Chapter 3 : The Trial
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Albus stood up, “This morning Arthur Weasley contacted me about Harry Potter. It seems that he got information that the boy had been injured and was in a muggle hospital. We moved him this afternoon to St Mungo’s. He is being treated for severe injuries inflicted upon him by his uncle. I witnessed the man threatening Mr. Potter to keep quiet about how he was injured. Arthur, please tell us everything that has happened to you today.”
Arthur stood up and walked to the center of the room, “This morning I was sent to St. Mungo’s to deal with a misuse of muggle artifacts case. On my way back to the ministry I was approached in the alley. The person pulled me aside and told me that Harry Potter was in danger and asked me to please check on him in a local muggle hospital. I asked the man why he didn’t do it himself and he said that no one would believe him.”
One of the Wizengamot asked, “Why wouldn’t anyone believe him?”
Arthur said, “Because it was Sirius Black.” Gasps and murmurs were heard around the room.
The same person asked, “Why would he want to save Harry Potter?”
“I asked the same question and he said he wasn’t the secret keeper,” Arthur said, “Peter Petegrew was and that Peter was still alive and living as a rat, he is an unregistered animagus.”
The person asked, “Do you have any proof of this?”
“We might.” Alastor stood up and said, “I have here a rat that is an animagus. We haven’t transformed him we wanted to do this here. I currently do not have any rats on the animagus registry list. And this rat is missing a digit on one of his hands; all we found of Petegrew was a finger.”
“Very well please proceed.” Albus said.
First Alastor stunned the rat, he then removed him from the cage and used the spell to force him to transform back to his human form. It looked like Petegrew so he pulled out a vile and dropped three drops on the man’s tongue. Mean while Arthur had returned to the dog’s side, he held him by the neck and was whispering into his ear. The dog was growling a low menacing growl the whole time.
Alastor revived the man and helped him into a chair. And the questions began Alastor asked, “What is your name.”
The man in the chair answered, “Peter Petegrew.”
“Was Sirius Black the Potter’s secret keeper?”
“Did you give You-Know-Who the location of the Potter’s safe house?
“Were you there that night?”
“I was outside the house.”
“What did you see?”
“It was quiet until the top of the house exploded and then the screaming black cloud went by.”
“What was this cloud?”
“I don’t know but it screamed like a human.”
“Who convinced the Potter’s to make you the secret keeper instead of Sirius Black?”
“I did, I said it would be a great prank on You-Know-Who. But it was really a prank on them.”
“How long have you been a death eater?”
“How long have you been an unregister animagus?”
“All those in favor of clearing Sirius Black on all charges.” Every hand was raised, Albus continued, “All in favor of sentencing Peter Petegrew to the full sentence that was given to Sirius Black.” Again every hand was raised. “All in favor of increasing the sentence three years for being an unregister animagus.” A third time every hand was raised.
Albus looked at the dog, “A grave injustice has been done to Sirius Black. Not only did he loose two friends to death, he lost the others to treachery. However there is still the matter of another unregistered animagus that must be dealt with.”
Sirius changed and stood up next to Arthur, “I fully accept my punishment for being unregistered. However I would like to register before I go back.”
“I believe the maximum sentence for an unregister animagus is three years.” Albus said, “All in favor of declaring that the sentence has already been fulfilled.” For the fourth time all hands in the Wizengamot were raised.
“Very well Mr. Black you may go in peace,“ Albus said, “but to be at peace today you may want to go four legged. Arthur please make sure he gets to the registry office. Good day gentlemen.”
Arthur clapped Sirius on the back; Sirius was still too stunned to speak.
“Alastor,” Albus said, “I leave to you the task of taking out the trash.”
Alastor nodded and called for a couple of guards. Once they had Peter firmly in their grasp Alastor walked over to Sirius and stuck out his hand, “Sirius, I have never been so glad to be wrong in my life. I am sorry for my part in your imprisonment.”
Sirius shook his hand, “I would have done the same had roles been reversed. No hard feelings.” Sirius whooped with joy and gave Arthur a bear hug, “Let’s go get me registered.”
“Ok, go to puppy mode and let’s get you out of here.“ Arthur laughed, he dropped Sirius off after showing the form that he was free. While he was registering Arthur stepped to the floo.
When Molly saw his head in the flames she ran to the fireplace, “What happened are you ok?”
“Tell Percy I’m sorry there was nothing we could do for Scabbers.” Arthur said, “And we will be having a guest for dinner and probably spend the night. He’ll need to be safe at least for tonight.”
Molly understood, “Fine I’ll let Percy know, we may have to buy him another pet.”
Arthur smiled, “Well I’m bringing home a dog for a couple of days will that do?” He then signed off before Molly could question him.
After Sirius had register he and Arthur met Albus in the lift. As Sirius transformed back to himself Albus said, “Sirius I have some news for you. The healers won’t let anyone see Harry tonight he is too unstable, but tomorrow they will be happy to let you in. Second your brother Regulus hasn’t been seen since before you were imprisoned. You will need to check with the Goblins, they have ways of knowing if a vault has any owners and who they are. I also wanted to say how terribly sorry I am about your imprisonment, if you will allow me to I wish to buy you some new clothes as an apology. I know this will not even begin to cover the damages you and Harry have sustained but please take it as a sign of my remorse for what you and Harry have gone through at my hands.”
“Albus I hold no ill will on my part.” Sirius said, “I would have done the same if things were reversed. However Harry is a different thing all together. Didn’t you remember how horrid Petunia was to Lily at their parents funeral? The only thing that can begin to gain my forgiveness is for you to help me gain guardianship and let me take care of him.”
“I am already working on the guardianship issue.” Albus replied, “I thought Petunia was just distraught, many families fight at funerals they want someone to blame. But please take the money and buy clothes, you really stink and I don’t think St. Mungo’s will let you see Harry in that outfit.” Sirius laughed then Albus had one more question, “How did you know about Harry?”
“I had a dream my last night at Azkaban.” Sirius said, “I dreamed I was in his hospital room and I saw Vernon come in and threaten him.”
Later that evening Arthur did indeed show up with an enormous black dog. Molly watched them walk into the yard then the dog stood up to become Sirius Black. To see him that close to her husband was startling but then she remembered he was innocent.
Molly had told the older boys about Sirius being innocent and that he was coming with their father to dinner and they should not ask questions about the prison. She hadn’t said anything to Ron or Ginny they didn’t know about Sirius Black and it was best not to mention anything.
Sirius had a package under his arm and Arthur said, “Bill will you please show Mr. Black to the bathroom so he can clean up.”
“My name is Sirius please everyone just call me Sirius.” he said.
Ron looked at him and said, “But it’s no fun to be so serious, you need to have some fun.”
Molly was aghast, but Sirius laughed, “I’m not serious like no fun, I’m Sirius like the star. I like to have lots of fun. I missed out on a lot of fun in the past couple of years so will you help me have fun.”
Eight year old Fred and George considered him and said, “It will take some work but I think we can help you have fun again.”
“I have faith that you can make anything fun.” Sirius laughed heartily, “Arthur thanks so much for inviting me here. Your family is just what I need to forget Azkaban.”
“What did you do?” Ginny gasp.
“I didn’t register my animagus dog form.” Sirius said.
Ginny’s eyes lit up, “Show me.”
“I get it,” Bill said, “Sirius is the dog star.”
Sirius grinned and turned into a dog. The boys yelled and clamored all over him petting and scratching. Ginny got down in front of him and looked in his eyes. Then kissed his nose, the boys were yelling yuk girl germs. So Ginny started running after them trying to kiss them.
The boys all ran out the door. Ginny picked up Sirius’ package and said, “Ok Siwius, I show you the baff, youw a nice doggie but you stink.” The dog snorted a laugh as he disappeared up the steps behind the little girl.
Later Sirius came back holding his old clothes at arm’s length, “Arthur can you give me a hand with burning these?” He took them into the yard, instead of just burning them Arthur conjured a torch, set it on fire and handed it to Sirius.
Sirius grinned madly and threw the torch on the clothes and watched them burn. He then started dancing around the fire and whooping. All the Weasley boys joined him in the dancing and whooping. When Sirius saw Ginny in her father’s arms he held out his arms and Ginny went to him and she shouted with him as they danced around the fire.
The next day Sirius was eating breakfast in the kitchen, “Molly you are a goddess. This is the best food I’ve had in years.”
“I could make a smart comment right now but I’ll let you off.” Molly chuckled.
When the owl brought in the Daily Prophet it was a little different than usual. Three headlines took up the whole page. The first was HARRY POTTER HOSPITALIZED INJURED BY MUGGLE UNCLE story on page two, the second was SIRIUS BLACK CAPTURED, FOUND INNOCENT OF POTTER’S MURDER, CONVICITED OF BEING AN UNREGISTER ANIMAGUS AND RELEASED WITH TIME SERVED story on page four, the third was PETER PETEGREW FOUND ALIVE, CONVICTED OF THE MURDER OF THE JAMES AND LILY POTTER, FOR BEING A DEATH EATER AND FOR BEING AN UNREGISTERED ANIMAGUS page eight.
There weren’t even any pictures, Sirius didn’t think he had ever seen the front page with no pictures. Harry’s story consisted of an interview with Albus and the Healers at St. Mungo’s. The Healers had credited him with saving Harry’s life, he would have died in a few days had he not been moved. Sirius’ story was some of what was in Albus’ interview and interviews from a few old class mates and then the rest was speculation. Sirius hadn’t given any interviews. Peter’s story contained the facts given at the trial and the rest was speculation, Peter hadn’t been available for interviews either.
By the time he was finished Arthur was eating breakfast and Sirius gave him the paper. After a few moments Arthur said, “St. Mungo’s is going to be swarming with reporters.”
“Now I can’t use my dog form to slip by them.” Sirius said, “Will you just transfigure me, maybe red hair and freckles would be nice, I’d just blend in with the rest of the family.”
“Brilliant,” Arthur said, “I have a cousin in St. Mungo’s we can say were going to visit him and slip by without any notice.”
The fire flared green and everyone looked to see Albus in the fire, “Good I see you’re reading the Prophet. St. Mungos will be mad, I’m sorry Sirius but I don’t think your dog form will get you through this time.”
“Sirius already has a plan.” Arthur said, “We’re going to give him red hair and freckles then the Weasleys will go visit cousin Tomalas.”
“Good,” Albus said, “Harry’s on the third floor, I’ll be waiting and show the way. See you all soon.”
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