Author's Note: This story will be difficult to work, but I'll try. I think I've watched enough Law & Order to figure out the basics of a trial. Here's a short cast of characters:
Ben Carlson- He's the judge, and is slightly biased against redheads. *grins*
Barny Mustela- The Prosecuting Attorney. He never should have been licensed.
Tina White- She's the best Defense Attorney money (Harry) can hire.
The Potter family- Harry and Hermione Potter, married for one month.
The Weasley family- Molly, Ron, and Ginny Weasley. Fiercely loyal to themselves, and are trying to break up the Potters.
Note: this is a wizard civil court, not to be confused with the Wizengamot, which would be compared to our own United States Supreme Court.
Chapter 1: Opening Arguments
Harry and Hermione Potter stared at the walls of the huge courtroom, and noticed the judge glaring surreptitiously at the Weasleys. Their lawyer sat beside them, supremely confident. “It'll be okay,” she assured them. “I've never lost a case yet.”
“But you haven't had a case this...strange... have you?” Hermione asked.
“You mean a case where one family tried to nullify another couple's marriage just so they'd get what they wanted? No,” she answered. “But I can see already that they're nuts, and you two are meant to be.”
Harry looked uncertainly at the Weasleys' lawyer. He was a sharp-faced man with slicked-back red hair, and Harry had the distinct suspicion that he was related to the Weasleys.
“This poor family, out of the goodness of their hearts, took in Mr. Potter and raised him as their own son,” Mr. Mustela said, glaring across the courtroom at the Potters. “They fed him, clothed him, and even went so far as to arrange a marriage between him and young Miss Ginevra Weasley. He betrayed them by reneging on their agreement, and marrying his brother's wife.”
Judge Carlson barely restrained the urge to vomit. “Mrs. White, do you have anything to add?”
“Yes I do, your honor,” Tina said, getting casually to her feet. “Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, you are being asked to decide who these two young people may or may not marry, even though they are so obviously in love. Madame Weasley and her youngest children are liars and cheats, as we will prove to you. There was no treachery involved, no agreement broken, and there were no marriages like Mr. Mustela is claiming.” She sat down next to Harry and Hermione, and grinned at them.
2: Day One-Prosecution
“Evidence Exhibit A: photographs of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ronald Weasley, taken in August of 1994. All photos show them at the Weasley home,” Mr. Mustela said. Tina barely suppressed her laughter.
“Mrs. Weasley, please tell the jury how you adopted Mr. Potter into your family.”
“Oh, Harry was just a sweet little thing, going off to school for the first time, though he didn't know where the train was,” Molly said tearfully. “I remember he asked me, ever so politely, how to find the platform. During Christmas, I sent him a sweater I had knitted myself, as well as homemade fudge. When school let out, he came home with my son, like he always did. He was like another son to us; he was our eighth child.”
“Thank you,” Mr. Mustela said. He shot a triumphant glare in Harry's direction.
“Mr. Weasley, please tell the jury how Mr. Potter was adopted into your family.”
“Harry and I were best friends from day one. We were always getting into trouble, us and Hermione,” Ron said. “He lived with us when we weren't in school, then we shared a dorm at school. After he was named Head Boy he started rooming with Hermione, but he swore to me there was never anything going on. He knew I liked her since we were both fourteen.”
“So, it was accepted that he was a member of your family in every way you held most important?”
“Yeah,” Ron answered. “Did you ever start dating Miss Hermione Granger?”
“Yes, we had a special agreement since our last year of school,” Ron said. Hermione shot him a look, not of horror, but of confusion. Molly cried as was right and proper.
Mr. Mustela wiggled his eyebrows at Hermione and said, “Obviously the girl is a slut.”
“Counselor, restrain yourself!” Judge Carlson said. “Do not insult the defendants.”
“Miss Weasley, you're up. Please tell the jury about your relationship with Mr. Potter.”
“He's the handsomest boy I've ever seen,” seventeen year old Ginny Weasley said. “I thought he only saw me as his sister, but two years ago he proved me wrong. I was fifteen when we started dating, and they were some of the happiest moments of our lives.” Her eyes narrowed and she glared at Harry. “He cooled things off considerably when he announced his intention to fight in the war. However, I understood we'd be getting back together after the war.”
“Thank you Miss Weasley,” Mr. Mustela said. “Let the court understand that the war to which she refers is the recent war against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, which Mr. Potter won for us.”
Judge Ben Carlson was feeling distinctly green around the gills, and called a recess so he could escape to his chambers and lose his lunch without the Daily Prophet, The Quibbler, or any other newspaper who managed to sneak in representatives leaking it to the public.
3: Day Two-Defense
“Evidence Exhibit B: Police reports and photographs of Harry Potter and legal guardians,” Tina White began. “Mr. Potter, please tell the court how you were in a position to be abused if the Weasley family adopted you.”
“My parents were murdered by Voldemort when I was just a year old,” Harry began, his green eyes haunted. “After that, I was placed with my only living relatives, my mother's older sister and her family. My Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon hated me from the beginning, because I was a wizard.”
“But didn't Mr. Mustela say you were adopted by the Weasley family?” Tina asked.
“There was no official adoption,” Harry said. “My name was always Potter. I just spent a few summers at their house, after I had already finished my first year at Hogwarts. The summer before my second year, I had been locked in my bedroom while bars were put on my window. It was Ron and his brothers who busted me out a couple of weeks before school started.”
“These police reports were all written up during your time with your legal guardians, correct?” Tina asked.
“I didn't actually know the muggle police had been involved. I'd heard the sirens stop near the house a couple of times when I was a kid, but I never saw anyone,” Harry said. “I was always locked up when the police cars entered the neighborhood.”
“Where were you locked up?” Tina asked.
“My cupboard. It was my bedroom before I turned eleven,” Harry admitted.
“You never knew your muggle neighbors had grown concerned enough to report your apparent malnourished state to the authorities?”
“When was the last time you summered at the home of the Weasleys'?” Tina asked, ready to disprove Molly's earlier statement that Harry had spent every summer there from beginning to end.
“The summer before our sixth year,” Harry answered. “We had just received our OWL results and I was mourning my godfather's death. I arrived there in the middle of the night on July 12th.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I do believe Mrs. Weasley lied!” Tina said, and turned to Hermione. “Mrs. Potter, a few quick questions. Were you ever in a relationship with Mr. Ronald Weasley?”
“No, I was not,” Hermione declared. “I never agreed to date him, much less marry him.”
“Do you know why he would claim such a thing happened between you?”
“He's a jealous git,” Hermione said derisively. She was surprised when she saw the judge, out of the corner of her eye, shooting the Weasleys dirty looks. “I could barely tolerate Ron. We were always fighting, and our fights usually resulted in us not speaking for an extended period of time.”
“Did he ever even ask you to go out with him?” Tina asked.
“Not once,” Hermione said. Everyone in the jury gasped, and then turned glares on the Weasley family.
“The defense rests,” Tina announced gleefully.
“Court is adjourned until tomorrow,” Judge Carlson announced, banging his gavel and promptly retreating to his chambers, where he proceeded to dance happily.
4: Day Three-Prosecution's Cross-Examination
“Mr. Potter, you did date young Miss Weasley, correct?” Mr. Mustela asked, looking for all the world like this was the beginning of the end of the Potter family.
“I dated her for about three weeks at the end of my sixth year,” Harry said. “I broke up with her at that point, and began dating Hermione some five months afterward.”
“At any point, were you engaged to Miss Weasley?”
“Mrs. Weasley didn't tell you of the arrangement she had made upon seeing how interested you were in her daughter?”
“There was no arrangement, at least to my knowledge,” Harry stated.
“Well, a minor has no say in an arranged marriage,” Mr. Mustela commented.
“Objection, Your Honor!” Tina said. “The Prosecution is ignoring a key piece of evidence!”
“Which 'key piece of evidence'?” Mr. Mustela asked scathingly.
“The evidence I made available to you because I felt sorry for you,” Tina said. “The Last Will and Testament of Sirius Black, godfather to Harry Potter. Sirius Black declared his godson an emancipated minor at the age of sixteen, legally naming him an adult more than a year before any relationship happened between my client and Miss Weasley.”
“But-” Mr. Mustela began, his ears turning red, but Tina cut him off.
“My client was aware of the emancipation clause, and told the Weasley family immediately, erroneously thinking they would be pleased for him.”
“Objection sustained,” Judge Carlson announced, enjoying every moment of this.
Mr. Mustela whimpered before he sent Harry back to his seat, and began conferring with Molly Weasley.
“The Prosecution calls Hermione Po-Granger to the stand,” he said. “Miss Granger, you've been friends with the Weasley family for several years, correct?”
“Yes,” she said. “Through Harry.”
“Did your parents tell you of any arrangement for you to wed young Mr. Weasley?”
“My parents haven't spoken to Mr. or Mrs. Weasley since I was twelve,” Hermione said. “And since they're muggles, they would never agree to such an arrangement. I married for love,” and here she beamed at Harry, sitting beside her. He held her hand in his, rubbing soft circles into her skin with his thumb. Mr. Mustela whimpered again, and once again conferred with Molly. He seemed to be arguing with her, muttering about she'd have to tell the truth or the case was finished.
He seemed to win the argument, and croaked, “The Prosecution rests,” before Molly could get into her stride.
5: Day Three-Defense's Cross-Examination
“Mrs. Weasley, let's start with an easy question,” Tina said easily. “What gives you or your family the right to tell these two people they can only marry into your family?”
“Easy?! You think that's easy?!” Molly shrieked.
“Answer the question,” Judge Carlson ordered.
“Alright. Alright. It was compensation for us taking in Harry,” she admitted.
“Compensation for not making sure he was cared for at his legal guardians' home? You expected some reward for being the mother of a few of his friends? You tried to get money out of him?” Molly weakly nodded.
“That's called embezzlement,” Tina announced. She grinned. “Anything else you'd like to confess to? I've got all afternoon.”
“I-I believed we deserved it, because we're pure-blood,” Molly admitted. Tina motioned for her to keep going. “My youngest two are extremely gifted, they're very powerful. I thought only Harry Potter himself and Hermione Granger, once I got to know her skill level, were worthy for my children.”
“Your Honor, permission to approach the bench?” Tina asked.
“Granted,” the judge said. He leaned forward to talk to Tina.
“Can I conduct this interview differently? I'd like to have my clients confirm or deny things as I question Weasley,” she said. He grinned.
“You may,” he said. She turned around, and said, “Harry, at what age did you accomplish different feats of magic?”
“I'm not sure what you mean,” Harry said.
“You can perform a Patronus Charm, right? Since when?”
“Since I was thirteen. I was nearly unconscious from the dementors, and I thought it was my dad come back from the dead to save us,” Harry said.
“How many dementors were there?”
“Around a hundred,” Harry said as though it were nothing.
“Where was Ron Weasley?”
“Unconscious,” Harry said.
“So the Great and Powerful Ron Weasley was unable to raise his wand and fight,” Tina said. She turned to Molly. “He doesn't sound so powerful to me.”
“Where was Miss Weasley?”
Harry shrugged. “Safely asleep in her bed, I assume.”
“The girl who supposedly loves you more than life itself, and she had no idea that as she slept you were in mortal peril of having your soul sucked out,” Tina stated. “If she was so powerful, shouldn't she have been able to help you?”
“She didn't know the Patronus Charm,” Harry said. “I didn't teach it to Ron or Ginny until my fifth year.”
“Since you taught it to her, do you know if hers is corporeal?”
“It is not,” Harry stated.
"What about Apparition?" Tina asked. "Mrs. Weasley, when was the first time your son successfully Apparated by himself without splinching?"
"Seventeen, of course," Molly said. "He wasn't licensed before."
"Um, I'm not sure..." Harry began, but trailed off, thinking. "There was an incident when I was a kid, but I'm still not sure if that Apparating, or something else."
"What kind of incident, and how old were you?" Tina asked.
"I was six," Harry said. "At my old school, before Hogwarts, I was running from my cousin's gang. I was trying to jump behind a garbage can but ended up on the roof of the school kitchen."
"That sounds consistent with Apparating," Tina confirmed. "So, you Apparated successfully for the first time at age six. Mrs. Weasley, what about your daughter?"
"S-she hasn't managed it yet. She'll take the test again next week," Molly said shortly, now glaring hatefully at Harry.
“Face it, Weasley, your so-talented youngest children are almost squibs,” Tina said, turning to Molly. Molly was speechless, and looked quite comical with her mouth opening and closing repeatedly. “Have your children ever done anything noteworthy?”
“My daughter defied You-Know-Who when she was only eleven,” Molly said. “The only one besides Harry in this generation to have done it.”
“Impressive,” Tina said. “How did she do it?”
“She survived his attempts to force her to do terrible things,” Molly said proudly. Even Ginny looked surprised, and Mr. Mustela groaned to himself.
“Harry, can you confirm this?” Tina asked.
“Voldemort did possess her throughout her first year,” Harry confirmed. “Twice she attempted to throw it off, once by trying to get rid of the tool he was using to get her. Another time she tried to confess, but wasn't able to.”
“But she didn't actually defy him, did she?”
“No, she didn't,” Harry said. “She was just a frightened little girl who didn't know what was going on.”
“Did the Dark Lord's attempts to control her succeed?”
“While under his control she reopened the Chamber of Secrets and attacked six people, though by sheer luck no one died this time,” Harry said softly.
“So, she didn't actually stand up to him and fight him. She didn't duel him and survive. Okay, Weasley, one last question,” Tina said. “Did you supply your two youngest children with love potion?”
Molly clearly looked torn between the lie that obviously right behind her teeth, and the truth she would ultimately be forced to tell. “Y-yes,” she stammered, looking horrified with herself.
“Harry, did you know if they used the potion?”
“Yes, Ginny started dosing me with Amortentia at the beginning of my sixth year. After I broke up with her, I started wondering if that was the cause of my sudden infatuation with her,” Harry said.
“Hermione, were you dosed?”
“Yes, I was,” Hermione said. “Ron tried to dose me at the end of our sixth year, but I didn't fall for it because I was already in love with Harry.”
“Your Honor, the defense rests,” Tina announced.
6: Day Four-Ruling
“We the people of the jury find the Weasley family's attempt to nullify the marriage of Harry Potter and Hermione Granger Potter illegal,” the jury foreman said. “The Potters are legally married in the eyes of this jury, as no other marriage or arrangement was made beforehand.”
“I rule in favor of the Potter family,” Judge Carlson confirmed. “Molly Weasley will face charges of attempted embezzlement and fraud, as well as manufacturing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. Ronald and Ginevra Weasley will face charges of the use of a controlled substance for personal gain.” He banged his gavel to make it official, and to see the looks on the Weasleys' faces.
There was only one thing more that could happen to cement this day forever in Harry's memory. And Hermione knew how she could do it. Standing up so she could see the looks on the Weasleys' faces when she made her little announcement, she said, "Harry, I'm pregnant."
The media representatives that had indeed snuck into the courtroom snapped pictures of Harry's shocked and delighted expression, before his face was concealed by his lovely wife and her mane of chestnut hair.
* * * *
EDITOR’S NOTE: Well, this is certainly new. I’ve never seen the Weasleys try to use the law to break up Harry and Hermione. And of course it didn’t stand up. It is extremely difficult to defend H/G or H/R with logical arguments, and most of those are easy to shoot down.
How did you all like it? Review! And thanks for reading.
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