Albus Dumbledore has flaws. I don't think anyone will dispute that. Perhaps the one flaw that irks me the most is his tendency to sacrifice the innocent to save the guilty. What if Harry used that?
Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize.
A/N: The Hat wanted to put him in Slytherin... Okay, I'll buy that, but only if he acts like it sometimes. This is what happens when you make Dumbles' desire to redeem evil gits work for the Hero instead of the other way around.
"And what do you have to say for yourself, Mister Potter?" Albus queried in his faux grandfatherly way. He expected an angry outburst involving injustice and darkness... He was only half right.
"Sir, I think I'm going dark."
"W-what? Why whatever would make you think that, my boy?"
"Well, sir. I've been beaten and abused, malnourished, mistreated, tortured, ridiculed, and hounded by enemies, reputed friends, and people claiming to be my best friend. I have no social life, no real friends except for Hermione, and every person aside from her that has loved me has been taken from me. Exactly why wouldn't Ibe turning dark?"
Dumbledore stood frozen for a moment, digesting what had been summarily dropped in front of him./Surely it wasn't that bad/. "Beaten, Mister Potter... who would do such a thing?"
He rolled his eyes. "The Durselys." He pulled up both sleeves to show multiple scars. He pointed out which ones were non-school related. "My back is much worse. They've been doing it for years up until I got my Hogwarts Letter."
"You must be exaggerating, my boy. No magical family would ever do such a thing. There must be some other explanation for those horrendous and numerous scars." He was wearing his Made-Up-My-Mind Face.
"You do realize that you left me with my Muggle relatives, right? As in, non-magical... they aren't a magical family and in point of fact, they despise magic and have repeatedly tried to literally beat my magic out of me."
"Really?" he croaked. This was bringing back memories from his own childhood. "That sounds rather painful."
"Oh, trust me. It was very, very painful. I've been tied to a banister and whipped, worked over with a cricket bat, had bones broken with a fireplace poker*, and was nearly blinded once when my uncle broke a wooden post across my face."
"Hmm... Iwill admit, there is a strong correlation between unhappy childhoods and turning dark, but you come from a very light aligned family. Also, you have the wonderful learning environment that is Hogwarts and the highly professional staff and faculty of Hogwarts and all of your numerous friends here to offset any such leanings."
"You do realize that I was one and half years old when my parents were killed in front of me and that I have no clear memories of them except of when my mother died?
"Blood is thicker than water, dear boy."
"Perhaps, but how about the fact that since I've been here I've nearly been killed well over a dozen times?"
"Preposterous. Hogwarts is the safest place in the world while I am Headmaster. That you have ever been in life threatening danger is patently impossible."
Harry raised ahand and started listing events and ticking fingers. "One, nearly killed by a troll; two, nearly killed by a three headed dog and various other traps; three, nearly killed by a Voldemort possessed teacher two times; four, nearly killed by acromantulas; five, nearly killed by Lockhart; six, nearly killed by a Basilisk; seven, nearly killed by Lucius Malfoy; eight, nearly killed by dementors; nine, nearly killed by a werewolf; ten, nearly killed by different deranged death eater. Now bear in mind that this list is only the highlights and even then only covers through Third Year; I've already run out of fingers to count higher."
Dumbledore looked around the staff table and observed chagrined expressions and slowly nodding heads. Can it be true? he wondered again. He took several long looks around the house tables. Lots of nodding heads there as well. /Damnation, /he inwardly cursed.
"Does that mean that you believe me about how unsafe Hogwarts has been for me?"
"For the sake of argument, let's say that I believe you. That still leaves my other points that should keep you from turning dark."
"You have aghost teaching history, badly I might add; A death eater teaching potions, who happens to bully me at every turn, was responsible for my parents deaths, and hasn't produced a single NEWT level potions student during his entire tenure; also not a single DADA professor has successfully returned for a second year, and most of them have tried to kill me at one point or another."
Dumbledore looked again to the staff table - their heads were hung with shame and McGonagall was weeping. Filius was misty-eyed, Pomona was blowing her nose loudly, Hagrid was bawling his eyes out, Pomfrey worried her napkin, and Vector and Hooch were sad. Oh, and Snape's body twitched and spasmed where it lay on the floor. His lips instinctively tried to scowl, but inevitably failed due to the massive trauma.
"Well then, Harry. What would you have me do?"
"First, I'd like to have my prefectship, which you unjustly gave to Ron, and I would like Delores Umbridge made into my minion/slave. Also, as a Dark Lord in training, I think Ishould have a band of loyal followers and be able to get away with murder."
Dumbledore nodded his head. When put in just that way, it certainly made sense. He summoned the badge from young Mr. Weasley and curtly informed him that his trial period had ended in failure and he was returning the badge to its rightful owner.
Harry pinned it on his robes with great glee.
Dumbledore turned to Delores Umbridge who was still bound, gagged, magically silenced, and had summoned toads hopping happily over her squirming, fly-covered body; she wriggled in protest. "In a few moments, I shall head off to the Ministry to remove Minister Fudge, regain my political power and standing and appoint another puppet minister. Once I have finished, you shall be demoted from your Inquisitor post and will resume your post as DADA Professor and as Mister Potter's minion/slave. We must try to do all that we can to return Mister Potter back to the light.
Draco, who had been duct taped to the ceiling finally managed to rip the tape off of his mouth(along with his peach fuzz and eyebrows) shouted angrily, "Why hasn't he been punished. He assaulted a prefect! When my--", but Dumbledore silenced him before he could continue.
"You, Mr. Malfoy, will be part of Mister Potter's inner circle of loyal followers. Obviously, as Mister Potter is an aspiring dark lord, he must have followers. Once I return, if you have not cut yourself down, I will do so and then perform the appropriate mental modifications so that you can fulfill your roll in the tradition of your subservient family."
"Why does Harry get to do all this and I lose my badge?" Ron groused.
"Because, despite my best efforts, Mister Potter has started to go dark. Once started down that path, it is nearly impossible to turn back unless you become fully dark. Once fully established, then and only then is it possible to repent and return to the light. Naturally, due to my failure to notice his descent into darkness, I must hurry him along so he can repent and be saved."
Around the room, various people, mostly from pure-blood families, began nodding their heads in approval. A cheer went up. "POTTER! POTTER! POTTER!" filled the hall.
Harry turned to Hermione. "Shall we leave dinner a bit early and start on our homework so we can get to our prefect rounds? I discovered a broom closet that went missing in the 1970's that is just begging to be explored."
Hermione looked at her boyfriend... for the first time in her life she was too stunned to even lecture him. "How - what - why?" she started but couldn't continue.
"I really got tired of Mister Bottom-less Pit always playing up that he was a prefect and got to spend time with my girl instead of me. This time, I did something about it." He took her hand in his. She did not resist and actually smiled.
Ron was outraged."Your girl? Herms! You slapped me for less during rounds. Tell 'im what you told me. Tell him that you're one 'a those independent women and that you can't be owned or treated like a possession. Tell him that you two are at best friends and or maybe like brother and sister. Tell him!"
She slapped the silly ponce so hard he fell into his pudding. "Be quiet! It is none of your concern to whom I grant liberties. Furthermore, if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, NEVER . SHORTEN . MY NAME! How many times do Ihave to tell you before you get it through your thick head?"
Harry looked at Hermione. "What?" She noticed his eyes flicking down toward the stunned and messy redhead. "Oh that. Well, I warned him, and besides, if I'm going with a dark lord in training, then I thought I should act the part." She paused a moment, then pulled out her wand and pointed it at Ron. "Incontinento," she cast.
Harry raised an eyebrow.
Harry smiled at his girlfriend and together, hand in hand, they left the Great Hall.
*All events that happened to Harry in Seel'vor's Harry Potter and the Quantum Leap plus one of my own