Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, and trust me, I'm making absolutely no money at all from this story.
Reigns of Power
Hogwarts seemed oddly empty during the summer holiday. The halls echoed with the whispers of children and the quiet footsteps of professors.
From the lakeside, the castle was a beautiful contrast to the darkened sky, its reflection on the water playing with the shifting tides like fireflies.
And he remembered how 4 Privet Drive had looked like a torch that beautiful night so long ago. He remembered the heat of the fire, so intense it melted the neighbor's garden gnomes.
In the quiet night, Harry hummed softly. The war was all around him and he was so very tired of it. It was with him the war had begun, and with him it would end. But the fates chose unwisely. They chose a boy who was loosing faith in the world and the people around him. In the ideals he was fighting for but never understood. Harry was loosing faith in the Dumbledore and his righteous light side.
'May the crimes you do in the name of justice visit you in the dark of the night'
Was Voldemort's blood any more different than Dumbledore? Two men of power who where blind to the crimes they committed in the name of the greater good.
Did the torture inflicted on a Muggle under crucio any greater than the slow torture of a boy being leached of his life by everyone?
Did the Muggleborn deserve any less than that which they themselves inflicted upon creatures of magic?
This war that two blind men had aggravated had seeped into every crevice of society. Harry could see it. The slight flinch of the Dark Creatures when they walked alongside the wizards. The accusations that flowed from children as they condemned other children. The enmity of the school against the Slytherin House; a wariness born anew in neighbors eyes.
Will you come upon my door on a lonely night and end my life?
The Ministry was doomed. Doomed the day they closed their eyes and hoped that if they didn't see it, it wasn't true. They would fall, whether to Dumbledore's council or to Voldemort's aggression. And those foolish creatures that hoped the Ministry would protect them would tremble from the very helplessness they encouraged.
They will kill him.
He understood that with clarity. Voldemort would end his existence, Dumbledore would end his life. What need did either have for a rebellious boy when the Boy-who-Lived could shatter or unite the Wizarding World?
Did he dare take the power that was just as much his as was his very name?
Dumbledore had done something that could prove very foolish. Severus Snape spoke truth when he had sworn Dumbledore was blind to his Golden Boy.
Harry remembered the owl that had flown that summer day to the Burrow nearly a year ago. His friends gathered to celebrate his sixteenth year.
Happy Birthday, Harry. May the last of your blood join your parents in their eternal sleep.
And like that the Dursleys where gone in a 'gas explosion'. The dark mark hovering over the trimmed lawn now littered with debris. Dumbledore had fought for Harry's emancipation to protect him from the Ministry exploitation. They had finally granted his legal emancipation so long as Harry resided at Hogwarts till his seventeenth year, when the laws of underage wizardry would no longer apply. By then Harry would also be able to apparate out of trouble.
The sun had set long ago, this warm evening. The end of July 30th.
Come midnight Harry would be free from their direct manipulation. The beginning of the wizarding world's much applauded seventeenth year. The age when a wizard took his place as an adult in the magical world.
Dumbledore may believe Harry was a docile lamb that would stay at Hogwarts 'for his own protection', but come midnight Lord Potter would once more take the reigns of power born from his inheritance.
AN: I've been getting a lot of questions on when this takes place. It's the summer before 7th year. Dursleys died the summer before 6th year and Harry has been living at Hogwarts full time since.
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