AvidReader2425: In terms of raw power Harry is the weakest of the three, mostly because he's still young and hasn't gone through all of the rituals that Voldemort has gone through (though he has done a few of them, namely the ones that don't have serious long term consequences). But with that being skilled he's more skilled at his age than Voldemort and Dumbledore were at the same age.
matzeztam: Yes, I haven't forgotten about it.
avidnarutofan: Well...it's Umbridge though...so does she count?
AdvancedNSeven: Good idea but I won't be doing any PJ fics until I finish reading the books.
Chapter 97 -
"Nice job everyone," Harry said once he and the Silver Wolves had all entered Hogwarts through the floo stations that were supplied by the room of requirement. "honestly, well done."
"But we didn't do anything." One member protested as they all removed their masks.
"You didn't need to," Angela replied on Harry's behalf. "we came as support for Harry, but also to make sure that the ministry workers didn't get too trigger happy. But also to fight if they did."
"She's right." Harry nodded approvingly. "There will come a time for you all to fight if you'll still want to, it's just not today. Be thankful, any day you're not fighting is a day that you can practice for when you do fight." Harry said.
He and the Silver Wolves talked for several more minutes before they all left the room, the room of requirement closed, only to be opened several minutes later.
"Well, Harry, you've certainly made an impact," Dumbledore commented in a dry voice as he sat opposite Harry in his office. "I dare say that it will be a long while before anyone forgets this."
"In my defense...fuck Umbridge," Harry said simply with a shrug of his shoulders, lazily stroking Jet's head as the serpent rested on his lap while Thor had jumped to Fawkes's perch. "so, you have questions, go ahead and ask them."
"Very well," Dumbledore paused, he stroked his beard for a moment before focusing his gaze on Harry. "firstly, I would like to ask about the masks the other students wore."
"Don't look too into it," Harry rolled his eyes. "it's merely to protect their identity."
"And how effective will that be, given that nearly the whole school came with you?" Dumbledore asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Yeah, nearly the whole school, is the ministry going to charge the entire student population? No, they're not, even if they wanted to, they couldn't, they were my allies in a blood feud." Harry responded. "Look, don't worry about the logistics of it, the end result was entirely legal under the laws of the..."
"And I don't question the legality of it, I am plagued with how morally right it was." Dumbledore interrupted. "You see, Harry, I'm sure that in your mind you may see me as just a senile old man, spouting off wisdom and advice from a time that was long gone, but that is most definitely not how I see you. What I see, is a young boy, with a lot of power, one boy that could make a huge difference to our world. I see the son of James and Lily Potter, two of the best students ever to walk through our hallowed doors, yet I also see him as a murderer, one that has taken a life, willingly. I see a boy that shares a lot of similarities with Tom Riddle."
"I don't see you as just a senile old man," Harry sighed. "I mean...I definitely think you're old and crazy, but I do hold a great deal of respect for you. But I do agree that your advice and wisdom are not the best for the situation we're facing. Also, you may recall our last meeting, you might remember me telling you that I was not the only one in the room with similarities to Tom Riddle."
"Ah yes," Dumbledore hummed. "please, continue." He gestured Harry to do just that, his tone making it sound like he was genuinely interested in hearing what Harry had to say.
"Well, anyone with a basic knowledge of him can see the similarities between him and me." Harry glanced to Jet before looking back at the headmaster. "We're both members of Slytherin house with the ability to speak to snakes, we both are extremely powerful, we both love magic and we both started making our own armies when we were young. Though, I like to think that I'm doing better than he has. We both are also extremely violent when we believe we need to be. But then there's you, and you have just as many, if not more similarities to him. Firstly, you're both powerful wizards with decades worth of knowledge. You both also enjoy using intimidation to get your own way..."
"Mr. Potter," Dumbledore interrupted a frown on his face. "I do not enjoy intimidating others, I..."
"Are you sure?" Harry cut in. "Because I very clearly remember our last meeting when you tried to use your magic to intimidate me, something that is arguably made worse by the fact that you still consider me to be just a boy, despite all I've achieved. If you can do that to me then I'm sure you would have no problems with doing that to others much older me, not that you would need to use magic most of the time. After all, the great Albus Dumbledore is not only famous and loved throughout all of Europe, he also was known to be the 'Chief Warlock', 'Supreme Mugwump' and the headmaster of the best school in magical Europe. So to sum up, you're extremely knowledgable, while also popular, along with being magically and politically powerful. Of course, nobody would be intimidated by you." Harry rolled his eyes. "Plus while we're here, should we discuss the fact that both you and Voldemort have your own armies?"
"I do not have an army, the order is a group of..."
"A rose by any other name, Professor," Harry interrupted. "but the point of this meeting is not to discuss our similarities and differences with the red-eyed terrorist, we'd be here all day. The point is, I've done something that you don't like, and you think I'm all evil now."
"Why? Why did you do it, Harry?"
"I'll tell you, firstly because she tortured a kid and I wanted to make it clear that that would not be tolerated by me, nor do I believe that it should have been tolerated by you," Harry said, pointedly giving Dumbledore a disapproving look.
"I did not tolerate to, I..."
"I didn't see you doing anything about it," Harry sniffed. "anyway, my second reason for it was that in the long term it helped the war effort."
"And why do you think that?" Dumbledore asked, staring at Harry with interest.
"Simple, Fudge refuses to believe that Voldemort is back and is doing his best to make life more miserable for us, by doing what I just did, the little shit won't dare even say one negative thing about me directly to the public without first making sure his home has access to the best wards and protections that money can buy. It allows us more room to operate freely, while also discouraging others who could follow Voldemort. After all, if I did what I did to the woman that's second only to the Minister himself, then what could I do to someone else with far less protection? Not to mention the fact that my army helps give people hope, they now believe that somebody else - another group - is out there, fighting against the death eaters. You see, Dumbledore, there is a method to my particular brand of madness."
"But where will it end, Harry?" Dumbledore tiredly rubbed his face for a few moments before stopping to look at Harry. "When will it end? Perhaps, you are truly planning all of this to combat Voldemort, but once he is gone, what will happen? Will you simply give up all of your power?"
"I don't know, Dumbledore, would you?" Harry asked. "What's the difference between you and me? Why can you have power and influence and all of these people that look up to you, but I can't?"
"I...I apologize, Harry, that is not what I meant." Dumbledore sighed deeply, looking as old as ever. "I just...I don't want to put so much effort into this war and then leave this world with another possible dark lord. You, Harry, I fear might be able to become far worse than Tom ever was."
"And I can understand that I suppose," Harry said as Jet hissed at Dumbledore, the headmaster gave Harry a questioning look. "Jet is less than pleased with you constantly doubting me," Harry explained, deciding not to translate what Jet had actually said, his explanation was close enough. "anyway, I won't go too far, I have ways to stop that."
"And what would that be?" Dumbledore asked, wondering what answer Harry would come up with. Dumbledore leaned back in his seat, waiting to see what Harry would say.
"You," Harry answered, a small smile on his face.
"What?" Dumbledore blinked, having clearly not been expecting that.
"You," Harry repeated. "and Jet and Thor. I've also got Lord Black, Sirius, my friends here, and also the Tonks family. I've got plenty of people to keep me on the straight and narrow. What about you?"
"I...I'm not entirely sure what you mean," Dumbledore frowned. "perhaps you can explain."
"Of course, what I'm trying to point out is that you have no equals," Harry began explaining. "I do. I have people that I see as my equals, people like Daphne, and Tracey, and Angela, and Tonks. Who do you have? You could say Professor McGonagall, but she's your employee, and let's be honest, you don't really see her as an equal. Maybe you do care about her as a friend, but she's not equal to you. If you went bad, then would she be able to stop you? Would she try to? Can she stop you? I doubt it, slow you down at best. I have people that I consider equals to keep me in place, even if they're not magically equal to me, you don't. That's part of why Fudge is so scared of you, you have power everywhere that matters. Everything from powerful magic to politics to riches. That's why he was so scared of you, right until I gave him a bigger threat to worry about." Dumbledore's frown grew bigger as Harry's words crashed into his head.
"I..." Whatever Dumbledore was about to say was cut off when Jet began hissing loudly for several long moments. "...what did he say?" Professor Dumbledore asked. Harry looked at him, his face blank and his gaze purposely avoiding Jet.
"I'm not repeating that." Harry shook his head slightly, an odd twitch of his lips. Thor trilled in what sounded like he was agreeing with Harry so Dumbledore wisely decided to leave it and move on.
"Probably for the best," He commented, glancing at Jet before focusing his eyes back on Harry. "Mr. Potter, I do want to apologize, I don't mean to accuse you."
"Then stop doing it," Harry said tiredly. "look, we can discuss hypothetical situations and futures all bloody day. How about we first try and deal with the current situation? You don't like death? Guess what, it's not particularly fun for me. What do you think I'd rather be doing? Snogging my girlfriend, learning magic, eating great food, and having the whole school cheer for me when I play quidditch or going out to have the entire world against me as I try to stop a person from harming the children in this school? We're in a war, Headmaster, a real one. If you don't like the smell then get out of the trenches."
"Harry, these people, they may do bad but they can be redeemed. I know, I've seen it." Dumbledore argued.
"Perhaps you have, but in everyone?" Harry countered. "Can everyone be redeemed? Can every single one of them be redeemed without costing more innocent lives? No, some people are just like that. But you don't get it, Headmaster, you don't, because you're Albus Bloody Dumbledore. How long have you been alive? How long have you lived in a magical world where everything, even Grindelwald himself, can be dealt with with a bit of magic? Because let me tell you something, my world works differently. I lived in the real world where grown men can try to kill and hurt a child, a world where a mother has to sacrifice herself for her child, a world where I had to summon an army of snakes to get through a week without my relatives beating me. A world where I nearly die every year. Life is not a fairy tale, it'd be so much easier if everyone could just have their happily ever after but that's not happening here unless we work for it, together. You and Tom are two opposites, light and dark, day and night. Well, I'm the goddamn grey afternoon that's tired of both of your bullshit. Look, work with me! I can accuse you of turning dark just as easily as you can accuse me, but that benefits nobody. It's time past time for you to learn that just because somebody is strong and doesn't follow the same rules as you, it doesn't mean they're evil. Work with me!" Harry hissed, nearly slipping into parseltongue.
Dumbledore hummed, leaning back into his throne-like chair, a thoughtful look on his face as he raised to hand to stroke a beard.
"If the old man doesn't hurry up say 'yes' then I'm going to bite him in the foot." Jet said impatiently.
"It is good to see you all, my friends." Voldemort smiled, looking down at his faithful followers. It was only the best of his followers, here, he felt it appropriate to reward them by giving them his undivided attention. He was admittedly less than impressed with their current conditions, they looked weak and sickly and far skinnier than he remembered. It annoyed him greatly that his very best followers, his own property, were treated so appallingly, sent to Azkaban like common criminals. Someone would pay for this, he would make sure of that. "It warms my heart to have you all back with us." He told them.
"Thank you, my lord." Bellatrix Lestrange smiled widely, her yellow teeth quite clear against her pale skin. It was a shame as far as Voldemort was concerned, she used to be a great beauty to look at. Her curly black hair was now a curly rat's nest, her voluptuous body and perfect skin were replaced with a skinny body that was so pale that she went past British-pale into vampire-pale. Though as any true Brit could tell you, there wasn't that much difference. While he didn't really place much importance on looks, he was concerned about how her magical and combat abilities would be. Thankfully he had several potions brewing and his best healers working to help her and the others back to their full strength. "It is truly a pleasure to be in your presence once more."
"Truly, my lord," Bellatrix's husband, Rodolphus Lestrange, agreed. He and his brother, Rabastan were in a similar condition to Bellatrix, both of them having been robbed of their youth and looks by the cruelty of Azkaban and its guards. "we knew you would come." He said, a yellow-toothed, crooked grin on his face.
"Oh yes!" Bellatrix laughed, "We were faithful, my lord! We never submitted!" she added, quite proudly.
"And for that, you will be rewarded," Voldemort assured her. "but for now, you will all focus on healing yourselves. I have need of your services."
"Of course," Antonin Dolohov quickly nodded. "anything you wish for, Master."
"Good," Voldemort purred, "soon, soon my friends, soon all will be right. That senile old man, Dumbledore, will be dead, and we will be at our rightful places on the food chain."
"My lord, what of Potter?" Peter Pettigrew sniveled.
"What of him?" Voldemort asked coldly, staring down at the pathetic excuse of a wizard in front of him. If it wasn't for his animagus form and the valuable information he had provided, he would never have made Peter a member of his death eaters, the man was an average level fighter at best.
"Oh, my lord! Please, let me do it! I still owe the brat payback for sending me to Azkaban...again!" Barty Crouch Jr laughed loudly, he was seemingly on a high since his second breakout from Azkaban, though that most likely had to do with the fact that Voldemort had let him keep his own father so he could torture him and kill him whenever he wanted.
"Oh! Let me do it! Please, my lord, I would be more than willing to snap the little brat's neck for you!" Bellatrix volunteered eagerly.
"No," Voldemort replied, shaking his head slightly. "Potter is not to be harmed, by any of you. I will not have you all harming a future asset."
"Asset? You...you want the boy to join us?!" Peter blinked, looking at Voldemort like he has just been reciting Shakespeare in slightly misspoken, fifteenth-century Spanish.
"Of course I do, if I could find a use for you then Merlin knows it would be easy to find a use for him." Voldemort sneered down at him before addressing everyone in the room. "Potter is mine, he will not be harmed, by any of you, is that clear?"
"Yes, my lord." They all said together.
"Good," Voldemort smirked. "now, let's discuss our next course of action."
A.N: Hi guys, hope you liked the chapter. Just want to say a few things:
Number the 1: I know for some of you I revealed that I had covid and just seemingly dropped off of the face of the planet, but I never yielded, and as you can see I am not dead. Nor do I intend to die or even consider doing so until I am able to produce an heir to take over my work as JB21 when I am far too old to do so. And then they will raise an heir to do the same thing, and so on and so forth.
Number the 2: I have many reasons for uploading later than usual such as: uploading for other stories, being busy at work, having family coming over so I have to help out a lot and spend time with them, having to babysit my family while my dad goes off to make sure that the builders that come to our house don't steal or ruin anything and my energy levels after dealing with my family all day.
Number the 3: I wasn't too happy with the opening scene, but I had been having writer's block with that so I just sort of forced it out (another reason why my upload speed had decreased)
Number the 4: I also had to go back and skim through what happened to Peter and Barty Jr because I had legit forgot since my brain cells are rebelling against me.
Number the 5: I just want to point out how good my upload speed must be if people are concerned about me not uploading for a month. I have a few stories up and I will upload for them when I can and when I feel like it, if I don't feel like writing a chapter for something then I'm just not going to do it because if I try then I'll end up procrastinating, I'll do it when I'm ready. (Also, that's not a jab or complaint against anyone who has asked, I'm just saying.)
Number the 6: For those interested, I have a pat-reon account, go on the website and type in JB21Q for early uploads for test chapters, Widow's Vengeance and Emerald Dragon, along with polls and other rewards that I plan to set up in the future.
Number the 7: Also, I'm sorry I can't respond to all reviews, I would but...there's a lot of reviews. Like...wow! Thanks for all of the support.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it, feel free to leave a review.