Chapter 25 : Chapter 25
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'Please could you repeat that?' McIrish asked finally.
'I was born Katarina Cecilia Black' Ollie stated. 'My father was Sirius Black'
'Sirius Black, as in the mass murderer?'
'No, Sirius Black, the innocent man who was unjustly locked up in Azkaban without a trial' she replied staring at the stupid Auror, her violet eyes blazing.
'And who was your mother? Kingsley asked
'As you already know Minister, from when my father filled in the adoption papers, I don't know who my mother was' she retorted.
As Ollie made her way back her seat, there was a lot of noise as people discussed the latest development in this case. She breathed a huge sigh of relief, her secret was now out in the open and by this evening everyone would know. She could see representatives from the press scribbling down everything that was happening from where they sat, high up in the stands. Ollie just hoped that her friends would not think badly of her.
The rest of the trial passed in a blur to Ollie, she tried to keep up as Gabby and Dennis were questioned. She had never realised how deeply involved in the IDA they were. As Susan presented the information, the evidence condemning Dawlish, loads of technical legal jargon was being thrown around as Wizengamot decided what to do about the fact that this information had mainly come from breaking in to various organisations, including the Ministry of Magic'
'They should be punished for breaking in' the Minister had stated firmly.
'Miss Delacour and Mr Creevey are under the protection international law, Minister' Susan shot back. 'They are members of the IDA and if you would remember the international treaty of 1945'. The Minister looked towards the legal advisor in Wizengamot who nodded his head in agreement to what Susan had been saying. 'Maybe it just shows how flawed your security is?' Susan suggested to the now fuming minister.
Kingsley Shacklebolt was annoyed, everything was going wrong and he could not control it. For the first time in eleven years it felt like his grip on the Ministry of Magic was slipping. When he had first became Minister of Magic, he was only interim, the emergency replacement for the imperiorised Pius Thickness, who had been killed in battle. However in the years after he had been formally elected, he had grown more and more found of the power. For the first time in his working life he was not answerable to anyone apart from himself, he was boss. He could make all the important decisions and call the shots.
He had noticed that several old friends whom he had worked with during the war were now pulling away but he had turned blind eye to their discontent. He had fought in the war, both of them and he knew what was best, he had given up everything to help change the Wizarding world, more than anyone else. Kingsley knew that his second term as Minister was coming to an end, but he could not trust anyone with the job.
Kingsley turned his attention back to Harry Potter, whose trial he was presiding over. Harry had been the hope of the magic world during the war. The fate of the wizarding world had rested on his shoulders. However after the war, he had left everyone else to do all the clearing up, running away from his duty to the magic world. Harry had adopted a child from questionable origins and had joined the IDA. Kingsley thought it was a bit hypocritical that Harry had turned down his offer of a place in the Auror Department because he had to look after the child, but had then gone and joined the IDA instead. He looked at the man in question with a smirk. Even if Harry was declared innocent, Kingsley admitted that he did have quite a strong case; he would not be able to rejoin the IDA because now everyone knew about his involvement in the organisations, which was very secretive about its members.
The whole thing with Dawlish was rather embarrassing he mused, as Amelia Bones' niece reiterated her previous statements about how Harry had killed Dawlish for a good reason, he had acted in self defence and it was for the good of the wizarding world that he had overcome this threat. Kingsley knew that he would not be able to cover up how Dawlish had been corrupt and there would probably be calls for a full blown investigation. He sighed; he could already hear the public's cries for his resignation. He looked over at his Under Secretary, Percy Weasley, who was following the proceedings with his full attention. That boy was very ambitious and Kingsley could sense that the days in his office were numbered.
Hermione looked down at Harry, who was staring at a speck on the floor of the courtroom. After living with him at school and a tent for nearly seven years, she could recognise that this was a sign of how nervous he was, despite how outwardly positive he had been before the trial. Ginny, who was sitting next to her, had her hands clasped tightly together on her lap and was, staring at Harry, whilst it sounded like Fleur, in the row behind, was muttering French prayers under her breath.
Hermione had been able to follow, after all her years working in magic law at the Ministry, most of the legal technicalities Susan and McIrish had been exchanging, though some she had never heard of. She looked over at the Minister, who was sitting quietly, following the heated debate. She could see from his body language that he knew that Harry would probably win this case and when news of Dawlish's corruption spread he could predict that the wizarding world would be in uproar, demanding an investigation and his resignation.
At the beginning, after the war, she along with most of the people who had fought in the war, had supported Kingsley as he had been made emergency minister and had even voted for him when the proper election came around. At first it looked like a golden new age, with more equality and fairness in the magic world. However that dream was shattered as several events happened.
It had been a shock to many people working at the ministry when Kingsley appointed John Dawlish as the head of the Auror Department after the war. Many people had expected it to be Tonks, who had been an important member of the department and had worked closely alongside Kingsley in both the Ministry as an Auror, and the Order of the Phoenix.
Many people had speculated it was because she was still young and a new mother, whom Kingsley thought would not be able to commit to the Auror department fully. There had also been the unspoken reason that it was because she had married a werewolf, and this had shocked many of the higher up prejudiced members of the Ministry, who were Kingsley's new advisors. However everyone had wanted to know hoe Dawlish had managed to hang onto his job and be promoted, after he had been so eager to help the Death Eaters and snatchers hunt Muggleborns. He had not even fought in the Battle of Hogwarts.
When they were trying to find new recruits for the Auror department, to replenish the dilapidated number, they had recruited several of the older members of Dumbledore's Army. Ron, Neville, Terry and Hannah had all joined but Lavender, who had the same qualifications and experience as the others, had been refused entry.
Hermione still remembered sitting next to a sobbing Lavender when she heard the news. Lavender had just been coming to terms with her scars and new wolfish qualities, with the help of Remus and Bill, when she had received this crushing letter for Dawlish. In the letter he had stated that she had been rejected because they were concerned about her health (she had been cleared by St Mungo's). Everyone could sense it was because she was now part werewolf. Lavender had been so upset because she was worried about being ostracised by society as a result of her scars, and this had come as a fatal blow to her confidence.
Hermione along with several other old school friends had helped Lavender set up and organisation which dealt with magical civil rights and Lavender was now enjoying helping all the children who had been affected by Fernier Greyback. When Hermione, taking a leaf from Susan's book, resigned from the Ministry of magic, after listening to her colleagues' sexist comments for far too long and setting her infamous birds on the ministry, she had joined Lavender, working to improving elfish rights and working conditions.
Fleur was watching the proceedings with mixed feelings. On the one hand she was proud of her little sister for doing something with her life, but on the other she angry that Gabrielle had not been honest with her and she worried about what might happen. She looked down at her little sister standing in the middle of the courtroom, explaining to the court what she had been doing at in the IDA. Fleur could not believe this was the same girl that ten years ago was very shy and quiet around strangers and could not speak a word of English.
Gabby spoke of why they had broken repeatedly into Gringotts, to check on Dawlish's accounts and how their infiltration of the Bulgarian embassy in Paris had lead to the capture of Rodolphus Lestrange.
Fleur then watched as Dennis, Gabrielle's fiancé was questioned by the interrogators. He explained how they were able tot get into Gringotts and the Ministry of Magic, using Muggle technology which he had adapted.
'But I want to know is why you needed to break into the head of the Auror Department's office in the first place?' McIrish asked.
'We had grown even more suspicious of Dawlish, especially since Harry had been gone for longer than usual, so after consulting the notes and instructions that Harry had left behind, we broke in and placed hidden cameras in the office. It was fortunate that we actually did this because this is how we found out Harry had been taken in the first place.'
'And how were you able to rescue Mr Potter before the Aurors arrived?' McIrish asked
'Harry called for his house elf Kreacher, just before he fell into unconsciousness. Kreacher, like any faithful house elf apparated to his master's side, to discover the state Harry was in. Kreacher then came and alerted Gabby and I, who came and took him to St Mungo's.
Kingsley then, once Dennis had returned to his seat and Susan had concluded Harry's defence, banged his hammer, announcing that there would be a short break while Wizengamot decided on the verdict of this case. Everyone accept Wizengamot, was ushered out of the courtroom, back out into the corridor, whilst the members made their individual decisions.
Ollie found herself on the receiving end of many hugs as she left the courtroom. There had been Luna's comforting, protective arm around her, shielding her from the curious gaze of several ministry workers, Mrs Weasley bone crushing hung and exclamation about how brave she was and how much she looked like Sirius and Susan's hug of reassurance, telling Ollie that she had done her best and now all they could do was wait.
Hermione was standing in the corner, catching up with Susan and analysing the case in great detail, while in the other corner Dennis and Gabby were wrapped in a loving embrace, as they contemplated what would happen next and what their futures would be like after the trial. They had received notification from the IDA and just as Harry had predicted, after this case they were being decommissioned because their jobs were no longer a secret.
Ollie was trapped in a very awkward conversation with Mrs Weasley, Ginny and Luna as they stood in the corridor. They were all nervous and were trying to make conversation to take their minds off the impending verdict.
Suddenly after what seemed like hours of waiting, the door of the courtroom opened and the figure of Percy Weasley appeared from behind the door.
'Ladies and Gentlemen, please return to your seats' he announced to the crowd.
After several reassuring squeezes and a hesitant hug from Ginny, Ollie was led back into the courtroom by Luna and sat on the witness' bench, with one hand holding Luna's and the other, clasping her lucky pendent around her neck.
The Minister banged his hammer, calling the court to order. 'Everyone who finds Mr Potter guilty of killing John Dawlish, please raise your hands' he told Wizengamot
Ollie watched in horror as most of the members of Wizengamot, including Mr Weasley, Nandy, Cissa and Draco, raised their hands. She let go of Luna's hand in shock and her hand reached for the bracelet her dad had given her, the one with the emergency porkey on it. She looked down at her Dad, wondering if she would have to actually use it. As if he sensed his daughter's anxious gaze, Harry turned to look up at Ollie and gave her a reassuring smile. She was fed up of all those false reassuring smiles she had been receiving. How could her dad so calm about this? He was now probably changed and then sent to Azkaban, for Merlin knows long and she would be practically orphaned again. Ollie looked over at Ginny, who was sitting next to her mother and Hermione. Ginny was currently sitting in a position which conveyed absolute shock, her hand over her mouth and her brown eyes wide in horror.
Ollie watched as Kingsley, lifted his hammer and was about to pass judgment on her father when, a small insignificant looking wizard sat in the middle of the wizengamot seats, stood up.
'Chief Warlock Vance, what would you like to add?' Kingsley asked impatiently, waiting to get this long tedious case over and done with.
'Though we have found Mr Potter guilty of the killing of John Dawlish, we believe that Mr Potter acted in self defence and had the best intentions of the wizarding community at heart. We therefore strongly suggest that Mr Potter be cleared of all charges and along with Miss Delacour and Mr Creevey help us launch a proper investigation into what really happened and all this shameful corruption which has been right under noses in your Ministry.' He said addressing the Minister of Magic. 'I think we should even thank Mr Potter, for helping to defeat all those dark wizards because who knows what would have happened if he had failed'
'All those in favour of Chief Warlock Vance's suggestion please raise your hands' Kingsley ordered.
Ollie watched in anticipation as the plum robed wizengamot members one by one all raised their hands. The Minister looked at all the raised hands before banging down his hammer for the final time 'Mr Potter is hereby cleared of all charges, you are free to go'
At that announcement the chains around Harry's wrists and ankles sprung back, freeing him from the chair.
Ollie could not contain her excitement and relief any longer. She jumped up from where she was sitting, pushing past everyone in her way as she run down towards her father. 'Papa!' she squealed as she launched herself had him, throwing her arms tightly around his waist, refusing to let him go. 'Papa, you're ok, you're coming home' she whispered into his robes.
Harry bent down and kissed his daughter's unruly curls, which had managed to escape from the French plait throughout the course of the day. 'I did promise you that I would come home' he replied.
Ollie after finally releasing her father, watched with amusement as Ginny approached her father uncertainly before being completely taken by surprise when he pulled her into a very passionate kiss, not caring that about half of the ministry was probably watching. Harry and Ginny finally broke apart as they realised that everyone was staring at them.
'Well it's about time' Ron called out, before being elbowed in the ribs by his wife.
Ginny blushed bright red whilst Harry looked down sheepishly as Ollie grabbed hold of his free hand. Together they walked out of the ministry, saying goodbye to various people on the way.
'Thank you so much Susan' Harry said to the auburn haired witch as they walked out of the Ministry.
'No problem Harry' she replied, fishing into her handbag to look at her mobile, now they were out of the range of magical interference. 'Oh, I've got a message from Dudley' she told Harry, looking at her texts. 'He wonders of you want to come over for dinner sometime next week, Emmy would love to see her Uncle Harry again and Petunia has been asking about you'
Harry pulled a face at the mention of his Aunt's name
'She's changed Harry' Susan stated 'It's like she's become a new woman ever since she divorced Vernon. She's not like she was when you were younger, I mean she has me as a daughter-in-law and we're actually on speaking terms!'
'Fine, next Wednesday?'
'I'll hold you to it' Susan replied before walking off in the opposite direction and disappearing.
'I'll see you soon' Luna said to Harry and Ollie before she went to hail a muggle cab, to take her back to Grimmauld place, since she was not allowed to apparate in her condition.
After they had watched Luna be driven away, Harry turned to his daughter. 'Come on, let's take you back to school, I'm sure you're dying to know who won the quidditch match' then he turned to Ginny 'are you coming with us?'
'You spend some time with Ollie, I'll see you back at the Burrow' the redhead replied. 'Mum's cooking a celebratory meal including a huge treacle tart' and she stood up on her tiptoes to give Harry a kiss on the cheek before ruffling Ollie's curls and disapparating.
Harry pulled Ollie into another big hug, before they to disapparated heading towards Hogwarts.
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