Chapter 8 Summary
Harry immediately recognizes Courtroom Ten from Dumbledore’s pensieve, an object located inside his office at Hogwarts that holds many important memories. It was in this room that Bellatrix Lestrange as well as her husband were sent to Azkaban for life.
As Harry looks around, he realizes that the room is full of the members of the Wizengamot, or the wizarding council. The Ministry of Magic himself, Cornelius Fudge, is presiding with Percy Weasley taking notes on the proceedings.
As the wizards who will lead the interrogation are named, Albus Dumbledore appears, claiming that he is the witness for the defense of Harry Potter. Harry is completely surprised; however, Albus Dumbledore still won’t look at Harry.
Albus Dumbledore uses his peaceful yet biting wit to explain how even a change of time and place so close to the hearing wouldn’t keep him away. In fact, Albus Dumbledore had to arrive at the Ministry of Magic no less than three hours early just to be sure that he could attend the hearing.
Dumbledore must have had an inkling that the meeting time was going to be changed to purposely make him late. Harry is, of course, accused of producing his silver stag Patronus in the presence of his cousin, Dudley Dursley, a Muggle. Even though some of the members of the Wizengamot are amazed that Harry can produce a Patronus already, Harry simply tries to explain that he only did it because he was trying to protect himself and Dudley from the dementors. The Wizengamot reacts with stunned silence.
At the mention of the dementors, the Wizengamot members are confused. Dementors are only supposed to be guards at Azkaban. When Cornelius Fudge tries to convince the Wizengamot that the dementors are just a “cover story,” Dumbledore produces the most important witness: Mrs. Figg. Mrs. Figg testifies that she both saw and felt the dementors as they attacked both Harry and Dudley.
When Albus Dumbledore suggests that the dementors are either taking orders from someone other than the Ministry of Magic or were ordered to attack by someone at the Ministry of Magic, Cornelius Fudge becomes really angry.
Albus Dumbledore succeeds in arguing that Harry Potter had a right to defend himself against the dementors that were only there to harm him and his cousin. Therefore, Harry is cleared of his charges and is allowed to go back to Hogwarts. Unfortunately, Albus Dumbledore leaves without giving Harry so much as a glance.