AU, Post OotP, No HBP, Harry knows he must take on Voldemort and finds unexpected allies.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter
"Sweet Merlin, he did it," murmured Amelia Bones staring out at the dais where several goblins now surrounded a victorious Harry Potter.
"No, it can't be," whispered Dumbledore.
Moody scanned the scene with his eye and said, the Death Eater is down, looks dead but Narcissa Malfoy is still alive. Look as if the goblins have taken her into custody."
"I've failed, he's gone dark, he used blood magic, he'll be worse than Tom ever was," muttered Dumbledore.
Everyone turned to stare at him.
"What are you on about Albus," said Moody.
Dumbledore turned to him, wild eyed and pale, and said, "Don't you see, Harry must be delving into the Dark Arts to defeat Voldemort. He's started down the path to darkness and the treatment he received will make him so much worse than Tom, he must be stopped now. We have no choice but to stop him, it's for the greater good."
Moody's mouth was open in shock and he shook his head.
"There was nothing dark about that," said Bones.
Dumbledore snapped his head around to argue and Moody stunned him.
"I think St. Mungo's, don't you?" Moody said to Bones who could only nod in shock.
She had the two Auror's with her conjure a stretcher and instructed them to take Dumbledore to St. Mungos.
Then she turned to the goblin Safelock and asked, "Now what?"
Safelock barred his teeth slightly and handed her a thick file folder.
"We believe that all of Voldemort's marked Death Eaters died with him, however these files will prove who has been aiding him Marked or not. We will freeze the assets of all on the list temporarily while you investigate. It should be enough to bring down all of his supporters."
Another goblin poked his head in the door and gave a signal.
Safelock nodded and said, "If you'll come with me, I can take you to Stormbrow now and to view the remains of Voldemort."
Bones, Moody and the Unspeakable trailed Safelock down the stone corridors to a door with armored goblins to either side.
Inside Harry Potter got to his feet. He was no longer wearing the armor from earlier and his hair was still damp.
"Minister Bones, thank you for coming it's good to see you again. Professor Moody, have a seat. Where is Dumbledore?" said Harry.
"He wasn't quite himself, I sent him to St. Mungo's to be looked at," said Bones.
Harry nodded and turned to the Unspeakable, "I don't think I know you, sir."
The Unspeakable pushed back his hood, breaking the identity masking charm. "Ted Tonks, Mr. Potter, Department of Mysteries."
"Oh, I know your daughter, sir, please have a seat."
They sat and a house elf brought refreshment.
Harry cleared his throat and said, "You will have the opportunity to see Voldemort's body before the goblins put it on a pike out front of the bank. Tradition you see. I suppose I should ask, Madam Bones am I going to be in any kind of trouble for killing him?"
Amelia Bones blinked in surprise, "No Mr. Potter, I think you'll be rewarded actually. I do have a couple of questions through if you don't mind."
"Of course and please call me Harry," said Harry with a smile.
"Can you tell me the prophecy?" she asked.
"Dumbledore didn't tell you?" he glanced at Moody who shook his head.
"The old man played his cards pretty close to the vest, Potter," he said.
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... (Trawlawny OP 37)
Bones gaped at Harry for a moment then shook her head and said, "I can't believe he kept this to himself and didn't start training you long ago."
Harry shrugged, "It worked out in the end."
"How did you get the goblins to agree to this?" she asked.
"They approached me actually, Voldemort wanted an alliance, I think Wizard kind is very lucky that they realized he would use them then turn on them when it was convenient. We wouldn't have won a war against them both. Perhaps the Ministry should think about that the next time they want to take away more of the goblin rights," said Harry.
Bones and Ted Tonks exchanged looks and the minister nodded.
A man stepped into the room from a door opposite the one they had entered from.
"Excuse me Harry, he's awake and demanding to see you," he said.
Harry jumped up and said, "Thank you Healer," and then to Bones, "Excuse me, would you like to go view Voldemort's body while I take care of this? I'm sure you'll be asked by the press for a statement shortly as there were some reporters in another viewing gallery."
Goblin guards escorted the three to see the body of Voldemort. The reporters leaving the room shouted questions at Amelia Bones when they saw her. She fended them off with promises of a press conference.
Ted Tonks, the Unspeakable, ran several scans on the body of Voldemort and the shriveled husk that was Marcus Flint, Death Eater. Moody did the same for his own piece of mind and to report to the Order.
A short press conference was held on the steps of Gringotts later in the day as the bodies were raised on pikes in front of the building. Amelia Bones, Ragnok and Harry Potter addressed the crowd of reporters and gawking passersby.
The Minister acknowledged the death of Voldemort and all of his Marked Death Eaters and attributed the victory to Harry Potter and the Goblins. Harry announced that he couldn't have done it without the help of Severus Snape former Death Eater turned spy.
Between the time that she viewed the body and the press conference Amelia had ordered the arrest of dozens of unmarked Death Eaters and supporters. The investigations and trials would take months.
Minerva McGonagall sat in the Healers office at St Mungo's with Aberforth Dumbledore.
"We did a complete scan and work up on the Headmaster when he was brought in yesterday. I'm afraid it isn't good news," said the Healer.
"What do you mean, what's wrong with him?" asked Aberforth.
"He's been abusing potions, we found high levels of dreamless sleep and pepper up as well as some sort of magic booster. The dreamless sleep addiction has had effects on his mental stability and together they had secondary effects on his health. We've started a regime to wean him off the potions but it will be sometime before we see the full effects. I'd venture a guess that this started from stress and overwork. At his age it's probable that we can't reverse all of the damage. I'm afraid that he's not going to be able to resume his positions as Headmaster or Head of the Wizengamot anytime soon, if at all," said the Healer.
"Can we see him?" asked Minerva.
"No," said the healer shaking his head, "I afraid he's not at all stable. We had to sedate him last night because he was raving about Harry Potter and a new Dark Lord. I suspect the stress of witnessing Mr. Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who yesterday caused a break. Until we see some improvement, get him off the dreamless sleep and back to some sort of normal sleeping pattern we will have to very cautious about visitors."
"These last months have been very stressful," said Minerva.
"Professor, the levels of potion we're seeing indicate that Professor Dumbledore has been abusing Dreamless sleep for years. He's probably been brewing it himself in stronger and stronger doses. We are very lucky he didn't snap long before this or kill himself," said the healer sadly.
"Albus you damn fool," muttered Aberforth then asked, "Healer Burns, you said secondary effects?"
"Yes, his heart has been weakened and liver and kidney function is down from the stress of the potions. I believe he's had a loss of magical ability, probably why he'd started on the booster potion to try to keep up and of course dreamless sleep is so dangerous simply because humans need dreams to function properly. Not having those dreams can induce all sorts of mental problems, paranoia, depression, anxiety, and he might not have even realized that there was anything wrong with his reasoning."
Severus Snape stepped through the main doors into the Great Hall. Several of the students who had remained in the castle for the holidays saw him and gasped. Minerva McGonagall rose from the Head table and came down to greet him.
"Severus it's so good to see you, I was quite afraid for you when we heard the Death Eaters died with You-Know-Who. I must say I was impressed by Harry's praise of you. I've always thought that the two of you didn't care much for each other," she said as she led him toward her office.
"I was rather surprised as well Minerva, I didn't really expect to survive the ritual," said Snape with a low chuckle. "However Potter did say he'd give me credit for helping him. I'm rather glad of the result. Minister Bones allowed me to see her memory of the duel in a pensieve."
They settled into chairs in her office and Snape said, "I've heard that Albus is retiring? Will you be taking over as Headmistress?"
"I will be Headmistress for the rest of the school year, I've told the board that they must try to find someone else, I truly don't want the job. I'm quite content to stay deputy."
"Are they considering anyone?" asked Snape idly.
Minerva smiled, "The newest member of the board, Mr. Crow has suggested Filius would be a good choice, I quite agree." She looked closely at Snape, "You aren't interested in the job are you?"
Snape startled, "Bloody hell, no! I was just curious who I should turn my resignation in to."
"You aren't staying?" she asked sounding disappointed.
"I'll finish out the year, Minerva but I'm a horrible teacher and I don't want to continue. I can provide several recommendations however if you want."
She nodded, "That will be excellent." She hesitated a moment, "You do know that Harry is coming back this term?"
"Yes I'm aware but he assures me he won't be taking Potions," said Snape with a smirk.
Harry stood in the entryway at Hart Home waiting for his guests to arrive. He hadn't wanted to interfere with anyone's family celebrations so he'd invite his friends for Boxing Day. He felt someone next to him and looked down.
"Is everything ready Trellis?" he asked.
"Of course Master Harry, is not being much for Trellis to do with Master Harry bringing in two helper elfs," said Trellis with a sniff.
"I want you to be able to enjoy the party Trellis, that's why I got the help for the day. You shouldn't have to work so hard."
"Master Harry is kind," she said.
There was a pop and Dobby appeared.
"Harry Potter sir has sent for Dobby. Dobby is here to-" he broke off seeing Trellis and then pulled on an ear and said, "Dobby is so stupid, Dobby thought Harry Potter sir wanted Dobby to serve. Harry Potter sir does not need Dobby." Tears welled in his eyes.
Harry opened his mouth not quite sure what to say to Dobby.
"Shame on you Dobby elf," said Trellis stalking forward and grabbing Dobby's other ear. "Yous is not even letting Master Harry speak before yous is jumping to conclusions. Of course Master Harry is wanting Dobby why else would hes being inviting Dobby. Master Harry is going back to Hogwarts though and Trellis is being sure that Dobby is knowing student is not being allowed to have elfs at school. Dobby must be working for Hogwarts to be serving Master Harry."
Dobby's little head was nodding and he was grinning at Trellis and Harry in a way that made chills run down Harry's spine.
"Er," Harry said as Trellis led Dobby off toward the kitchens talking as she went.
"Yous be coming with me Dobby elf, Trellis be telling Dobby his duties. Does Dobby be mated? Trellis is being knowing nice young elf named Kikki."
With the next pop in the entryway three of the Hogwarts Professors appeared.
"Professors, thank you for coming," said Harry.
"We wouldn't have missed it Harry, thank you for getting rid of Voldemort and for saving Severus as well," said McGonagall.
Harry shrugged and blushed.
"Quite right, dear boy, though I must say I'm not looking forward to replacing three teachers next year," said Flitwick.
"You'll be replacing three, sir?" asked Harry.
"Oh yes I've been asked to be Headmaster next year so I'll need to replace myself of course and Potions and Defense," said Flitwick with a chuckle.
"I thought you had a teacher for Defense?"
"Professor Bonaforte is not enjoying her time with us and has already decided to leave at the end of the school year," said McGonagall. "As it is Filius and I would like the chance to talk about the coming term with you and you will need to tell me what classes you'd like, Severus believes that you won't be in his Potions class."
Harry grinned and replied, "I'd be happy to have that discussion later today, Professor. There are refreshments in the next room and more guests should be arriving shortly."
The three Professors moved on into the next room with Hagrid giving Harry a pat that almost drove him to his knees.
Hermione nearly knocked him down with her greeting.
"Oh, Harry I'm so proud of you and I've missed you so much," she squealed.
Harry grinned and hugged her back, he was rather enjoying the way she felt when her father cleared his throat behind her and she pulled away.
"Er, welcome to my home, Mr. and Mrs. Granger, er should it be Drs? It's nice to see you again," said Harry blushing.
"Either is fine, dear," said Mrs. Granger.
"At least you're wearing clothes this time," said Mr. Granger with a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes.
"Dad, I can't believe you said that," said Hermione outraged.
"Did you like the present I sent you, Hermione?" said Harry changing the subject hastily.
"Yes I did, where did you find that book Harry? It's got an extraordinary amount of information that would have been nice to know before going to Hogwarts and I love how it's interactive," said Hermione.
"Believe it or not it the Primer that all Wizard born children learn to read from," said Harry.
"I think I'll speak to McGonagall about putting it on the Hogwarts book list for first year muggleborn students. It would have been so very helpful," said Hermione huffing a little.
"McGonagall and Flitwick are already here," he said indicating the other room and Hermione nodded and drug her parents away.
The Weasleys were next and Harry was swept up in a vicious hug by Mrs. Weasley and scolded for not coming to them for Christmas Day, had his hand shook by Mr. Weasley and Bill, hugged by Ginny and then by Lavender Brown who Ron was dating. Then he was assaulted by the twins who proceeded to pat his back, his head and his butt and pinch his cheeks all the while gushing over what a brave little hero he was. By the time he chased them into the other room Mrs. Weasley had gone in search of the kitchen to 'check on things'. Harry knew she'd be back because he'd warded the kitchen door against visitors.
Remus and Tonks came next.
"Hello, Harry it's so good to see you," said Remus softly shaking his hand. Harry pulled the old werewolf into a hug.
"You to Remus. How are you Tonks?" said Harry.
"I'm good Harry, I've been in on rounding up the unmarked Death Eaters. We found thirty bodies at Malfoy Manor too. Apparently Voldemort had brought back twenty or so from Europe and the night before your duel he marked a few students," said Tonks.
Harry swallowed and asked, "Does McGonagall know? She didn't say anything."
Tonks shook her head, "They only finished identifying them this morning. I probably shouldn't have said anything."
"Well I don't really want to know right now but if we could talk before you leave that would be good," said Harry.
"Sure thing, Harry," said Tonks.
"Neville, Mrs. Longbottom, welcome to my home, thank you for coming," said Harry to the next pair.
"Thank you for inviting us, young man, and for getting rid of You-Know-Who," said Augusta Longbottom.
"Gran, you really should call him Voldemort, especially now that he's dead," said Neville with a grin for Harry.
Harry grinned back, "Or Tom Riddle which was his real name."
"Whatever he is called, good riddance to bad rubbish is what I say," said Mrs. Longbottom sharply.
"Hi Luna, Mr. Lovegood it's a pleasure to meet you," said Harry.
"Oh, look mistletoe, have you checked for nargles?" said Luna drifting toward the mistletoe hanging in the doorway to the Great Room.
"Er, I don't think it's infested," said Harry.
"You did a great service for the Wizarding World Mr. Potter what are your plans now?" said Mr. Lovegood ignoring Luna.
"Er, is this for your paper, sir?" asked Harry.
"Oh, no not unless you tell me it is, I just curious, Mr. Potter," said Mr. Lovegood with a smile.
"Oh well I don't mind giving you and interview say the day before the Order of Merlin presentation?" said Harry.
Mr. Lovegood's eyes sparkled, "That would be wonderful."
"Well I'll come by the Quibbler then, and please sir call me Harry. As for what I want now I'd like to live happily ever after," said Harry with a bit of a smirk.
Mr. Lovegood blinked, "Well that's a noble goal, any idea's on how to attain it?"
"I intend to work hard at it," said Harry. He heard a funny sound and looked over at the doorway where Luna appeared to be being thoroughly kissed by one of the Weasley twins under the mistletoe. He blinked several times but the scene didn't change. He turned back to Mr. Lovegood who attention had also been caught by the noise.
"Well Harry looks like you do have an infestation, don't worry I'll take care of it." He pulled his wand out and stalked over to the doorway. "Weasley you've got nargles," he roared.
The kissing couple broke apart Luna smiling slightly and the twin looking like a deer in the headlights. Harry could only laugh as the twin scampered away.
Harry was nervous as he escorted his last guests into the party. The conversation dropped off at the sight of the three goblins and Harry cleared his throat.
"These are my friends Ragnok, Waverider and Safelock," said Harry.
Filius Flitwick called out a greeting in Gobbledegook and came over and most of the room stopped staring and began talking and milling around again.
"Harry, dear, I can't seem to find the kitchen," said Molly Weasley.
"You're here to have fun Mrs. Weasley not to work, that's why I hired extra elves today," said Harry.
"House elves Harry?" interrupted Hermione.
"I hired free elves, Hermione, besides you should talk to Kikki about elves in general. She's here some where," said Harry. Slipping sideways away from Mrs. Weasley.
Hours later Harry put his feet up and sighed. He thought the party had gone wonderfully. There was enough to eat and everyone seemed to have fun. He'd certainly enjoyed seeing all his friends again but they hadn't really had time to catch up.
Due to Harry's status as a student the Order of Merlin awards ceremony was held on the day before Hogwarts was to resume classes. Harry Potter and Severus Snape both received Order of Merlin's first class and a generation of Hogwarts students were shocked to find a smiling Severus Snape sharing the front page of the next day's Daily Prophet with Harry Potter.
Harry sighed in exasperation, the platform had been crowed with reporters all screaming questions at him. He finally just boarded the train and hoped that his friends would be able to find him. A steady stream of returning students poked their heads into his compartment to welcome him back and, to his surprise, for a great number of girls flirt with the Boy-Who-Lived to Defeat Voldemort.
Neville and Luna found him first and settled in, Hermione came next followed by a puffing Ron just as the train pulled away from the station.
"Where's Ginny?" asked Harry.
"Sitting with Dean," snarled Ron.
"And Lavender?" asked Hermione.
"With Pavarti and Padma and that lot, discussing," said Ron turning up his nose.
Harry frowned, "Discussing what?"
"You know, mate, makeup and boys, you in particular. 'Oh he's so dreamy'" said Ron in a falsetto. Then he turned up his nose, "I certainly don't see it."
Harry laughed, "I'm glad."
Neville snorted and said," I don't see it either but that's about all I heard coming across the platform."
"I hope it blows over soon, I just want to go to Hogwarts and be normal," said Harry.
Four sets of eyes stared at him.
"You know what I mean," snarled Harry then he laughed, "As normal as I can get."
"So Harry what classes are you taking? You're going to have to work pretty hard to catch up," said Hermione.
"Grades aren't that important as long a I learn what I need for the NEWTs next year. I'm taking NEWT level Transfiguration, Charms and Herbology, OWL level Runes independently, and electives in Healing and Wards," he said.
"That's all?" demanded Hermione. "What about Defense and Potions?"
"Well I don't need Defense now and I sort of promised Snape that I wouldn't be in his class. You know he's leaving at the end of the year. Well Flitwick said that they'll offer a condensed NEWT prep course next year so I can take that and still sit the NEWT. That win- win as far as I can see."
"Just because Voldemort is gone doesn't mean that you don't need Defense," said Hermione.
Neville chimed in, "Harry probably knows more Bonaforte about Defense, Hermione, I've thought about quitting that class. Say Harry are you going to run the DA now?"
"No Neville, Hermione tells me you are doing a great job so you can keep it," said Harry with a smirk as all four started to protest. "However I will tutor you combat magic and/or swordsmanship if you want."
Neville's eyes widened, "Done."
"I'd like that as well, Harry," said Luna.
"Me too, please," added Hermione.
They all looked at Ron. He shrugged, "If it doesn't cut into my snogging time with Lavender."
"Honestly Ron," huffed Hermione while Harry laughed.
Three months later
"Hello, Professor, how are you today?" asked Harry.
Dumbledore was pale, with dull eyes, his long hair and beard trimmed short by the healers and his hands shook. But he smiled at Harry.
"Ah, Harry I'm so glad you came, I wanted to congratulate you on your defeat of Tom. I was most impressed," he said.
"Thanks, Professor that means a lot," said Harry.
"Albus, please Harry. I would like it if we could be come better friends, my boy. I think that I have a lot that I could teach you still even if I'm not your Headmaster."
"The Healers say that you need to relax and not worry about other people, Albus," said Harry.
"Tosh, what do they know, what I need is to stop laying around. If you were to tell them to release me I'm sure they would," said Dumbledore a gleam in his eye.
"I can't do that, sir," argued Harry.
"Now Harry I always did what was best for you, now I need you to do for me. To get me out of here," he lowered his voice, "they spy on me, you know."
Harry stood and moved toward the door. "I'm sorry Albus but you have to stay here. It really is for the best."
Dumbledore began shouting as Harry went out the door. He closed it firmly behind him and heard the lock click home.