’re a terrible liar.”
Hermione stood from her seat and walked a few feet in front of Ginny. Then, she turned around.
“He’s innocent Ginny. I know he is. I can’t watch them attack Draco when he didn’t do anything to deserve it.”
“Wait a minute. Just the other day you said that you didn’t believe him. Why do you think he’s innocent now? Hermione, what did he say that changed your mind?”
“I can’t tell you Ginny, but I know that he’s telling the truth.”
“What do you mean you can’t tell me? This is why I didn’t think it was a good idea for you to go see him last night. He convinced you in some Malfoyish way to believe his lie.”
Hermione dropped her jaw in shock.
“Draco isn’t lying! He never killed Terence!”
“But how did he explain the evidence to you? What made you believe him?”
“You couldn’t understand.”
“Then help me to!”
“This is between me and him, Ginny. You can believe whatever you want, but I know Draco isn’t a murderer.”
Ginny raised her hands slowly in the air.
“Alright, Hermione. We shouldn’t argue over this. I really understand what you’re going through, Hermione. You loved him once, and this is a side that you never thought existed. If it’s too hard to see him be prosecuted, then don’t go to the inquest. That is completely understandable. You have every right to feel that way. Whether Draco is innocent or not, I just don’t want to see this whole mess tear you apart. I care about you too much.”
She placed a hand on Hermione’s shoulder.
The two girls embraced each other, breaking away after a few moments.
“You’re right. Whatever happened in that cell last night is between you and him. It isn’t any of my business. But you know, I am my mother’s daughter, “she said with a grin.
Hermione smiled, thanking Ginny once more.
“Come on girls! Let’s go to lunch,” hollered Mrs. Weasley from the doors.
Ginny and Hermione walked down the steps, and slowly made their way down the long aisle. Just before reaching the door, they both turned to survey the chapel.
“Just think. Soon, you’ll be standing right in this very spot in a shimmering white wedding dress.”
Hermione paused, glancing around the chapel.
“Hurry up, dears!” shouted Mrs. Weasley from down the hall.
“It’s hard to believe, Ginny. It’s hard to believe."
The Ministry was chaos. As the massive crowed shouted in the atrium, Harry, Ron, and other top aurors attempted to push their way through the crowds into the smaller courtroom. Harry tried to shield his face with a free hand as cameras flashed into this face. Security officers attempted to hold the crowds and reporters back, but it was still difficult.
One Daily Prophet nudged his way up to Harry.
“Mr. Potter, would you wish to comment?” he shouted.
Harry kept of walking straight through the cleared path.
Finally, the group made their way into the courtroom, surveying the room. The inquest would not take place in the standard trial courtroom, because it was not considered a trial yet. Only the presiding judge, private investigator, the two lawyers, security aurors, and selected ministry elite officials would be in attendance. Many of the ministry officials were in their seats, having heated conversations that filled the room. Harry spotted Lenard and his advisors talking with the ministry’s lawyer, Thomas Buckley.
“Harry Potter, how good it is to see you once again.”
He turned to face the head judge himself, Justice John Matton, standing with his security escort. Harry smiled and took his hand.
“It is a pleasure to see you too, your honor.”
The judge smiled.
“I wish I wasn’t seeing you in these circumstances. What an unthinkable tragedy.”
“I know sir.”
‘Well, I’ll talk with you later Harry. It was nice to see you.”
The judge made his way up to his elevated seat and gavel, and was greeted by ministry officials. Harry then turned to Ron.
“It’s going to be madness when they bring Malfoy up from the detention level.”
“I know. But once he gets through the crowd, there’s less people in here.”
The two turned to see Sam Goldwater enter with his security escort. They quickly caught his eye.
“Harry, Ron. Nice to see you both,” he said in a rushed tone.
“Are you ready for today, Sam?”
He let out a somber chuckle.
“As ready as I’ll every be.”
They watched Sam glance around the room.
“Have they begun to move Draco up yet?
He nodded. After pausing for a few moments, he spoke.
“Do you think I could help escort Draco up with the other security aurors?”
Harry turned to Ron, and shrugged.
“I don’t see why not. You’d better head down now though. They’re bringing him up soon.”
“Thank you Harry.”
Sam then turned to his security escort, telling him of his plan, and the two exciting the room.
At the very same moment, Barry Samsburg, along Narcissa Malfoy and five security escorts, was being lowered to the detention level in the brass elevator. Once it reached the ground, the seven quickly exited through the door, and were greeted by the guards.
“Hello, Mr. Samsburg.”
Barry nodded to the guard as the five escorts followed him to Draco’s cell. He looked to his right to see Narcissa’s blank stare, and her darkened eyes, exhausted from worry.
“Barry, I’m worried about bringing Draco up into the atrium. He’ll be attacked by all of those reporters. “
“There’s nothing we can do to change that, Narcissa. We do have five security personel to escort us though.”
Narcissa responded with a somber nod.
The party quickly reached Draco’s cell, and as the guard unlocked the door, Barry and Narcissa prepared to enter. Once the door was opened, they spotted Draco.
He was in his usual position on the cot, except this time, his face wasn’t buried in his hands. Barry watched Narcissa quickly move to her son. She lowered herself beside him, and took him in her arms.
“How are you, Draco?” Barry asked.
“I’m doing fine.”
Barry sat in his chair across from Draco, and sighed as Narcissa still held him in a tight embrace.
“Well, as you know, today is the day of your inquest. The court is ready for you now.”
He watched Draco nod as Narcissa released him, lifting a leather glove to his cheek.
“You are going to have to be strong, Draco.”
‘I’m right here for you. I’ll be sitting just a few rows back,” said Narcissa.
He clenched his jaw as Narcissa choked back a few tears.
“I love you, mother.”
Narcissa rubbed his arm and nodded, too emotional to speak.
“Mr. Samsburg, it’s time.”
Barry turned to the head security esport.
“Thank you. We’re ready.”
Narcissa and Barry helped Draco to stand, and slowly began to exit from the cell.
“I must say, I’m really thrilled to finally get out of here,” Draco softly smirked.
“You’ve been here for quite a while.”
Barry ushered Narcissa out of the way as one of the security escorts grabbed Draco by the shoulders, and the other handcuffed him. They placed Draco in the center of the formation, with two grabbing on to each of his upper arms, and the others, with wands drawn, taking up the front and back. One stood beside Narcissa and Barry.
Barry addressed the head security escort.
“As his attorney, sir, I have the right to stand beside my client.”
The head escort nodded.
Barry wedged himself between the middle and front security escorts, and the escort stood beside Narcissa in the back.
“Draco, dear, I’m right behind you. I’m right here.”
For the first time, Barry heard a twinge fear in Draco’s voice.
“I know, mother.”
The group was just about to leave, when the detention level doors opened to reveal the private investigator, Sam Goldwater.
“Hello gentlemen, Mrs. Malfoy. I am here to be another escort for Draco.”
Draco felt a tiny bit better. Sam was an old friend, and was somewhat comforted to see him.
“How are you, Draco?” he said with a genuine smile.
“Honestly Sam, I’ve been better.”
“Mr. Goldwater, we really must be going,” said the head escort.
“Right you are sir.”
Sam stood on the other side of Draco as the group began to walk toward the door.
“It’s been a while, Sam,” said Draco.
“I know, it has.”
Draco attempted to turn to Sam as the guard opened the doors.
“Sam, you know that I would never do anything like this.”
Sam gave a sad smile.
“I would never have previously suspected you of doing such a thing. But Draco, my duty is to state the facts of the investigation. I must remain neutral.”
As they entered the brass doors, Sam spoke again.
“But Draco, I have been, and always will be, your friend,” Sam stated with a genuine smile.
“That’s good to hear.”
The doors closed, and the elevator began to rise from the bottom level.
“I must warn you all,” Sam stated, “That you must prepare yourselves for the crowd that will greet us when these doors open. Our number one priority is to get Draco to the courtroom swiftly and safely.”
A ripple of fear rushed through Draco. He wasn’t prepared for this. Most of all, he worried how his mother would react. The seconds seemed to last for days as the elevator slowly crept upwards to the atrium floor. From behind him, he heard his mother take in large breath when the elevator halted. They could hear the shouts and cries of the crowd outside the elevator, which sent blades of fear through Draco’s stomach.
Barry turned to him.
“Draco, son, you can do this. You’re innocent. And you have to keep on holding onto that. We can do this.”
He responded with an uneasy nod.
Sam politely pushed past everyone to the front.
“Alright everyone. There will be aurors outside clearing a path. We will be able to see the courtroom entrance from here. I want everyone to keep their heads down, and walk as quickly as they can. Do not, I repeat, do not respond to reporters.”
Sam nodded to Draco.
“Are we ready?”
Draco felt his hands trembling in their cuffs as he took a large breath.
As the door opened, the last thing he heard was his mother whispering, “I love you, Draco.”
It was complete, utter madness when the group exited the elevator. The massive crowd broke out in shouts as they began to walk towards the court room. Even with his head lowered, Draco could still see the crowd pushing against the aurors, and the blinding camera flashes erupting in his eyes. As they went farther into the mass, he felt Barry’s grip on his arm tighten.
“There he is! It’s Malfoy!”
“Quick, get a shot of him and Samsburg!”
“He’s a murderer!”
“How could you take Terence from his wife and children?! You’re a monster!”
“He’s just like his father, he is!”
“You deserve Azkaban for the rest of your pathetic life!”
“No! He deserves the same fate that Terence had!”
The angry crowd yelled, cursed, and shouted at him. Each comment was a dagger into his chest. He wasn’t any of those things. He was innocent.
“Get another shot of Goldwater! And the mother!”
“Look at him! He looks guilty!”
“You’re a power hungry, heartless, no good killer!”
“You’re going down, Malfoy!”
“Can you believe he was going to be our next minister? What a scumbag!”
“Wait until Buckley gets a hold of you!”
Draco kept his head down, and eyes closed. This was too much to take it at once.
“Come on, now! Get out of the way!” shouted Sam and they pushed through the crowd.
After minutes that seemed to last an eternity, Draco heard doors open in front of him, and saw flashes stop. They had reached the courtroom. He opened his eyes.
It was a smaller courtroom, with fifteen or so rows for audience seating on either side, two large desks in the front for the defense and the prosecution, and the elevated Judge’s chair. Everyone was standing, all whispering and commenting to one another as he passed. Just a month ago, he was one of these ministry elites; he had power, fame, and respect. It had all vanished in one night. All of his former colleagues shamefully eyed him, some nodding their heads back and forth in disgust. He saw a few reporters without cameras seated in the back, their notepads at the ready.
He was led to the desk on the right, where he was seated. Barry sat next to him behind the desk, placing his briefcase beside him. Draco watched as the security escorts divided: three went to back to stand at the entrance, one stood beside him to his left, and one stood behind the judge. For the next few minutes, everyone began to settle into their seats and positions. He saw Sam lower himself into a desk to the right of the judge, and noticed Barry shuffling through papers in his leather briefcase. Draco leaned forward a bit to catch sight of the prosecuting attorney, Thomas Buckley. He had heard of his notorious reputation in the courtroom, which made him nervous.
Draco found himself looking for her. He searched the rows of ministry officials, not expecting to see her there. He knew that Hermione wouldn’t come to the inquest. It would be too much for her to handle. He did catch a glimpse of Weasley, Potter, and his wife Ginny a few rows behind Buckley’s desk. Hermione wasn’t with them. Weasley had his arms crossed with a vacant expression on his face, while Potter kept on fidgeting in his seat as he whispered messages to his wife. Ginny kept crossing and uncrossing her legs as she responded to her husband. He knew that the redhead would tell Hermione everything that happened here today.
Suddenly the room quieted as the court Marshall stood from his seat, grabbing the gavel by the Judge’s desk.
“All rise and give your attention. The honorable Justice John Matton.”
The shuffling of feet and the pushing back of chairs sounded as everyone stood from their seats, including Draco with hits handcuffs.
“This inquest is now in session,” stated the Marshall. With the banging of his gavel once again, everyone lowered back into their seats.
Everyone watched as Justice Matton placed his spectacles on the bridge of his nose, and lifted his face to the court.
“Today, we gather for the inquest of the murder of the late Minister of Magic, Terence M. Fletcher. The procedure will go as follows. The Chief Medical Healer will present his findings, the private investigator will speak, and then each counsel will have the opportunity to speak and present their case, and we will decide to bring this case to full trial.”
He cleared his throat.
“Is the Defense ready?” he asked, facing Barry.
“Yes, your honor.”
He turned to a grinning Buckley.
“More than ready, your honor.”
The judge placed his papers in front of him, and picked up his gavel.
“May the chief medical healer please come forward,” he said with two bangs of his gavel.
Through once of the side doors, a wizard with a long dark blue robs emerged. He nodded to the judge, and stood at the center in the front.
“You may proceed at will, Healer Mismick.”
“Thank you, your honor.”
He turned to face the audience.
“Ladies and gentlemen, board members and department head, counsels, and the judge, as the chief medical healer, I have come to present the medical findings in the murder of Terence Fletcher.
“When my team and I examined the deceased body of the Minister, we came to the conclusion that he was murdered an unforgivable killing curse. It was a direct shot to the upper right chest quadrant. There was no possible way that this was a suicide attempt, because it impossible for his arm to bend in the proper angle that it would have to have been in to reach the exact target point.”
Sighs and comments sprang up randomly around the audience, each shocked or upset about hearing the manner of their late minister’s death.
“Some of our other findings include that Terence has a small traceable about of liquor in his system, meaning that he had a small social drink before he was killed. Also there was a small bruise on his lower thigh, meaning that he had tripped, or fallen over a piece of furniture before his life was taken.”
“Most of you are aware that the killer’s wand was left beside the body, as well as his crushed pocket watch, with the time of 12:00 and 32 seconds. This means that the minister was murder exactly at midnight.”
The healer faced the judge.
“That is all of the findings that my team has discovered, your honor.”
“Thank you for the presentation, Healer Mismick.”
Judge Matton turned to Sam.
“Mr. Goldwater, will you please present yourself to the court.”
Sam slowly stood, and walked to the center. He nodded to each counsel, as well as the judge.
“Since this is only a mere inquest, and not a full trial, I do not feel the obligation to present all of my additional findings to the court at this time. However, I do support all of the findings of Healer Mismick and his team. And I will say that Mr. Malfoy is the only suspect in this case at this time.”
“Thank you your honor.”
Sam nodded, and made his way back to his seat. Judge Matton returned with another move of his head, and banged his gavel.
“Thank you for your speech, Mr. Goldwater. I greatly respect your decision. If this case does go to a full trial, however, you must present your findings in full court.”
Draco looked at Sam, a smidge of hope rising within him. Sam was a very good man, with strong moral values. He would do nothing to persuade the judge either way before full trial. Not many wizards would have the integrity to do that.
“At this time, I will ask each counsel to present their cases. First, I will ask the defense to speak first. Mr. Barry Samsburg, will you please rise and address the court.”
Barry flashed a small smile to Draco before he stood. He walked out from behind the desk, and stood in the center of the courtroom. Barry was in his element: the courtroom. Even with his nemesis sitting a few feet beside him, he showed no fear or nerves.
“Members of the audience, Justice Matton, and Mr. Goldwater. I come before you today to testify on the behalf of my client, Mr. Draco Malfoy.”
“A grave and horrendous act has been committed with the murder of Terence Fletcher. We are all devastated, and grieving members of the wizarding world. Yes, Draco Malfoy is the only suspect in the case, but that cannot be where we stop. First, there could have been anyone hiding out in the ministry at night, waiting for the minister. My client strongly states that he found the minister, dead in his office.”
“I come before you all today to urge this court to postpone even the thought of the trial until we have further evidence in this case. Release my client with a probation, or even house arrest status until you have sufficient findings to bring another suspect into this case. For the sake of my client, it is utterly unfair that there are no other suspects presented in this case. What about the rings of underground Voldemort supporters who have been attempting to bring back the dark lord since his demise? What about the thousands of other wizards and witches who were against Terence’s pro muggleborn education programs? They could have also played a part in this.”
“I will stop myself here, because I feel that I have stated my point very vividly. The prosecution has a very little case to go to trial with. Release my client with a probation status, and allow for more time to gather evidence. It will prevent further turmoil, and allow my client to have a fair trial. Thank you, your honor.”
Barry nodded and sat beside Draco. Whispers broke out among the crowd when Barry mentioned releasing Draco on probation status. His stomach faltered when he saw Buckley smirking on the edge of his seat by the desk to his left. It was getting closer for his time to speak.
“Thank you for your time Mr. Samsburg.”
He cleared his throat again.
“Now it is time for the prosecution to present their case. Mr. Thomas Buckley, please stand and address the court.”
After shooting a grin towards Lenard, he stood in the center of the court. He pushed back a strand of greased back hair with a large hand, and brought his finger tips together as he prepared to speak.
“Good afternoon, gentlemen, ladies, ministry officials, your esteemed honor. My name, of course, is Thomas Buckley, and I am here for one purpose, and one purpose only: to bring justice to our world for the sheer pain and devastation that resulted with the brutal murder of our dear Minister, the late Terence Fletcher.”
“My opponent,” he ushered to Barry, “Says that there is a sufficient amount of evidence to conduct a full trial. But this, my friends, is complete rubbish. Our prestigious team of aurors, medical healers, such as Mr. Mismick, and the great Sam Goldwater himself, have been working nonstop to gather enough evidence in this case. So I’m terribly sorry to contradict you, Barry, but there is an ample amount of evidence to have a trial to prosecute Mr. Malfoy here. Have you not been reading the news, or listening to your friends, or did you even listen to Mr. Mismick? There is evidence pouring out of the sky right upon us. What more do we need?”
“And for the possible underground ex-Voldemort supporters as possible suspects? That is the most astounding piece of garbage that has come to my ears. Mr. Samsburg undermines our wonder auror department for the, wait, let’s see, third time today. They have been tracking down these coldblooded murderers for years, and have been extremely successful. And the accusation against the opponents of the muggle born legislation? Mr. Samsburg goes to wrongfully attack a group of peaceful wizards, who happen to share different beliefs than his. Who would do such a thing? I’m terribly sorry that you had to hear that about your aurors, Mr. Potter. It is just despicable and foolish.”
Draco’s stomach sank when he heard some excited whispers of agreement in the court room. To his left, Barry was fuming with anger in his seat. Buckley kept on turning back to the judge.
“And asking to release Mr. Malfoy to search for more evidence? Who is their right mind would agree with such a rubbish request? Mr. Malfoy, whether you like it or not Barry, is a suspect of murder. He was found in the office of the minister, wand in hand, beside the dead minister. Mr. Malfoy is a cold blooded killer! And a cold blooded killer deserves justice! Justice is needed! We must fight for justice-
Barry flew out of his seat.
“Objection! Your honor that is speculation! That should be taken off the court records immediately, and Mr. should be reminded of the elementary law school rule that there is no form of speculation in court,” Barry shouted.
Justice Matton raised his hand to diffuse the situation.
“Mr. Buckley, please no speculation in this courtroom.”
Buckley flashed his greasy smile, and flashed his palms.
“I’m terribly sorry your honor, I was just showing a glimpse of my sheer passion for this case. Before I was saying before I was rudely interrupted, there is so reason whatsoever why Mr. Malfoy should be released.”
“To conclude my case, this court needs to fully prosecute Draco Malfoy, and take him to full court for his murder of Terence Fletcher. It is the only way for justice to be served in this horrendous case, and the only way for our hearts to heal after such a tragic, tragic loss. Thank you.”
Buckley smirked at Barry, and then lowered himself in his seat. Draco was beginning to worry about Barry, who was bright red with frustration and anger.
“Thank you for your case, Mr. Buckley. Now it is time to deliberate on what we will do with the case of Draco Malfoy. I will give the defendant one last opportunity to speak.”
“Your honor, could I ask for a five minute council with my client?”
“Yes, you may Mr. Samsburg.”
The court broke out in chatter as soon as the gavel hit the table. Barry grabbed Draco by the shoulder and turned to him.
“Draco, here’s what’s going to happen. This is either going to go to court, or get dismissed. It would be a miracle at this point if this got dismissed. At full trial, there is more freedom for prosecution, and witnesses will be involved. Draco, the odds are that if we lose, you may receive a sentence for Azkaban, or even a death sentence.”
Draco paced his head in his hands.
“Listen to me. We can enter a plea bargain, and your sentence may be released. All you would have to do is admit that you are guilty, and an arrangement could be worked out….”
Draco whipped his face upwards.
“Barry, I didn’t murder Terence. I will never, not ever, admit that I did. I’ll take the risk of a trial, Barry. It’s the only option that I have.”
Barry sighed as he removed his spectacles to rub his eyes. After placing them back on, he turned to Draco once more.
“Is that your final decision?”
As Barry slowly stood from his seat, the audience hushed.
“Your honor, I am finished counseling with my client.”
“Thank you Mr. Samsburg. Now, do you have anything else to say before I deliberate?”
Barry pursed his lips together.
“No, sir. You may deliberate.”
He lowered himself into his seat.
The judge then paused for a few minutes, looking through his files, and reading off the official court record. After silence, he then adjusted his spectacles, and picked up his gavel.
“In the case of the murder of the Minister of Magic, Terence Fletcher, I state that this case will move to a full prosecution trial, titled, The Ministry of Magic vs. Draco Malfoy. The court date is set for next Thursday at 8:30 am. Legal teams will be present and ready, and the trial will be open to the public. I would ask that the witness lists are finalized, and that the ministry begins preparations for this massive trail. Mr. Draco Malfoy will not be released in any form, and will be returning back to the high security holding cells in the detention level until the trial on Tuesday. I would ask that the security measures in the detention levels are raised. Thank you for your time. You are all dismissed.”
With the banging of his gavel, the room erupted into chatter and shouts. The security guards immediately flocked to Draco, each grabbing onto each of his arms. Barry turned to him.
“We are going to full trial Draco. I’m going to be hard at work for a case for the remainder of the week. Since they just deliberated, your mother and I can’t accompany you back to your cell, but I assure you we will both visit as soon as we possibly can. “
Draco was partially listening to Barry, and part of his was numb as he searched for his mother’s face. He knew that she would be upset about Buckley’s speculations.
“Draco, look at me.”
He turned to Barry.
“Stay strong, son. Stay strong for your mother and me.”
After his final words, they security officers began to escort him down the aisle and back down the doors. He couldn’t face all of the glares and condemning looks of his former colleagues. Draco turned to one of the officers.
“Please, let me see my mother.”
“No, sir. That isn’t permitted.”
Draco attempted to turn around.
‘Please, I have to see her.”
The guards tightened their grip as they thrust him forward.
“I need to see at my mother!” he shouted, a small bit of despair seeping through his voice.
The guards began to push him downward, threatening to pin him down if he didn’t comply.
“That’s enough Mr. Malfoy, settle down.”
As they spun him around, he caught the eye of Weasley, Potter, and Ginny. Weasley was glaring at him, his arms crossed, and Potter was looking at him with some form of disgust. Ginny was avoiding his gaze, and was staring at the floor.
And as they pushed him past the two male remnants of the golden trio, he wondered if the third member would have the strength to look at him, if she was here.
The trial starts in the next two chapters! I'm so excited:D
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