A "sequel" of sorts to "Mentor and Protégé," in which Dumbledore confronts Harry's betrayers...
SUMMARY: When I posted my story "Mentor and ProtÃ©gÃ©," I got good reviews across the board. Included in some of those reviews were requests, pleas, suggestions, and even outright demands that I continue with the storyline I had created. I had felt that the short story told all it had needed too... but, since this is being written for my 19th birthday (July 2, 2005), I figured I could gift you all with showing Dumbledore's confrontation with everyone who betrayed Harry Potter. You wanted to see Dumbledore confront everyone... well, here you go, so enjoy!
/"The Wisdom of an Angry Old Man,"/
Dedicated, again, to marietsy.
"He who prays hard against his neighbor brings a curse upon himself." -Aesop, "Jupiter and the Bee"
Dumbledore collected himself as he slowly descended down the staircase, making sure he didn't give into temptation to unleash his anger on the people who betrayed his protÃ©gÃ©, Harry Potter. The boy's mentor had not lost his temper at all during the past atrocious year, so it wouldn't do to crash and burn now.
However, the self-advice of keeping cool was easier said than done, as soon as he stepped out to face the unbelievable crowd. Almost instantly, he was bombarded by teachers, students, politicians, journalists... and the people whom Harry once considered close friends and family.
"HALT!" The command came out before Dumbledore could stop it, and the crowd ebbed, visibly flinching.
Taking a moment to collect himself, Dumbledore then asked rhetorically, "I suppose you are all wondering about young Mister Potter?"
A collective murmur of agreement responded.
"Well, I'm sorry, but I'm afraid he just departed."
There were cries of outrage. "You just let him go!?" "What were you thinking!?" "Why didn't you try and stop him!?"
Dumbledore couldn't fail to notice the hypocrisy. A day or so ago, they wouldn't have trusted him with /anything/, and now it was suddenly his job again to make sure nothing went wrong.
"It was up to him whether he wanted to stay or go. Besides, seeing as he was the one who defeated Voldemort, I didn't think it was too wise to interfere."
"But now how is he going to forgive us?" Hermione Granger sobbed.
Dumbledore could feel his anger slowly rising once again. It seemed that everyone was more concerned with their own feelings and to be cleansed of their guilt than thinking of what Harry had gone through, and at their hands, no less.
A little colder than Dumbledore meant to sound, he said, "I think the better question is... would he have even forgiven any of you at all?"
Everyone else was taken back, almost offended. "Why wouldn't he forgive us? We're his friends!" Ron Weasley protested.
Those last three words seemed to reverberate in Dumbledore's mind, and his last strain of patience finally snapped.
"Friends?" Dumbledore whispered in an angry voice. "/Friends?/ With friends like you, who needs enemies?" The group of people whom Harry considered friends, family and role models all flinched as every last memory of how they treated Harry and Dumbledore came back to haunt them.
Now showing a good example of what Muggles called the "rolling snowball effect," Dumbledore said what was on his mind for nearly a year and couldn't seem to stop himself. He was angry, but instead of displaying the kind of loud, volcanic anger which people often display, he did it in an quiet and icy yet deadly tone, not unlike how Snape often spoke.
"For five years, Harry trusted you people. You stuck by him when plenty of other people wouldn't. More often than not, the foolish and greedy Ministry either used him to suit their own means or vilify them to make themselves look better. More often than not, the press spread whatever sensational lies they could about him in the pursuit of more profit. More often than not, the general populace of the wizarding world acted like sheep, following both corrupt parties without even thinking for themselves. For the most part, aside from the occasional argument or disagreement, you always stuck by him, and Harry loved you to the point that he would have died for any of you if he had to. So why did you do it? What did you have to gain from all this? /Was it even worth it?/"
Everyone flinched at Dumbledore's words, because they knew it was true.
Fudge fought his way to the front, blustering over some of the previous comments which Dumbledore had made. "You watch what you say, Dumbledore! I will not have you saying such horrible things about the Ministry -"
"Silencio," Dumbledore said, and with another wave of his wand, Fudge was rooted to the spot. People gasped, but everyone knew better than to cross Dumbledore at the moment.
"You, Fudge/, are in NO position to talk. Not only are you and your Ministry cohorts a greedy and untrustworthy bunch to begin with, but you have also had your own ulterior motives for saying whatever you have said about Harry over the years. Back when Voldemort was vanquished, you and your fellow Ministry employees were not happy with the fact that a mere infant was able to seemingly accomplish what all of you could not. So, you used him, one way or another... praising him and trying to connect yourselves with him when he was worshipped, or blamed him for anything that went wrong in order to make yourselves look better. Admit it, he was never your /savior/, he was your /scapegoat/. Besides, he /never wanted to be praised, because he knew he was only a lucky survivor. But, being the power-hungry fools that you are, you would have never understood that concept. And you know something? He would have happily and instantly traded it all if he could get his family back and to have a normal life."
Taking a deep breath, Dumbledore then continued, "And let's not forget Harry's fifth year, during which you did everything to make him look like a lunatic while trying to make sure you didn't have to do any actual work. Oh, and remember your toad-faced Senior Undersecretary, Dolores Umbridge? She did all sorts of things to try and make Harry's life miserable. In detentions, she made him use a blood quill countless times for speaking the truth/... tried to use the /Cruciatus/ Curse/ on him, but not before she gloated about sending the dementors after him in a hope to silence him. That and everything else she did to try and make his life miserable. And you know what? She did it all for /you/, Fudge."
After allowing everyone to dramatically gasp, Dumbledore decided to throw in a little something for dramatic effect. "Oh, I know that Umbridge did those heinous, illegal deeds behind your back, Fudge. But would you have condoned those actions, even have approved of them if you knew? I wonder, Fudge. I /wonder/..."
Everyone else glared at Fudge with much animosity. Deciding then to finish dealing with Fudge, Dumbledore concluded, "You are nothing but a self-serving, lying, cheating, manipulative fool, Fudge. They day you leave the Ministry will surely be one to remember."
With that, Dumbledore undid all the magic he had just placed on Fudge, and Fudge looked red in the face and about ready to explode. However, before he could threaten Dumbledore, Rita Skeeter announced, "Thanks, Dumbledore, now I'm off to the /Daily Prophet/!"
And with that, she ran off, Fudge right behind her, yelling and screaming threats. Dumbledore couldn't help but be slightly amused at this display. He then thought to himself, Note to self: Expose Rita Skeeter later on for being an unregistered Animagus. Dumbledore felt this was justified, since she had gone on a slandering spree especially during the time in which Harry was unjustly imprisoned.
"Albus," Mrs. Weasley said pleadingly, bringing Dumbledore's thoughts back to the present matter at hand, "Why did you encourage Harry to leave?"
Looking at her and the rest of Harry's betrayers rather coldly, the angry old man said, "I didn't just encourage Harry to leave, but I also discouraged him from exacting any form of revenge on any of you." Turning to face them all, Dumbledore ran off the list of misdeeds which they had done. "I believe the old saying 'forgive and forget' can only cover so many things, and what all of you did was far beyond forgiveness. You irrevocably destroyed everything that was good between you and him. You automatically blamed him for Lupin's death as though he had killed one of your own kin. Long before he was found guilty by the corrupt court, you decided to burn all his possessions to 'punish' him, which you followed through on. You twisted and misconstrued the truth to make him look guilty. You said horrible things to him. You blamed him for everything that went wrong during the past school year. You gave lying, false interviews to make yourselves look better. You ran a book and took bets on what would happen to him in prison. You set a bad example for everyone else. You took 'justice' into your own hands when it wasn't your place to decide. You acted so abominably last year that I don't know what Harry - or I myself, for that matter - ever saw in any of you in the first place."
Dumbledore's cold litany brought them closer to tears than a fiery rant ever could have done. But being for from done, the Headmaster continued. "And as if that wasn't enough, you shunned me for even believing in Harry. You even wrote to the Daily Prophet/, complaining like a bunch of spoiled little children and had that self-preservationist idiot Fudge tell me off. You called me all sorts of terrible things when you thought I wasn't listening. You all have no idea how close I came to doing something which everyone would have regretted. /That's how terrible you all were. Harry wasn't the only person you all hurt... In addition, you also made things very difficult for me, who was trying to prevent Voldemort from killing you all. You made me feel like a prisoner in my own school. Do any of you have even the slightest idea how aggravating that was?"
When no one answered, Dumbledore merely plowed on. "You chose not to trust me or believe me, in spite of all the things I have done for everyone over the years. I feel I can humbly say that my deeds are rather self-evident. But did you forget or just ignore everything Harry had done for all of you? He saved Miss Granger from a troll. He stopped Voldemort from acquiring the Sorcerer's Stone. He stopped Mister Finch-Fletchly from being harmed or killed by a snake. He destroyed the Heir of Slytherin, rescued Miss Weasley and killed the Heir's basilisk. He prevented his own godfather from being served a fate worse than death at the hands of our corrupt justice system. He fought off Voldemort and risked his own life bringing back the body of a fellow classmate. He did his best to warn everyone of Voldemort's return. He gave the thousand Galleons he won to the Weasley twins after Ludo Bagman welched on a bet with them. He saw visions which helped saved Mr. Arthur Weasley's life. He helped expose Voldemort in the Ministry of Magic. All this and so many other noble deeds over the course of five years, and you repay him with /betrayal/? If that was your idea of amity, then I would hate to see what enmity looks like."
Taking a deep breath, Dumbledore was finally done saying what was on his mind. "Now if you don't mind, I have to pack."
This puzzled just about everyone. "Whatever for, Albus?" Professor McGonagall said, looking as though she guessed the awful truth. She and the rest of the staff hadn't been much nicer about the situation than their own students.
"I'm leaving Hogwarts."
This caused an uproar, which Dumbledore silenced with bangs from his wand. "Years ago, I had decided to retire after Voldemort was finally vanquished. Now I'm just leaving quicker than I first thought I would. It's just as well, anyway."
"Professor, please, we're sorry, don't leave!" Ginny Weasley pleaded.
Dumbledore gave a sort of cold glare which caused everyone to freeze. "As I once told Harry, some wounds just run too deep to heal. You all wanted me to leave so badly? Well, I'm leaving. Maybe this wasn't quite how you all wanted it, but as the old saying goes, /be careful what you wish for/. There is no longer any point in me being here, especially not to teach magic and other such powerful things to a group of people who can't even learn ethics or common sense."
Everyone visibly flinched at the insult, but as a last-ditch effort, Cho Chang rushed forward. "Headmaster, would you really want to leave Hogwarts?"
Dumbledore stopped in his tracks. "This coming from the girl who had the audacity to claim to be Harry's lover," he muttered, although everyone somehow heard it anyway. As Cho backed up, blushing, Dumbledore said over his shoulder as a sort of final piece of wisdom, "Often, places are only as good as the people or beings who inhabit them."
And with that, he departed, leaving the wall to slam shut behind him and the gargoyle to take its guarding place once again.
Dumbledore had long since developed a plan to quickly pack all his things. With a few waves of his wand, all his personal effects flew into different compartments of a special multi-roomed trunk, much like the one owned by Mad-Eye Moody. He and the occupants of the portraits exchanged good-byes, and his companion Fawkes swooped over, trilling happily. After taking one last look around what was his office and sanctuary for so many years, Dumbledore took his trunk and Fawkes' tail, and disappeared in a flash from there forever.
A few minutes later, on the lawn of Beauxbatons, Harry greeted his mentor as the old man appeared in a flash. While Fawkes flew around happily, both mentor and protÃ©gÃ© walked towards the palatial school building. All of them were looking forward to a happier future.
A/N: So does this satisfy everyone's desire to see what happened between Dumbledore and everyone else? (For some reason, this didn't come out quite the way I thought it would... oh well...)
Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed this. Whether or not I ever touch upon this timeline again is up in the air... -Quillian