Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, his friends, or his enemies... alas.
Revised 06-05-2013 due to the many mistakes found in this chapter. My apologies for not checking it more thoroughly before posting.
69 Dumbledore's Utopia
Friday, Sep. 20
Rubeus Hagrid was in heaven. Inside the enclosure that had housed Beauxbatons' winged horses a few years back were eight dragons.
They might not be of a species that Hagrid recognised, but that was of little consequence for the half-giant. What was important was that he had been entrusted with the care of eight, small, cute-as-a-button dragons, and Hagrid had every intention of doing just that to the best of his abilities.
Giving the creatures one last look, Hagrid headed for home. He was sure he had a soft brush tucked away somewhere that would be perfect for grooming the dragons. All animals liked to be groomed, and it would give Hagrid the perfect opportunity to get to know them better.
Oh, he knew they weren't really dragons, that they were people who had been bespelled. But at the moment they looked and acted like dragons, and Hagrid was determined to enjoy every last second he had with his new charges. He would grieve after the enchantments had been broken.
Albus Dumbledore had never in his life been so furious. Someone had dared to curse him. Him. How dare they? Didn't the culprit realise just who he was? He was Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. The leader of the Light, Head Mugwump and Chief Warlock!
He alone held the future of the wizarding world in his hands. He alone had the knowledge, not to mention the wisdom, to see what needed to be done to ensure their survival. Tom Riddle was a threat to their world. He needed to be dealt with, there was no doubt about that. But getting rid of Riddle wasn't the end.
It was a bitter pill to swallow, but Albus had come to realise that his sweet friend Gellert had been right all those years ago. The wizarding world needed to change. It needed to conform to what was the Greater Good, although, that greater good did not consist of what Gellert had dreamed of once upon a time.
No, Albus had spent a lot of time pondering what needed to change, and finally he had found a workable plan to ensure that the changes needed took place, and with as little blood spill as possible.
All that was needed was a hero. Albus should have realised that a long time ago, but he had been so heartbroken and tired after he'd defeated Grindelwald that he hadn't understood just how much power he'd had at the tip of his fingers. All he'd needed to do was ask, and it would have been given to him.
Fortunately, it wasn't too late. He still had time to implement his plans for the bright new future he and Gellert had dreamed of in their youth. All thanks to Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived.
Albus might still be hailed as the unofficial leader of the Wizarding world, but he was an established icon, one the people was used to and, sadly, no longer paid as much attention as they should, which the past, turbulent, few years had proven.
But there was still Harry. Sweet, young, blessedly naive Harry Potter, the darling of the Wizarding world. True, Fudge had done an admirable job of smearing Harry's good name, but the lad had rallied and forced Cornelius to eat his own words, causing the idiotic man's reputation to take a severe beating. Couldn't have happened a more deserving man. Albus secretly couldn't stand the fool, and always took great pleasure in leading him around the nose.
Albus lost himself in his memories for a moment, but was rudely jolted out of them when some of the other dragons clamoured around Hagrid in an attempt to gain his attention.
Snorting in annoyance, the Headmaster of Hogwarts returned to his thoughts. The key to everything was Harry.
Once Harry had defeated Voldemort the people of the wizarding world would all but worship the boy in their gratitude that the threat to their world was over. And it was then they would strike.
Albus, using Harry's status as a hero, would in one fell swoop implement the many changes that were desperately needed if they were to ensure that they as a specie was to survive.
The Ministry of Magic would have to be abolished, of course, and the Wizengamot would have to be disbanded. There was no way in hell that Albus wanted to give people like Lucius Malfoy a chance to oppose him once he had been instated as the only leader of the Wizarding world.
Besides, most of the members of the Wizengamot were useless, only using the power their position gave them to further themselves, not giving a thought to the betterment of their world.
No, it was beyond time that the Old Ways were brought back. The Old Traditions had been all but forgotten by everyone but the most traditional of the Purebloods, replaced by newer ideas brought in by the Muggleborns and the Half-bloods.
The Muggle world had no place in the Wizarding world, and it was time someone made that abundantly clear. The Muggles had grown in numbers at an alarming rate, and if a new Witch Hunt was to take place, Albus wasn't sure if they could survive it. He refused to stand back and watch as the world he loved, and that he had sacrificed so much for, was destroyed from outside forces.
Now was the time for one strong leader, and that leader was he. Using Harry to rally the people, Albus was going to bring back the Old Ways, where the Purebloods ruled unopposed, where the Half-blood served as craftsmen and merchants, and where the Muggleborns were used as serfs, after they had cut all ties with the Muggle world, of course.
Unlike some rulers under the Old System, Albus had compassion, and as such he wasn't prepared to bring in the Muggle parents, forcing them to breed in hopes that they would produce more magical offspring, but he wasn't prepared to allow them to know of the Magical world without some kind of safety check in place.
He also didn't approve of the way the Muggleborns had been used as pleasure slaves and brood mares during the Old System.
True, if a Pureblood Lord wanted more children, and his wife couldn't, or wouldn't, produce more than the required heir, then a suitable Muggleborn could be given the honour of carrying the children, but Albus did not approve of abusing others just to prove who held the power.
Another reason as to why he needed to set himself up as ruler of the Magical world, to ensure that his rule actually was followed by all. No more would Purebloods mange to circumvent the law by using bribes or sweet promises. Albus rule would be absolute, and it would encompass everyone, even the proudest of Pureblood.
Harry was probably going to put up a fuss, at first. After all, both his mother and his best friend were Muggleborns, something that was somewhat regrettable, but at least Hermione had proven herself by being utterly and completely devoted to him, just as she should be.
But after Albus had explained matters to the boy, and having shown him that Hermione held no future in their world the way it stood now, then Harry would see that Albus knew what was best and join him in his work to better their world.
And if he didn't... Then Albus was going to use the boy's attempted rebellion to prove to the population that Harry was still nothing but a young child who needed firm guidance; and who better than the new leader of the wizarding world to give the boy that guidance?
Because, even if Harry did indeed vanquish the Dark Lord, and would ride high on that fame, there was no question as to who held the most connections, and who held the most power between the two of them.
It had taken Albus almost an entire lifetime to learn how to utilise the fame and power he had gained defeating Grindelwald. Harry, no matter how bright a boy he was, would need years yet to grow into his fame, especially since Albus had ensured that the boy was woefully ignorant of his rights and obligations as both Head of the Potter family and a national hero. There was no need to make his own job of controlling the Boy Who Lived harder than it had to be.
Albus chuckled to himself, losing himself in his vision of the new, improved wizarding world that would emerge once he had been instated as its only leader.
At the absolute top of the world would be Albus Dumbledore of course. He would need to look into producing a child soon, an heir that could take over as ruler once he departed from this life. There was no way he'd allow anyone but a Dumbledore to keep the leadership he'd worked so hard for to establish.
Under him would be the Purebloods. They would be so thankful to him for returning the Old Ways that they would be more than willing to swear fealty to him and his line, ensuring that Albus and his heirs would remain leaders of the wizarding world, as were their right.
Next were the Half-bloods. They would never achieve the status of the Pureblood, of course, but they could attain a decent way of life if they agreed to act as merchants and craftsmen.
No Pureblood worth their ancestors' praise would sullen their hands by actually working. It was only poor excuses for wizards like Arthur Weasley and his brood who did that. Decedents of fools who lost it all through mismanagement, gambling, or blood feuds they could ill afford. There were a reason the Wesley family were looked down upon by the elite, and it had little to do with Arthur's fascinations with all things Muggle, although that certainly did not help him regain the status his forefathers had lost through pure folly.
No, let the Half-bloods sully their hands with work since they would never be accepted by the Purebloods, and rightly so. No witch or wizard worthy of the magic in their blood would sully themselves by breeding with Muggles.
At the bottom of the ladder would be the Muggleborns and possibly their families. And only if the parents had proven that they could bring forth powerful magical offspring.
The Muggleborns would have to cut all ties with the Muggle world, no exceptions whatsoever. For years, Albus had encouraged Muggleborns to embrace their true world, to embrace their magical inheritage, and every, single time he had been bitterly disappointed.
Most Muggleborns accepted the schooling the wizarding world offered, and then they promptly turned their backs on everything they had been taught and returned to the Muggle world, not caring that they risked exposing them to the Muggles as long as they got to celebrate Christmas and Easter and use cars and computers and whatnot.
Albus had been forced to reach the conclusion that Muggleborns were egotistical and lazy, not caring for anything or anyone but themselves, and therefore it was beyond time someone put a stop to their selfish ways.
No, Muggleborns had to be kept on a short leash or they would continue to undermine the magical world, making it less than what it should be.
Fortunately, Albus had it all planned out. Once a Muggleborn had their first spurt of accidental magic, making it possible to locate them, they would be brought in to the magical world. The child would then be given to a Pureblood family and be fostered by them until they reached an age when they could start being of use by the family caring for them.
They would be given a rudimentary education in magic, learning those skills they needed to do their assigned jobs. Mostly, they would be tending the gardens or the farms connected to the Pureblood's estate, giving them an opportunity to earn their keep while giving back to the magical community who had been nurturing them. On a rare occasion a particularly bright Muggleborn might develop into something more, but in the old days, that would had only happened once or twice and Albus had no reason to believe that things would be different this time.
After all, Muggleborns were inferior to most wizards, due to their unclean blood. Muggles had to be the most wretched creatures walking this Earth. Possibly only Dementors and Inferi were lower in status than Muggles, but then again neither Dementors nor Inferi were natural creatures but creations of some serious Dark magic.
Albus shuddered as he recalled the Muggles who had caused his family such harm. Poor little Ariana had never overcome the horror those... boys had put her through. And it was because of Muggles that Albus had lost his father, leaving his mother alone to care for her family. No, he had never forgotten where the blame for his family's misfortune lay, and he had never forgiven.
For a time he had thought that Gellert had the answers he was seeking, but, sadly, that had turned out to be a fool's dream. But now, decades after his doomed love affair with the charming dreamer he'd met so many years ago, Albus was finally at the brink of creating the Utopia he had been seeking for in his youth.
Oh, he had pretended to support the Muggleborns, realising early during his career as a professor that they could help him gain power. A pat on the head here, a word of wisdom there, and they were all eating out of his hand. Especially once word spread about his achievements in Alchemy and particularly after his defeat of Grindelwald. It didn't exactly hurt that his victory came about at the same time as Hitler's defeat. It hadn't been difficult to make the Muggleborns believe that he had had a hand in that tyrant's defeat as well.
The poor little dears, so easy to fool, so easy to lead. Albus couldn't help but chuckle as he recalled the ways he had used the Muggleborns' gullibility. Ah, but those had been the days. The days when he had been unopposed by everyone. By everyone but Tom Riddle.
The nosy little upstart. Refusing to allow Albus to guide him, insisting on doing everything his own way. And look at him now.
The little fool had allowed the Dark Arts to warp him until nothing of the bright student that Albus had taught was left. Lord Voldemort indeed. The boy had become pathetic, and completely obsessed by a child. A child he was incapable of killing! Not that Albus was complaining about that since things would look pretty grim if Tom did succeed in killing Harry Potter, but that was beside the point. The point was that Tom was living proof what happened when Purebloods bred with Muggles and then refused to allow older and wiser wizard to guide them on their way to greatness.
Albus sighed once more, idly watching as twin tendrils of smoke slowly raised towards the sky. No, Tom Riddle had proven to be a complete disappointment. Fortunately, Harry was proving to be so much better than Tom. It was a pity that Lily was a Muggleborn, but at least she had allowed him to guide her once she entered the magical world.
Fortunately, James had been of the same mindset and had ensured to minimize Lily's access to the Muggle world and the things they favoured. Luckily, the atmosphere between the sisters had already been tense so it had been easy to create a situation resulting in a complete break of communication.
Unfortunately, that break had caused Petunia to be harsher on Harry than was necessary, but there was nothing Albus could do about it. Harry needed to reside close to his mother's blood, and besides, a little hardship had never harmed anyone. Just look at him. Albus had experienced hardships in his life, and he had only become stronger by facing them and overcoming them.
But back to Harry. Harry had been such a sweet, malleable child once he'd returned to the wizarding world. Once again had Albus' forethought proven accurate. McGonagall had protested the boy's placement, but Minerva had such a tender heart, the sweet dear, but even she had realised the danger of a swellheaded hero.
Fortunately, Harry had turned out just as he had envisioned. Eager to please, reluctant to question his betters, always willing to lend a hand when dangerous feats needed to be performed. Yes, Harry Potter had turned out to be the perfect hero.
If only the boy had stayed the perfect hero.
Sadly, Harry had not. These days the child insisted on questioning him no matter what words of wisdom Albus spoke. Not to mention that Harry seemed to take an almost sadistic glee in being contrary at every turn. For some reason Harry simply refused to listen to reason, and matters had only grown worse after he'd been informed of his statues as Draco Malfoy's mate.
Albus simply didn't understand it. It must have been something the Malfoys had done, but what magic could the two Veelas possibly have evoked that caused Harry to turn his back on his mentor so completely? What promises had the blonds made the child to cause him to turn his back on everyone he once held dear?
Something, somewhere, must have happened to so profoundly affect Harry, but for the life of him Albus simply could not figure out what had happened.
Or was it something that had happened at Headquarters? Molly hadn't exactly kept it a secret that she was furious with Harry for dragging her children into danger, but Albus had already addressed that issue with the boy, extracting a promise not to go haring off again without first consulting with the Headmaster, so Albus wasn't worried on that front.
Had someone said something to the boy? It was true that Harry had begun to pull back long before young Draco made his claim. Or was it simple grief that caused Harry to act the way he did? But it wasn't as if Harry and Sirius had been close to each other, so that simply could not be the answer. But if not that, then what had happened to the sweet boy who had been willing to sacrifice everything to ensure the safety of the wizarding world?
It was a pity that Hermione had been turned into a donkey. Albus made a mental note to have another talk to Harry about that. Harry should be above such childish behaviour, and it was beyond time that he turned Hermione back to her human form. Perhaps if he made another threat towards Draco the boy would comply?
Hmm... Draco Malfoy...
The boy and his father were turning out to be a bigger threat towards Albus' authority than he'd thought possible. He'd been so sure the two Veelas would do anything to remain in Harry's good grace. The only logical conclusion of that assumption was that the older Malfoy would be more than eager to spy on Tom, reporting everything he knew to Albus.
But Lucius had never offered his services. Furthermore, Harry, to Albus' knowledge, had done nothing to encourage either Malfoy to place themselves in Albus' capable hands. That was another matter that needed to be addressed.
Yes, the moment Hermione is returned to her original form I will have her research ways to keep a mated Veela in check. That way, if someone should complain to the Veela council, my hands will be clean and all the blame will be put on a jealous, human child still new to our ways, Albus thought with satisfaction.
That reminds me, when that time comes, I think I will keep Hermione for myself. It is a pity she can't be used to carry my heir, but with her skill when it comes to learning she will be the perfect librarian, not to mention researcher. I will have to take steps to ensure that she can't rebel against me, of course, but a simple blood binding to my line along with a serfdom fealty oath should take care of that nicely.
And that reminds me that I need to find out just how many of the old families there still are in Britain, and how many Muggleborn serfs they will be able to care for. I suppose there will be a shortage at first, but a careful breeding program should ensure that there will be no shortage of serfs, especially if we continue to bring in new blood as soon as they appear. If we should get too many serfs in the future, we can simply bind the magic of the new Muggleborns and allow them to live out their lives as Muggles.
Albus was brought out of his musings when three of the dragons began to fight each other as they struggled to take possession of the treat Hagrid had provided for them. Annoyed, Albus rose to his feet and stalked towards the three fighters, letting out a roar as he drew near, shooting a flame of fire at them as well.
The dragons immediately pulled back, allowing Albus to take possession of the treat, completely ignoring the reprimand coming from the half-giant and his admonish about sharing with the others.
Returning to his corner Albus calmly began to eat the side of beef Hagrid had produced from somewhere, grumbling under his breath about the lack of respect he'd been shown, vowing to talk sternly to his professors about that once the blasted enchantment had worn off.
Just wait until he got his hands on the prankster currently plaguing the school. He had secretly supported the Marauders, turning a blind eye from time to time when it was needed. He had happily cheered on the Wesley twins, finding great amusement in their various pranks, but this... hooligan had gone far too far. Someone had actually dared to prank the great Albus Dumbledore and once Albus found out who that someone was, he was going to make them so sorry their great grandchildren would still feel the regret.