Harry appears at the Wizengamot
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and other canon characters belong to JKR I'm only having some fun.
When no one else received a letter inviting them to testify at the hearing Harry didn't know whether to be happy that his friends were being spared the ordeal or to be angry that he was being singled out once again. He wrote to Dumbledore to ask why and was surprised that rather than have a letter in reply, Dumbledore visited to explain.
Dumbledore met with Harry and the others in the kitchen at The Burrow and explained why only Harry had been called to give evidence, he was the only student present who had been identified and had been named by none other than Minister Fudge himself. Dumbledore explained that the Inquiry had been ongoing over the summer and that Harry was to be the last witness to be called.
The fact that he 1, he hadn't been recognised and 2, that Harry had, just added to Ron's mounting anger and jealousy. This didn't go unnoticed by the other three teenagers or by Tonks and Remus who had continued to visit regularly to help Harry with his physical training.
Harry had a frantic week leading up to his hearing, Dumbledore had given him a few books offering guidance on the workings of the Wizengamot and he, Hermione and Ginny had spent the first two days scouring them for advice. The most helpful one turned out to be styled on /'The Dummies Guide' /series of books from the Muggle world. /'The Dummies Guide to Wizarding Law' /provided them with good information, and better still told him he would be allowed to have someone sit alongside him as a support.
The new threesome spent the remainder of the week going over what Harry would say, Tonks had visited one evening and had been impressed by the effort they were putting into things. They had tried to involve Ron, but he politely declined and spent his time either flying round on his broom hoping to catch 'Saint Potter' trying to take advantage of his 'baby sister' or quietly ranting in his room. Little did he know that what he needed to worry about was Ginny taking advantage of Harry.
On the day of the hearing Remus and Tonks took Harry, Ginny and Hermione (Ron refused the invitation) for breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron, where to Harry's surprise Mrs. Figg was sitting waiting for them.
"You didn't think I'd let you be in court without me?" she asked, making reference to his last hearing. "Got to give you all the support I can, don't I, by the way Dudley and his friends are in big trouble, they got caught beating up a girl who just happened to be the new Community Policeman's daughter, a whole lot of other kids started talking after that." She finished with a grin.
As they chatted and enjoyed breakfast together, no one noticed a small black form crawled out of Arabella's handbag, and Harry didn't even notice as it climbed up his robes and settled into his pocket.
The group arrived at the Ministry with time to spare, Harry was a bit paranoid about the time being changed on him again, and had insisted on being early. There was a new Guard on the desk, the previous one having been used as a convenient scapegoat for the Death Eaters getting into the building. After his wand had been checked by the guard, Harry passed it to Tonks to carry for him, no way was he going to let any unknown Auror handle it. He trusted Tonks implicitly, over their time together at Privet Drive Harry had shared secrets with her and Remus that for the time being he was unwilling to share with anyone else, even his beloved Ginny.
The Court Usher asked all those in the Courtroom to rise and he panel of five Wizengamot members entered from an ante-chamber and took their seats. Madam Bones, stood in front of the central seat of the Presiding Judge, and introduced herself and her fellow panel members. To one side sat Amos Diggory and Perkins from Arthur Weasley's office, on the other side sat Professor Tofty from the W.E.A. (Wizarding Education Authority) and Mafalda Hopkirk of the Underage Use of Magic Office.
Harry introduced Remus Lupin as his advisor and sat back down.
"Mr Potter," began Madame Bones, "You do realise the importance of this hearing?"
"Then are you deliberately trying to show contempt?"
"I don't understand, Ma'am"
"You have a kitten perched on your shoulder, Mr. Potter, can you explain?"
Harry looked left and then right and looked straight into the eyes of a kitten he knew well.
"I can explain Ma'am, this kitten is one of a litter of pedigree Kneazle kittens bred by my friend Mrs. Figg. Her name is Mischief of Little Whinging although she generally answers to Missy. I don't know how she got here, but Mrs. Figg is sitting in the spectators gallery, can I return her to Mrs. Figg, please?"
"Certainly, Mr. Potter."
Harry took the small kitten and handed her over to Mrs. Figg whereupon she immediately jumped over onto Ginny's knee and promptly curled into a ball and fell asleep.
"Now then, Mr. Potter, I think maybe one day I'd like to know why a Kneazle should be so attached to you," said Amelia Bones "But that will have to wait, we need to ask you about the events in the Department of Mysteries."
"Where would you like me to start, Ma'am?"
"Wherever you think you should, Mr. Potter"
Harry quickly conferred with Remus and decided to start with the dreams and visions he'd been having since the return of Voldemort.
Harry quickly covered the details of his past year, he spoke about the vision of Arthur Weasley being bitten by a snake, and of how Arthur had been staking out the reported location of a Muggle baiting incident. He spoke of the visions he'd been sent and of how that he'd seen the vision of Death Eaters torturing someone in the Department of Mysteries.
He explained that he'd been unable to get an adult at Hogwarts to believe what he'd said, and of the threats made against him by Madame Umbridge, when asked, he showed the panel the still visible scars left by the Blood Quill.
After Harry had been questioned by several of the panel members and had answered as truthfully as he could, without exposing his friend's names and compromising the Order, he saw Madame Bones stand and watched as she banged her gavel.
"This concludes the evidential stage of this hearing, the panel will now retire to consider it's findings in this matter." She said. "Please do not leave the building, Mr. Potter, Auror Tonks will take you and your friends to the Ministry Refectory where you can purchase a meal. You will be contacted when we have made our decision."
The panel members left to their ante-chamber, and once they had gone, Tonks led everyone else to the canteen. When they had collected their food and colonised a table, a little black kitten quickly detached herself from Ginny and took up her previous spot on Harry's shoulder.
Everyone except for Mrs. Figg, Tonks and Remus started asking about the kitten, Harry sighed and spoke.
"Well it really comes down to my 'saving people thing' only it seems it extends to animals as well. One day, shortly after I got back to the Dursleys, I was on a right downer. Tonks and Remus decided that getting out of the house might cheer me up, they took me to visit Mrs. Figg. What they didn't tell me was that Mrs. Tibbles (Mr. Tibbles mate) was having a litter of kittens, they thought (correctly as it turned out) that seeing the kittens being born might just break me out of my funk. Missy here was the last of the litter, she was a skinny little thing and stopped breathing soon after she was born. Mrs. Figg gave her to me to hold and told me to massage her gently while she got a potion from the kitchen. While I was massaging her she gave a 'meep' and started breathing again. I put her down beside the rest of the litter and she started feeding immediately."
"The rest as they say is history, I visited the litter regularly and once their eyes opened and they started moving around, Missy here spent most of the time when I visited sitting curled in my lap or where you see her now, perched on my shoulder. More than once she sneaked into my pocket when I was leaving. I think you've got another rival for my affections, Ginny."
"Another rival?" queried Ginny, "Who's the first?"
"Hedwig, of course. Haven't you noticed the way she looks at you if I pay you too much attention?
"Watch her next time and see if I'm right."
"You're mad, Potter, Hedwig and I get on fine, but just in case I'll watch."
"Harry," said Mrs. Figg. "Kneazles are very special, they don't let just anyone touch them, as you know they have the ability to tell if someone is trustworthy. I think Missy here has bonded herself to you, and I would like to give her to you now she is old enough to leave her mother. All the other kittens have been homed, every time people came to pick a kitten she hid and didn't reappear until they had gone."
"But I won't be able to take her to Hogwarts, I've already got Hedwig."
"You'll be okay, Harry." Said Hermione, "After first year owls aren't counted as they are seen as messengers rather than pets, the rule is there so that the teachers and prefects can watch how you care for your pet, if you don't take good care of it you won't be allowed to bring it back."
"I bet Snape tries to get me into trouble for it, you know what he's like, I mean how many times has he taken points from me for breathing too loudly?"
"WHAT?" exclaimed Remus and Tonks as one.
"Why does Dumbledore still let him off with that?" asked Tonks. "I thought it was just us Ravenclaws he did that with."
"Who can explain Albus?" asked Remus. "I mean why does he insist on pairing Slytherin and Gryffindor for Potions and Defence, why doesn't he pair them up for the less confrontational subjects?"
"How can Potions be confrontational?" asked Mrs. Figg. "Surely making something in a cauldron can't cause confrontation."
Ginny quietly said. "It's only confrontational because Snape lets the Slytherins off with everything and no one else off with anything. Luna told me that it's the same in the Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff classes, only no one gets any leeway, he awards points in values of one or two but deducts them in multiples of five."
"Unless you're a Slytherin." Said Hermione, "Then you don't get any deducted and get them awarded in multiples of ten."
The conversation was interrupted by the Court Usher asking them to return to the court room. Harry gave Missy back to Ginny and they made their way back to the Courtroom.
After everyone was seated, the Usher asked everyone to rise and the door to the ante-chamber opened. The panel members entered and took their seats. Everyone was asked to take their seats and after they had, Amelia Bones stood and rapped her gavel and called the room to attention.
"Having considered the evidence given in this hearing, this panel has reached the following conclusions.
A group of Death Eaters broke into the Department of Mysteries with the intent of luring Mr. Harry James Potter to said Department for the purpose of kidnapping him. Most of this group are currently being held in custody at a secret location. Mr. Potter and his companions were attacked by the Death Eaters and defended themselves until help arrived. Mr. Potter and his companions, while being on Ministry property without due reason, acted in self-defence and therefore have been cleared of any wrong doing in regard to this case. We further recommend that a full Inquiry is held into the denial of the return of the so-called Dark Lord by the Ministry of Magic.
This Inquiry is now closed, we give our thanks to all those who have given provided us with testimony, good day to you all."
Harry heaved a sigh of relief and turned to Remus, "Let's get out of here and back to The Burrow, but we'll need to go via Diagon Alley and the Magical Menagerie, a certain little Kneazle needs some supplies."
One quick side-trip later, Harry had bought a self-cleaning litter tray, a supply of kitten food, a luxury pet bed which could convert into a pet carrier and a set of charmed pet toys and a supply of best quality Owl treats for the other lady in his life. To try and stop any jealousy, Hermione bought some cat treats for Crookshanks. With there now being three felines at The Burrow life was going to be interesting.
Back at The Burrow
Ron had spent the day flying round the paddock at The Burrow imagining he was the Captain and Keeper for the Chudley Cannons, in his daydreams he saw himself lifting the Quidditch Cup and being hailed as a hero. The dream continued to him being picked as Captain of the English National Team and leading them to World Cup glory by having a shut out in the final. His vision was soured as he heard the crowd chanting /'Potter, Potter, Potter, Potter, Potter' /he let out a scream of anguish, 'Wonder-Boy' even invaded his dreams.
In the kitchen, Molly heard the scream and rushed out into the garden expecting to find Ron lying in a heap on the ground having fallen from his broom, seeing him still flying and uninjured, she shook her head and went back inside. Her youngest son was starting to worry her, he was isolating himself from his friends and acting strangely, even her usually oblivious husband had noticed.
She was broken from her reverie by the fireplace bursting into green flames and the group that had been at the Ministry arriving via the Floo system, Harry for once stepped out without falling, Ginny had let him into the secret of staying on his feet, keep still until you landed, stepping forward caused you to fall.
Hedwig flew in the window and landed on Harry's right shoulder, Crookshanks came in the door and started weaving in and out of everyone's legs, the Weasley's cat, Sooty, stood up from her favourite sunny spot on the window ledge in the kitchen and joined him. From deep in Harry's pocket came a tiny 'meow' and Missy climbed out.
Remus unshrunk the purchases Harry had made at the Menagerie and put them on the floor while Harry walked over and sat down he put his right arm up and Hedwig transferred on to it and he brought her down to where he could see her, he lifted the little kitten up to his owl's eye level. Hedwig looked haughtily at the kitten and then back at Harry.
"Hedwig," he said, "This is Missy, she's adopted me, just like you did, I hope you two will be friends."
Hedwig blinked and hooted softly drawing the attention of the curious kitten to her, the two seemed to lock eyes and Harry later swore he saw Hedwig nod her head in agreement. He fed an owl treat to her and she left through the window and back to her favourite tree in the garden.
Meanwhile Crookshanks was taking interest in the tiny bundle of fluff in Harry's hand, as was the Sooty, Harry heard Hermione telling Crookshanks to look after the kitten, he looked at her and back to the kitten who was now having a look around the room and sniffed her. Being a well socialised kitten, Missy sniffed back at Crookshanks and meowed in greeting. Sooty had positioned herself next to Harry and was going in to full mothering mode and was trying to wash the new arrival.
While all this was going on, Remus and Tonks brought Molly up to speed on the outcome of the hearing and the circumstances behind the newest arrival at the Burrow. Ron sat outside the window with an Extendable Ear and listened in, he couldn't believe it, Potter had been exonerated by the Inquiry and chosen by a purebred Kneazle, he knew that the Gryffindor girls would be all over a cute kitten, and by extension Potter, all that was needed now was for him to be bonded by a phoenix and everyone would worship him.
That night Harry put his kitten in her bed before he went to bed, when he awoke in the morning, Missy was sitting on his pillow playfully batting at his hair as it blew in the gentle breeze from the open window.