What could have happened if Harry ate Romilda's chocolate cauldrons that night? And what will Hermione and Luna do to change history?
Author's note: okay, this idea came to me as a little retcon-style plot bunny on my Yahoo group (Thoughts of Pudding) about a month ago. After posting it and discussing it a bit I promptly forgot about it for a while, and then decided the idea might be worth exploring a little... The scene is set the evening of the 19th of December in Harry's sixth year, not long after 7pm.
I've experimented with a few styles of writing in this one, so try not to take it seriously. The first section is some usual HP angst, followed by a deliberately cliché ridden setup for the redo 'jump', then there's something of a super!Harry saves the day ending. Overall, I'd class this as more of a parody than a 'real' story.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all associated characters belong to JK Rowling and anyone else she has assigned her rights to. This is simply a work of fanfiction, and is not for profit. Whatever rights she/they don't want I'm happy to claim for myself, so don't mess with us... please...
. . .
Harry Potter sat on his bed feeling miserable, wondering why fate hated him. His two best friends, Ron and Hermione, could barely tolerate each other, and nobody else seemed to care that Malfoy was up to something.
The real problem though was Ginny. He still couldn't get over the scene he and Ron had interrupted where she and Dean were snogging behind the tapestry. Had it really only been a couple of months ago? It seemed like forever.
Suddenly the thought of going to the Burrow with Ron for Christmas didn't seem like such a wonderful idea... Ginny would be around all the time, so he'd have to talk to her - or try to at least. She'd probably invite Dean around, and sooner or later he would walk into a room and see them snogging on a sofa, or maybe heading outside for a 'walk' around the grounds...
Aaarrgghh! As if he didn't have enough stress with the prophecy hanging over his head!
His eyes fell on the box of chocolate cauldrons Romilda had given him. Oh yeah, let's not forget the crazy stalker girl trying to feed me love potions.
Well, he supposed he had to give her points for at least doing something about her crush. Love potions though? Maybe he should... no, he didn't want to use a potion to win Ginny. She was happy enough with Dean from the looks of it, and besides, it wasn't like he could expect a long and happy life when he was supposed to 'vanquish' Voldemort.
He decided that Ron probably had the right of it. Lavender was a pretty girl, and was interested in him. Other than the problems Ron had with Hermione's jealousy, there wasn't any harm in them kissing and cuddling. It wasn't like he was making a life commitment to her, they were just dating.
In fact, thinking about it now, it really was all Hermione's fault. If she wanted to be the one with Ron, then she could have taken a leaf out of Romilda's book and made her interest known. Well, not with love potions of course, but she wouldn't have needed to resort to them.
Harry rubbed his head as his thoughts started going round in circles. What he needed was some harmless dating of his own to help take his mind off Ginny, and then maybe it would be a little easier to focus on some of the other stuff he had to do.
Was there anyone he could harmlessly date though?
Well, what about Vane? He wondered. She wasn't awful looking, and she was clearly interested if she was trying to slip him love potions. Assuming of course that the chocolates even contained any love potion. Was there an easy way to tell?
Actually, yes there was. If he ate one, and his feelings for Romilda became any stronger, then he'd know she had used a potion after all, and could feel fairly guilt free for going along with her plan to date him. If not, then he would just enjoy the chocolates, and he could still talk to her and see if she was interested - but perhaps with a little more explanation first.
As there seemed to be no drawbacks in his plan, Harry reached for the chocolates and opened the box. They did look pretty good.
He took one and popped it into his mouth, letting the chocolate roll around in his mouth for a moment and savouring the flavour before he bit into it. There was a liquid core with a slight alcoholic flavour which he assumed was the firewhiskey Romilda had mentioned. Enjoying the taste, he continued to move the treat around in his mouth, before eventually swallowing it.
He paused and waited to see if he felt any different about Romilda. Did he? Well, not really, other than to decide that she would make a damn fine confectioner if she had made those chocolates herself. He'd spent a lot of time cooking for the Dursleys, so he had some idea of the work involved in preparing something like this. Full marks to her for being able to create something so delicious. She was clearly talented, and he could respect that, but he wasn't madly in love with her.
Did that mean there wasn't any love potion in them after all? Or did it mean the dose was so low that he needed to eat a couple more before there was any effect?
Picking up another chocolate, he ate it much as he did the first, taking the time to enjoy it. After all, Romilda had clearly put in a lot of effort to make them for him, so she deserved to at least have him enjoy them.
He took even more time on the third, so that he could give her some decent feedback on what he liked about them.
By the sixth he had decided she was obviously quite gifted at making chocolates, and would make someone very happy some day. The idea of her using love potions was completely ludicrous! Why would she need to use a love potion? If she wanted some poor sap, all she had to do was ask him out. Anyway, shouldn't he check to see if she was still up so he could tell her how much he'd enjoyed her chocolates?
With that thought he hopped quickly out of bed and went back downstairs, only to find the common room nearly empty. Ron and Lavender were still snogging on one of the sofas, but he ignored them when he saw Romilda sitting on another small sofa near the fire.
Her dark eyes seemed to sparkle and he saw a broad smile grow on her face as she saw him head towards her.
"Romilda, I just thought you should know, those chocolates of yours are incredible!"
"You liked them then?" she asked, her smile widening even more as she gestured for Harry to sit down next to her.
Taking the seat, he turned to face her. "Of course I did. I don't know how you managed to make them so delicious. I almost couldn't stop eating them, but then I thought I should come down and tell you how much I liked them in case you were waiting to find out - and here you are!"
Romilda was almost bouncing on the sofa in happiness as Harry spoke.
"Well, Harry, I'm so glad you liked them. Does that mean I can ask you for a small favour then?"
"Of course, whatever you like!" Harry declared quickly.
"Well then, do you think you could take me to Professor Slughorn's party tomorrow night? If you haven't asked anyone else of course." She asked, holding her breath as she waited for his answer
"You... you want to go with me? But...but? Surely someone else has already asked you by now. What am I saying? I'm sure loads of blokes have asked you already! Why would you want to go with me?" Harry asked in genuine confusion.
"Harry, nobody else has asked, and I wouldn't have said yes to anyone else if they had. You're the only one I would want to go with."
"I am? Why..."
Harry's question died on his lips as Romilda moved closer to him until eventually their lips connected.
Harry's last thoughts as Romilda settled herself onto his lap with his hair in her hands, kissing him passionately were that Hermione didn't know a bloody thing if she thought a goddess like Romilda needed to use a love potion.
. . .
"Harry, would you please stop and listen to me!"
"Hermione, we've been over this before. How many ways do you want me to say the same thing?"
"Look, come with me to see Professor Slughorn. We'll get an antidote to the love potion she used, and then-"
"Hermione! Enough, please! You've been a good friend to me and I'd hate for that to change. Why can't you just be happy for me now that I've found someone?"
"Because... it's not you, it's the potion! It's-"
"I can't keep doing this Hermione. I really can't. I have to get ready for Slughorn's party. Let me ask you something. Do you remember Harry Potter a couple of day's ago? Was I happy? What about two months ago? What about this time last year? Hmm? If I was depressed and asked you for a cheering charm, would you give me one, or decide that it caused me to have... what was it you said earlier? 'Artificial feelings instead of something real'?"
Hermione's eyes continued to tear up, but she didn't interrupt him this time.
"Look, I don't think those chocolates had any love potion in them, but you know what? I don't care if they did. Don't you get it? You warned me before I went up the stairs last night, and I still ate them. What does that tell you?"
She didn't want to say the words, but she couldn't deny them either. "That you didn't care if they did have any love potion in them."
"That's exactly right. I got what I wanted, Hermione. Just be happy for me. Please?"
Hermione rushed at him in a tight hug and sobbed into his neck. "Harry, it's just... so many people love you, why would- Okay, I'll... try to under- Oh Harry, how could you feel so... I'm so, so sorry! I never realised you felt so unlo... that you'd willingly take... Harry, I'm never going to fight with you again! I should have been there for you to talk to, but I was too busy worrying about Ron and Lavender. Well, never again! I swear I'll be there for you from now on."
"Shhh, it's alright Hermione. All I need is for you to be happy for me and Romilda, and drop all the talk about potions. That's all I'm asking. That's not too much is it?"
Hermione shook her head. "No, it isn't too much," she said, resignedly.
"Well then, I have to go and get ready. And so do you. Really, Hermione, how can you be pestering me about love potions when you're going with McClaggen. I thought you didn't like him?"
"What is it?"
"I made a terrible mistake." Hermione whispered.
"What do you mean?" Harry asked.
"I was... just trying to make Ron jealous." Hermione admitted, gaze fixed on the floor now.
"I see." Harry said tonelessly.
"Harry?" Hermione said, glancing upwards and seeing Harry's rather stony expression, which brought on a fresh wave of tears.
"What do you want me to say, Hermione? All day you've been pestering me about love potions and how dishonest Romilda's been by trying to slip me one. Now it turns out that you'd invited someone you dislike to Slughorn's party for the sole purpose of trying to make Ron jealous. Bit of the pot and the kettle when it comes to 'honest relationships' don't you think?"
"I'm so sorry. I don't know what I was thinking. What should I do?"
"Well, even though McClaggen's an arse, you shouldn't lead him on. I think you should tell him straight that you made a mistake, and apologise for it."
"Okay, I'll do that." Hermione agreed, looking down in embarassment.
"Do you want me to come with you when you tell him?" Harry asked
Hermione gave a small shake of her head. "No, it's my mess, I'll clean it up. Thank you, Harry."
"Alright, let me know if you change your mind. I have to go or I'll be late."
Hermione watched as he strode rapidly down the corridor towards Gryffindor tower, then as he turned out of sight she slumped down against the wall and put her head on her knees and cried. The conclusions she had reached were undeniable.
She'd been so focussed on trying to gain Ron's attention that she'd been subconsciously pushing Harry away. The arguments they'd had over that potions book was the most obvious example. As a result of that, she'd completely ignored the fact that Harry's feelings of self-worth were so low that he'd accept any love, even that from a love potion-wielding fangirl.
If he wanted a fangirl, why didn't he ever ask Ginny? Given her crush on Harry for so many years, it was surprising she hadn't started using a potion herself. After all, Mrs Weasley had told them about ... had told them... No!? She wouldn't have, would she? It didn't make sense, she was seeing Dean. And hadn't Ron complained about Dean snogging Ginny? Did Harry see them snogging as well?
What if... what if Ginny or her mother had used a love potion on Harry, but it wasn't working? Or... maybe it was but Harry just didn't know what to do about his feelings? Or maybe there was no potion, and he had just suddenly noticed her as Ginny had always hoped?
Okay, let's work with that hypothesis for a minute. So then what? He sees her happy with someone else, and is broken-hearted about it. What does he do? He looks around for some help or someone to fall back on. One friend spends all his time snogging another girl, again reminding him of what he's missing, and his other... his other friend is being a complete bitch to him! 'Oh, Harry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry.'
He was right about one thing though, even if she did slip him an antidote to the love potion, what did he have to look forward to afterwards?
The question was; how had she let things get so bad? If she cared for Ron, shouldn't she be glad he'd found someone that made him happy even if it wasn't her? Instead she had turned into a total shrew. Why? When had she become so fixated on Ron? Usually in any choice between Ron and Harry, she'd side with Harry, just as when his name had come out of the Goblet, so why had she all of a sudden started- 'Oh, no! No!'
Hermione got up and ran towards Professor Slughorn's office. 'Who' and 'Why' could wait for now, though she had her suspicions. For now she wanted to eliminate the possibility of 'what'.
. . .
How Chocolate Cauldrons destroyed the world.
By: Hermione Granger
As near as I can tell, the date is the 14th of March, 1998. But it doesn't really matter any more. Nothing does. Voldemort has been openly ruling the wizarding world for the last six months, though I doubt there will be anything left of it in a couple more.
If there is anything I can take any delight in, it's that the Death Eaters that served him have now realised that their half-blood ruler couldn't care less about blood purity. Of course, he didn't let them know that while he still had 'Mudbloods' and then 'Half-Bloods' to torture and kill. Once he ran out of those they found he enjoyed the screams of purebloods just as much as any others.
We lost Charlie today, so there's only Luna and I left now. We... Hermione paused, then crossed out the line.
Maybe I should start at the beginning. Once upon a time there was a prophecy that said only Harry Potter could defeat the Dark Lord. The trouble is that just before Christmas 1996, Harry decided to eat some chocolates laced with love potion. He then spent all of his time with his potions princess, falling further and further in thrall to her. There was plenty of malicious gossip about them, and it reached the ears of the Hogwarts governors courtesy of Draco Malfoy. Whether Romilda really was pregnant was never proven, but they were both expelled anyway and that was the last I saw of my best friend.
I blame myself for this, as I should have been there for Harry. I try to console myself with the possibility that I was distracted due to someone slipping me a love potion as well, but I could never prove it. I took an antidote anyway, but maybe its effect was purely as a placebo. Either way I lost all interest in Ron the day I learned Harry was under a potion himself.
With Harry out of Hogwarts it seemed the gloves were off, and the junior Death Eaters like Malfoy acted as though they ruled the school. The night Dumbledore died, he somehow managed to bring a bunch of Death Eaters into the school, and Hogwarts fell. A lot of us managed to escape to Hogsmeade through a secret tunnel, but I wept for days for those that were left behind.
We found out later that Dumbledore had left that night to try and retrieve something vital to Voldemort's defeat, but he had died before Fawkes could bring him back to Hogwarts. Stupid bird or is it stupid Dumbledore? The man had a phoenix able to flame anywhere he wanted and had healing tears that could heal even basilisk venom. Yet he seemed to forget about taking Fawkes with him that night, or even getting him to cry a few tears over his cursed hand.
There's probably not much more to tell. Snape revealed to what was left of the Order of the Phoenix that only Harry had the power to defeat Voldemort according to prophecy, so they spent a lot of time trying to find him. Rumour has it he took all his gold from Gringotts and fled overseas. Other rumours had Death Eaters staking out all hospitals in the hope of capturing him when Romilda went into labour. A lot of rumours said that they were successful, but I won't believe it. I'd rather believe he is safe and happy somewhere. It's too late for him to save us anyway, as there's nothing left to save.
The wizarding world has fallen. All because of Romilda Vane and her chocolate cauldrons.
Luna and I have a plan though, even if it does sound like one of those ridiculous soap opera plots to bring the hero back. We know that time turners can only take us back in time about a day at the most - if we even had one! But we found a book that we think has a solution. It's called "The Retconners Guide" by T.V. Troper. Frankly, if I didn't know better I'd say it was one of the Marauders pranks, especially since the book was found in the ruins at Grimmauld Place. But honestly, there isn't anything left to lose at this point. If this works, we're aiming to go back to Harry's fifth year before he lost Sirius, and lost hope along with him. Save the godfather and save the world is what we're hoping for.
"Hermione? Have you finished the book yet?"
"One minute, Luna."
With any luck, nobody will ever read this book, since if all goes to plan, we'll have changed history and I'll never end up writing it. If it doesn't work though, well, then the chances are there won't be anyone left to read it, so wish us... OH DAMMIT!
"Luna, why did you want me to write a book that nobody will ever read?" Hermione demanded of her friend.
"Don't you feel better now that you've got that off your chest? I'm sure you've wanted to write lots of books, so you should at least have had the chance to write one."
Hermione pinched the bridge of her nose wondering yet again if the reason that Luna never got headaches was because she was a carrier instead.
"Did you manage to track down the Phlebotinum we need for the potion?"
"Of course, I distilled it from our virgin's sweat."
"Is that what the sauna was for? You were collecting our sweat? Wait, we don't have to drink this potion do we?" Hermione asked, recoiling at the thought of it. When would she learn to never ask what went into unknown potions. It was bad enough knowing what went into the ones she did know how to brew.
"No, Hermione, we simply have to use the potion to inscribe a series of runes on our bodies." Luna said, seemingly eager to get started.
"That doesn't sound too bad. Then what?" Hermione asked, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
"Unfortunately, we'll then have to die so that our consciousnesses can travel back to our younger selves." Luna replied matter-of-factly.
"Excuse me?" Hermione asked, staring at Luna and wondering is she really was loony after all.
"Why, what did you do?" Luna asked, taking an experimental sniff.
"It sounded as though you said we had to die. Why do we have to die? Can't we be only mostly dead, just in case it doesn't work?"
"Hermione, for this to work, we are using the runes to tell our magic when to go back to. Our magic can't take our spirits anywhere if they are still tethered to 'now'."
'Lord help me, she's actually starting to make sense!' Hermione thought.
"…And besides, I told the wrackspurts they could use our heads to nest in once we weren't using them."
Resisting the urge to sigh heavily, Hermione merely nodded her head, resigned to her fate. "Come on then, Luna, lets get on with it."
Following Luna into her makeshift lab, the two young women then followed the detailed instructions for the ritual they hoped would let them change history.
In what seemed a surprisingly short time later, Hermione opened her eyes and screamed. Flying on an invisible Thestral was scary enough, but seeing the real thing was a nightmare. She looked around and noticed Luna waving at her and giving her the thumbs up signal they'd planned on before... finalising the ritual.
The Thestral started to descend and Hermione screamed again. She hated flying! On the other hand, this meant they must be close to their destination, and that meant they'd be meeting the Death Eaters soon. Good. She had a few scores to settle with those murdering bastards, and leaving any of them alive for Voldemort to release later was certainly not part of the plan. It was Death Eater season, and she planned to be vewy, vewy quiet...
. . .
As the group headed for the visitor's entrance to the Ministry - otherwise known as a telephone box - Hermione made a point to stick next to Harry as they piled in so she could talk with him.
What she hadn't expected was his physical reaction to having her crushed up against him in the extremely confined space. Resisting the urge to ask if that was a wand in his pocket, she instead looked at him calmly and steadily until he was paying attention to her.
"Harry, have you though about what we are going to do if this is a trap, and the place is full of Death Eaters instead of just Sirius and Voldemort?"
"There weren't any in the vision I had it was just-"
"I remember what you said, Harry. Now I'm asking you what you think we should do just in case they are there anyway. Maybe hidden with invisibility cloaks or disillusionment charms so you couldn't see them?"
Harry nodded his head at Hermione's point. "Ok, well, we can't fight a bunch of Death Eaters by ourselves. We'll have to try and escape, fighting when we have to."
Hermione nodded as the telephone booth arrived at the ministry and everyone piled out. "Okay, Harry, so what spells should we use if we have to cast against a group of Death Eaters?"
Harry paused, and she could see him thinking about it, his face reflecting his inner torment. Hermione couldn't help but be impressed, as she thought she'd have had a much harder job convincing him.
"We'll use Reducto mainly. There's no point going for stunners or disarming spells, as their friends will just revive them or summon their wands back. They're all murdering scum anyway, so if we have to fight, we make sure they go down and stay down. I don't want any of you hurt!"
Hermione nodded. "That's good thinking, and they won't expect us to cast anything like that anyway, so we'll have surprise on our side as they'll be too shocked to react. If we hit them hard and quickly, we should be able to do a lot of damage that might just save our lives."
Harry nodded, and he looked around at the others who were looking at him with wide eyes at what Harry and Hermione were proposing.
"Look, Ron, you know a bit of what it's like to fight for your life, starting from the troll in our first year. Ginny, you know how close you came to dying at the end of your first year. Neville and Luna, I-"
"Don't worry, Harry. I will be casting Reducto with you and Hermione" Luna said in her dreamy voice.
"Thanks, Luna. Ron? Neville? Ginny? If you guys don't think you can do it, you'd best get back on the Thestrals. Hermione's right, this could be a lot more dangerous than I first thought, and I'm so close to turning us all back as it is. In fact-"
"No mate, we've come this far. Let's save your godfather." Ron said. Neville and Ginny both nodded as well.
"Wands out, d'ya reckon?" Ron asked, and then frowned with confusion as Harry paled before he nodded his reply.
They headed as group towards the lift, and entered it without seeing anyone. As the lift headed down, Harry winced at the racket it made, convinced that every Death Eater in the place could easily hear them.
Waving his wand at the floor level indicator, he cast a Silencio on it and hoped that would at least stop the lift from announcing the floor when they arrived. Harry breathed a sigh of relief when the lift doors eventually opened silently, revealing the dark corridors of the Department of Mysteries.
Once everyone exited, Harry softly cast the silencing charm on his shoes and waited while the others did the same. Then, taking the lead he headed towards the black door he'd been dreaming about for months.
. . .
As they entered the room with the glittering lights he remembered from his dreams, Harry whispered "This is it."
The others, on heightened alert from the way Harry and Hermione were leading them through the rooms, paid little attention to the room, other than to search for possible danger.
Harry saw Hermione tucking an object inside her robes and asked "Hermione, what-"
"Just a souvenir, Harry. I don't think it will be missed, and it might come in useful."
Harry thought the golden chain looked familiar, but merely nodded and moved on.
. . .
"He should be near here, but he's not so Hermione was probably right all along and this is most likely a trap. Everyone, stay in pairs and stay alert! One quick look to make sure and then we're out of here!" Harry whispered.
"Harry, this one's got your name on it." Ron whispered just loud enough for him to hear.
Harry backed up towards Ron, still scanning the dark aisles around the shelves.
As he picked the up the glassy ball, he heard a voice drawl slowly. "Very good, Potter. Now turn around, nice and slowly, and give that to me."
A dozen dark shapes started fading into view around the six students, lit wand tips pointed directly at them. Harry whispered quickly to the others. "The idiots are using Lumos. They'll have to 'Nox' it before casting another spell or it'll interfere. Mark your targets. Stay in pairs. Cast as soon as I do!"
"Hand over the prophecy and no one need get hurt,' said Malfoy coolly.
Harry laughed. "Sure, and as soon as I do that you'll let us skip off home best of chums, right? You and Tom must be fucking morons if you think I'm falling for that one!"
"You DARE speak his-" Bellatrix began before Harry's Reducto blew her head off. He targeted Lucius straight afterwards but either his aim was off or Lucius had shaken off his incredulity long enough to move out of the path of the spell. It still grazed him and he shrieked as the top half of his left ear was blasted off his head. He took cover by running behind another row of shelves.
Harry looked around and saw his friends had had similar success, though it looked like Hermione had been more successful with her spells. He spotted a death Eater taking aim at her from behind beginning to cast; "Avada-".
His Reducto interrupted the spell by taking off the Death Eaters wand arm at the shoulder. He couldn't see any other moving Death Eaters, but the bodies didn't account for the dozen that had been there at the start.
"Anyone hurt?" He asked, and was relieved when everyone replied 'no'.
"Right then, Ron, Ginny, start moving towards the exit. Neville, Luna, you two go next and cover them. Hermione and I will follow and cover you."
As they moved cautiously but quickly back towards the exit, they didn't see any Death Eaters. It was only as they reached the atrium with the fountain that Harry's scar began to pain him.
"He's here! Everyone take cover now! Same plan as before, cast as soon as I do, and keep casting 'til he's gone!"
Harry stood in front of the fountain, left hand griping the prophecy sphere, and his wand in his right. The pain in his forehead was starting to seriously annoy him, and he wondered how Voldemort was able to do that. He supposed he should be feeling scared at the moment, but after everything he'd just been through, he didn't think there was any point in being scared. Where was he?
He looked down at the sphere in his hand and turned it around, trying to work out what it was meant to do, when it started speaking softly to him.
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches . . . born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies . . . and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not . . . and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives . . . the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies . . . "
Okay, so that answers that then. Harry thought, as his scar continued to pain him. What was keeping him?
"Riddle, where the bloody hell are you? You're not hiding from me are you? Get your ugly arse out here so I can vanquish you, you bloody coward!"
"Harry!" Hermione shrieked from where she hid behind the centaur statue in the fountain of magical brethren.
"I'm not afraid of him, Hermione." Harry called back to her.
A high, cold voice interrupted them. "You really should be Pot-
"Reducto!" was yelled before he finished speaking, quickly followed by five other yells echoing the same spell. Riddle cast a shield, but not quickly enough to defend himself from 6 attacks, five of which were completely unexpected, and the other unexpected in its ferocity.
As his kept casting Reducto after Reducto at Voldemort's shield, he began moving closer to him so that the spells had less distance to travel to reach him. Remembering Sirius' knife in his pocket, he threw the prophecy sphere to the ground, smashing it so that it freed up his hand to grab his knife.
As his hand closed on the handle, Harry continued to move closer to Voldemort, the continuous blasting hexes were still hitting the shield and keeping him from retaliating with his own spells.
As he continued to move closer to Voldemort, he was struck with a sudden feeling of déjà vu, as he remembered a movie he'd watched.
"Hello. Reducto! My name is Harry Potter. Reducto! You killed my parents. Reducto! Prepare to die! Reducto!"
Voldemort, totally unnerved now, decided it was time to apparate out, and did so.
"Merlin's beard - here - here! - in the Ministry of Magic! - great heavens above - it doesn't seem possible - my word - how can this be?"
Harry spun around to see the atrium full of people, staring at him in amazement, including the Minister of Magic who'd just spoken.
"So I guess that means I'm not a liar after all then Minister? I guess it's lucky I managed to escape that toad Umbridge that you had torturing children at Hogwarts! Want to see the scars she gave me?"
"I - don't - well -' blustered Fudge, looking around as though hoping somebody was going to tell him what to do. When nobody did, he said, 'Very well - Dawlish! Williamson! Go and arrest Dolores Umbridge!"
"Oh, and you might want to go down to the Department of Mysteries and pick up what's left of the Death Eaters we fought earlier. The woman without the head used to be Bellatrix Lestrange, and that bit of ear you'll find used to be part of your mate, Lucius Malfoy, another Death Eater. Nice company you keep, Minister."
"'Now see here, Potter. You can't-"
"Cornelius, I think Harry and his friends should return to Hogwarts now. It appears they have had a very busy night." Dumbledore said, striding forward. Harry noticed a number of Order members nearby, including one large dog.
"Snuffles!" Harry yelled, running towards the dog, and grabbing it in a hug as it started trying to lick his face. "Eww, stop that!" Harry insisted.
"If you'll all take hold off this portkey, we'll get you back to the Hogwarts hospital to get you checked out." Dumbledore said, giving everyone room to take hold. Harry took a firm grip on Padfoot's ruff before touching his wand hand to the Portkey. Everyone ignored Fudge's senseless blustering, and a moment later the portkey activated.
. . .
I've wondered for a little while where to take the story from here, then realised that it's probably finished. Still, if you have any views on a sequel, you're welcome to let me know in a message or review.
For your reading pleasure, here is a little omake that you might enjoy.
. . .
"Draky-poo, what's wrong, you seem very distant today."
"Sorry Pansy. It's just... I don't know what to do!" he wailed.
Pansy was used to his histrionics and just patted his back to calm him down. It usually worked if you showed you were paying attention.
"Oh, Draco, I'm sure it's not all that bad. Tell me what's wrong."
"Well... I... I think I've fallen in love with a Gryffindor."
"WHAT?!?" Pansy screeched, before pushing him away from her and off the sofa they'd been sitting on. "How COULD you do that to me?"
"I didn't mean to. I was just sitting there eating some chocolates she gave me, and I couldn't help but realise how blind I'd been not to see her before. Don't you think Romilda Malfoy has a nice ring to it?"
Pansy just let out an enraged shriek and smacked him on the back of the head as she stalked past and out of the Slytherin common room.
"Well, that went well." Draco mused, before going back to daydreams of his new love.
. . .
Upon hearing the news of Draco's impending marriage from the Hogwarts grapevine - aka Parvati and Lavender - Harry and Ron had fallen off their benches and were clutching their sides while laughing their heads off.
It took some time for them to recover enough to tell Hermione what was so amusing.
"Romilda's going to hyphenate her name, so she'll be Romilda Vane-Malfoy - and Draco's decided to do the same!"
"Well, it must be fate don't you think? The Malfoys have always been vain…"