A/N – Here we are with year 6 of COTD. This year has 36 chapters. I'm just starting on year 7 so for the time being updates will be twice weekly, on Monday and Friday. This year features absolutely nothing from the canon sixth year, as from this point this story is truly unique. This year will also see some chapters from the Order's side of things, as they're still a very big part of events in both this year and year 7. This year also features more Dramione moments as well as some more sedate chapters as the trio don't have to hide their friendship anymore, and Harry and Hermione can be themselves. I hope people enjoy year 6 as much as I enjoyed writing it.
The death of Albus Dumbledore, and events at Hogwarts, were the big news stories in the wizarding world. Nearly everyone had an opinion on what had occurred, and the papers were reporting very little else. For days it was all people could talk about, and Voldemort and the dark remained very quiet as he took in the public's reaction to what had happened.
Of course several members of the Order of the Phoenix called for Voldemort to be arrested for murder, but their pleas were turned down by the Minister of Magic, Bernard Nott. Nott released a public statement a few days after the incident, stating that since Dumbledore had been killed in a wizarding duel, there were no charges that could be brought against anyone. Dumbledore had knowingly entered a duel where the loser more often than not died, therefore his death was not ruled as murder.
As well as Dumbledore's death, the other big news were the revelations about Voldemort's family. It had taken the wizarding world by surprise when they'd found that the dark wizard had two children, Severus Snape and Hermione Granger. However, things had then taken an even more stunning turn when it was revealed that Severus had a son, none other than Harry Potter.
For a few days, Voldemort had kept his family out of the spotlight as he digested how people were reacting to recent events. It quickly became clear that the wizarding world were split into three camps. The two smallest camps, either publically supported Voldemort or publically renounced him. However, the vast majority of the wizarding world were taking a neutral stance. At the minute people were waiting to see how their lives would be affected, before pledging their allegiance to either side. Of course, Voldemort had no problem with people remaining neutral, and he had no intention of hurting people who weren't trying to bring him down. His enemies were in the Order, and those who supported them, as for everyone else, he wished them no ill will and he had no intention of interfering with their lives in any way.
"I've made a decision," He announced one morning over breakfast, after reading the morning's paper and finding things were slowly returning to normal in the wizarding world.
"What about?" Beth Granger, Voldemort's wife asked.
"We're going to throw a party," Voldemort declared. "It's time Severus, Hermione and Harry made a public appearance. It's time my Death Eaters got to know them as my family."
"And what about their families, will they be there?" Hermione asked, hoping her father was including some youngsters in his plans for a party, especially her boyfriend, Draco Malfoy.
"Don't worry, Draco will be at the party," Voldemort replied with a chuckle. "In fact, I was thinking of inviting a lot of families. It's about time you and Harry got to know some more people your own age."
"Technically we do know them," Harry piped up. "We've been going to school with these people for five years."
"But the only one you really know is Draco," Voldemort pointed out. "It'll be nice for you to have some more friends. Especially since you've have likely lost all of your other friends."
"I guess we'll have to see," Harry replied with a shrug. No doubt they'd lost the friendship of the Weasleys, but that was more of a blessing than a curse, and as for everyone else, Harry was reserving judgement until it was time to go back to Hogwarts.
"Speaking of returning to school, will either of you want resorting in the New Year?" Severus asked. Even though it hadn't been officially announced, he would be taking over as Headmaster in September.
"I'd love to be in Slytherin, but I think we can have more fun in Gryffindor," Harry answered with a wicked smirk. "Besides, I want to be quidditch captain, and Draco is the Slytherin captain. Plus we play the same position."
"Hermione, are you happy to stay where you are?" Severus checked. He was rather surprised by Harry wanting to stay in Gryffindor, but at the same time he could see the potential for his son and sister to create waves in the lion's den.
"I'm happy in Gryffindor," Hermione confirmed. "Besides, now the truth is out there'll be no more hiding. We can spend time with Draco without having to hide. Being in different houses won't be such a barrier anymore."
"As long as you're sure," Severus said. "This will be your only chance to move. I'm not moving you in a few months because people are making things hard for you."
"Since when have we cared what other people think?" Hermione snorted. "Don't worry about us Severus, we'll be fine."
"Yeah, we will," Harry agreed. "Although there is one thing I want. Obviously I can stop pretending to be a Potter, so I don't want anyone calling me that next year."
"I can change your school records to reflect the change," Severus said. "Although, I also thought we could do it officially. I've been looking into it, and we need a blood test to prove you're really my son, and then the Ministry will change your birth certificate. How about we go and see to that today, and then Rosmerta invited us for dinner this evening."
"Sounds good to me," Harry replied, grinning at his father. "Although why we're out, I want to go to Gringotts. I've got a record of all the withdrawals I had to make from the Potters vault, and I want to return the money."
"We can do that easily," Severus said. "Hermione, do you want to join us?"
"Actually, I was hoping Hermione might want to come with me this afternoon," Voldemort said, before his daughter could agree to go out with her brother and nephew. "I'm going to the Ministry to pay Dolores Umbridge a visit."
Hermione snarled slightly at the mention of the witch who'd been the Defence against the Dark Arts Professor for the first few months of the previous year at Hogwarts. Not only was Umbridge an awful teacher, but she'd been abusive towards her students. One time Hermione had landed herself in detention, and Umbridge had forced her to use a quill which tore into her flesh. Hermione had refused to use the quill and walked out of detention, leading to Umbridge's eventual sacking as a Professor. After she'd lost her job at Hogwarts, she'd also been demoted at the Ministry, with criminal charges threatened against her. However, Voldemort had told Nott to hold off on prosecuting her until he was ready to deal with her, and now Dumbledore was gone, he had time to deal with the witch who'd tried to hurt his daughter.
"I'm in," Hermione told her father, looking forward to witnessing what her father had in store for the frumpy, old witch. "What are you going to do to her?"
"Actually, I thought you might like to dish out the punishment," Voldemort said. "Think about it this morning, and let me know what you want to do to her."
"I can do anything to her?" Hermione checked.
"As long as she lives through it, yes," Voldemort replied.
"Cool," Hermione gushed, her devious mind already brimming with dark possibilities.
"Well, since you all have plans, I'll go and visit Narcissa," Beth said. "We can start planning this party. When do you want to hold it?"
"As soon as possible, but I know you and Narcissa will need time to prepare," Voldemort replied.
"If anyone can organise a successful party in a few days, it's Narcissa," Beth remarked with a laugh. Narcissa threw some of the best parties going, and Beth was confident that together they could organise a get together everyone would enjoy.
With plans for the day made, breakfast was finished and the family went their separate ways. While Severus, Harry and Beth, left the house, Hermione and Voldemort remained at home. While Voldemort did a bit of work in his study, Hermione went to her room where she thought about Umbridge. By lunchtime she'd thought of the perfect way to punish Umbridge, and when she informed her father he thought it was a genius idea and he promised to have everything in place for when they went to see her.
The visit to Umbridge took place less than an hour after lunch, and Hermione was surprised when her father told her they were going to the Ministry. As expected, all eyes were on them as they alighted from the fires in the atrium, however Voldemort strolled confidently over to the gold elevators that stood at the far side of the atrium. Hermione walked proudly at her father's side, and she was surprised by how many people dipped their heads in respect as he passed. A few people shot him dirty looks, but on a whole people were either polite or did their best to keep out of his way.
The pair travelled up to the top floor, which housed the Ministers offices, in an elevator carriage all to themselves. A couple of people did try to enter the lift with them, but Voldemort gave them a piercing stare and they backed off. When they arrived on the top floor, Hermione was surprised to find there wasn't many staff around. Bernard Nott was waiting to greet them, and when he led them to his office, his personal assistant was nowhere to be seen.
"Slow day?" Voldemort questioned, also noticing the lack of staff on the top floor.
"Quite the contrary," Bernard replied. "My staff are busy making sure the new muggleborn laws are ready to go when we get the list of muggleborns from Hogwarts. We're also starting to make inroads into the muggles who already know about the wizarding world. Of course, things will be better when I can get a complete list of muggleborn students from Hogwarts."
"Severus will see to that once he's taken over as Headmaster," Voldemort replied. "Speaking of which, we'll make the announcement soon. If we're going to have problems with the staff, we'll need time to recruit more."
"We can set something up for next week," Bernard said, making a quick note on some parchment that sat on his desk.
"Quite, but right now, I believe we have an appointment," Voldemort said. "Is she already here?"
"She'll be on her way up as we speak," Bernard replied.
No sooner had the words left the Minster's mouth when the sound of the lift alerted them to someone getting off on the top floor. Minutes later there was a hesitant knock on the door and when Bernard swung the door open, Dolores Umbridge stood outside his office. Hermione was pleased to note Umbridge's smugness had disappeared, and she looked downright nervous when she entered the Minister's office. Although the second she spotted Voldemort, her nervousness turned to obvious fear.
"Take a seat, Ms Umbridge," Voldemort offered in a low deadly voice as he pulled out a chair in front of the Minister's desk.
Umbridge shot Bernard a worried look, but when he just leant against his office door and remained silent, she slowly crossed the office and sat down in the seat Voldemort had held out for her. Slowly Voldemort walked around Bernard's desk and settled himself in the Minister's chair. For a moment he merely watched Umbridge as she shuffled uncomfortably in her chair, before he turned to where Hermione was standing against the wall.
"She's all yours, my dear," He announced with a smirk as he settled back to watch the show. "Bernard, did you acquire what I requested?"
"In the top draw, My Lord," Bernard replied.
Hermione walked over to Bernard's desk, and opened the top drawer. Finding what she'd asked for, she pulled out the parchment and placed it in front of Umbridge. Umbridge frowned at the parchment, but her frown disappeared and was replaced with a look of horror as Hermione produced a very familiar quill from the drawer.
"Ah, I see you recognise the quill," Hermione chuckled as she set it down on top of the parchment lying in front of Umbridge. "Although you really ought to considering it's one of your special ones. Now, what do I want you to write, let's think?" Hermione paced the floor beside Umbridge for a few seconds, before turning back to the witch with a deliciously evil smirk on her face. "You can write, I'm an evil old toad."
Umbridge looked up at Hermione, totally appalled, but when she looked around the room it was clear she wasn't getting any support from elsewhere.
"Do it," Voldemort ordered in a deadly voice as Umbridge continued to hesitate. "Now, before I force you."
Slowly Umbridge picked up the quill and with a shaking hand she began to write. Almost immediately she let out a hiss of pain and shook her left hand. Moving forward, Hermione grabbed hold of Umbridge's wrist and placed her left hand flat against the desk so she could see the damage she was causing.
"I want to see the words forming on your skin," She hissed as Umbridge continued to slowly write. "Maybe this will show you how much pain and suffering you caused the students last year. You know I did some digging after you left, and it turned out you'd tortured quite a few students with your quills. Now you get to see what it feels like."
As she continued to write, Umbridge began to sob quietly, but Hermione didn't take pity on her. She stood right beside her, holding onto her wrist as the words 'I'm an evil old toad', etched themselves onto Umbridge's skin. After nearly ten minutes the blood was flowing profusely, and Hermione suspected Umbridge might even be permanently scarred. Not that she took pity on her, she made her continue writing for another five minutes before she finally released her grip on the sobbing woman.
"I think you've got the message," Hermione announced.
"And now it's time for me to deliver mine," Voldemort said, causing Umbridge to look up at him in horror. "You didn't think this was it, did you?" He chuckled. "This was merely Hermione's payback, but now I'm going to teach you that's it's unwise to try and hurt my daughter. Get to your feet, you're coming with me." As Umbridge slowly got to her feet, with Hermione making sure she didn't try to run, Voldemort turned to Bernard. "I think you're going to need to find someone else to take over Ms Umbridge's job, we can call this her resignation."
"It'll be my pleasure to replace her," Bernard sneered. He'd been all for sending the witch to Azkaban after what she'd done to his son, but this seemed like an appropriate punishment as he doubted she would survive the Dark Lord's wrath.
"Let's go," Voldemort announced, roughly grabbing hold of Umbridge so she couldn't try to run.
"Where are we going?" Hermione asked.
"You are going home," Voldemort answered as they strode back towards the elevators. "And I am going to deal with Ms Umbridge here."
"Can I not come?" Hermione pouted.
"You've had enough violence for the day, Hermione," Voldemort chuckled.
Despite wanting to see what happened to Umbridge, Hermione obeyed her father and when they reached the atrium, she flooed home like a good girl. She then headed over to the manor to see Draco, where they spent the rest of the afternoon debating what sort of punishment Umbridge would be receiving. Although as it turned out, Hermione never did find out what exactly had happened to her. All her father would say was that she'd been dealt with and wouldn't be causing any more problems for them in the future.
A/N 2 - This is the last we see of Umbridge so I'll leave it to each individual person to make their own mind up about just what Voldemort did to her.