Disclaimer: Check first chapter for full disclaimer and other warnings. Author's Notes at the end.

Chapter 13 – After Maths
posted June 28th, 2020

After their bout of cleaning (the usual use of the Vanishing spell), Harry and Ryan turned to the last remaining (and shaved) Albus Dumbledore.

Three times, he tried to flee.

Twice, he tried to fight back.

He even tried to bite into his poison-laced fake tooth, once – that was before Harry Vanished anything not corporeal on him… which, strangely (or not if you take into account his obsession with muggle sweets), amounted to all his teeth.

And he then Obliviated Ryan and himself from the few seconds of seeing the old man naked. With a magically-created monk robe, the man really resembled one of those religious people who exile themselves from the world (and I don't speak about geeks who only worship MMO deities… and chainmail-bikini-clad big-breasted female elves).

The loss must have knocked something loose in the man's mind, too, because he started to cry, to apologize, and to ask for forgiveness for all the troubles he caused. Not as the wizard behind the mask, but as Albus Dumbledore. And Harry set up a Quick-Notes quill (TM) to have a written version of his confession. Which he made him sign afterwards too – after putting his initials on each sheet, authentifying the whole thing with a drop of blood, and spitting on the designated square (something which required a few tries, because the toothless old man was drooling quite a bit).

"You know," Harry said absently, "I understand you feel bad about all those people you sent to retrieve Voldemort's Horcruxes. The soul jars were perhaps protected, but they were useless anyway."


"Because when I took care of him ten years ago, I made sure his soul was complete before sending him on his next great adventure."

"But… the prophecy."

"It was you. The dark lord with multiple instances. It was you."

"No! NO! NOOOO!" cried Albus Dumbledore in the manner also much known to screenwriters: kneeling, looking at the sky (or the ceiling, because they were still in the Chamber of Secrets), and both arms lifted in a supplicating gesture. "But that's not possible." he realised suddenly. "Unless you're Harry Potter." he added, looking at Ryan (who was of the correct age… in his mind), hope in his old eyes.

"Oh, I'm not Harry." said the teen. "I'm not old enough." he added with a smirk, before pointing his thumb towards his father. "He is."

Dumbledore almost lost it, then. "You? You're Harry Potter? But… that's not possible! How do you even-"

Harry sighed. "Calm down, kid." he said. To Dumbledore.

"…kid?" asked Dumbledore. And even if he had only a spark of his original's power, he tried a Legilimency probe… and promptly fell into the abyss that was Harry's memories.

The mind lost, the body fell unconscious. Harry shrugged, put it in stasis, then transformed it into a bead which he added to a necklace he always wore – the numerous beads on it were the people he had some on-going issues with. And the necklace was quite large, because he hadn't had the necessary time to resolve most of his issues, recently.

"Now… Ryan. I'm curious. How do you make that Kamehameha?"

"Like that, dad: Kamehameha!" and the smirking teen let loose a small bolt… towards his father – as a small vengeance for when he had had his head whacked by Merlin's staff.

Harry was still keyed for battle, though, and he brought his forearm up, deflecting the attack towards the ceiling. Which rumbled. "Oops."

"No sweat, dad. When the hydra and I battled, there were several attacks repelled there. Much stronger beams, too, because the one I just did wasn't motivated by the fear to die."

"Sorry about that, sonny. And I must say that that explains the numerous cracks on the stone, on top of our recent bout with a giant Headmaster. However, the cracks are quite large."

"It's normal, because the hydra's attack were quite acidic, and I flew over it to escape them. I think the acid filled the holes and ate at the mortar."

"…and you didn't think to warn me of that before?" asked Harry, taking Ryan's shoulder and Apparating away – the attacking Dumbledores being dead, no wards was still up to block their way. And they left just as the whole thing crumbled under the weight of several tonnes of water from the lake. In order to fill the Chamber and all the adjoining pipes, its surface lowered by a good muggle meter – sorry, I just did as some authors, adding "muggle" in front of something used in everyday life and with no "wizarding" equivalent. Just for the word count, perhaps. But back to the proceedings…

The Apparation brought them somewhere else, and the two of them continued their discussion about Dragon Balls, the movies, the books, the differences between the two… and also the nice girls that might, one day, be interested in entering the Potter clan. Blue hair or not. A honest-to-God father-son chat, in fact. Which lasted until their feet brought them to the Hydra Headquarters in Germany.

Just to confirm it was the place, Harry extracted "Dumbledore" from his transportation device (with how the bead was added to the necklace, he was sure that, somewhere, Dumbledore was feeling particularly good, in a metaphorical sort of way), restored his mind, and woke him.

The old man concurred (must be that one, again) and they entered cautiously… but nobody was here. Apparently, the Avengers already got them.

Ryan swore, then, because they didn't get the "experience points" or the "loot". He was even ready to wait here for the "respawn"…

Seeing his son like this, Harry smacked the back of his head again. "We're not in a videogame, son." he said.

"Really?" asked Ryan. "How comes I have a game UI, then?"


"Honestly, I'm quite tired of this one. I'm going to hack Nazguls for a while. Cheers, dad!" he then looked upwards and exclaimed "Exit game!"

Generally, Harry humoured his son. But this took the cake. He was ready to smack him again… but his arm touched nothing, as Ryan had really disappeared. And without the telling sound of Apparation. And no locating spell worked, either.

"Are we non-playing characters in a game, now?" he absently asked Dumbledore.

"What?" the old man replied, not understanding anything about the exchange.

"Ok, you might be one. But what about me?" he asked. After a second, he turned back to Dumbledore. "And "what" is not here: she only starts Hogwarts next year."

Strangely, Ryan's absence went unreported. He and Marie wondered for a while, and got even a little angsty about it. But another concern made itself known soon: she was pregnant again.

And it wasn't going to be easy to be the mother of a mutant whose genetic makeup actually included the synthesis of adamantine bones with claws. The first time the claws split open her womb, it was after two difficult months of pregnancy, and she wasn't ready to give birth just yet. And she wasn't ready to die, either.

So she grabbed Harry's hands, looked him in the eyes so that he'd understand, and siphoned his entire healing factor for herself.

There, for a while, Harry was really afraid to die when he took a hit in his line of work. But such things didn't happen frequently during Marie's pregnancy, because the woman had issued the ultimatums of ultimatums: he was to stay home with her, helping her carrying the child (who was quite heavy, what with the whole metallic skeleton whatsit), and generally be a slave. Or he would be cut off from sex for all eternity (because as a pregnant wife, she thought she had that authority).

Like all men the world over, Harry complied. After all, this kid was his, and he wanted to participate, and this was a way to shut up all those ninnies who, afterwards, would titter and giggle about the fact that fathers' involvement in their kids' life amounted in the two minutes necessary to push semen in the mother's womb.

Well… not this man, no. Marie would blush when he'd raise an eyebrow, and interrupt when he'd open his mouth to respond.

Still, it was difficult. But a healthy baby girl entered the world soon afterwards. Really soon, in fact, because she didn't need to be perfectly viable for the birthing itself: the healing factor also inherited from her father gave her what was missing.

And it was so cute to see the little tyke playing with his father's claws, her own extending to meet and greet. And her wide eyes, so dark they were almost black, met his green ones with nothing but innocent love.

Oh, she did get something from Marie, alright: when she was angry, she not only slashed at things and people with her tiny claws, but she also absorbed their powers. By touch at the beginning, like her mother. And then in a blast centred on her, when really enraged.

Needless to say, when she spent some time at Xavier's school, she had to put the red shirt for a while – an optional part of the school's uniform (not really a thing, because that shirt was the only part of it) reserved for mutants with a slightly anger management problem. Or not so slightly, Xavier discovered it himself, too, when she ousted him from his mind (him!) when she was angered that he'd dared to invade it.

It was touch and go for a while, but they prevailed in the end. As always. Like a family. And it made Harry think of his other family. Of his alter ego.

How was it going for the Potters?

How were they taking the news about Dumbledore? It should be quite pleasing to them to see the onld man on thin ice, as he was at the moment.

The authentified confession (saliva worked wonders for goblins, who knew?) did most of the job, and he was knocked off all his public posts, his statues destroyed, any book bearing his name burned (which was quite a lot of books), and the editors warned not to print anything from him ever again. Or, as the muggles would say about university people guilty of thoughtcrime: he was deplatformed.

But the Potters stayed where they were. Quite used to living near the Scoil, they had no wish to return to England yet.

Harry went and spied for a while, seeing young "Harry" play with his twin sisters and little brother. The family was happy, and he left it at that.

With nothing special to do right away, Harry followed the daily routine for a while. At the end of the year, Head-person-with-a-mastery McGonagall asked him what he wanted to do next.

"Why… the same thing, naturally."

She was quite shocked. "But… that's not proper!"

"What? I mean… what do you mean, exactly?"

"You see, we (that is, the Board and the Heads of House, and the Head-person-with-hyphens) have made statistics."

"You. Have. Made. Statistics." Harry ground out. "You know that statistics can mean anything, right? Or did you just import something from the muggles without thinking it through?"

"Pish posh, Mister Potter." she said, her tone dismissive – as well as the content of what she said, since she called him Mister instead of Professor. "As Supreme Mugwump Dumbledore would say, denying reality will turn you dark."

"So… you belong to the blind cult of Dumbledore." muttered Harry. "I thought the man done for."

McGonagall frowned. The young man was really impolite, wasn't he? Still, appearances had to be kept. "Do keep up, please. So, the statistics said that Defence teachers last only one year."

"I heard, that. Some say it was a curse. But Voldemort is dead, and the curse is gone, and I'm going to prove it by staying another year."

"No you're not."

"Yes I will."

"No you're not!"

"Yes I will!"

"No you're not! No you're not! NO YOU'RE NOT!"

"Okay, I'm not. No need to yell and at the same time parrot! And why are we singing?"

Because they were singing. A senseless ditty about two people disagreeing. And one of them was always yelling.

"Everything you do I can do better than you." McGonagall was continuing the song – off key, like all these precious old women going to church and thinking they have a lovely and pure voice and want the whole congregation to hear it – nay, the whole parish! (because even old fools want their fifteen minutes of fame).

"No you can't."

"Yes I can."

"No you… You know what? Can it! I quit!"

Discombobulated (because, you know… Disco!), the old woman was left sputtering. "No you can't!"

"Still locked in the song?"

"No! I mean… You can't quit! A hundred percent of our Defence teachers before have fallen ill, or suffered debilitating wounds, or been killed. None of them quit, so you can't."


A pause. "There's no space for "quit" on the form." she mumbled.

"And you can't change it?"

"No. We outsourced the form's creation, and the subtractor hired another, paid even less in another country where wages are so low you have to-"

"-I get the idea." Harry interrupted, before sighing. The way they were going, the chat wouldn't be finished before the chapter's end. And he really wanted to have some R&R before the author lost his plot. Again. "Let me guess… the one poor soul actually doing the work made it exactly as required, even if the requirements were incomplete, leaving gaping holes of logic that he couldn't fill because he was ordered not to? And the plethora of managers above him, all of them being paid on his back, told him that it was going to be for Version Two, which they marketed heavily but the budget got burnt and the guy was dumped? And then, when you wanted Version Two, nobody knew about it, and the guy isn't the same, and he's not even a human anymore, so you're stuck with a form that you can't change, just because you wanted to scrooge Knuts off what the students pay you for the year? Am I correct?"

"What? No! Of course not!" she breathed heavily, and Harry was impressed… but not for long. "We don't "scrooge Knuts"! The very idea! We are the premiere (because "first" is too Briton) school of magic in the whole wizarding world (of Britain). We do prepare actively for the future by storing assets towards the betterment of witchkind (and wizardkind) and for which the current generation generously donate anonymously and uniformly. And it's a hundred Galleons apiece, not mere Knuts!"

Harry looked at McGonagall with exaggerated round eyes (and given that he was a Metamorph-whatsit, it was something). His rant as been that: a rant; and he was shocked that everything was true… and worse.

"So… what will you choose?" asked McGonagall sweetly. "Death? Dismemberment? Disembowelment? Ah… this one hadn't been taken much in the last fifty years (the statistics start there, strangely). Only twice. Oh my, that was on the same guy. They went all Braveheart on him, the poor sod."

Harry had heard enough. He would repeat the year, proving the curse broken, but he would also expose the machination for what it was: a scam. And he didn't need to fill this form in order to apply for another year. He just had to apply for another year.

He took advantage of McGonagall recollection of her favourite kilt-inclusive movie to escape the suffocating office. When she noticed his absence, she frowned, before ticking the "disappeared" box. "Frankly, I don't know why people couldn't obey the statistics." she muttered. "Everyone knows that people are happy changing job every year, so why wouldn't they?"

Unheard was why she and the Heads, and the Board, would be kept indefinitely. In her head, she was the one sacrificing her better years to allow youngsters to fill their curriculum vitae. And not paying them when they died on the job, of course.

"Hello!" a young voice sounded in the office. "I heard you sought a Defence teacher, and I'm applying. I'm Logan Potter."

This was clearly not the same man… despite the identical clothes (but the clothes had started to be mass produced recently, and everyone had the same, so the old woman didn't take this into account). The newcomer was younger, smaller, slimmer, clean-shaven, a smile, blonde, with blue eyes, glasses. Absolutely nothing was similar to the previous man with the same name, so she guessed he was one of those whose name was common enough to be shared with several people.

"Welcome aboard, Professor Potter." she smiled. She had needed a new teacher, after all.

And Harry (because that was him, in case you didn't notice) decided to start his year's work by destroying that form from hell – he hadn't been paid his last months (and they were the ones with hazard pay, too).

"Oh, and I'm taking my wife Marie, too." Harry continued. "And our daughter. And if you could keep my son Ryan's spot open as a student, that would be spiffing fantasticular."

McGonagall frowned, because something didn't ring true in the man's delivery. Wasn't the previous professor also with a wife and two kids? Ah, no, that was that last word. "This word doesn't exist, Professor." she said.

"I know! That means I can put a patent on it. Thanks!"

"…damn." growled the woman. "He thought about it before me. Double damn. And Hoover dam, too."

While the Head-person-who-happened-to-be-a-woman was beating herself for her negligence, Harry skipped down the stairs in a good mood.

He missed a step when he thought about a fat man yelling that nothing good comes without a beating afterwards. But since he had never seen the Dursleys in this story, he recovered his balance (which he threw over the railing: he didn't need a balancing scale not to fall down) and then his stability (better).

"Stupid fourth wall." he muttered before skipping away again – but carefully.

In the Entrance Hall (located at the entrance of the school, as the name implies), he met a wizard entering the school (hence the place where he met it). It was another blonde fop, although this one wore lilac robes instead of the current purple fashion.

"Can I help you?" he asked the newcomer.

"Gilderoy Lockhart." answered the ponce with a scowl. Because he thought Harry a valet or something. It was quickly proved wrong when his hat, coat, and suitcases fell on the ground because Harry hadn't even tried to grab them. Honestly, with the current virus decimating all of England, grabbing things others touched was deemed dangerous (I guess the harpies are happy, now that men can't approach women without a fine).

And as the cases fell down the stairs behind Harry, sounds of broken glass was heard.

"What have you done!" yelled the ponce, quite angry. "I'll have the Headmaster expel you at once!"

"Might be difficult, as I'm the Defence teacher." Harry answered.

"But I was going to apply." A pause. "I know! We duel, and the winner gains the post."

"Why? I already have the position. If you win, I lose it. If I win, what do you relinquish?"

A pause. Gilderoy Lockhard didn't have much to give. In fact, he had nothing to lose. He was at that moment in a dire need of ready cash to pay his debts (and the people blackmailing him because they witnessed him accost young girls and Obliviating them after the fact), and he had hoped that the salary, plus the forced sale of all his books to all students, would put him afloat again. And then, after the school's opening, he would have the added interest of a captive audience of girls ready to bend over backwards to get good grades.

"A set of my stories. With a personalized word from the author." he answered with a winning smile.

Harry smiled and nodded. Not because the books interested him, but because he knew them already. And had already noticed the numerous discrepancies. And with the author agreeing to part with his memories like this… what followed was poetic justice.

The foolish fop didn't last two seconds (this authors doesn't seem to like other authors inserting themselves in his works… of just this Lockhart character). In fact, he didn't last one second, but Harry had the time to inspect his memories while duelling him, and it disgusted him so much that instead of merely vanquishing him, he went above and beyond… and squished him. Literally. No, not that meaning of literally! I mean… he wiped his mind.

After that, the year continued without anything strange going on. Except perhaps the occasional visits from Ryan (before he would spend time killing Acromantulas for the XPs). And since he always reappeared in the last place he was when quitting the "game", it led to interesting moments.

Such as appearing in the Prefects' Bathroom just as Hermione was relieving some stress (by bathing, you perverts) during her fourth year (his third). After her initial shriek, following the eyeful he got, he obeyed her wish to cover his eyes, blindfolding himself with own his tee-shirt – because he wasn't doing so with he carelessly thrown bra, oh no!

So, with him blind as a bat (or so she thought), she found it easier to discuss. And she found him quite knowledgeable in strange areas, as well as quite muscled as well, and before she knew it, she asked if he knew how to give massages.

While she blushed and berated herself mentally, he simply acquiesced. And she took his hand after wrapping herself in her towel, before lying on the bench nearby. And he applied his knowledge to thoroughly massage her back and shoulders, working his knuckles against her kinks.

And he returned to his father with a blush.

"So… Hermione?" asked Harry after he was told of the event. "Do I hear a commitment? A love interest?"

"But how can I live with her?" Ryan almost wailed (he was a boy, and boys didn't wail). "She's a NPC!"

"Are you sure of that?" asked Harry – who had come to the conclusion that, NPC or not, he didn't really care if the computer running his "code" was powerful enough to actually simulate sentience. For him but also Hermione and all the inhabitants of the world – which could be reduced to his perception, for all he knew, but still… would he know?

"Whatever the case, I play other games too, and I couldn't very well be a good boyfriend if I disappeared for days or weeks."

"Speaking of which, it could be interesting if we tried to create, with magic, a link between "here" and the "outside" world."

"The IRL world?"

"What does Ireland has to do with this?"

"The Real Life, I mean." a pause. "You can't access the outside world! It would be like 2D-creatures suddenly perceiving depth!"

"…but you can." A pause ensued, during which Ryan thought hard about the latest momentous revelation – his UI even had stars around the last speech bubble! "We can start with simple tricks first, with tracers cast on you before you depart."

"Heh. You know what, dad?" Another pause, much shorter (they come in all shapes). "Why not? After all, even if you leave the program, there's close to no chance to get to the outside world of the Reality."

This was what defined Harry and Ryan's experiments with their reality. And they had a measure of success, with Harry successfully sending a "mail" to Ryan. And getting a reply. With the ability to contact each other that way, there were less "accidents" where Ryan arrived upon unclothed ladies – much to his dismay.

And Hermione didn't say long either. Remember Ron and Hermione? Instead of entering alongside Harry Potter (or Ryan, for that matter), they both entered one year before normal – Ron because he was born premature, and Hermione because the little overachiever entered one year early.

The results were quick to arrive: lazy Ron would need three additional years to do everything (and even then, he had only three OWLs of Acceptable, and one NEWT).

At the same time, Hermione followed both muggle and magical courses, and the little overachiever would finish three years ahead of schedule. Exactly like those of the Scoil (although the Irish school didn't require them to do that alongside the corresponding muggle education: even if the subjects were proposed, taking more implied more time to achieve the corresponding progress).

As her teacher, Harry interacted with her quite often, and when he saw her dedication, he gave her information about the Scoil and how to join them afterwards.

And she hugged him in answer, before stepping back, blushing – he was her favourite teacher, after all: McGonagall was, at first, because she was seen as a role model. But she was severe, while Harry was more easy-going, especially as the student level increased. And knowledgeable, in many subjects (especially ancient history, to her surprise). And able to relay that knowledge. And handsome too, of course – despite swearing that off and denying it to any who would enquire (like her mother), Hermione was then a teenaged girl with slight (but still normal) hormonal issues – some of which having been slightly relieved when Ryan, between his disappearing bouts, had massaged her so well.

She went to the Scoil, and met Harry and Neville. As the Boy-Who-Lived was much like her favourite professor, she fell for him, hard. And wasn't that a shock when she learnt that the two of them were almost the same person.

It was something that she noticed immediately, but confirmed when Hogwarts hosted… the Tri-Wizard Tournament.

There was a curse on the Defence teacher, but Harry spent two years and just changed his mental identity between the two. This fooled the curse, which fizzled harmlessly

Although some were convinced of its continued existence. And still are. Because the true Dumbledore wasn't dead. Isolated, angry, and desperate, his mind assaulted by itself in a constant stream of "What-If", he was quickly losing his grasp on sanity and reality, and becoming yet another Dark Lord (if he was before, it was only as a body support for the Hydra).

All because, you know, Star Wars did it, so I'm too going to use the infamous Face-Heel Turn.

Let it also be said that when people are on the cliff edge of the Pit of Evilness (because the Gorge of Eternal Peril was already taken), it's quite stupid to give them an all-mighty push.

So the Transfiguration-prodigy-turned-evil took the appearance of a random student and bamboozled the Goblet of Fire so that it spat Harry Potter's name. And his school's – because in his isolation, he had worked that out by elimination.

And thus a perfectly normal and teenaged Harry Potter was dragged across the (British) Wizarding World in order to perform in front of a crowd. And he was Not Harry. And he was perfectly right to be Not Happy. And he was supported in his Not-Happiness by his friends, coming en masse to Hogwards (and outperforming everyone, student and teacher alike) as well as his girlfriend (who had long memories).

The day before the First Task, Harry (the elder) wanted to make sure that Harry (the younger) was ready for what may come his way, and summoned him in his rooms. He didn't perceive Hermione following the teen, because she was under The True Invisibility Cloak (TM).

Hermione wasn't afraid because she knew both Harries (well, she thought she did) but she also knew that magical persons could change appearances. Hence her following her boyfriend around – even at night.

Seeing both side-by-side (well… forehead-to-forehead, because they were sharing memories, something they still did occasionally), she gasped, and her Cloak was pulled by Harry-the-Professor, making her gasp again from the sudden cold.

"You must be related!"

"You might say that." they both answered with a smirk – the exact same smirk, at the exact same time. And they stood up at the same time, with the exact same movements. Not even Ryan and Harry succeeded in doing this twin-trick. Not even the Weasley Twins.

"You…" she wanted to say that they were the same person, but realizing that she slept with a younger-but-identical copy of her "old" professor, she blushed suddenly. And then paled as she remembered seeing them exchanging memories.

Because she was old enough, and mature enough, they explained everything – well, no. Not everything. But the relevant parts. It was quite a bit to take in, but she nodded at the end. All in all, she was quite happy, because she had wanted to jump the man. And now that she had a younger (and unmarried) version, she didn't want to release him.

That put quite a wench in the two Harry's plans (notably their reunion at some future point). But they had been able to function quite independently until now, and decided to continue that way. Hermione was ecstatic, and Harry-the-younger had to drag her to bed if he didn't want his girlfriend to initiate something she might regret later. Or not.

Unlike what they had planned, Harry came late to the task, and quite fatigued. But with the weight of his school's teaching behind him, he was quite able to get the egg from the nesting mother. He had a dozen ways off the top of his head, and a few hundreds with a few seconds of thinking. But he wanted to spit at Hogwarts, and used none of these. Instead, he called a Leprechaun, negotiated the egg for the egg, and got it, winning the task. And then he lost it to the Irish mascot, making the public get goggle-eyed – that had been a sizeable item, made of gold. Goblins where heard gnashing their teeth. And the judges, too, because apparently, a clue was inside.

But despite the lowered notes, his family cheered him. Yes, they all came with the "representatives from the Scoil", named as such but in reality a group of hardened warriors disguised as students and mild-mannered teachers. That was because they smelled the foul play and wanted to protect Harry. And his parents too.

And the Longbottoms where there too, along with Sirius Black. Spending time in their alma mater, they happened to cross path with students several times, and Sirius couldn't miss the one who resembled him so much. And the two of them cleared the air about the son's birth, and what the future entailed – because Sirius was quite tired of playing the playboy without finding love. As his family magic demanded that he got himself a blood-related heir, he proposed the spot to the boy, who accepted it. And so it was that one who was considered half-blood at best became heir to one of the most important family name in Britain.

But Sirius still willed his impressive motorcycle to Harry. With Logan's memories, the kid knew how to work one early, and he and Sirius spent a long time discussing it, working on it, and exploring the countryside on it. James was a bit miffed, because the two of them had gone on joyrides on it when they were younger, but Sirius reminded him about his flying car. Because the spellworks to make the bike fly had been adapted by James to fly with an Aston Martin – the exact same spells used on Arthur's Fort Anglia, to be precise.

But back to Harry. For the second task, Hermione was fetched and put in the middle of the Mermen village, unconscious. But she was proficient enough, and equipped with enough stuff from the Potters (such as the Cloak itself), she faked her unconsciousness, freed herself and the others, took the innocent-looking girl who looked like she couldn't swim, and went towards where she knew Harry was. And they exited the cold water a few seconds after him entering it.

For the third task, Hermione was behind him at all times, and in contact with him when he took the Cup (not sharing it with Cedric, whom he didn't know).

They rode the portkey, saw a Dumbledore waiting for them, and got stunned by the runic array they had landed in.

However, the array had been geared for one person, and both awoke when Dumbledore was busy tying ropes to hang Harry on a cross over a cauldron, all the while muttering about his ritual to extract a dark lord from a perfectly innocent child.

He hadn't expected Hermione. He hadn't seen her under the Cloak. And that's why he didn't see her push the garment over her head to curse him.

After everything, after freeing Harry, and looking at Dumbledore falling in the cauldron, and watching the proceedings (which were then encased in a hard shield and thus couldn't be interrupted), and discussing the whole thing with several persons… she still didn't know what was the curse she used. She was angry, but righteously so, and with an unparalleled sum of knowledge (for someone her age anyways), and…

Perhaps that's why it worked. Perhaps that's why the ritual worked, too, extracting Dumbledore's evil side and purging it from the world.

But perhaps it's also why the remaining side of Dumbledore rose from the cauldron, as a ghost, and tried to offer her a lemon sherbet. A persistent, annoying, quite stupid, ever-present, and insomniac... ghost. Already dead. So… unkillable (until she found out how).

At least he wasn't evil and doing it when she was otherwise engaged.

Speaking of Heels and Turns, you can wonder about Magneto's fate.

As it is shown in the movies, the man is all about his cause, but not the people. Yes, like all those Manichean Morality shows, Evil is always Evil. And he thus spurned his long-time ally Mystique, who then betrayed him (another Turn, this time with High Heels). As was said in the movie (predating some angry movements): "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

And thus the big evil Magneto was reduced to an old man, unable to even levitate the smallest object – the horror! The horror!

…until the reboot.

But before the final scene where a half-dozen mutants (with only a few able to use ranged attacks) defeated hordes of both soldiers (armed with anti-mutant syringe-equipped projectiles) and other mutants (and wasn't the whole scene stupid after a good spot of Fridge Logic?), the local Big Bad had been kidnapped by Harry-the-professor.

It had been right after Juggernaut and Sabretooth had tried to invade platform 9¾ for the second time, collapsing the entrance. It hadn't been publicized either. In the confusion, Harry had grabbed his cloak, Apparated the two of them elsewhere, and used the man's surprise to Stun him. And Transfiguration to transform him into a bead. You get the idea.

That meant that he had a hidden weapon for the next crisis.

And it happened soon afterwards.

To be continued in the Epilogue…

Author's Notes: Yes. Sorry for the little cliffie, and sorry because The End is Near: only one chapter to go.

Although, given the reviews, it might come as an end to the suffering, for some. Yes, the style has changed. Yes, it might have been done better. Yes, I could have spent the last dozen years doing nothing else but write fanfiction for your leisure. But life happened. And now, older and wiser (or not, I don't really care), I share the last ramblings of my tired muse while I still can.

Anyways… thanks for reading.

Side note: I'm quite sure the Leprechaun for the First Task has already been used, but for the life of me, I can't remember where that was – if you know, let me know, and I'll change this acknowledgement for the proper kudos.