Harry invites his friends to witness the final distruction of Voldemort, and pulls a prank afterward. Winky finds a new home and Dumbledore finally pays for his crimes.
That Monday morning, Mackenzie Granger was in heaven. When he was a boy, he’d been fascinated by the Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serials. It was just after his first tour in Viet Nam that he watched rebroadcasts of the American Neil Armstrong stepping onto the surface of the moon. He’d always loved the idea of traveling through space, but never thought he’d get the chance. By the time the Space Shuttle came on line in ‘81, he was already too old, and nobody needed a dentist in space, former SAS or not. Maybe in fifty years or so…
Now, he was in for the ride of his life. While he’d been aboard the My Little many times in the past few months, it had never gone anywhere. As an example of technology it was astonishing, but as an actual working spaceship, it left something to be desired. Now, Harry had informed them he would be visiting the sun and invited them along for the trip.
What could anyone say to an offer like that?
That morning, the selected guests waited on the roof of the office building that concealed the Ministry of Magic.
He nearly fainted when Harry had introduced him to Dak Graswold…a goblin! A real goblin! Not only a goblin, but also the head of the Unified Goblin Hordes, which apparently existed in every country on Earth.
Graswold and a few of his senior directors were present, to witness the final destruction of the one who’d caused so much damage to so many people…people of several races.
Also present were Judith and Hermione, of course, along with Amelia Bones and Augusta Longbottom, Rufus Scrimgeour, Connie Hammer, Alastor Moody, Andromeda Tonks, Carolyn Chapman, Arthur Weasley, Minerva McGonagall who ran the school Hermione was due to attend in a few years, and Algernon Croaker who brought two of his Unspeakables with him.
Harry also invited Sirius, and Remus, to come along to witness the same thing. Remus was anxious as a puppy on his first hunting trip, but Sirius had to take a rain-check, as he was needed that day to oversee the board of directors of the Potter-Black foundation. Harry commiserated with him but insisted on getting those monstrosities off-planet as quickly as possible.
Despite the fact that he’d be missing the show, he agreed.
Besides, he knew he could get another ride whenever he wanted.
Rita Skeeter stood several dozen feet away, with an Auror on either side. Shacklebolt stood to her left, and Cornfoot to her right. Her acid green quill was a thing of the past.
They waited in the London drizzle until somebody asked; “Where is he?”
“He’s here.” Moody growled. “He’s been here all along.”
“Y’know, Mad Eye, you could take the fun out of sex!” Harry groused as he became visible.
Amelia snickered, Augusta looked disapproving, given Harry’s apparent age, and Graswold howled with laughter. Hermione blushed a brilliant scarlet, while Judith tried to look admonishing, and Mackenzie just snickered.
“Now that we’re all here, let’s get aboard.”
“Aboard what?” Moody asked. For not even he, could detect any sort of conveyance.
Harry just smirked.
They all gasped in shock, as the starship faded into existence not five meters away.
Augusta blurted out; “My word!” and they all agreed with her.
Hermione giggled and both Judith and Mackenzie grinned. With a smirk, Harry turned to the vessel and asked her to lower her ramp. More shocked inhalations and not a few oaths were uttered, as the ramp grew from the silvery-white vessel to the roof.
Harry stepped on to the ramp and turned to the stunned group. “Well!? Come on, everyone!”
Slowly the assorted witches and wizards approached. Graswold harrumphed and climbed the ramp. Amelia, followed with a flush. Behind her, the remaining people filed up the ramp and into the brightly lit hold.
As the last of them boarded, Remus, in this case, the ramp closed. Harry called for their attention.
“Welcome aboard the My Little Bookworm. Hermione blushed, knowing this fantastic vessel had been named for her. Judith wrapped loving arms around her precious child.
“To get from here to the main deck, you will ride the grav-shaft. Basically it’s a null-gravity field that carries you up or down. You cannot be hurt, even if the field somehow manages to collapse, as the deck is only nine feet below and there’s a cushion charm at the bottom. Now, I’ll show you how it’s done. Hermione? Would you join me?” He held out his hand. Grinning and still bushing, Hermione darted forward and took his hand, and together the two rode the lift up and through the ceiling.
A moment later, Harry returned, dropping slowly. “It’s that simple. Just step into the field, and you will rise. As they’ve been here before, I’d like Remus, Judith, and Mackenzie to assist you when you reach the top. Please allow them to do so.
One by one, his guests entered the little starship.
As he had three times before, Harry directed his guests on a tour of the small starship, describing the different areas, as he did. He made sure to tell them not to use any magic, explaining how the drive was a technomagical construct and due to it’s experimental nature, might not take well to any unfamiliar magic. He also made sure to exaggerate the consequences of such a reaction just a little.
Hermione had gone forward to the command bubble to advance her game of three-dimensional chess with ‘Mione.
Each person there had their own areas of interest, and though they were astounded by the technology contained within the My Little, each appreciated the compact efficiency they were shown.
Harry asked the sentient vessel to provide comfortable seating for all, as he prepared them for the forthcoming trip. Walls shifted and seats grew from the floor, eliciting further gasps of shock and amazement.
As they passed through the thin envelope we call the atmosphere, it was only the abruptly changing view on the large wall-mounted screens that alerted the guests that they were underway. None of them had felt a thing as the My Little lifted.
When Amelia mentioned it, Harry replied; “Be glad you didn’t. If the initial dampeners had failed, we’d all be making like jelly on the deck.
Blank stares greeted his unusual remark.
“We’d have been squished to death by the acceleration as we lifted. As you can see, in the last two minutes, we’ve cleared the atmosphere, and that means roughly seventy miles per minute, or fourty two hundred miles an hour. That’s almost seven times the speed of sound.
Shock and silence greeted him.
Smirking, he silently asked ‘Mione to provide nibbles and beverages for his guests while he turned to the command center. Hermione was already there, thinking about her next move.
She looked up.
Hermione smiled brilliantly, hopped out of the seat, hugged him and rushed from the command bubble to the lounge, where her parents waited. Harry took her place in the control seat and triggered some safety protocols. The first being to extend an energy-shrouded monomolecular tether holding the deadly package they were carrying, to ten miles from the ship.
Now, the gathered audience sat in the newly remodeled lounge and watched on the large wall-screen as the Earth sank beneath them. Mack, Judith, Hermione and Remus took it in turns to explain exactly what was happening.
Harry ambled out of the control center, collected a cup of Turkish coffee and some baklava from the synthesizer, and announced that they were going to limit the ship’s speed to point one cee, which meant it would take just under an hour and a half to arrive at their destination. While they could get there faster, there was no need to rush. When Amelia asked about the soul fragments escaping, Harry assured her that even if they managed to get out of the ceramic statuettes, there was no physical or magical way to escape the containment field around them. On top of that, the remote pod that would actually take them to the sun was lined with cold iron, and surrounded by a series of energy conduits powered by a fusion kernel, that could instantly generate a plasma of twelve thousand degrees.
Less than an hour later, they passed the orbit of Venus and began to close on the star. The soul containers, in their remote pod, awaited their permanent destruction. Harry adjourned to the command bubble.
The dominant essence of Voldemort knew something was happening, but not what. He could feel the nearby presence of his soul fragments. He tried mightily to call even one of the horcruxes he’d created, to force it to come to him…to merge with him. Once he had the one, he’d be strong enough to summon another to him. When he had that one he could easily gather them all…and then he could escape this infernal prison the goblins…goblins! had trapped him in. They would pay…oh yes; those disgusting vermin would pray for death
There! The statuette nearest him moved. Only a millimeter, but it moved. Now he’d make it move again!
An alert in the control center sounded. Harry looked at it, with a lifted eyebrow. “Well, well, well.” He mused, initiating a series of commands.
“What is it, Harry?” Judith asked.
“It appears our passenger is a bit more resourceful than I expected. He’s trying to summon one of his soul parts to him. I suspect if he can incorporate one, he can gather them all…in time.
‘Voldemort will rise?” Augusta was horrified.
“Now, don’t get your knickers in a twist. I’ve just extended the tether to a hundred miles and have initiated the plasma field around him. If he gets too big, I’ll simply overload the field and he’ll go poof!”
“Can he escape?”
“If he has time, probably.”
“How much time?”
“More than he’s got. We’ll be arriving in thirty-eight minutes. If he is able to incorporate one, it’ll take another twenty or so. The second will take about ten and the rest, four or five.
“He’ll still have three minutes!”
“Well, yes. But he’ll be that vapour we found in Albania, which means he can’t use his magic. He has nothing from which to create a body, he’s currently a hundred miles away from us on the end of a tether and by the time he’s incorporated all his parts, so to speak, I’ll have released that tether, and he’ll be on his way to the surface of a fusion reaction a half million miles across. No problem.”
Thirty-five minutes later, Harry activated the screens in the lounge and initiated contact with the pod. He wanted all his guests to witness this. Since the contact was through tight beam transmission there was no physical tie to the My Little. He’d released the tether to the pod and was now holding it in place a thousand miles away, with combined tractor/pressor beams.
“Hello, Tom.” Harry growled. The roiling vapour stilled and a rudimentary face began to form.
“Harry Potter!” It snarled.
“The very same.”
“Join me! Join me and your voice will be second only to my own!”
“I don’t think so, Tom. You see, I’ve been immortal and it’s not what it’s cracked up to be. Frankly, it’s boring. Seeing all those you loved and cared for die of old age. Seeing governments rise and nations fall, I’ve seen three hundred or more major wars. Wars that wiped out tens of millions of lives in one country or another and really, I’d prefer not to be the reason those wars were fought. No thanks.”
“I can bring back your parents! I have magicks that not even Dumbledore knows of!”
“My parents would be disgusted by the very idea. I know my mum and dad loved me enough to die for me, but they are dead. Their lives are done. Instead, I have those who love me, here with me. That’s all I need.”
“I am immortal! I cannot die!”
“If you’re referring to the soul jars, I’ve found them all. Given that you’ve summoned your soul parts to you, you have to know that. Even if there is one I missed, it’s too little to be of any use to you. The dominant part of you…the part talking to me now, will be destroyed. Any other parts we may discover in the future can be eliminated as they’re found. I’ve become quite the expert at identifying and destroying soul jars…what you call horcruxes.”
“Wait! There is a prophecy about us joining forces to cleanse the world.”
“Cleanse the world. Huh! If you’re referring to that handful of…words Dumbledore put together, it has nothing to do with cleansing the world. The part you heard…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… was meant to pique your interest. Dumbledore knew that for some stupid reason, you believed in prophesy. The part you didn’t hear was: And the dark lord shall 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.
Y’see, nothing there about world-cleansing.”
“I will kill you Potter!”
“Sorry, arsehole. There ain’t a chance in hell. Speaking of which…in less than a minute, I’ll be setting you down on the surface of the most massive gravity well in the solar system. Its surface temperature averages eight thousand degrees, it’s core is somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen to twenty five thousand. If you want a preview of hell, I couldn’t have created a better one. Even if you somehow manage to survive, it’ll take you eleventy seven million years to return to Earth, and I’ll be dead anyway. Ta ta.”
Harry released the pod and watched as it dropped toward the surface of the star. Special imagers allowed them all to see the pod strike and then sink into the hydrogen plasma.
As it did, he touched a control and shut down the cooling field within the pod. A second later, the telemetry showed the temperature had gone beyond the expected eight thousand degrees.
In the Department of Mysteries, Prophecy Room, a glowing blue sphere on row 97, turned black.
In the Wizemgamot Administration office in the Ministry building, former Auror John Dawlish, grasped his left forearm, screamed in agony, and fell over, convulsing. The other people working there rushed to his aid, but like Voldemort, there was nothing to be done. Three minutes later he was dead.
In the Department of Law Enforcement, three other Death Eaters fell to the floor.
Auror Healers attended to them immediately and when they saw the dark mark glowing black, they began a search for other dead terrorists.
They found seven more, including Dawlish.
In Azkaban prison, Lucius Malfoy also fell in torment as the bond between him and his master leached the life from him. He should have suspected someone as paranoid as Voldemort would have arranged a method of ensuring his servants’ loyalty, even in death. The cells around him, witnessed similar dramas as and Narcissa Malfoy, Bellatrix, Rabistan and Rudolphus Lestrange, Denias Avery, Walden Mcnair, Augustus Rookwood, screamed out their last.
Throughout the prison, the lesser Death Eaters, died, and surprisingly enough, so did the Dementors. Those unkillable demons, had joined Voldemort, during the first war, and like the Death Eaters, they remained with him even through their destruction.
Fifteen Giants in the Western Urals fell dead, and in Rumania, nearly three full Vampire clans turned to dust.
Harry had ‘Mione bring the My Little about, and they began the trip back to Earth.
“It’s going to take several hours to return.” He announced.
“Why?” Augusta asked. It only took us an hour and a half to get here.”
“Our outer skin temperature is pushing six thousand degrees. We need to give the hull time to cool down before we enter the atmosphere or there would be some rather hazardous side effects to the planet.”
“Atmosphere boiling off, windstorms from nowhere, lightning for no reason, things like that.” He exaggerated. “Even if we do, we’d still have to remain inside for several days before the hull cooled enough to leave without becoming instant crispy critters. If we enter the ocean, all the fish for miles around will die. While you might not think that’s a problem, about sixty percent of our world’s food comes from the sea. This way, we radiate enough heat to reenter without causing an environmental disaster, not to mention allowing every government on Earth to know exactly where we are.”
Suddenly they were more agreeable.
Even with as diverse a group as they were, they managed to have a pleasant trip back to Earth. Harry played the ‘Star Wars’ trilogy, to the amazement of all but Remus and the Grangers. Amelia and Augusta were astounded that the muggles could conceive of such wondrous imagery and Graswold recognized many concepts from the stories, made solid, albeit in somewhat different form, in the My Little.
Interestingly, well before the end of ‘Return’, his guests had begun to gravitate to the control bubble to watch the beautiful blue world approach. When Harry realized they couldn’t all fit, he shut down the movie and had the lounge monitor display the view before them, so everybody could see. Regardless the race, they all shared a love for their homeworld. Hermione and Harry sat tucked snugly in the command chair while their parents and guests crowded around just to watch.
As they passed the moon’s orbit, ‘Mione announced: “Engaging cloaking shields.”
Amelia asked why and Harry explained the world wasn’t ready for such an advanced piece of technology. The cloaking shields would prevent detection until they reached the surface.
“What are you going to do with it then?”
“I’m going to send her to Mars. She’ll be safe and in a thousand years, maybe someone will discover her and wonder what the hell was going on.”
“Better that, than to allow her to fall into government hands. If that happened, war would follow. One country having control of a starship would lead to other countries finding out about it and either trying to steal it or going to war because they don’t have it. Remember, as Sun Tzu said; “Military secrets are the most fleeting of all.”
Harry landed the My Little exactly were they’d departed. She would have crashed right through the roof, but as before, he’d and kept her gravimetrics at low power…just enough to set them down. Amelia led the guests off the little starship, while Harry remained aboard. Seconds later, after making certain the ship was truly empty, he also descended the ramp, sealed it and sent the little starship on her way.
“Madam Bones, Dak Graswold, Madam Longbottom, ladies, Gentlemen…others…I bid you all a good night.” and grasping his family’s hands, he silently apparated them away.
They arrived at 32 Candyfloss Court and trouped inside. Judith, Harry and Remus busied themselves in the kitchen and soon had a pile of sandwiches and tea and apple juice ready for the rest. As they tucked in, Mackenzie asked; “So, where is she?”
“In the Book Cave.”
“I thought you were going to send her to Mars!” Hermione blurted.
“I lied.” He smirked.
“What?” She was aghast that anybody would lie to the head of the government.
“Hermione, I worked on her for more than a hundred years, and developed fourty three new technologies including her improved star drive, the monomolecular skin and the molecular regeneration systems, and she cost me the rough equivalent of three hundred fifty million Galleons. That’s almost seven billion pounds at today’s exchange rates. Surely you can’t imagine I’d spend that much time, effort and money on her, just to throw her away?”
“Then why the tragic good bye?” Remus asked. Judith was nearly doubled over in laughter and Mackenzie was ready to join her.
“Two reasons, really.” Harry grinned. “First, I had to convince them I was being honest.”
“Heaven forbid!” Hermione snarked. Harry pulled her close and kissed her cheek gently. Hermione blushed but snuggled closer.
“And second, I had to allow ‘Mione time to remove the more than three dozen tracking charms that had been placed.”
“Who placed them?” Judith asked.
“Who didn’t?” Harry snarked.
“That many?” Remus was shocked.
“Ep. Amelia, Augusta and Graswold I can understand. They are each responsible for their respective governments, but they each only left one. On the other hand, there were fifteen on the outside of the hull, with various signatures. Some senior Aurors, according to ‘Mione, Scrimgeour and Moody among them, a couple of DoM types, only Croaker’s is identifiable, but then I knew him and his magic, so I programmed it into ‘Mione’s databanks.
The others were all unknowns. There were several people on the roof, but none of them should have been casting trackers. Inside, I could recognize goblin magic, so either Graswold has a leak, or he’s been dishonest. Now, I know Graswold. He’s basically a good bloke, but as I’ve said, he’s responsible for the security of the goblin nation.”
“So what are you going to do?”
“I’m going to forge some photographs of the south polar icecap, showing the My Little settling down on the ice and being absorbed by it. I’m also going to tell him exactly how far away Mars is. I’ll make the images available to Amelia and Augusta as well. That should…stifle any urge to try and collect her.
An hour later, Harry was in the control center of his little ship. “Any injuries, ‘Mione?”
“Some burns, a few micrometeoroid impacts and a fair bit of radiation. Nothing I couldn’t handle.”
How did the ablative skin do?”
“Right on the money. Your design parameters were exceptionally accurate, Harry. Two tenths of a millimeter lost, about a tonne and a half, all told. I can grow it back in a couple weeks.”
“How did the radiation intensity affect you? We were within the transition zone, after all.”
“Not at all. Like you told the Grangers, the hull is completely shielded. Nothing got through. The particles absorbed were all trapped on the outer layers and when I shed them during the trip home, the radioactive particles trapped within, went with them. My active shielding even handled the considerable influx of Gamma without a whimper.”
“Good. Now, how do you feel?”
The next morning, The Daily Prophet carried two articles with nationwide impact. In the first, Amelia Bones went on record as saying;
“It is my greatest pleasure to announce that the dark lord whom we all thought to have been vanquished on Hallowe’en of nineteen eighty one, when he attacked the Potter family, has been permanently destroyed.”
She went on to describe how Voldemort had escaped death by creating soul jars, and how those soul jars had been located by a brave individual who preferred not to be named and were destroyed by the goblin Ritual Masters of Gringotts bank, and how she’d witnessed the final destruction herself. Harry and the My Little were conveniently left unnamed. She felt, and both Graswold and Augusta agreed, that nothing but trouble would come of any mention of a privately owned starship.
In the second article, it was told that not less than three hundred fifty pure, full, and halfbloods, had suddenly died. It made no difference where they were. In each case, their bodies bore the infamous dark mark.
As in life, Voldemort had tied them to himself in death.
Amelia smiled in grim satisfaction. With these particular wizards and witches permanently removed from the picture, the British wizarding word could progress to the future.
PART 35: FINISHING TOUCHES
Harry apparated silently into the Janus Thickey ward once more, to find both Alice and Frank were again sleeping quietly. He wafted a hand and the duty healer suddenly decided to go into the adjoining office for some tea.
He sat beside Frank, and once again inserted a sealed phial into the injector. Despite the astounding manufacturing capabilities of the My Little, it had taken months to create, test and duplicate this combination of medicines. Now, he pressed the device against Frank’s neck and triggered the device, and with a faint hiss, the aggregate medicine entered Frank’s vein.
He lifted the injector, and stepped over to Alice, where he repeated the procedure.
Now that the nanites had done their jobs, the medicines would scour the remains of the evil potion Dumbledore had forced into them that night, from their systems. The chemicals would also take care of any potential infections that had gone unnoticed. They should wake within a few days, and they’d still need physical therapy for a while, but for all intents they would be whole once more.
Smiling in satisfaction, he apparated away.
“Moppet?” Harry called.
Instantly the little elf appeared. “Hello Harry. How can Moppet help you?”
“Moppet, I just remembered something very important. When mister Crouch was sent to Azkaban, his house-elf Winky was freed. Do you now where she might be?”
“Moppet does. Shall Moppet bring Winky here?”
Moppet popped away, and reappeared only minutes later with a wretched elf in tow. Harry sighed. Winky hadn’t taken being sacked any better this time than the first. She was filthy, disheveled and smelled of butterbeer.
“Winky stood almost at attention, though she did wobble a bit. “Sir has called for Winky?” she slurred.
“Yes, Winky. I know of a family in Bucklesham. I’d like to take you there and ask them if they’ll take you in. If they can’t, I know several people who might.”
Winky’s eyes grew so wide, Harry thought they might actually pop out of their sockets. “Sir…Sir would do that for W…Winky?”
“Winky, I’d do that for any elf. As I told a friend, I won’t see a thinking being die for no reason if I can prevent it.”
Winky had the usual ‘house elf meltdown’, wailing and weeping and proclaiming Sir to be the greatest wizard in the world. It took Moppet grabbing her by the scruff and shaking her hard, to settle her down.
“Winky, you go get cleaned up and make yourself presentable. Come back here when you are.” She ordered.
Winky popped away with alacrity. She returned immediately showing considerably more life than she had only minutes before. She was freshly washed, sober and wearing a white linen pillowcase. Harry nodded.
“Good. I’ll head there first. When I call, please come to me.”
“Winky will do.”
Harry apparated away, leaving a startled Winky. “Sir can pop? Sir is a child!”
“Sir has lived a thousand seasons.” Moppet replied. “Sir has come back through the mists of time to make things better. Sir has already destroyed the dark one…not like the last time, but forever!”
“Sir is Harry Potter?”
Harry appeared on the corner of the little cul de sac in Bucklesham. A spot shielded on three sides from the street and visible only fromt eh Tonks’ house. Shadows moving inside told him that Andromeda was home. Nymmy of course, was at Hogwarts.
He stepped up to the door and rang the bell.
Footsteps soudned and he found himself looking into smiling eyes.
“Oh, hello, Harry! Won’t you come in?”
“Hello, Missus Tonks.”
“What have I told you, Harry?” She chided gently. “We’re all family.”
“I’m Sorry Aunt Andi. It’s still a bit new for me.”
“That’s all rght, Harry. You’ll get used to it. Now, why are you out and about without Sirius?”
“I have a favor to ask of you.”
“Harry, given what you’ve done for us all, anything you want is for the asking.”
That was a mistake.
“I want Nymmy to join my harem.” Harry deadpanned. He almost broke his teeth as he clamped them together, fighting the overwhelming desire to guffaw at her flabbergasted expression. This was too funny!
Andromeda blinked. Blinked again…and blinked a third time before her brain re-booted itself.
“Very funny, Harry.”
“I thought it was.” he snickered. “Actually I do have a favor to ask. I know of a house elf who was put out of her home when her master was sent to Azkaban. She needs a bond to a family and I already have Moppet. Would you take her in please?”
Andi thought hard. Yes, it was a form of slavery, but she knew the house elves needed a bond or they would die. It was as simple as that. She smiled. “Of course I will, Harry.”
“Thank you. Winky!”
Winky appeared immediately.
“Harry Potter has called for Winky?”
“Yes, Winky. This is Andromeda Tonks. I’ve asked her if she would take you in as her house elf.”
Winky turned pleading eyes up at Andi, who melted on the spot. “Winky? Would you take my bond?”
Winky’s eyes were filled with tears of happiness. She replied; “Winky would be most honored to take Andromeda Tonks’ bond.”
As before, a bright blue aura surrounded them both as Andi recited: “Winky, I, Andromeda Cassiopeia Tonks, do hereby take you onto my family. I expect you to serve me faithfully and keep my secrets. In return I share of my magicks, and will provide you with a safe place to live, and a reason for being.”
They both chimed; “So mote it be!” and the blue glow became white, before vanishing entirely.
“Thank you Aunt Andi. I’m sure she’ll be happy here.”
“It’s my pleasure, Harry.”
“I’d best be off then.”
Andi surprised him by wrapping him in a quick, fierce hug, and kissing his cheek before releasing him. “Come back any time…and tell the dole-sponge, that goes for him too!”
Harry hugged her back and assured her he would.
Stepping out the door to apparate back home, he heard her telling Winky; “For the time being, it’ll be just me, my husband Ted, and my nephew Draco until school lets out, and then we’ll have my daughter Nymphadora, as well. Now, Draco has had a rather poor upbringing, so you’re going to have to ignore some of the things he may tell you to do…”
PART 36: JUST DESSERTS
On his last night on Earth, Albus Dumbledore lay on a bed in a private room at St. Mungo’s hospital, breathing weakly. With no Severus to stave off the curse, it ate its way painfully into his body. One by one, his organs had begun to fail as the rotting curse destroyed them.
Albus knew he wouldn’t last the night. He’d asked the hospital staff to remove the monitoring charms on his room as he wished to face his death in quiet contemplation. In reality, he didn’t want them to see him pleading with a god he didn’t believe in, to let him live.
So far, they’d respected his wishes.
That would change.
A cleared throat alerted him to the presence of another in the room. Turning his head against the pain, he saw someone who should have been dead!
“Harry, my boy…”
“Don’t ever call me that, old man!” The child snarled. “It’s your fault my parents are dead.”
“Now, Harry, an evil, dark wizard called Voldemort killed your parents…”
“But you arranged for it. You made up a prophesy, and arranged for Snape to hear just enough of it to entice Ol’ Tommy Boy to attack us. Yes, I know who Voldemort really was. You specifically targeted my parents and Neville’s because you didn’t have the stones to face him yourself.”
“I don’t understand what you mean. I assure you the prophecy is quite real.”
“Your word is worthless, old man. You could assure me the sun was shining and I’d still have to go outside and check for myself.”
“Why do you hate me so, Harry? I only ever wanted the best for you.”
“Why do I hate you?” Harry asked in derisive surprise at the old man’s query. “OK, I’ll play your stupid arsed game. Here’s why. You’ve known for decades how to destroy Tom Riddle and you’ve had several wonderful opportunities to do so, but each time, you chose not to. You chose not to, because you knew you had no chance of defeating him on your own and surviving. So instead, you chose to sacrifice me…and my parents…to eliminate the weapon you created to get rid of your old mate Gellert…and hope he died with us. You couldn’t even be bothered to do the job yourself. Instead, you used Snape and then Pettigrew in order to keep your own hands clean. And when he turned out to be not quite as dead as you’d hoped, you knew how he’d survived. You knew he’d left the soul fragment in my scar, so you came up with a new plan on the fly. You needed a malleable weapon for when Voldemort did return, and you knew he would, so you had Hagrid kidnap me, you used the Imperius on my godfather, and sent him out to hunt down and kill Peter, and hopefully die in the process. When he didn’t die like you wanted, you had him sent to Azkaban without even the courtesy of a trial, told the newspapers that he was guilty, had yourself named ‘magical guardian’, whateverthehell that means, and you put me with child abusers to ensure I was as beaten down as possible. Since Alice was my godmother, you had the Longbottoms tortured to insanity, to hide your crimes. You are a fucking hypocrite!
“Everything I have done has been for the greater good!” Dumbledore shot back with nearly religeous zeal.
“For the greater good of whom? As I see it, everything you’ve done has been for the greater good of Albus Dumbledore…and nobody else! You wanted the wizarding world to go on just as it has for centuries. No advancement, no improvement, no changes to the status quo, and yourself sitting pretty at the top of the heap. You wanted to be known as the second coming of Merlin. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore…the greatest wizard in history! Hate to tell you this, old man, but that’s not going to happen. I’ve seen to that. Those laws you introduced last summer, have all been overturned. With Madam Bones running the show, and Madam Longbottom in charge of the Wizearsegamot, all of Voldemort’s Death Eaters, dead, and most of his supporters in Azkaban, or on the run, we’ll bring the wizards into the twentieth century…kicking and screaming, if we have to.”
“Harry, you cannot! Without me to show you how to destroy Riddle, your world will never come to pass!” Now, Dumbledore was really worried. With those laws repealed, all the things he’d worked to prevent would happen anyway! It couldn’t be allowed!
“Show me?” Harry sneered “More like make me wade through your asinine puzzles. Doesn’t matter anyway. He’s already been destroyed.”
“No. You know he survived. You just said so. When the curse rebounded from your mother’s shield, he was only cast from his body. He will return. When he does, you will need me to show you…”
“Actually, I don’t. You see; I know about his soul jars…you call them horcruxes. I’ve had a thousand - years to study them. That’s how old I am. I’ve traveled back nearly a thousand years in time, to make sure your twisted dream never comes to pass.”
“What?” Albus was aghast. A time traveler…especially one who purported such age and experience, would destroy everything he’d created!
Harry ignored him.
“All the soul fragments have been destroyed…even the one in my head. The one you knew about but refused to have removed.” Harry tapped his forehead. “Some friends of mine and I searched the country for Voldemort’s hidden treasures. When we found one, I’d expose it to the one in my head, to make sure it was the real thing. If it reacted, I knew we had the right one. He made seven, you know. His diary, Slytherin’s ring and locket, Ravenclaw’s tiara and Hufflepuff’s cup. We also took a little trip to Albania last month. We found ‘Tommy-the-ugly-vapour’ there, possessing rats and snakes just to get a bite to eat. He decided to try to possess me, but like I said, I’ve had a thousand years to prepare for that as well. I held him off while the goblins trapped the dominant part of his soul in a little ceramic statuette that looks just like you.’ Harry stabbed his finger toward the dying old man. “Appropriate, I’d say, considering you’re the ‘other’ dark lord.” He gave a humorless grin.
“When we returned to Gringotts, they transferred the last soul part from me into another little ceramic statuette…of you. Matter of fact, all seven parts were placed into the same kind of statuette. They all look like you. A tribute, you know. A couple of weeks ago, I took a great deal of pleasure in dropping them onto the surface of the sun. There is no physical or magical way he can survive that, but if by some…miracle he does, it’ll take him several million years to return to Earth. No, he’s well and truly gone this time.”
Harry faked a look of concern. “Don’t worry, though. I’ll make sure you’re remembered as the wizard who nearly brought us all to complete annihilation because you just couldn’t stop playing your fucking games! I’m also going to put it out that you died because you were playing with the darkest of magicks and it got away from you. Either way, your reputation is shite! Oh, by the way, I’ve destroyed your master portrait. The others are nothing but empty frames now.” Harry grinned and added; “It’s for the greater good, you know. ”
Dumbledore snarled in anger. That portrait was his ticket to immortality after his death! That this…half-blood animal had destroyed it! He surged forward to throttle the little bastard when a new flash of pain coursed through him. He gasped in agony as he felt his body finally losing its battle with Voldemort’s rotting curse. He had mere minutes left, and so, he made his decision. While he publicly decried the dark arts, he wasn’t above using them…but only if he stood no risk of being caught.
With the door closed, the monitoring charms gone and only himself and the boy present, he knew he couldn’t possibly be caught. There was a spell…one of the vilest rituals known to wizardkind, which would forcibly transfer his soul into Harry’s body, and the boy’s into him, but it would require physical contact.
No matter. One way or another, he would rule the wizarding world, and if the stupid child had to die…well, that was a sacrifice he was willing to make! He began a silent chant, preparing the spell that would force his soul into Harry’s body and vice versa, and with a ‘pity me, I’m dying’ look on his face, reached for the boy
He was foiled again, as the boy stepped three paces back and folded his arms across his chest, utter loathing on his face.
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore’s last coherent thought was; ~He should have taken my hand! How did he know?~
Harry felt the dark spell being formed. It was one he was all too familiar with, as it was a variant of the one Voldemort had used so often to drain his victim’s magic…and as a result, it was the reason Harry had had such a long life. Instead of offering compassion to the soulless monster on the bed, he shot him a filthy look and deliberately took three steps backward, crossed his arms, and watched dispassionately as the old man breathed his last.
He sealed the door with a powerful locking spell to prevent it’s being opened for the next day. That ought to ensure he was, as Hermione liked to sing: “Not only merely dead, but really most sincerely dead.”
Satisfied his charm would no break, he apparated away from the dead man’s room and into a much livelier place, filled with laughter and joy. He immediately set to helping Judith prepare the evening’s meal.
Some four hundred miles north in a magical castle in Scotland, a phoenix burst into flame. Unlike times before, Fawkes was not reborn from the ashes, but instead, returned to the magic from whence he came.
So, while Hamlet died and Horatio died and Ophelia died and Yorik died and King Claudius died and Queen Gertrude died and Polonius, Laertes, Voltmeter, and Cornelius, Rosencrans, and Guildenstern died…and…well…everybody else lived happily ever after.
A/N: Well, that’s it. I was actually surprised this lasted so long. When I first posted, this story was less than thirty thousand words and I expected eight or nine installments averaging six thousand words each, now, it’s sixteen installments and more than a hundred thousand words. Go figger. I hope you all enjoyed it, as I certainly enjoyed writing it.