Tragedy Mildly AU Harry's is sentenced to Azkaban. Here is a look at his last day on Earth...rated for language and violence. Will not include the horrid plot device called 'Horcruxes'. O...
It was so cold here. Always. Only part of that could be explained by the constant influence of the ancient fortress’ occupants, the dementors. In his few lucid moments, Harry thought it might be likely that Azkaban existed in a separate dimensional plane from Earth, and humans weren’t meant to be there at all. That the physiological or psychological differences between this plane and that, actually created the feeling of bitter cold. He would lose the train of thought when the Dementors made their frequent appearances. Of course, Harry had never been any sort of deep thinker and his presence within the walls of Azkaban wasn’t likely to make him such.
Either way, Harry was just then suffering under the effects of his aforenamed tormentors. He’d had another Voldemort induced vision and knew that even now, that the dark lord was headed to the island to collect him. Voldemort also wished to meet the order there and so ordered his double agent to ‘leak’ this vital information to Dumbledore, who could never pass up such an opportunity to redeem such a wayward soul as this. Voldemort would kill him and he’d be free to do anything he wished to the world.
‘At least I’ll soon be with Hermione.’ That brought forth a surge of ‘something’. In fact for the first time in quite a long time, he allowed himself to actually feel almost ‘happy’.
Harry’s outburst of emotion, slight though it was by his previous standards, was enough to attract the dementors. Sensing a ‘meal’ from a source they had long before sucked dry, they came figuratively running. Harry realized his mistake as he felt the cold grow around him. He knew that the only way to rid himself of the demons was to retreat into his most painful memories.
He chose his trial.
He’d been shoved across the room, bound in chains and under both a silencing spell and several potions. Harry had stumbled and fallen. Two Aurors hoisted him ungently to his feet, one of which had managed to ‘accidentally’ kick him in the ribs hard enough to break several of them.
“Harry James Potter…” Intoned Minister Fudge, in his most sincere ‘You can trust me, because I’m firm but fair’ voice. “You are charged with the abduction of, the torture by means of the unforgivable curse Cruciatus of, the horrific rapes of, and the murders by use of the unforgivable curse Avada Kedavra of, the pureblood witch of good family, Ginevra Molly Weasley, and the mudbl…the muggleborne witch Hermione Granger.”
Both Doctors Granger, scowled at the near-appellation. Hermione had told them several times of the prejudice that permeated the wizarding culture, but they’d never seen it used in such a blatant fashion, especially as this venue was a court of law and the man using the epithet was the most senior government official! How quickly they were disabused of that notion.
When they’d seen Harry, immediately following his arrest, Mackenzie had wanted to kill him right there, but Judith had held his arm, and using the silent communication they’d developed over almost two decades of marriage, asked him to consider all the evidence before making a rash decision.
That was not the face of a guilty man. His face had held a look of complete devastation. Hermione had been so happy to announce Harry had proposed to her. A month later, she was dead.
When Judith Granger had forwarded the idea of contacting a barrister for Harry, Molly’s reaction was explosive.
“What!?!” She screeched. “You want to defend him? That animal murdered your daughter, and you want him to go free?”
“We don’t know Harry did this! He and Hermione were to marry. Why would he kill her?” She returned, irritated at Molly’s absolutist world-view.
“Who knows why animals do anything?” Molly had howled. Then she made it perfectly plain that if the Grangers were interested in helping Harry in any way, they were no longer welcome in her home. Sadly, that included Ginny’s funeral.
Minerva, Kingsley, Tonks, Moody, Bill, Charlie, the twins and Mrs. Figg all attended Hermione’s service, so that the Grangers would not have to suffer the death of their daughter alone. As much as they detested the wizarding world for taking away their ‘little ray of sunshine’, they appreciated the effort.
Judith was nothing if not thorough. She contacted every barrister she knew of in the wizarding world. She went to the Goblins to find others. They all seemed eager to proceed, until they learned the name of the defendant. Then they were suddenly ‘busy’.
During the first half of the trial, which seemed to the Grangers, more like the witch trials of the Middle Ages than any real attempt to actually see justice done, Judith Granger noticed that Harry seemed barely able to stay awake. He was lethargic and unresponsive…as if someone had given him a sleeping aid. During the recess, she mentioned this to Dumbledore, who treated her with the condescension she had seen some adults show a particularly slow and disruptive child. It seemed to her, that the support structure Harry should have been able to rely on had vanished in a spark, and he was entirely on his own.
One by one, those who had professed to be Harry’s friends, gave testimony that made seemingly simple outbursts of youthful exuberance, and the bona-fide protection of others, in the school and elsewhere, appear to be the plottings of a demented sociopath. In some cases, such as Harry’s best friend, Ronald Weasley, the ‘testimony’ seemed scripted, and well-practiced. In others, it appeared to be either coerced or the person on the stand looked to be possibly influenced, as if under hypnosis or narcotics.
The only high point of the ‘trial’ was when George Weasley asked: “We know that Harry’s wand was used, but we haven’t discovered if he actually used it.”
“That makes no difference at all!” Fudge blustered. “The wizard is responsible for the use of his wand!” He ignored the snickers his double entendre provoked, and added in an aside that could nevertheless, be heard throughout the courtroom: “I’d be careful, if I were you. Your license to operate out of Diagon Alley could always ‘come under review’!”
That had later proved to be a major mistake for the morally bankrupt politician.
“This is disgraceful!” Mr. Granger shouted. “Hermione was murdered too, but you’ve done nothing to show that Harry had anything to do with it. Where is your proof? All you’ve presented is circumstantial evidence, and not much of that! You lot have truth serums that guarantee the…” Mister Granger fell to the floor, his wife next to him, courtesy of well-placed stunners from Fudge and his Senior Undersecretoad, Umbridge.
“Remove those muggles from this courtroom!” He snarled in his usual, and rather bombastic tone. “They never should have been involved in this, in the first place! Take them into London and wipe their memories!”
Fortunately, it was Amelia Bones, who detailed the Aurors Shacklebolt and Tonks, to escort the unconscious Grangers safely to their home in Crawley, as they were distraught over the death of their daughter, conveniently ‘forgetting’ to add the ‘memory wipe’ part of Fudge’s orders.
She also suggested the use of Veritaserum, only to be told the potion was too expensive to be wasted on such an obviously guilty criminal as Potter. When she had suggested pensieve memories as an alternate, Fudge called her a fool and threatened to sack her for ‘interfering in the proper operation of the court’. Amelia Bones stood and snarled” Minister Fudge, If you are so anxious to throw a child into Azkaban prison for a crime you cannot prove he committed, I shall call for a vote of no-confidence in your obviously dark-aligned leadership!” She nodded to Harry and said: “Mister Potter, if it is at all within my powers I shall find a way to free you.” She stalked from the courtroom, followed by Fudge’s threats.
What Harry never learned, was that Amelia Bones flooed directly to Hogwarts, where she contacted Minerva, and informed her of what had happened. Informing Susan of the necessity, she asked her niece to pack her belongings and she withdrew her niece from Hogwarts. Together, they returned to her home, where she cast ‘Fidelus’, with Susan as secret keeper. Telling Susan exactly why she was doing so, she initiated the actions, which would enroll her sister’s grandchild in Beauxbatons instead. Handing the girl a portkey, she said: “Susan, this is likely good bye. With your friend’s imprisonment, the government is now fully controlled by Voldemort’s lieutenants. I cannot bear the thought of you under their control. Unfortunately, Dumbledore is no better. He just sits there, twinkling, and does absolutely nothing. You will be safer in Beauxbatons. Relatives of ours live in Marseilles. They have promised to take care of you.”
“What about you, Auntie?” Susan wept freely, fearing this would be the last time she saw her beloved aunt.
“Susan, by opposing both Cornelius as well as Albus Dumbledore, not to mention Voldemort, I am marked for death. However, as long as there is life in my body, I will do what I can to protect the people of our world. That is an oath I took many years before you were born, and it is an oath I intend to keep. My life is less important than the survival of the whole. Now, before you leave, I want you to know, I have emancipated you. Asclepias will explain that to you. You have never disappointed me, Suse. Hold your head high, and do the right thing. That’s all I can ask of you.” She kissed the girl three times. Once on each cheek and once on the forehead and whispered: “I love you, Susan. May the Goddess bless your path.”
Susan kissed her aunt and backed away. “Good bye, Auntie.” She whimpered. “I love you!” Tapping the portkey she vanished in a swirl of light.
Foreseeing the distinct possibility of her having an ‘unfortunate accident’, Amelia quickly contacted Gringotts department of ancient lines, and asked a representative to join her at her home, at their convenience.
Dak Graswold himself, Director of Gringotts bank and nominal head of the entirety of the Unified Goblin Hordes, immediately flooed to Bones Manor in Leeds. Amelia greeted him as an old friend would. Her family had always had a strong relationship with the goblins. Each considered the other to be a worthy friend.
Bidding Graswold sit, Amelia served her guest the special blood-wine called Mok Taah that the goblins so preferred. Once pleasantries had been executed, she informed him she wanted Susan to have immediate, unfettered access to the entirety of the Bones’ estate.
When Graswold raised an eyebrow in surprise, she informed him how Fudge had sent Harry Potter into Azkaban. She also told him her days were most likely numbered. Graswold nodded solemnly and wrote down her instructions. She signed, and sealed the pact with three drops of her blood.
The parchment flared white and vanished to the bowels of Gringotts.
“Thank you, Dak Graswold.” Amelia smiled at the goblin showing as many teeth as she could. Graswold nodded and smiled back.
“You and yours have been good friends to my family for many, many years. I thank you for that. I have only one further request. In these dark times, please take care of Susan as best you can. She’s going to need someone to lean on, when I die.”
“I swear it shall be done.” Graswold spat on his hand and extended it. Grinning again, Amelia spat upon her own and joined hands with him.
Graswold stood, and saying: “Take these. They are recording and sending crystals for your office. It may help your case if your assassination attempt, successful or not, is witnessed by people elsewhere. “ He handed her a handful of Galleon sized light blue crystals. She smiled and thanked him, adding: “May you find gold at your feet.” As he prepared to return to Gringotts, she completed the blessing: “May your vaults never empty, my friend.” And he vanished.
Amelia steeled herself to return to the ministry.
Addressing her senior Aurors, Bones made a short speech.
“My time is almost through. I have publicly opposed Fudge, and I have always opposed Voldemort. Now that Harry Potter has been railroaded into Azkaban, I expect to be assassinated within a few weeks at most. I accept the danger, because that is my job. I once swore the same oath all of you have. I meant it then and I mean it now. If I die, I hope one of you will take my place. Someone who is willing to do the right thing…despite the hardships…to protect those who frequently curse you for that protection, and who curse you when they feel they aren’t being protected enough. This is an Auror’s lot to bear, and most of your troops have borne it well. Kingsley, you are the most senior other than Scrimgeour, and unfortunately, Rufus is compromised. He does not bear the mark, and he may not actively support Voldemort, but his sympathies clearly lie with the pureblood’s agenda. You’ll most likely be advanced to head Auror if he moves into my spot. Shack, I trained you. I know you better than your wife does. You have what it takes to make a major difference, but you must begin weeding out those who support Voldemort. I’d start with Pius Thickness. He’s marked. But, do it quietly. Get people you can trust at your back, before you make any major changes. ”
With that, she departed, leaving several frustrated and angry Aurors in her wake.
Once in her office, Amelia carefully placed the crystals around her office including one around her neck on a silver chain, ensuring that her demise, should it come to that, would be known to all. That done, she began her preparations to oust Fudge.
Fudge’s ‘personal’ Aurors dragged Harry down the hallway, seemingly oblivious to the punches and kicks delivered to the bound lad. The crowd jeered with each blow.
They dragged him into the Atrium where the press awaited. Fudge, of course had made certain to get there first so as to make his appeal before anybody actually saw the ‘vile malefactor’. When Harry was dragged in, the crowd roared. Bloodlust and greed vied for dominance. Again the witches and wizards, most of whom Harry knew to be marked, beat him with fists, feet or sticks, or hurled injuring curses. The Aurors present ignored the brutality.
At the Portkey point to ‘The End of The World’ as the Azkaban departure point was known, Harry watched helplessly, as the remainder of his life dissolved.
Ron snarled what was clearly a well-rehearsed speech. “You took my sister, Potter! Now, I’m going to take everything you ever loved. He opened Harry’s trunk and cast an Incendio spell on it. As the flames grew, Ron pulled a furious Hedwig from her blanket- shrouded cage. Harry knew what his former friend was about to do, and struggled frantically against his bonds to save his first friend but the Aurors seemed to have finally remembered that they had a prisoner, and held him fast, laughing at his misery.
Ron hadn’t counted on three things. First: Hedwig was a most prideful creature and did not like being manhandled as she was. Second: She really did not want to become roast owl. And third: Owls can rotate their heads almost entirely. So that’s what she did. The white owl turned her head and bit into his finger, causing him to shriek in agony. Clamping her beak down harder, and with a crunch of bone, she severed the digit entirely. Having freed herself from the now-howling Ron, Hedwig took flight carrying Ron’s severed finger out the window, with Harry crying: “Get away, Hedwig! Fly!”
She attained a speed owls have rarely achieved, before or since. None of the dozens of witnesses thought to cast a single spell.
Ron’s lust for destruction wasn’t sated, however. Instead, he grew even more obsessed. The Firebolt came first. Ron, clumsily holding his wand in his mangled hand, cast cutting curse after cutting curse on the Firebolt, chopping it onto small bits before feeding them into the fire. Not satisfied, he tore pages from Harry’s precious photo album, feeding them to the flames one by one. Harry fought as hard as he could to save his few reminders of his parents, The Aurors behind him held him securely, laughing all the while.
The cloak came last. With a vicious sneer, Ron cast the heirloom into the flames. That was a mistake. The thing smoked and filled the chamber with noxious fumes. Harry smiled behind his choking, knowing at least the cloak had got some of it’s own back.
“Whaddya have to say now, Potter?” He sneered at his former friend.
“First off, you’re an arse. That Firebolt was a first edition. Number seven of the initial production run. I’ve been offered upwards of one hundred and fifty thousand Galleons for it. The cloak was even more rare. I’m willing to bet you could have got quarter of a million for that. Then you’d have what you always wanted…what you sacrificed your family and friends for…Money! There were also three rather valuable library books in my trunk. Madam Pince is going to be very put out with you. How do you feel now, Malfoy?”
With a burst of raw, wild magic that overwhelmed the binders he was wearing, and threw the Aurors behind him violently into the marble walls, Harry lunged into Ron, knocking the taller boy to the floor, and rammed his knee into Ron’s groin as hard as he possibly could, once, twice, thrice, snarling: “Here’s hoping this particular Weasley line is ended, you bloody Death Eater! Rising from his screaming victim, Harry growled: “God forbid someone as stupid as you, should ever be allowed to breed!” A heavy blow across the back of his head introduced him to the darkness.
Harry’s efforts were well wrought. Ron entered St. Mungos emergency ward, unconscious and bleeding from the groin. The verdict was that Ronald Weasley would never have children. Moreover, Harry’ attack had severely damaged his erectile nerve. Simply put, Ron would never be able to get it up.
“Welcome to the end of the world, boy!” A mocking voice sounded as a huge fist crashed into Harry’s head. Blinded by the impact, Harry flew across the stone chamber to fetch up against the heavy wall. His glasses were shattered.
Before he could recover, hands gripped his collar and hoisted him into the air. Slamming him back into the wall a few times, just to rattle his brains a bit more.
“We’ve been told to leave you be, but you’re here for life, boy. How long that life is, depends entirely on your…attitude!”
Harry finally collected his thoughts. Since he was doomed to die here, and with Hermione’s death, he really had no reason to live, he gripped the massive man’s shoulders and focused all his innate power into a blasting curse.
The results were messy. The brute fell dead, his arms, and most of his chest blasted away.
“Crucio!” A sneering voice rang out. Instantly, Harry fell, screaming, under the unforgivable. Draco Malfoy stepped out of the shadows, and recast the curse.
As soon as Harry saw his hated enemy, he staggered to his feet, curse notwithstanding, he’d taken the Cruciatus from Voldemort. Malfoy wasn’t even close to his level of power. He began to advance toward the inbred fool who’d caused him so much pain in his life.
A heavy blow, from behind, dropped him to the stone flags.
The frightened Malfoy, scurried from the room, leaving the guards to clean up the mess.
“What do we do with him?” One asked.
“Accident!” Another volunteered.
“He is to remain unharmed and unmolested.” Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore entered the room, his vibrant robes nearly lighting the place of their own accord. “I still need him to destroy Voldemort. If he is unable to do so, we are all lost.”
“What about Clyde?” The guard pointed to his dead companion.
“An unfortunate accident, I’d say. Such things happen. This position is rife with hazard. Has he any family?”
“Very well, then. I shall arrange it so that you three share in his death benefits. As for Mister Potter, he is to be placed in the ultimate security ward, with not less than two dementors on patrol at all times. He is to be given fifteen minutes between rounds, so as to ensure he remains sane…after a fashion. He is not to be removed from his cell for any reason, save this island sinking into the sea. Should that event occur, he is to be stunned thoroughly and delivered to me at Hogwarts.”
“Yessir!” They immediately hoisted the barely conscious Harry, and dragged him off through the warrens to the small cells in the ultimate security section of the prison. Dumbledore looked at the fallen guard with amazement, muttering: “Fascinating! Even here, he is immensely powerful!” before departing the bloody scene.
Fudge went to Gringotts the next morning in order to seize Harry’s estate, only to be told in not-so polite terms, that the vaults had been emptied the previous day. They had not, actually. Gred and Forge had merely transferred control of the vaults to themselves, per Harry’s previous agreement with the goblins, to allow them unfettered access to his money for any purpose they could name. He’d added a codicil requiring a valid reason, but that was all. The previous afternoon, Fred and George had spoken with Dak Graswold, requesting he seal the Potter family vaults until Harry’s death or his exoneration, whichever came first. The trust vault was emptied into theirs, leaving only thirty sickles, and the family vaults from both Potter and Black lines, had been made inaccessible. Properties were placed under goblin concealments that made the ‘Fidelus’ look like cello wrap. W3 was closed in Diagon Alley and reopened in Belgium just off the ‘Rue Fosse Aux Loups’, and the twins renounced their British citizenship and registered as Belgians.
Fudge left the bank swearing to all the gods of heaven and hell. He needed that money! To help with the war effort, of course. For the widows…and the orphans…!
Voldemort was less than pleased with Fudge’s lack of foresight. He was particularly vicious in his ‘punishment’. The moneys now denied him, would have made his conquest of the wizarding world much easier. Now, he had to find other funding.
Upon his return to the ministry, Fudge found that his office door had moved. Not watching where he’d been going, he’d run painfully into a wall. Rebounding, he looked around and located the errant door, only to find that when he stepped through, he had been transported into the women’s loo in a dockworker’s pub, in London’s infamous Southside. A swift but thoroughly humiliating beating at the hands of several less than modestly clad women, and another from their boyfriends followed, before he was forcibly ejected from the place, and thrown into the river.
Upon his second return to the ministry, he’d loudly issued a ‘kill on sight’ order for the twins. Amelia Bones, head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, quietly rescinded the order and informed her Aurors that if anyone should attempt to carry out such an order, she would personally see the offender was stripped of his or her position, divested of all his or her assets and sent to Azkaban. Kingsley seconded her.
Amelia Bones had just returned from the Wizengamot chambers in her unsuccessful bid to oust Fudge. Dumbledore flatly refused to allow the vote to be taken, and chastised her for her attempt, saying her only motivation was petty revenge. Amelia objected strenuously while Dumbledore just twinkled.
The door swung open, and Lucius Malfoy stepped in.
“Hello Lucius.” Amelia greeted him coolly. “I take it you are here to kill me. Tell me, who’s orders are you following. Fudge’s, Dumbledore’s or Voldemort’s?”
“Strangely enough, all three.” Lucius smirked. “Fudge cannot abide anyone who will not blindly support him, Dumbledore is following his own agenda and the dark lord has informed me that you have been a thorn in his side for far to long. I’m merely here to remove that particular thorn.” He slowly drew his wand from the ebony staff he carried, eagerly awaiting her fear. To his disappointment, she showed none. Oddly enough, she smirked as if she knew something he did not.
“What are you smirking at?”
“Obviously you’ve never read the book.”
“Book? What book?”
“The handbook of rules for evil overlords.”
Puzzled by her nonsensical words, Lucius nevertheless had a job to do. He raised his wand and snarled: “Avada Kedavra!”
In a monitoring room of the French Newspaper, Je Accuse in Calais, reporters from more than a dozen major news outlets throughout the world, as well as Dak Graswold himself, and his senior advisers, watched as Amelia Bones met her death, fearlessly and with great strength. Malfoy had just begun the incantation that would end her life when Bones cast a silent curse, which would not only remove his ability to sire children, but would also begin to slowly and most painfully, rot him away from the inside out. Then, to make a statement, she blasted a hole through his chest.
Bones fell lifeless to the floor, her eyes holding a look of victory.
Malfoy cast a healing charm on his chest. The damage had been great and he’d need time with a professional healer, but he’d survived. Little did he know that the injury was intended to distract, rather than kill. If Bones had aimed two inches more to the left, his heart would have been blasted through his back.
Looking at his bloodied clothing in disgust, he raised his wand and spat: ‘Morsmordre!” and the death head emblem appeared on the wall.
Resheathing his wand and wrapping his cloak around himself, Malfoy sauntered from the office, a satisfied look upon his face.
Graswold immediately returned to the bank to seal the Malfoy, Fudge and Dumbledore vaults, according to a law, written by Dumbledore and coauthored by Malfoy himself.
Moments later the French ‘Ministre por le affaires de la Magiques’, watched the replayed images from the recording crystals.
“So, It has come to this then.” He sighed, rubbing his brow. “Contact Olympe`. Tell her I am making Susan Bones a personal ward, and ask her to invite Mlle. Bones to my home this evening. In the meantime, draw up the declaration of suspension for my signature. If these Britons are too cowardly to handle their own terrorist problems, then they deserve what they get. Also, I want the case against Misuer Potter to be thoroughly reviewed. Perhaps we can use our influence to force his repatriation, or at the very least his release. I for one; do not believe Harry Potter could possibly be guilty of such heinous crimes as he has been accused.
Susan Bones was worried. Madame Maxime had sought her out that afternoon and informed her she was invited to dinner with the French Minister of Magic.
Now, she sat before the Minister and his wife. To one side, two acquaintances sat with their family. Fleur and Gabrielle sat between their elder cousins, Ariadne and Jacqueline De la Coeur.
“Mademoiselle Bones.” Asclepias De la Coeur began somberly. Susan suddenly knew what he was going to say. She bit her lip and tears began to flow as the Minister pronounced sentence. “It is my saddest of duties, to inform you of the death of your great aunt, Amelia Violetta Bones. She was murdered this day, by the inner-circle Death Eater, Lucius Malfoy, on the combined orders of Cornelius Fudge, Albus Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort.”
Susan let her grief escape. “Auntie!!” Fleur and Gabrielle immediately sat beside her and wrapped her in warm, caring embraces. Madam Maxime also gently rested her dish plate sized hands on Susan’s shoulders, letting her know that she was not alone.
Msr. De la Coeur spoke again. “Susan, shortly after your friend Harry Potter was railroaded into Azkaban, your aunt came to me with an unusual proposition. She had already declared you an adult, but she asked both myself and Dak Graswold, of Gringotts bank, to ensure you lacked for nothing. I fully intend to carry out my pledge. I have drawn up the necessary papers to grant you membership in the De la Coeur family. You will still be emancipated and you will still carry the name ‘Bones’, but it will be as if you are a child of my own. Will you accept this?”
Shocked, Susan stared at the most politically powerful wizard in France. Beside her, Fleur and Gabrielle both grinned broadly. They’d both liked the unassuming Hufflepuff at Hogwarts and would be honored to have her with them in France. She nodded formally. “Monsieur De la Coeur, I gratefully accept your kind offer.”
Dumbledore and Fudge both discovered their accounts had been closed at the same time. Both had arrived early on Monday morning to withdraw some gold, only to find their keys confiscated and themselves herded at spear-point into a dank chamber, and locked in.
Six hours later, Dak Graswold entered the chamber.
“Both of you are now considered Persona Non Grata. Your complicity in the murder of Amelia Violetta Bones, a major depositor and long time friend of the goblin hordes, is in abrogation of our agreements. Your vaults have been sealed, and the gold within, has been disbursed accordingly. If either of you ever returns to this bank, you will be killed and eaten. Get out!”
Six armed goblins hustled them out of the bank at sword-point and literally shoved them down the marble steps.
Graswold had ensured that this would be witnessed by not less than five hundred witches and wizards, and fourteen national and international reporters.
Three years later:
Metal scraped as a key was forced into a long unused lock. An Auror swung open the heavy oaken door and spoke. “Get up, Potter, you’re expected outside. Why aren’t you ready?”
“Huh? What the hell are you talking about?” Harry asked blearily. Squinting through broken lenses.
“Has no one told you? Fudge is here to release you. He said you’d been informed. Of course, if it were up to me, I’d have you kissed, but there’s no allowing for personal feelings, I suppose.”
“Even if I wasn’t guilty?”
“Oh, you’re guilty, Potter. After all, you’ve been convicted. The minister gave you a fair trial.
“Oh, yeah. A fair trial where every single member of the jury was a marked Death Eater? Where I was never given a chance to say a word? Never questioned under Veritaserum? Never allowed to place my memories in a pensieve? Yeah, I guess in the wizarding world, that’s considered a fair trial.” Harry shot back, disgusted with the whole grotty lot of them.
“Just shut your gob and stand up, Potter!” The Auror snarled.
“I said, I can’t, wanker! Are you deaf, or just stupid? I’ve been stuffed into a four by four foot stone cage for the better part of three years. My muscles have all gone to shit. Of course, you could drag me out there. That would look reeealll good for the press.”
“Oh, come on! You know as well as I do that Fudge would never pass up a ‘photo-op’. Especially on such an ‘auspicious occasion’ as this. He’s up for re-election, you know.”
Sighing, the Auror dug into his belt pouch, extracting a blue crystal phial with a triangular shaped stopper. He handed it to Harry.
“Drink this. It’s an energy restorative. It’ll help you get through whatever Fudge has planned.”
Harry took the phial and downed the contents. It could have been poison, but at this point, he really didn’t care.
Surprisingly enough, it didn’t taste too bad.
Seeing his surprise, the Auror said: “It’s only Snape’s potions that taste like shit. He does it on purpose. The rest of the brewers know how to make them, at least palatable.”
Harry closed his eyes and sighed as he felt his body and his magic react to the unfamiliar potion. His energy levels returned to nearly his norm, overloading his depleted body. He struggled to gain his feet and stumbled out of the cell he’d occupied for the last three years.
At the huge portcullis leading from the inner keep, Harry met with Poppy Pomfrey. Her face was wet with tears. Behind her stood a crowd of people, most of whom were the reporters from various news outlets. She handed him a potion.
“It’s to increase your abilities, mister Potter. You may have need of them.”
“I’ve already taken the Auror’s energy restorative.” The Auror showed her the empty phial and named the potion. Poppy frowned, but again extended the potion.
“This won’t be a problem. These two are often taken together. Just don’t take another too soon.”
Harry downed the potion and grimaced. “Snape.” Was all he said. The Auror smiled thinly.
He turned again to Poppy. “Madam Pomfrey, would you please fix my glasses. If I’m to die today, I want to see it coming.”
“Very well.” Poppy sighed as she cast the first spell Harry had ever heard, ‘Repairo’ on his glasses. He smiled and placed them on his nose.
When Harry turned toward the courtyard, the Auror released the Imperius curse on Poppy and sent her back to the rest of the sheep. The two potions would in fact, bolster each other…for about an hour, giving the user almost limitless power, and then leave him utterly helpless. Just in time for the dark lord to strike! What he hadn’t taken into account was Harry’s emaciated state. The duration estimates were for a body weighing twice what Harry’s did. He had in effect, given Harry an almost two-hour energy boost.
Harry found a gleeful Cornelius Fudge waiting out in the execution grounds of the ancient citadel. Heavy wooden posts, bearing iron chains, black with age, stood here and there, showing where many others had been kissed. He’d had a stage built and had invited reporters from every wizarding publication in Europe, in order to ensure himself the widest possible coverage.
The incompetent buffoon was in his element…pandering to the crowd.
“Wizards and witches of Britain, as your Minister of Magic, I am here to redress a hideous wrong. For too long has this dark wizard, Harry Potter, been allowed to flaunt our laws and noble traditions. For too long, has he escaped his just reward. Your ministry, under my direct guidance has been working ceaselessly to protect you from the panic he and that muggle-loving fool Dumbledore have been fomenting. Today, Harry Potter will answer for his sedition…for his treason against the lawful government of the wizarding world.
On the eighteenth of April, three years agone, Harry Potter and no one else, did rape and torture by means of the Cruciatus curse, and did murder by means of the Avada Kedavra curse, Ginevra Molly Weasley, a pureblood witch of long pedigree, and the mudblood, Granger.
He has caused unrest and dissention. These crimes cannot be tolerated as we are in a delicate time just now. We must all stand together against the tide of muggles and mudbloods that would destroy us all, and blood traitors who would allow it. These seditious traitors will suffer the ultimate price for their treason. Today, the traitor, Harry James Potter, will forfeit his soul to the dementors as payment for his crimes.”
The crowd parted as Harry stumbled forward, propelled by the Auror behind him. He fell to the rocky earth below the stand, tearing open his hands in the process.
“Ah!” He sneered. “The guest of honor. Welcome to the last day of your life, Potter.”
“Any last words, Potter?”
“A few. You put me here to hide your master. Why that half blooded animal would fear the light of day is beyond me…”
“How dare you…!?!”
“I’m not finished!” Harry snarled. The revitalizing potions he’d been given to drink coursed through his veins, giving him power greater than ever before. He knew that if he didn’t expend some of the power soon, there would be a nasty explosion, with himself at the core.
But apparently, Harry was finished. Fudge signaled an Auror, who cast a silencing spell on the youth. Other Aurors bound Harry to a thick post in the courtyard. All around, camera’s flashed as the press jockeyed for the best shot. That an innocent young man was about to be murdered by the state, meant less than nothing to them. This was front-page news!
“Dementor! Do your duty!” Fudge sneered. The Dementor approached Harry. Instantly the memories began. ‘Have mercy! Take me instead!’ ‘You worthless freak!’ ‘They died in a car crash! Don’t ask questions!’ ‘He was a drunk! She was a whore!’ ‘I’m very sorry, Harry, obliviate!’ ‘I’ll teach you to use that freakishness around decent people!’ ‘Harry, you must stop provoking your uncle. I cannot continue to come and rescue you. Obliviate!’ ‘There he is! You hold him, I’ll pound him.’ ‘Our…new…celebrity.’ ‘Hermione! Move!’ ‘I don’t know where you heard about the stone, but I can assure you it is quite well protected!’ ‘There is no good or evil, only power and those too weak to seek it!’
The foul creature reached out with rotting hands…
‘What are you playing at, Potter?’ ‘Hermione!’ ‘She was holding a mirror. Have you any idea what this means?’ ‘She’s alive…but only just.’ ‘You were brilliant Fawkes. I just wasn’t fast enough.’ ‘If there’s something wrong with the bitch, there will be something wrong with the pup!’ ‘He’s a murderer!’ ‘Sirius Black was and remains to this day, his godfather!’ ‘Harry! I’ll hold him! You lot get back to the castle!’ ‘Harry! They’re going to suck out his soul!’
The dementor gripped Harry’s shoulders causing him to fade into and out of consciousness…
‘So, you’re back, eh?’ ‘Harry Potter.’ ‘But I didn’t…’ ‘Of course ‘e is lying!’ ‘ He’s been crossing lines since he arrived here.’ ‘I expect you’ll need to be up early tomorrow for a photo call or something.’ ‘I see no difference…’ ‘Do you know what this is, Potter?’
The demon bent, taking Harry’s face in his hands and began to prize his jaws apart.
‘Kill the spare!’ ‘Avada Kedavra!’ ‘Anyone who tells you he is, is lying!’ ‘You will learn not to tell your nasty lies.’ ‘Sirius! No!’ ‘Harry it’s too late! He’s gone!’ ‘CRUCIO!’ ‘Please kill me! At least then I can be with Sirius.’
Harry struggled his utmost but it was a fight he could not win. The dementor lowered his rotten, scabby lips to Harry’s mouth and…
‘Harry James Potter…You are charged with the abduction, and torture by means of the unforgivable curse Cruciatus, the horrific rapes, and the murders by use f the unforgivable curse Avada Kedavra, of the pureblood witch of good family, Ginevra Molly Weasley, and the mudbl…the muggleborne witch Hermione Jane Granger.’
The dementor recoiled in apparent shock, as a brilliant white glow suffused the very air between them. The demon writhed in torment as one by one, the souls it had consumed over the past centuries escaped. Phoenix song was heard by all, as the dementor evaporated, leaving only a scattering of fine ashes to mark it’s presence. The rest of the foul creatures fled in terror, and Harry found himself standing free of his bonds.
A flash of brilliantly colored light signaled the arrival of a portkey. Where there was only empty space, there now stood more than a dozen members of the Order of the Phoenix. In addition, there were two amazed muggles with them. Doctor’s Judith and Mackenzie Granger. Instantly Aurors surrounded them, wands facing inward, rather than out. Dumbledore took in the situation instantly and blanched at the image it presented him.
“How did you do that?” The enraged Fudge bellowed. He rushed forward and swung his meaty fist, catching Harry across the side of his head and sending him to the rocky ground.
Harry shook his head, his head aching terribly from the blow Fudge had given. To the side, he saw a few of the reporters narrowing their eyes at the Minister’s behavior. Fudge hauled him up by the neck, shook him hard and screamed again: “How—Did—You—Do—That!?!”
Harry coughed into Fudge’s face, earning himself another backhand. On the ground, he levered himself on to an elbow. “Most likely the prophesy.” He panted.
On hearing the word ‘Prophesy’, Fudge went from a shade of puce that would have made Harry’s uncle proud, to absolutely bloodless, in less than a second.
“Cornelius, what is the meaning of this?” Dumbledore demanded, knowing the secret for which he’d forced Harry to sacrifice so much, was about to be revealed. “You told me Harry was to be released, and here I find you have tried to have him kissed?”
“I am merely executing a dangerous criminal and a danger to our society, per executive order 1127, enacted just yesterday, in fact.” Fudge sneered.
“No law of that sort has been put before the Wizengamot. If it had been, I assure you, I would have fought it most fervently.”
“I make the laws! I no longer need the Wizengamot! I decide what is legal and what is not! Any dissention will be considered treason and the perpetrator will be kissed!”
He returned his attention to Harry.
“Now, what is this about a prophesy?” He demanded.
“Oh, yeah. Let’s see how it went…”
“Harry!” Dumbledore warned. Harry saluted him with two fingers, then went on to answer Fudge.
“The one with the power to vanquish the dark lord approaches. Born as the seventh month dies, Born to those who have thrice defied him…"
“Why are you doing this?” Dumbledore shouted at Fudge, trying to get him to lose focus on the words of the prophesy. “What could you have to gain?”
Lucius Malfoy stepped out from behind Fudge, dressed in the black robes of the death eaters.
“Ah. I understand.” Dumbledore replied sadly. “It appears that you have finally formalized your relationship with Lord Voldemort.”
“How DARE you!?! Aurors seize him! Disagreement with the ministry is now an act of treason! I will not tolerate your sedition. You are hereby sentenced to Azkaban prison! I will decide later if you are to be kissed.”
~OK, this shit has gone on too long!~ Harry thought. He presented Dumbledore a Roman salute and said quietly: “Ave Caesar! Morituri et salutat!” Dumbledore’s eyes widened in fear as he realized what Harry was about to do.
“Can I borrow that?” Harry snatched the distracted Auror’s wand and snapped off: “Reducto!” at Fudge’s crotch. He handed the wand back to the stunned Auror with his thanks and dropped, just as Lucius Malfoy fired off a killing curse. The Auror fell. Twenty stunners flew towards the platinum-haired aristocrat, all but three striking him. He should have been killed by the systemic shock, but for the reduced strength curse Fudge had mandated. Someone with a great deal of money had ‘convinced’ him that the standard curse was too strong and might harm a pureblood by accident, citing the injury taken by Minerva McGonagall at the end of Harry’s fifth year. Still, seventeen of the things all at once did knock him off the platform and into the stone wall of the prison. The ones that missed, struck Auror Ronald Weasley instead, flinging him into the crowd. Someone grabbed his sleeve to stay his fall with the result that his sleeve ripped off entirely, exposing the dark mark on his forearm for all to see.
Screams of fear erupted as Ron Weasley struggled to regain his feet.
Seamus Finnegan, also an Auror, and Ron’s partner, stunned the downed Death Eater three more times, using the full powered stunner, and bound him…with about two miles of heavy rope. He stunned him twice more…just in case. Ronald Weasley would die two years later from coronary arrest in the same miserable little stone cell, in the very worst section of Azkaban that Harry had occupied. He would remain unmourned.
From there it was a melee with each side trying to dominate the other. Curses flew and people died.
On the ground, right next to the Auror he’d used, Harry snatched up the dead man’s wand, and joined in the fray.
Unlike the order, Harry wasn’t trying to capture. He’d had quite enough of these black-robed idiots and did his damnedest to ensure they could no longer corrupt the wizarding world. Harry favored the reductor curse, as it was easy to cast and not very draining. He fired one after another into the Death Eaters, killing or dismembering them with each hit.
The battle had been evenly matched until Voldemort himself had shown. Things quickly went pear-shaped after that. The Death Eaters rallied behind their leader, and surged forward. Moody and Tonks were both killed within seconds of each other by Lucius and Mini-Lucius.
Voldemort had some of his Death Eaters surround the journalists and aim their weapons.
“Fire!” He shouted. Instantly twenty shouts of ‘Avada Kedavra!” issued from the faceless terrorists and twenty of the journalists fell. Amongst them a bleached blond witch with an acid green quill and ugly Pince Nez Glasses. Rita Skeeter had written her last exclusive.
“Surrender, Dumbledore, or I will have twenty more killed!” Screams of fear sounded at Voldemort’s threat.
Albus Dumbledore paled, knowing the souls of innocent’s were in his hands, and even more, that the surviving journalists would report the same. He sighed in defeat and ordered his people to lay down their wands. He tossed his own on top of the pile.
Harry scowled as he watched Dumbledore surrender. ~You were so fucking willing to sacrifice my life! Why not theirs?~
He should have been paying more attention to his own surroundings. A bludgeoning curse from Draco Malfoy sent Harry one way and his stolen wand another.
A Death Eater scurried forward to gather the wands. Dolohov and McNair seized Harry and dragged him across the cobbles, flinging him to the ground at Voldemort’s feet.
“And so, we meet again, Harry Potter.” The dark lord sneered. “Today, you are here, witness to my ascendancy. I must confess myself impressed. You have suffered at the hands of your peers. Your friends have turned on you and yet, you still support them. How amazing that is! They have turned on you like a pack of rabid animals, and still, you seek their approval…still, you dare to defy me, Lord Voldemort! As amazing as it sounds, you have defied me even more often than your parents. But no longer! Such defiance will not be tolerated! Today, you will die, and with you gone, I shall become immortal! I will rid the world of mudbloods, and the muggle lovers. The muggles will serve us well as slaves and Lord Voldemort shall have the power of life and death over all the world!”
“Not a fuckin’ chance snake-lips!” Harry spat. “First off, you’re a bloody fucking idiot! Don’t you ever stop talking? Natter, natter, natter. Who writes your scripts? I’ve seen better dialogue in comic books!”
“Crucio!” Voldemort negligently wafted his wand. Harry knew, both from personal experience, and from observing through the hole in the dark lord’s head, that to ensure his victim did not escape, Voldemort would flick the wand side to side. Harry simply dropped under the curse and rolled to his feet again. The curse struck amidst the Death eaters instead. Cries of agony filled the air. Voldemort held the curse a moment longer, simply because he felt like it. Still, Potter had evaded, and that was intolerable! He would have liked to toy with his victim a while longer, but now, he knew that to maintain his position of terror, he had to squash the annoying pest immediately.
Harry twisted aside, and the killing curse missed him, passing far too closely to a short, overweight death eater with a silver hand. Peter windmilled his hands as he stumbled backwards to fall on his arse. Harry dipped down, picked up a nice rock and swung hard, striking the robed traitor, across the head. Wormtail fell and lay motionless. Harry grabbed Peter’s wand and flung the rock at Voldemort, who stepped aside with a superior smirk.
“Missed me a mile, you did, Tommy boy!” Harry laughed. “You’re going to have to get better than that if you don’t want to lose to a half-blood.” Harry paused, as if thinking. “Oh, wait a minute!” He popped his fingers. “That might be what the prophesy meant. ‘Marked as an equal’. Since you’re a half blood bastard yourself, it actually makes sense.” Harry threw a cutting curse, which Voldemort easily deflected. Unfortunately, Dolohov was too busy cheering on his master to notice that he was now rather headless. His body toppled slowly into the dust.
“Eeeeewwww!” Harry taunted, spinning in his dance with Voldemort. “Y’know, Tom, you’re going to have a hard time recruiting if you keep on killing your…what’s the best word? Lackey, no, umm…sycophant? Hell, I don’t even know how to spell that one! How about minions? Or is that morons? Whatever. Both words describe them all, anyway!”
Voldemort howled in fury and fired off another killing curse. The green flash flew through the air to strike Avery. The Death Eaters around his falling body scattered.
“Look, Tommy.” Harry drawled. “I know you were taught that masturbation was evil and all, but face it, mate! You need to let off some steam!”
Bellatrix Lestrange grabbed his arms and hauled him against herself. Voldemort, being so angry didn’t realize what he was doing, let fly with another Avada Kedavra curse as Harry turned his head and planted a kiss on Bella’s lips, ducking down as the psychotic lunatic recoiled from him in shock.
She followed him to the ground a second later as her life vanished in a flash of green. Harry could almost hear Neville and his grandmother screaming in vindication. Voldemort howled in anger and frustration!
“Ooh. Bellabitch, too! One of your…favorites, yes?” He waggled his eyebrows suggestively. “Well, no loss there.”
Voldemort was stunned and furious at the same time. The boy had evaded him four times already, and each evasion had cost him a death eater!
The enraged psychopath began to throw the killing cures as fast as he could. Each time Harry managed to dodge or twist out of the way barely in time. One spin brought him face to face with his old nemesis, and his father. “Hello, ferret face!” He grinned. “Hey Lucy! How’s Dobby!” He twisted away as the furious Lucius cast his own curse at him. The killing curse flew straight at the dark lord, but hit a death eater Voldemort had summoned into its path. Lucius paled, as Voldemort returned the complement. The fatal green umbra enveloped both Malfoy’s.
Narcissa screeched, as both her husband and son were lost. A whispered female voice startled her. “Don’t worry, bitch. You’ll be seeing them soon enough.” She spun, only to find nothing. Still the icy feeling remained. That voice seemed familiar...somehow...
“OOH! Two for one, that time! You’re getting better, Tommy!” Harry laughed maniacally as he danced his way through the death eaters. Each black-robed figure he passed, paid with his life. Now and then Harry would cast a stinging hex, a bludgeoning hex, a reductor or a cutting curse at his nemesis. Voldemort retaliated with all his anger. More death eaters died. Voldemort was beginning to feel the strain. Casting the killing curse took a great deal of hatred, and an even greater amount of raw power. That meant it drained one’s magical reserves very quickly. Since he drew power from his Death Eaters through their dark mark, and his Death Eaters were dying in droves, that reserve was being depleted rapidly.
Harry was also feeling the strain. The potions he’d drunk had given him back much of his former energy, but at a cost. Once they stopped working, the body would shut down until it had recovered naturally. Use of more than the standard dosage was extremely dangerous, and frequently ended in the death of the abuser.
Harry smirked as he snatched the kit from Tonks’ prone body. She’d been caught in the early crossfire, and now, was as dead as Hermione and Ginny. At least Ron would pay for his crimes. He also grabbed her wand and belt knife.
Harry plucked out the phial that looked exactly like the one he’d drunk before. Ducking a curse, he muttered: “Better living through chemicals.”, flipped the top off and tipped it back. As soon as he’d swallowed, he realized he’d made a deadly mistake. The potion was the same, and he felt himself filled with a level of power he’d never before experienced, but taking it in his weakened state, especially so soon after the last dose, was going to kill him. He had bought himself a few more minutes, maybe as much as an hour, but he’d just guaranteed his own death. ~Well, in for a penny, and all…~
Harry twirled around ending up right in front of Dawlish, one of the Death Eaters in the Auror corps.
“Hi, Dawlish! Bye, Dawlish!” Harry fired off two blasting curses over his shoulder, both of which, were batted aside by Voldemort…and one of which killed another Death Eater. The dark lord sent two more killing curses his way, but as before, Harry wasn’t there when they arrived. Dawlish, on the other hand, was. He cast a granite shield, which stopped the first Avada Kedavra, exploding in the process. Unfortunately it no longer existed when the second killing curse blasted through. Dawlish met his fate at the hands of the monster he’d sworn to serve.
“Hey, Melon-head! Eight ball in the side pocket!” He carefully lined up and cast a reductor, which Voldemort easily deflected. As before, it found another target. Narcissa Malfoy flew backwards with a fist-sized hole where her vain, cruel heart used to be.
“Shit! I was hoping to take off her head! Oh, well. Hey, look! That makes the whole set!” Harry chuckled. Behind him Rudolphus Lestrange rushed forward only to find the handle of Tonks’ belt knife jutting from under his chin. The blade protruded from the back of his neck. Harry spun away from the falling body and into the waiting arms of Rabastan. Before the psychotic Death Eater could close his grip, Harry had driven his knee up into the Death Eater’s groin and twirled away. Every man who saw it groaned in shared pain. Rabastan stood, pale and wobbling in agony as until a killing curse tore the life from him.
To the side, the badly mauled Order was staring in shock, at the whirling dervish who was, by himself, wreaking total havoc on those who’d blighted the wizarding population of Britain for so very long.
Harry continued to taunt, tease, tempt and torment Voldemort, uttering insults and minor curses, hexes and spells that would inflame, and hurt, but ‘probably’ not kill the snakelike lunatic. Still, It was enough. Voldemort was completely insane with rage. He was firing unforgivables indiscriminately, chasing the dervish with all of his considerable power. So enraged was he, that he simply refused to listen to his own magic telling him he’d best slow down if he wished to survive. Harry and Voldemort danced around the area, casting and dodging, warding and feinting. Voldemort’s Death Eaters had been severely depleted, by the battle between them and the order, but now, it was Voldemort himself who was killing them. Many of the newer recruits were now wondering if it had been such a good idea to join him. They were learning to their cost; that a deal with the devil is no deal at all.
Theodore Nott jumped in front of Harry and snarled: “I’ve got you, Potter! The dark lord will surely reward me for…” He fell silent as a four-inch wide shaft of energy bored through his heart.
“Never monologue.” Harry called as he danced away. “That’s rule number eleven in The Handbook of Rules for Evil Overlords!”
Crabbe and Goyle both tried to tag him at the same time. Harry just smirked and fell to the ground. The bookends fell immediately, victims of their own curses. Harry rolled to his feet and sped to another group of the black-garbed terrorists. Voldemort followed, spitting death all along.
Walden McNair swung his axe. Harry ducked under the head and sliced it off. The blade flew more or less in Voldemort’s direction. Harry returned McNair’s complement with a slicing hex. As had Dolohov, McNair fell, bisected, to the earth. Harry rolled out of the way just in time to avoid another killing curse. Instead, it struck Pansy Parkinson. The black-haired bitch of the Slytherins fell, her eyes open and uncomprehending.
Amycus Carrow, turned to the bound order and let go with a dark curse that would slowly melt anyone it came into contact with. Since it was an ‘area effect’ curse, it would work on several people. As it was, it did. Harry darted up and shoved the wand toward Carrow’s psychotic twin sister Alecto. She screamed as the vaporous curse engulfed her and almost a dozen Death Eaters behind her. Harry viciously stabbed his wand through Amycus’ belly, up through his diaphragm and into his heart, and snarled: “Concussus!”
Even Voldemort was sickened as Carrow swelled up to half again his size, before falling lifeless to the ground. He looked like an old balloon over a too-small frame.
Unfortunately, this enraged Voldemort all the more and he renewed his attack with vigor.
It wouldn’t matter. Harry had accounted for nearly all of the Death Eaters. Bodies lay thick upon the ground. Harry dodged another curse, only to trip over a dead Death Eater’s leg. He fell, and lay, panting in utter exhaustion. Voldemort wearily stepped through the bodies and stood over his fallen foe.
“It’s time to finish this, Potter. Avada kedurrk!” Harry had snapped his right foot up into the man’s groin with all of his strength. While no longer human, and therefore lacking in that particular aspect of humanity, the underlying neural ganglion still existed. The effect was immediate and debilitating. Voldemort lifted from the ground and slammed back down. On his arse.
Harry rolled to the left and staggered upright. Snatching the wand from Voldemort’s hand, he kicked out viciously, sending Voldemort to measure his length in the dust. Carefully, he cast four cutting hexes, severing the tendons in the dark lord’s wrists, and legs.
At then, the danse-macabre was done. Voldemort lay, panting, at Harry’s feet, physically crippled, magically exhausted…utterly defeated. Harry wasn’t in much better condition. Only the potions he’d taken kept him alive. Pointing Voldemort’s wand, he panted: “This ends here, Tom. Avada Kedavra!”
Tom Marvolo Riddle, Lord Voldemort, the most dangerous dark lord in recent history, screamed in terror as he felt what remained of his soul being torn from his body. His only satisfaction was unknowing Potter was also not long for the Earth.
Harry swayed on unsteady feet.
Dumbledore stepped up, twinkling madly.
“Harry, My boy…” He began.
“Crucio!” Harry snarled, all the pain he’d suffered at this man’s hands, exploding through the curse. The coruscating red beam flashed from the pale wand to strike the old fool. Dumbledore fell to the rocky earth, screaming in utmost agony. In those few seconds of torture, he felt all he’d done to the tattered youth before him.
Harry lifted his wand. Dumbledore would be out of action for long enough. He turned to the reporters.
“Oh, gee! That’s an unforgivable! I guess I’ll have to go to Azkaban now.” He glanced up at the black granite walls that surrounded him and added: “Again.” He shrugged his shoulders, then returned his attention to the reporters, and hefted the wand. “But, wait! Seeing as how this is not my wand, I suppose…hey, look! This is Voldemort’s wand! That means he must have been the one who cast the curse! After all, ‘the owner of a wand is responsible for it’s use.’ Or something like that. Isn’t that right…Minister?” Harry sneered.
Harry cast a rather nasty shield around himself, ensuring no one from Dumbledore’s vigilante group came near, then sank to his knees, facing the reporters.
“What are you going to do now?” Asked one reporter who was either braver or dumber than the rest.
With empty eyes, Harry looked up. Focusing on the reporter who’d asked, he replied tiredly: “I’m going to die. My job is done. I have served my purpose and now, my usefulness is ended. I’ve waited a long time for this. Everyone I love is dead, and now, at last, I’ll be with those who truly love me. Not as The-Boy-Who-Lived, or some other such tripe, but as Harry.” Harry turned the wand to his breast. “Even now, those two morons…” He nodded toward Fudge and then at the fallen Dumbledore “Are trying to figure out exactly how to use me for their own propaganda. No. I’ve done my bit. You people have to choose now. It was your bigotry and intolerance that lead to Voldemort in the first place. He could never have risen if there hadn’t been a place for him. Just remember all the pain he’s caused…the families he’s destroyed, and understand that you lot are all responsible for his rise.” Harry took a breath and focused all his magic and all his hatred for those who had abused him, for those who had betrayed him, and for those who had deserted him. “Avada Kedavra!”
Just as Molly Weasley screamed: “Harry! NO!” A flash of green erupted, and the empty shell, of what had once been a vibrant and filled-with-life, young man named Harry Potter, tumbled to the dirt. The shield fell with the life if it’s caster and, falling to her knees beside the boy she’d once called ‘as good as one of her own’, and then rejected on the slimmest of evidence, Molly wept bitterly, as she realized she would never be able to heal the wound that she’d wrought.
Around them, the air began to shimmer. Figures slowly coalesced, taking on the aspect of several people. Ginny Weasley, and Hermione Granger were the first to appear, followed swiftly by Sirius, James and Lily Potter, and Neville and Augusta Longbottom.
Hermione Granger knelt beside the body of her best friend, intentionally occupying the same place as her friend’s mother. Shuddering at the ethereal cold, Molly hurriedly rose, and moved aside. Ginny, followed by Lily and James Potter, Sirius Black and finally Neville, Augusta, Tonks and Moody all knelt around them focusing their phantasmal energy on the prone form.
Within minutes, the ghostly image of Harry Potter sat up. He looked around himself and found those he loved and those who loved him, surrounding him in a ring of protection. Looking at his parents, he tentatively held out his hands. Instantly Lily and James swept him into their embrace. Hermione joined a half-second later followed by Ginny, Tonks, Neville, and finally with a gruff expletive…Moody
The reporters all took pictures, as they were witness to something never before seen in the wizarding world.
The phantasms stood as one, all still holding the newest of their number.
Fudge waddled painfully forward and began to spew shit out of his mouth. That proved to be a mistake. Ginny turned to the newly healed Fudge. The healer beside him paled at the expression the ghost wore. Fudge was no less terrified.
“You are the foulest, the absolute lowest of creatures on this Earth, Fudge. You would have an innocent boy in Azkaban because you wanted to hang on to the power and trappings of your office. You sold your soul to a monster, and now, I—claim—vengeance!” The last words were uttered in a not quite human snarl. Ginny balled up her fist, and drove it into Fudge’s chest, stopping in his heart. Fudge began to shudder in terror, as he felt his heart react to the phantasmic cold. He fell back, gasping and crying. Ginny held her hand inside his chest for almost long enough to kill him, but only almost. Seeing as he was about to fall, she withdrew her fist. Fudge tumbled to the hard stony ground, shaking uncontrollably. Standing over the downed vermin, she spat: “You are utterly filthy. The only reason I didn’t kill you, is because that would dishonor Harry. You will, however, have a heart condition for the rest of your miserable life. I hope it’s painful and prolonged!
Ginny gathered saliva and spat.
Only the fact that Ginny was ephemeral, kept Fudge from wearing a rather nasty decoration. Still, she made her point. Cameras flashed throughout and Fudge’s career was over.
Dumbledore was facing his own demon, in the form of an absolutely livid Hermione Jane Granger. The vengeful spirit snarled: “You disgust me! I practically worshipped you as the greatest wizard in the world. You knew Harry was innocent. You KNEW he didn’t kill us. Snape told you that he’d overheard Malfoy bragging about how he and his new initiates had raped and killed both Ginny and me, but you sent him to Azkaban anyway!
Hermione turned to the reporters and said: “Get your quills out. This will make your careers!”
Instantly each correspondent there went into ‘full reporter mode’.
Behind her, Dumbledore prepared himself to launch the exhausting and devastating ‘Espiritus Excorio’ spell. It was an exorcism spell that would completely destroy Hermione’s spirit, and prevent her from accompanying Harry on to the next plane. He didn’t care in the slightest. The mudblood could ruin his plans. He never saw the heavy, metal-banded beater’s club that laid him low. Nor did he hear the sarcastic: “Stupefy!” that Gred Weasley muttered.
Hermione’s shade was too busy to notice, but the spirit of Ginny snickered.
The surviving reporters from a hundred papers throughout Europe listened avidly as Hermione spoke.
“Draco Malfoy, Gregory Goyle, Vincent Crabbe, Ronald Weasley and Timothy Hodges, under the supervision and instruction of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, Marcus Flynt, and Bellatrix Lestrange, raped, tortured and murdered both Ginny and myself. Dumbledore knew of it, and so did Fudge. They both ignored the truth because they both wanted Harry out of the way. Fudge wanted a scapegoat to ensure his election, and Dumbledore wanted to break his weapon’s spirit. If this is what the governors of the wizarding world would do the one prophesized to destroy Voldemort for you bunch of mindless sheep, think of how far they’d go to keep you in your pens. Your reliance on someone else to do your thinking for you is what led to this in the first place. If you lot don’t learn to think on your own, the wizarding world is doomed. You needn’t fear the muggles destroying you; you will have done it yourselves!”
Mackenzie and Judith Granger stood open mouthed as the shade of their child faced down the most powerful wizard in the world. Then they proudly watched as she addressed the reporters, telling a story of brutality and pain.
Ginny laid into her mother, at full volume, berating her for her belief that Harry of all people could have committed such horrible crimes. Molly had no succor, as her sons had firmly believed Harry all along. Even Percy, could not see Harry raping or murdering. Arthur stood by his wife, but in his heart of hearts, he knew that Ginny was correct.
Ron, when the brothers presented a united front, had sworn viciously, and departed the Burrow, never to return. Now, they understood why.
“Mummy…Daddy.” Hermione choked. She desperately wanted to hug her parents, but her ‘condition’ prevented it. It was only due the special talismans each of them wore that allowed them to use portkeys and see the magical world in the first place.
Sirius stepped forward to address the reporters. The instinctively stepped back. He gave out with a barking laugh.
“C’mon people! I’m dead! I can’t do anything to you…well not too much, anyway.”
Embarrassed chuckles greeted his announcement.
“All right! As you all know, I was the Potter’s secret keeper, and as you all know, I betrayed them and as you all know, I hunted down the heroic Peter Pettigrew and murdered him in the street along with more than a dozen muggles, right?”
“Nods greeted him. These people had reported this several times, most recently when Harry was sent here.
“Well, I’m here to tell you, that you lot all know fuck-all!” He gestured for the reporters to follow. As a group they did. Sirius led them to a downed Death Eater. Providing the commentary for the trip along the way.
“Well, actually, someone I trusted had what he called ‘one of his more brilliant ideas’. He ‘suggested’ I switch my position as secret keeper with someone who would never, ever be considered. Someone who was so weak and unobtrusive that he’d never be a suspect. Though I had my doubts, we both went to see James and Lily where, somehow, we ended up doing just as he ‘suggested’. Now, I don’t recall any of the conversation at all, which leads me to believe there was something underhanded involved.
Unfortunately, by the time I realized this, I was safely tucked away in a nice little cell, right here in Azkaban prison with my own personal guard of not less than four dementors, draining me of any inkling of cheer I may have had, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, for twelve bloody years! Let me introduce you now, to the man I murdered in such a brutal fashion.” Sirius nodded to Fred, who flipped the mask off the unconscious Death Eater. The reporters all gasped in shock as Peter Pettigrew was revealed. Fred held up his hands. He was missing a finger on one. They all started as the silver hand Voldemort had given him melted away, leaving a blackened and shriveled stump where it had been attached.
“The largest part of him they could find was a finger. It was in fact, the only part of him that they could find because he cut it off himself, just before transforming into his animagus form. That of a large, grey sewer rat. How appropriate, I’d say. I wonder why we never considered his form as a hint to his personality. Maybe because of some ‘Dumbleference’? Ah well.”
Fred dropped Pettigrew back to the ground, and fired three stunners into the downed Death Eater. He bound the traitor in steel cables and barbed wire, and cast a charm to prevent him from reverting to his true form. An Auror, looked appreciatively at Fred’s work, and muttered: “Why is it all the best ones, work somewhere else?”
Fred answered the muttered question. “First, I don’t have to put up with the ministry’s corruption and second, I prefer making jokes.” He handed the Auror a business card, enjoining him to visit W3 in Belgium. The card immediately exploded showering the Auror with fluorescent orange confetti shaped like three little W’s joined together.
James had been looking through the downed Death Eaters, when he finally found the one he was looking for. He squatted beside the fallen man and began to pass his hand through the Death Eater’s face. The reporters looked on in confusion.
Soon enough, the shrouded man snarled and batted the intruding hand away, only to find himself chilled once again as his hand swept through the phantasmal one. His eyes popped open to find himself staring into the ghostly face of his school time nemesis. He Scrabbled away and rose shakily to his feet.
“Hello, Snivellus. Why don’t you take off that mask? After all, your master is dead…for good, this time. He can’t protect you any more. Snape backed away, only to find Seamus Finnegan behind him, with a pair of binders. The manacles went on smoothly and Suddenly Snape was bereft of his magic, his wand and his mask. Before him, were the disgusted faces of Lily and James Potter, and Sirius Black. Behind them stood, Nymphadora Tonks and Alastor Moody.
“While I can understand your service to Dumbledore as a spy for the order, you had no right to treat my son the way you did.”
“I had every right!” Snape snarled. “He is as arrogant and as reckless as you were. He needed to be taught to respect his betters and…”
“Spare me your whinging, Snivellus!” James snapped. “You owed me a life debt, I saved your miserable, misbegotten life, from your own arrogant stupidity, and instead of acknowledging that debt, you sold me and my family out to Voldemort. When I died, that debt transferred to my son. Instead of honoring that debt, as would any decent wizard, you tormented him, simply for looking like me. You constantly abused him for your petty revenge, punished him unfairly for things your own students did, at your behest and ‘just because you could’, and you raped his mind, not once but dozens of times. When you die, and I hope it's soon, I’ve got a nice little boxing ring just waiting for you. Remember, you worthless, sniveling, cowardly, bastard…eternity is a very, very long time!”
James turned to the crowd. “Snivellus, here, got his position simply because Dumbledore wanted to keep him safe from the other Death Eaters that he sold out to preserve his own miserable hide. He does not teach, he torments. How many of your sons and daughters have been forced out of their chosen fields simply because he refused to teach them the skills they’d need. What he has done is taught the students of his house to cheat, lie, steal, and bully, and I have seen that when they received their marks…yes, all the upper year Slytherins for the past five years, and a few others, are marked…he personally taught them how to rape, torture and murder. Now, I ask you: Is this the kind of…man…you want teaching your children?”
James left the angry Death Eater to face the equally angry crowd of reporters.
Seamus was more lenient with Snape than he deserved. He placed a portkey around his neck and sent him to a special holding cell in the Auror Department.
Harry stepped forward to address the crowd.
“I originally bequeathed everything I had to Hermione and the Weasleys. Seeing as how she’s dead, and so is Ginny, they cannot inherit, so my secondary will comes into effect. That will is located in the Potter Vault. In short, it states that I have named Fred and George Weasley my executors. They and the rest of the Weasleys will each have shares, as will both Doctor’s Granger. Doctors, I am truly sorry that you have lost so much. Hermione was your precious jewel and she was taken from you long before her time. Please stay in contact with Fred and George. They are both astute businessmen. I would ask the lot of you to establish an orphanage and fostering system for magical children, without regard to blood status, so what happened to me, and what happened to Riddle, will never ever happen to another. I would also like you to establish a foundation to research the prevention and cure of Lycanthropy.”
“We will, Harry.” Judith promised, pushing all her considerable strength of spirit into her vow. A faint silver glow surrounded her and Hermione gasped.
“Well…” Harry smirked. “I guess now we know where you got it.”
He turned from the excitedly babbling Hermione to Minerva McGonagall. She tried to avoid his eye, but he clowned around until she smiled sadly.
“I’m terribly sorry, Harry. I simply cannot understand why I thought you guilty. I’ve known you for years and you’ve never shown that sort of cruelty.”
“I have an answer.” Harry spoke clearly enough that several reporters also heard him. “Imperius.”
“Harry, I cannot be affected by the Imperius curse.”
“You can if you don’t know it’s been cast. You can if the one who used it on you has been doing so for years. You can if the caster is someone you trust with your very life. You can if the one who betrayed you was your mentor and closest friend.”
Minerva gasped in horror. “Albus?”
“He’s been getting way with literal murder, for decades. All because he is the self-proclaimed ‘leader of the light’. Think about it. How much of what has happened in the past seventy years could have been prevented if he hadn’t been able to influence the wizarding world. I can name several right of the top of my head. Grindelwald. He and Dumbledore were the best of friends until sometime in the mid ‘40’s, when Dumbledore killed him. Nobody really knows what happened between them. The German Reich fell after that. Guess who claimed credit? Before him, there was a classmate of yours…Tom Riddle. ‘Member him? As you well know, he became Voldemort. If ‘Uncle Albie’ hadn’t invited a creepy little sociopath that terrified everybody around him, to Hogwarts, if, instead, he’d bound the powers of that dangerous little lunatic, and obliviated his memory of magic, little Tommy would never have risen to begin a war. A war that has resulted in the majority of the pureblood lines ending. I believe your line, the Weasleys, the Lovegood’s and…well there might be a few others, but you lot are the only survivors. He wanted to wipe out the mugglebornes and halfbloods and instead, with a very few exceptions, the mugglebornes and halfbloods are all that are left.
What I would like for you to do, is to begin the search for magical users long before they turn eleven. Mugglebornes enter the wizarding world completely unprepared. They have no idea what they are getting into. Until now, the purebloods have controlled everything. Now, it will be everybody else. Minerva, this must never, ever happen again! If you use the Hogwarts intake book, you can search out the magic users as young children, perhaps at their first accidental magic, and introduce them and their families, to the wizarding world, and then allow them to make their own choices. You will have a better mix of students and the wizarding world will grow stronger for it. You can also protect those children from parents who fear or detest magic, the way the Dursleys did.
Another thing I would suggest. While the houses are a good thing, when one needs to define the initial personality characteristics of a student, or for team sports competitions, Hermione was right…as usual. The house system fosters hatreds and rivalries that define the person ever after. This system must be abolished. Four people…four disparate personalities, with different views on just about everything, put aside those differences and joined together to found the greatest magic school in Britain…if not the entire world. Without all of them there would be no Hogwarts. It will be your responsibility to restructure the school. Don’t worry about the entrenched purebloods, there are too few of them to interfere, anymore. And I have some new friends who are going to deal with Dumbledore.”
“Really?” McGonagall was intrigued. Harry was suggesting the very changes she herself had many times proposed. Only the board of governors, purebloods all, bolstered by Dumbledore himself had prevented her from instituting even the slightest of them.
“Oh, yes. Harry grinned evilly. “Lady McGonagall, may I present to you, Lords Godric of Gryffindor, and S’al’azar, the slithery one, and Ladies Rowena, who is of the Raven’s clan, and Helga of the thistle puff.
Behind Harry four more spirits appeared. Minerva fainted.
Gryffindor, snickered: Why does that always happen?”