Disclaimer: I am merely playing with other people's creations, I don't own the game/book/anime/tv-show I am borrowing from, nor am I making any money with this. I am writing for fun and practice, as fan-fiction to be shared with others if I feel like it.
Dumbledore's Last Rant
Dumbledore sat behind his desk holding a half-glass of scotch before him, staring at it angrily and finally growling out. "It is his fault, it is all that damn brat's fault!" The usually grandfatherly figure threw the glass against the wall, causing it to shatter from the force of the throw, the drink spilling down the wall. Grasping the bottle, the old man glared at it for daring to be empty. If he had realized that he would've drank the rest of his glass before throwing the bottle.
"Its all that damn Potter's fault! I had it all planned out! First he spends a decade being a slave to those freaks at Privet Drive, and he'll be desperate for friends and approval! Of course it was going to make it easier to push the Weasleys towards him, make sure he hangs out with the right crowd." He snorted, throwing the bottle away angrily as well.
Casting a look at the shelf of knick-knacks and little trinkets he saw them all standing still, his frustration mounting to whole new heights. The only way all those instruments would stop working was that Harry had found and destroyed the traces on him, or the boy was dead. Some of them should have called for a veteran curse-breaker with weeks of careful work, but the brat had somehow undone all of his work.
"That bushy-haired bitch interfered first year already, instead of a lazy unmotivated and timid boy which I hoped that Weasley pig and the scaredy-cat Neville would turn him into, I got a young man wanting to improve himself and grow stronger. Even after I used emotion-enhancing spells to make the words that the Weasley had to utter at her hurt her all the more she didn't kill herself or even get murdered by the troll. No, the Potter brat had to interfere, and suddenly they are closer than berries in a bush!"
Growling angrily, the old man shook his head raving to himself in such a furious state he failed to notice the door to his office open just slightly, the steps beyond it having stopped. There was no Phoenix companion in the room to warn him of guests, the moment his slave-bindings had snapped on the bird it had flown over him and left its droppings on his head before flaming away. The sorting had refused to speak a word to him, and the Hogwarts wards had refused to answer to him anymore.
"The second year, ohhh what a stroke of brilliance it was to make everyone think the boy was the reason the monster got loose. It was easy enough to Imperio Lucius into slipping that diary to Ginny Weasley. The little slut should have died and brought Voldemort back, so I could kill him and be a hero, while the Potter brat would've finally died, isolated and alone, so I could claim his inheritance by proxy. But no, not only does the damnable brat survive and clear his name, he makes the Weasleys indebted to him as well!"
Slamming his fist to the table the old man groaned and then rubbed the hand, hoping he hadn't broken the bones in his hand but shaking his head angry still. "At least he bought the bullcrap about the Phoenix only answering him because he showed loyalty to me. I couldn't let him know that the bird recognised him as the true leader of the light in that moment. Took me rest of the summer to tighten the slave-binds so the stupid flaming pigeon wouldn't save the boy again."
Growling out his frustrations and standing up, the old man made his way to the bookshelf pushing it to the side, feeling a sense of nostalgia hit him as he looked at the pensieve there, thinking about the variety of plots he had set in motion. Clearly labeled on the shelves above the pensieve were the potion vials holding the liquid memories, taken out of his mind to make them harder to find by legilimency should someone dare to use it against him, or force veritaserum down his throat. It wasn't going to prevent him from answering truthfully, but he had outright obliviated himself of some knowledge, saving the vials for later reviews. Remembering events through that was distant enough that it left it a little iffy if the veritaserum could force him to talk about them, he didn't remember the events in question after all, only the review of the events.
"Where did I go wrong? I should have killed the damn mutt on the third year, but I thought that letting the two go on their adventure would kill both the damnable Potter and that mudblood brainiac Granger. I really thought I'd gotten them when the swarm of dementors rushed to the forest to feed, circling for their meal. It was the happiest I'd felt in decades."
Sighing heavily, and scracthing the back of his head the old man felt the weight of the years on his shoulders at that instant, shaking his head tiredly. "Then he goes on and does that blast of magic that illuminates the skies. I had to wipe his memory to make him think it was a memory of his dad that saved them, rather than the memory of Hermione kissing him passionately earlier that night when he asked her to be his girlfriend, since she was always at his side."
Snorting annoyedly, the old man looked at the pensieves for a moment, trying to find something that would let him know how it got so tangled up. Three years in Hogwarts the boy had been his perfect puppet, being prepared for his fate as a sacrifice so a sad and regretful Albus Dumbledore would step up to destroy Voldemort and swear he'd do better to honor Harry's sacrifice, living on with the stolen elixir of life from the sorcerer's stone he had hidden away after Harry's first year.
"I had it all planned out, Barty Crouch can be a hell of an actor if he wants to but I knew Moody and the signs and countersigns to confirm it was him, and it sure as hell was not. Hogwarts wards told me who it was, and I figured the plan out easily enough. The brat would die, that was too perfect, it would be quite a scene seeing the body's bruised body thrown back to us once Voldemort was back, or the brat could just die in the middle of things anyway. I would have been happy man either way."
Sighing heavily, Dumbledore cracked his knuckles and growled out loud as he stared at the vial labeled 'champions selection, triwizard'. That was when it got wrong. Picking up the vial and pouring it into the lawyer's pensieve, he watched the memory appear as a ghostly illusion above the pensieve and show him again how things had transpired.
The champions for Durmstrang, Beauxbatons and Hogwarts were selected with cheers as their names rose from the goblet, with Krum, Delacour and Diggory being cheered by their schoolmates as they moved over to the champions quarters. Dumbledore was making a show of starting a speech before hearing the goblet flaming again. Unseen by others, he crooked a faint smile as the new piece of pergament floated in the air towards him, and he snatched it from the air.
His shout in the silence of the hall seemed to cause everyone to look at the boy in question. Harry was seated and thinking on something, not seeming to have noticed. Honestly, how dumb could that boy be? Dumbledore shouted his name again, and this time the lad turned to look at him in surprise, noticing everyone else staring at him too.
Looking all confused and innocent, that would just make some people more suspicious of him, he looked the very image of someone caught napping in class, not really sure what was going on or guilty of anything but not paying attention. The Slytherin would think it a bad attempt at trickery, and they'd make everyone else agree with them, by force if necessary. The Weasley brat's jealous mutterings and accusations would make it seem real even to the Gryffindors.
"You have been selected as a champion. Please go to the back room to wait for us." Dumbledore spoke in his grandfatherly manner, though managing to try and look a little confused. He felt he deserved an Orwille, or whatever that muggle price for fine actors was. He was feeling good that this plot was going so well already.
"There must be a mistake. I didn't enter. In fact. I Harry James Potter swear on my life and magic that I did not enter, nor ask anyone else to enter me, to the Triwizard tournament. So mote it be!"
The flash of magic sealed his vow, and the lumos he cast afterwards made the people hesitate. Potter was innocent after all? Then who had entered him ? The masses that should have turned against him, instead looked at him puzzled and unsure what to think. Instead of being loathed as a cheater trying to steal the glory from others, he was coming off looking like a victim. Blast that boy!
"Regardless, your name has come from the chalice and you are bound to enter and compete. Please come this way." Dumbledore tried, gesturing at the side room while the Potter cast a look at the bushy-haired witch at his side, then turning to glare at Dumbledore and answer.
"Pardon?" It was unthinkable. His puppet was defying him? Nobody defied Albus Dumbledore! He knew what was right. 'It was for the greater good' the old man muttered while watching the pensieve, still unaware of the slightly parted doorway, and the figures moving in to the room behind him.
"I have not entered the tournament of my free will, and according to the rules no underage wizards or witches may even compete. So there is no binding, and you can stuff it old man, I am refusing!"
"But you would lose your magic! I understand this is highly unusual and we will investigate who is behind this, but I am sure it was a harmless prank, nobody certainly expected a student as young as yourself to enter the tournament, and you would not have to compete to win, just compete to satisfy the requirements."
Of course, he'd push the boy to compete hard enough to risk losing his life later, but the binding wouldn't take hold unless he agreed to this, and he needed the boy to enter the back room which was designated as the champions meeting place. This wasn't going as he had planned.
"Oh stuff it up your wand holster old man, I am perfectly aware that I don't have to compete. I've been nearly killed three years in a row, this 'safest place in Britain' makes me wonder if I should just transfer to Beauxbatons here and now!"
The look of absolute glee on the female headmaster's face on hearing this had Dumbledore growl in a feral fashion. The damn half-human seemed intent to persuade Harry to go with her now that the possibility had been voiced out loud by the boy himself. Worse, it was perfectly legal for the schools to try and recruit students from other schools during the tournament, though hardly anyone remembered that rule.
Worse still, since Sirius was free the magic wouldn't recognise his hold as Harry's magical guardian and he could not use that to try and block any transfers. Sirius would agree to a transfer in a heartbeat too, since it would mean moving to French and he'd be visiting the nude beaches and the Veela enclaves as often as he could if that happened.
"Lets not be hasty, I am sure we can clear up this mess in no time, but you need to come with us."
"Are you deaf, old man? I said no."
Dumbledore was starting to lose it, and whipped out his wand to point it at Harry, and with an unspoken spellcaused the boy to levitate up from his chair. Walking along to the champions room, carrying Harry that way, he left a room puzzled at the behaviour these two were showing, but a lot less of it was hostile to Harry than he had hoped for. Even the Slytherin who would normally have been hating Harry were confused about the apparent rebellion by the Golden Boy.
"That whole thing was one big fiasco."
Sighing and leaning back Dumbledore watched the memory fade, sliding the contents back to the vial as he lifted it back on the shelf. His head was throbbing with his anger and frustration, his arm was tingling, and he was about ready to blast the walls apart. All those plans, all that preparation, and the snot-nose brat dared to defy his will!
"It was bad enough he refused to compete, but when I tried to force him to face the dragon the brat actually had the gall to use parseltongue with it! I swear I wanted to jump in and strangle him right then and there. He should have made himself an isolated loner with that stunt, but instead he had the dragon calm down and talk with him, earning him a load of awe and respect! Why can't people do as I want, its for the great good after all!?"
Groaning and taking a step back without turning, he slumped on his seat rubbing his forehead. "The second task was a nightmare. After he ended up dancing with Miss Granger I was ready to put the girl at the bottom of the lake for him but the damn bitch managed to elude me the day before and on the day of the competition. I am almost certain Harry gave her his father's cloak for that. So I had to use the Weasley boy and... ugh..."
"With all due respect Headmaster, after the way Ron has been acting all year, we aren't friends, he's been badmouthing me to everyone every chance he gets. If he is your idea of who I would miss the most, I am sorry to say headmaster you are mistaken. I have no intent to jump in a lake because you tell me so, and I know it has to be perfectly safe or Molly Weasley would have choked you with your own beard already!"
That comment had been made with a Sonorus, and Dumbledore had been too baffled by the surprise to react before Harry had made his way aside. The judges had scored him a few points for showing impressive ability to humiliate Dumbledore, and a certain style to it, but the boy was losing the whole tournament on purpose it seemed. It didn't matter, the final task would solve the whole thing, he used to think back at that time.
"Then when I thought I'd get rid of him with that final task and Voldemort's servant manipulating events..." He groaned annoyedly, the memory made him wish he had more alcohol in his room, but he had believed in an advice by a predecessor that told him to never over-stock such things because it might cause him to make a mistake on a bad day.
Someone had stolen his dish of calming-draught laced sweets however, so he had been forced to break open a bottle and drink for the first time in a few years, a muggle drink left by a grateful ex-student that had visited him soon after the fiasco the triwizard had turned into to encourage him to persevere. He had been grateful, and it was always good to try new things.
"How the hell did that blasted Veela shrug off an Imperio!? She should have been the perfect puppet to disgrace Krum with and take them both out of the competition. Just applying her Veela charm under Imperio, the two of them would have been compromised but safe..." He shook his head. "Instead, she turns into that bird form and almost sets the maze aflame while grilling fake-Moody's wand and scratching his face."
Shaking his head annoyedly, he thought about the sad finale. "And then when it all seems to be coming together at last in the end, does the boy take the trophy? No! He tosses it on the stunned acromantula alongside an enervate cast by Cedric who chose to stand with him in those final moments!"
Holding his head in his hands and groaning frustratedly, Dumbledore shook his head. The aurors had traced the valuable cup quickly, finding a graveyard with a dark-ritual obviously set up there, a dead Order of Merlin recipient who should have been dead for more than a decade already, and a broken remnant of what had once been Voldemort's vessel. All of that work gone with the wind because of uppity children.
"Its just not fair!" He shouted, turning around with his chair, only to turn pale facing McGonagall, Filius, Amelia Bones and Fudge. The four of them were staring at Dumbledore with a mixture of loathing, shock, surprise and anger evident on their face. He wasn't sure how much of that they had heard, but the fact his wand was currently in the deputy headmistress' hands didn't go unnoticed by him.
All of it because he opened a bottle of scotch sent by a former student, going by the name Huckleberry Finn. A muggleborn probably, he didn't remember the boy but that was probably because he didn't look important enough to matter.
He never did learn that Harry had learned how to brew polyjuice with Hermione on the second year, or that he had learned from snape how to brew a babbling potion and a truth potion. Snape focused on his mistakes, not his successes, and Dumbledore would never know just how wide the boy and girl under the invisibility cloak were grinning at the scene. It had taken a fine-timed approach to have Hermione approach the people in the hall with a password and invitation to the headmaster's office at just the right time.
The old goat got what was coming to him, and Harry could prepare for Voldemort better on his own, or rather besides Sirius and Hermione, than he ever would have with Dumbledore's help.