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For Better or Worse by MagicalMrMistoffelees
Chapter 2 : "IS THIS A JOKE!"
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 1


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The blonde-haired man stood in the middle of the small cell that had acted as his home and bedroom all in one for the last nine and a half months.  The walls were covered in newspaper clippings.  They were of the war trials that had taken place after Voldemort’s defeat.  Most of the clippings were pictures of his mother.  They were the only pictures he had.  As he looked at all the pictures, the events of those trials began to play out in his mind.





 Stormy, calculating eyes darted in all directions around the black polished marble room.  Sitting in one of the many Ministry court rooms, the owner of the eyes, a blonde-haired, boy sat in a very uncomfortable wooden chair that was positioned in the center of the room.  He was under the scrutinizing gaze of almost a hundred Ministry officials.  His wrists and ankles were shackled to together.  In chairs next to him, sat his father and mother.  His father held a rather cold icy stare and his mother sat with her eyes closed taking in slow, deep breathes. Part of him wished to reach out and hold his mother’s hand.  However, another part of him blamed his mother and father for the predicament they were now currently in.

At that moment, a man dressed in a long black robe stood up and raised his hand above his head and asked for the room’s attention.

“All rise for Minister Kingsley Shacklebolt…”

All eyes turned in the direction of the door as Kingsley Shacklebolt entered the room. He stopped in the doorway and looked around the room.  He then quickly made his way to the judge’s seat.  He scanned the room one last time before sitting down.  Once he had settled in and had put all his paperwork in order, Shacklebolt looked down at the three-people sitting in front of him.

“We are here today for the trial of the Malfoy Family…”

That one small sentence caused Draco Malfoy to shudder.  At the end of the war, the Malfoys had tried to quietly slip away.  However, it was not long before the Ministry had caught up to them.  It was hard for them to disguise themselves and everywhere they went, it seemed that at least one person recognized who they were. Within a few days, the Malfoys found themselves in chains, sitting in a cell at Azkaban.  They were surrounded by numerous other wizards who had chosen to follow the Dark Lord.  While many had managed to escape, most were not as fortunate.  Nothing had officially been done with them other than being placed in Azkaban.  What happened to them next would be decided by a court room filled with people who most likely hated them.

Draco looked up at Shacklebolt with cold unfeeling eyes.  He had learned from his parents that the best course of action, in any situation, was to never show any emotions.  Emotions made you weak and the Malfoys, if nothing else, were not weak.  It was with that thought, that Draco dared to look up at the rest of the Ministry officials.  It bothered him that these people, who did not know him or anything about his life, were going to be the ones who decided his fate.  As he looked around the room, three faces caught his attention.  Sitting closest to the door were the three people whom he hated the most now – Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.  Or as he saw them in his mind the “chosen one”, the mudblood know-it-all and the weasel.  As thoughts raced through his mind, his eyes locked with Hermione’s.  Storm connecting with calm.  Her gaze never wavered as she waited for him to look away.  It was only the sound of Shacklebolt saying his name that caused him to break that connection.  He let his gaze drop before turning his head back to the front. Shacklebolt was holding in his hands a piece of paper as he began to address the room.

“The Malfoy family has been brought before this council today to stand trial for their crimes against the wizarding world.  Their crimes are as follows:

Lucius Malfoy, charged with being a Death Eater, cohorting with the Dark Lord, aiding and abetting the Dark Lord, the capturing and detaining of non-pureblood wizards and or witches, the use of no less than two of the Unforgiveable Curses, etc.…

Draco Malfoy, charged with being a Death Eater, cohorting with the Dark Lord, aiding and abetting the Dark Lord, the attempted murder of Albus Dumbledore, providing entrance into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for other Death Eaters, etc.…

Narcissa Malfoy, charged with cohorting with the Dark Lord, aiding and abetting the Dark Lord, acting as an accomplice in the torturing of Hermione Jean Granger, etc. …”

Shacklebolt looked up from the papers he was holding and peered down at the family for a moment.

“Now, I must inform you that these trials are merely a formality, as it is no secret that you and your family were actively involved in the events of the Dark Lord’s return and war that followed.  But I must ask, Lucius how do you and your family plead?”

Lucius Malfoy made no move, nor any sound.  He kept his cold gaze fixed forward. 

Shacklebolt waited patiently for a response.  Both Narcissa and Draco looked at Lucius in panic.  Unable to handle his silence any more, Narcissa spoke up.

“Guilty…guilty your honor…”

Her small voice trailed off as she looked to her husband.  Still he said nothing and looked nowhere but forward.  Draco desperately wanted to scream at him.

Shacklebolt nodded his head,

“Very well.  Narcissa, since it was you who answered my questions, I will address you first.”

Narcissa swallowed hard as she stood up and waited to hear what Shacklebolt had to say.

“I have already spoken with Mr. Potter, Ms. Granger and Mr. Weasley on the matter of you and your family.  Unfortunately, there are very few witnesses as to what went on in the Malfoy Manner.  Ms. Granger made it very clear though that it was not you who tortured her and Mr. Potter informed me that it was you who saved him in the forest.”

He paused for a moment as he watched Narcissa’s eyes dart in the direction of Hermione and Harry.

“However, that does not change the fact that you played a passive aggressive role in the Dark Lord’s plans.  And that is something that cannot be overlooked.  After the first war, your family was pardoned, but I am afraid that a pardoning this time will not be acceptable.”

Again, he paused for a moment.  His eyes became sad as he watched what little color Narcissa had drain from her face.

“Therefore, if you have nothing to say in your defense, I must put it to a vote now…”

He looked around the room at the Ministry Officials.

“All those in favor of declaring Narcissa Malfoy guilty on all accounts, please raise your right hand.”

Every hand, apart from Harry, Ron and Hermione, in the room went up.  It was a unanimous vote.  Shacklebolt nodded his head as he made note of the vote in his paperwork.

“Narcissa you may sit back down.”

He waited for her to sit back down before addressing her one last time.

“Narcissa, sentencing will be held tomorrow afternoon and what Mr. Potter and Ms. Granger have shared with me will be considered.”

Narciassa only nodded her head as she tried not to show any sign of emotion.  Shacklebolt then turned his attention to Draco, watching him thoughtfully for a moment.  His strong gaze made Draco uncomfortable.  It was as if Shacklebolt was trying to read his thoughts.

“Draco, I will address you next…”

Draco stood up from his chair and raised his chin as defiantly as possible, though he did not fully meet Shacklebolt’s gaze.  Instead he found an obscure corner of the ceiling to stare at, only glancing at the Minister when absolutely necessary.

“Draco, I have heard some interesting things about you.  And I am inclined to believe that you did not have much a voice in any of the matters that have transpired over the last several years.”

Shacklebolt watched as Draco shifted his weight and met Shacklebolt’s gaze out the corner of his eye.  A knowing smirk slipped across Shacklebolt’s lips.

“Draco, now is the time for you to have a voice.  Is there anything that you want to say?”

Again, Draco’s weight shifted.  His head dropped slightly and he almost met Shacklebolt’s gaze head on.  But the stubborn Malfoy blood refused to let him fully give in and he remained quiet.  Shacklebolt spoke again.

“It may surprise you that someone else has made an effort to defend you…”

Those words did the trick.  Draco brought his gaze down and starred at the Minister.  What did he mean by that?  Someone tried to defend Draco?  He looked to his mother, who only shook her head.  She was just as surprised as he was.

“Yes!  I understand that you blatantly lied to your fellow Death Eaters about who Mr. Potter was.  Of course, it is also my understanding that you caused a great deal of trouble in the Room or Requirements as well.  Twice actually.”

Shacklebolt watched as Draco’s jaw unclenched.

“I did what I had to.”

Draco’s gaze never left Shacklebolt’s as he once more raised his head in defiance.  Shacklebolt tilted his head to the side.

“Draco, you attempted to murder someone, you destroyed the Great Hall, sent the Room of Requirements up in smoke, let a legion of Death Eaters into your school which lead to the injury or death of many of your fellow classmates…and your choice of words is ‘had to do’.”

He paused for a moment and glanced in the direction of Harry.  Draco caught this immediately and he balled his hands into fists.

“You know nothing! Not you! Not anyone and least of all POTTER!”

Draco wanted to scream at everyone in the room.  What did any of them know? Draco sat back down and refused to look at anyone.  He stared at the floor instead.

“Draco, I do not doubt you.  And I am sure that Mr. Potter feels the same way.  Otherwise he would not have said anything.  I am giving you the opportunity to have a voice.  Help us understand! Help us to know!”

Draco still said nothing as he continued to stare at the floor.  Again, sadness filled Shacklebolt’s eyes as he looked down at his papers.

“Draco, if you are not going to try to help us understand, then I have no choice.  I have to put this to a vote.”

He looked around the room once more.  His eyes lingered on each person.  It was as if he was hoping to find at least one among them who would be willing to declare the boy as innocent. 

“All those in favor of declaring Draco Malfoy guilty on all accounts, please raise your right hand.”

Once again, every hand in the room went up.  Though this time it took slightly longer for everyone to come to the decision.  Again, Shacklebolt made note of the vote in his paperwork.  He looked back down at Draco and sighed.  Then he turned his attention to Lucius.

“We now come to you Lucius.  And I will not lie. I am not a big fan of yours.  I was never a fan of yours.  I know though that there are few among us who still see you as a good friend.”

Lucius said nothing though his eyes darted quickly around the room.  There were indeed a few members of Ministry Officials who still considered Lucius Malfoy a friend despite all that had happened.

“Part of me would really like to just declare you guilty right now.  But, I know that you and your family at the last minute defected to our side.  I know that doing so was a great risk to you all.  However, I am not sure what the true motives behind your actions were.  It also does not change the fact that your family, especially you Lucius, played a key role in the Dark Lord’s plans.  And that cannot be ignored.”

Still Lucius said nothing which bothered Shacklebolt greatly.  Here was a man that had managed to deceive a great deal of the Ministry for years.  He had helped to destroy the lives of thousands of wizards and witches.  Yet he seemed to feel no remorse whatsoever.

“Do you have anything to say? 

At this Lucius looked at Shacklebolt.  A sneer slipped across his lips.

“What would you like to me to say?  Would you like me to apologize?  Will that change anything?”

Lucius snorted with disgust as he looked around the room.

“You are all hypocrites! None of you are any better!”

His tone was cold and cruel.  When he looked back at Shacklebolt, his gaze was as unfeeling as ever.  Shacklebolt had to take a moment to recollect his thoughts so as not to do anything rash.

“All in favor of declaring Lucius Malfoy guilty on all account, raise your right hand.”

Lucius’ cold words had struck a chord with many of the officials.  Many of the hands had gone up even before Shacklebolt had finished asking the question.  Seeing this caused Lucius to become angry.

“You see!  My so called ‘friends’, you did not even hesitate to declare me guilty! You can’t be trusted!

At this, Shacklebolt signaled for the guards to take Lucius from the room.  He then looked to Narcissa and Draco.

“We will adjourn this meeting and comeback tomorrow afternoon for sentencing.”

As he finished speaking, two more guard came in and ushered Draco and his mother from the court room.

Draco kept his gaze fixed on Shacklebolt as the guard checked his restraints.  When certain that he was properly restrained, the guard guided him toward the door.  As he walked out of the door, his gaze met Hermione’s once more.  They did not break eye contact until he was no longer in the court room.





A loud banging sound brought Draco Malfoy out of his thoughts.  When he opened his eyes, he was standing back in the middle of his cell.  The loud banging sound was coming from the cell next to his.  Draco growled in annoyance.

“Cut it out Bart!”

Bart was the guy in the cell next to Draco.  Unlike his parents, Draco had not been taken back to Azkaban.  Instead he was placed in a holding cell at the Ministry.  His mother would be released from Azkaban the day that he returned to Hogwarts.  His father, however, would spend the next five years in Azkaban.  His outburst at the end of their trial did not win him any sympathy points.  It did not matter to Draco one way or another.  He had nowhere else to go.  The Malfoy manor had been taken by the Ministry at the end of the war and all the Malfoy assets had been confiscated.  As far as Draco was concerned a cell at the Ministry or a cell at Azkaban would be better than sleeping outside.

As he was looking around his cell, one of the guards came and unlocked the door.  Draco did not even turn his head at the sound of the lock clicking.  The guard stepped in through the door and moved to the side.  Following the guard came another man.  This caught Draco’s attention.  Usually just one of the guards came whenever it was time for Draco’s “yard” time. This time a Ministry official had come as well.  Draco looked at him wryly but said nothing.  He waited for the middle-aged man to speak.

“Draco Malfoy?”

Even after hearing his name, Draco said nothing.  What a dumb question to ask.  Of course he was Draco Malfoy! Who else would he be?  Instead, Draco rolled his eyes and folded his arms across his chest as he sized the man up. He was dressed in a tailored black pinstriped suit.  His mouse brown hair was combed neatly and parted to the side.  He wore thick black glasses and had vivid blue eyes.  Apart from his eyes, however, the man was rather plain and looked as if he was nervous.  It was obvious to Draco, that the man would have rather been anywhere but in that cell.

It took the man a moment to realized that Draco was not going to respond.  When he finally realized this, the man nodded his head.  He moved to the desk in the cell and placed a black brief case on the surface.  He methodically undid each clasp and parted the handles.  He then opened the case and peered inside.  Each calculated movement drove Draco mad as he watched.  After peering into the case for a moment, the man reached in and pulled out several pieces of paper and a weathered envelope with a seal that Draco was all too familiar with.  Draco rolled his eyes again as he watched the man slowly shuffle through the paperwork.  Then the man looked up at Draco.

“These are for you.”

He handed the small stack of papers to Draco. Draco stared at the man as he took the papers.

“What are these?”

Appearing to be somewhat annoyed by Draco’s question, the man huffed as he looked at the door.  It was very clear to Draco that the man just wanted to leave.  The man let out another sigh as he pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his nose.

“Well they are the paperwork you will need to be released from the Ministry as well as the paperwork you will need to give to the guard that will be accompanying you for the next nine months.  Your train ticket and your Hogwarts letter are also there.  As you are aware, part of your punishment was to return to Hogwarts and face your peers.”

The man quickly began to close his briefcase, not bothering to be as methodical or calculated as he had when he opened the case.  Before Draco could even say another word, the man was gone.  Draco was once more standing alone in the middle of his cell.  He tossed all the paperwork, except for the Hogwarts letter, onto the desk and went and laid on his bed.  He adjusted what was supposed to be the pillow so that he was resting against it and then held the letter up.  He stared at the familiar envelope for several moments before flipping it over and finding the usual crimson Hogwarts seal.

The thought of the envelope sickened Draco.  He had no desire to return to Hogwarts.  In fact, he had no desire to do anything or be around anyone.  All he wanted to do was disappear.  He no longer cared for anyone, his mother included.  And most especially his father! The last several years of his life had been Hell – a living nightmare that he could never wake up from.  A part of him had hoped that his sentence would have been to return to Azkaban like his parents.  At least if he had returned to Azkaban he could rot away and no one would really care. 

With this thought, Draco growled in anger as he threw the letter across his cell.  When it hit the wall, a loud clatter caused Draco to stare at the letter once more.  It was then that Draco realized that there was something protruding from the envelope.  He stood up from the bed and walked to where the letter had clattered to the floor.  He stared down at the envelop for a moment and then slowly reached down for it.  As he picked up the envelop he noticed the seal had been broken and when Draco peered inside, his eyes went wide.  He once more threw the envelop across the cell.  When it landed on the floor all f the contents spilled out onto the floor as well.  He stormed toward the cell door and grabbed onto the bars that formed a small window in the door.

“IS THIS A JOKE!”

Draco began yelling in the direction of the warden’s desk hoping that the man who had come to visit him earlier and had not completely left.  He began to bang and kick on the door.  The only response he got though, was Bart chuckling darkly.  Draco felt his body begin to shake in rage as he turned back toward the envelop.  His eyes quickly found what had been the cause of his anger.  There on the floor, mocking him as it glistened in the light, was a small silver badge which read:

DRACO MALFOY, HEADBOY



 




A/N:

Hello everyone!

Thank you for reading my FF!  I really appreciate it.  As I said in my last note, I am the one who does all fo the editing for my chapters.  My usual editor decided to go on hiatus.  So I am trying my best to catch everything.  It is partially why posting chapters takes a while for me.  I have a rather methodical way of editing.  So please bear with me if you find a mistake.  I apologize once more.

Also, as I have said before, all HP characters belong to JKR.

Don't forget to leave me a little something in the commets!  I always enjoy your feed back.

 

Yours faithfully,

~MMM

 


 


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