One Stress Too Many

It had been a very trying day for Harry. Potions class on Friday afternoon with Snape had been the normal for the year. Studying for N.E.W.T.'s had Harry stressed to no end, and Snape had been an even bigger bastard than before since Dumbledore had forced him to take Harry into N.E.W.T. Potions. As Harry trudged towards the Great Hall, he saw Ron and Hermione sitting together making faces at each other while they fed each other. He grimaced at what had once been his two best friends. After discovering the contents of the Prophecy at the end of his fifth year, Harry had withdrawn into himself and then the two of them had started going out and allowing Harry to withdraw into himself even farther. The only person that had even attempted to draw him out of his funk was Ginny Weasley, and that had blown up rather spectacularly when Harry had attempted to be Ginny's friend because Hermione had told him that Ginny was over him. Unfortunately, Ginny still wanted something more and became angry when Harry didn't try to take their friendship farther. Eventually, he had become irritated with her mood swings, and told her to go to hell. This had pissed Ron off, and since Hermione was dating him, she stayed loyal to her boyfriend.

This left Harry in the unenviable position of spending most of his time alone. He used this time to study for his impending battle with Voldemort, which as a matter of course brought his grades up to rival Hermione's for the top in the year.

It was with all this in mind that Harry made his way to the end of the Gryffindor table to sit by himself and partake of the evening meal. After he had sat down at the table and began spooning food onto his plate, he least favorite fellow student came swaggering up to the Gryffindor table. Harry sighed in exasperation and said, "What do you want now, Malfoy?"

Malfoy smirked and twirled his wand, "Nothing from you, Potter. I just came over to point out that now that you don't have your sycophantic little worshipers following you around, it should only be a matter of time before you get what is coming to you."

Harry yawned, "I suppose this might be remotely interesting if I hadn't heard it a thousand times before, Malfoy. Voldemort has tried to kill me numerous times, and the fucker hasn't succeeded yet. So, I think I'll leave off worrying for another day." Harry then gave Malfoy a dismissive wave, "Now, go back to the rest of your snakes, and leave the lions to their food."

Malfoy's gaze turned stony, and he whipped his wand toward Harry, "Stupefy!"

Harry casually flicked his hand and out came his wand which he used to easily bat the curse away. He countered with a Stunning Spell of his own which caught Malfoy in the chest and sent him crashing to the floor.

As luck would have it Snape was just entering the Great Hall at that time, and called out loudly, "One hundred points from Gryffindor, and detention with me for the whole of next week, Potter."

The injustice of the punishment was the final stress that finally ruptured Harry's collected exterior, and The-Boy-Who-Lived snapped. He leaped to his feet, and yelled at Snape, "I don't think so, Snivellus. I'll rot in hell before I ever serve another detention with your greasy ass. Malfoy has been protected by you for the last time. The next time the stupid bastard crosses me, you will be scraping up the pieces of him from the floor. And I would watch myself if I were you, Snivellus, because you just might join him."

Snape's normally sallow complexion turned red with anger, "Is that a threat, Potter?"

Harry smirked, "You better believe it."

Snape raised his wand, "I think its about time for you to be taught a lesson, boy."

Harry continued to smirk, "Why don't you try to teach it to me, Snivellus. I will enjoy ending your time at Hogwarts."

Snape whipped his wand towards Harry and screamed out a curse that Harry was unfamiliar with. So, Harry simply sidestepped it, and grabbed one of the heavy golden platters from the table and hurled it at Severus like a Muggle Frisbee. Snape failed to react to the unexpected form of attack, and the platter crashed right into his face, breaking his nose and knocking him to the ground where his head thwacked rather nicely into the stone floor.

Harry stepped over to him, and stamped on Snape's wand hand, breaking the bones and snapping Snape's wand.

While he stood there, a gnarled hand landed on his shoulder. Dumbledore spoke from behind Harry, "Mr. Potter, I believe we should speak in my office."

Harry followed the Headmaster from the Great Hall, but not before making several rude gestures towards the enraged Slytherins.

Once they reached Dumbledore's office, they took seats. Dumbledore began, "Mr. Potter, while I can not condone Professor Snape's behavior towards you, it is simply unacceptable for a student to attack a teacher. It will be with great difficulty that I prevent your expulsion."

"Go to hell, old man."

Dumbledore practically leaped out of his seat in amazement at the tone that Harry used. Then, disappointment appeared on his face, "Mr. Potter, I think you are forgetting who you are speaking to."

Harry snorted, "I know exactly who I am speaking to. A bumbling fool who set Voldemort loose on the world, and now expects me to clean up his mess."

Dumbledore's mouth dropped open in shock, "What do you mean by that, Mr. Potter?"

"Simple. You and people that follow you are the reason we have dark wizards in the numbers that are present. If you didn't cling to some silly moral high ground and would simply exterminate the bastards or at the very least curtail their excesses when they are young, you would have to deal with far less of them once they become competent. How many years did you have to dispose of Tom Riddle before he became Voldemort?"

Dumbledore protested, "Surely, you aren't serious, Harry? You can't execute people for what they might do."

Harry shrugged, "You might as well be executing them by allowing them to do whatever they please. Malfoy has been running amok in this school for seven years, and Snape has been protecting him the entire time. Not to mention the shit you've let Snape get away with. Most of that has been downright criminal."

Dumbledore sighed, "Mr. Potter, with an attitude like that you are leaving me with little choice but to ask you to leave Hogwarts."

Harry laughed, "Oh, you don't have to ask me. I'm leaving no matter what. I just decided that I was going to say what I have wanted to say for years first."

"And what is that, Mr. Potter?"

"You've done a damn shitty job protecting the wizarding world, old man. I hope you're happy with the way things have ended up, because Voldemort is going to have a field day when he finds out about my next trick, and I want you to remember that the wizarding world can thank you for sending it down the toilet." Harry stood up and turned to walk from the room.

Dumbledore sighed, "What is your next trick, Mr. Potter?"

Harry smirked, "The simple fact that I performed the Majicus rite several months ago. All that remains is the final step."

Dumbledore stood up in horror, "You wouldn't. Harry, no matter how bad things seem to you, you can't give up your magic. You're the only one that can stop Tom."

Harry chuckled, "I'm well aware of that. For this, you have no one to blame but yourself, old man. You did everything in your power to create a weapon that could destroy Voldemort, and I applaud you for you did it well. I have little to no doubt that I could destroy Tom with ease given my powers now. However, you forgot one simple thing in your calculations. You forgot to give me a reason to use that power against him." Before Dumbledore could react, Harry brought his wand into both hands and snapped it in half. Then, he smiled, a genuine smile, "I refuse to save the wizarding world."

Then, Harry threw the pieces of his wand on Dumbledore's desk, and walked out of the Headmaster's office never to be seen again.

Dumbledore sank to his knees on his office floor, and mumbled to himself over and over, "What have I done? What have I done?"

End