I simplify the backstory of a crime and a false accusation because the hero of the story, I realize, is not the boy who knows the accusation is false, but another one who was caught up in the consequences.
But on reflection, it occurs to me that I need to rework how he gets caught up in the other boy's story. It requires them to be somewhere where he is not expected, and the villain of the piece tries to kidnap the other boy, and gets him too. That obviously could be a number of things, but I need one. . . and not by winning a contest.
So I start to ponder. And the first thing that comes to mind is that the reason the villain wants to kidnap the other boy was to confuse his memories of what really happened, because claiming he was magically confused does not get all she wants.
Which, you note, is not how to get the two boys in the right place together. . . .