Disclaimer: Check first chapter for full disclaimer and other warnings.

Author's Notes: Here is the first of the bonus scene (omake) for Voldemort's Last Spell. Right after the last one, even. Remember that you can contribute, and your name will be added, too.

Returning the Gift of Magic
posted July 1st, 2020

Albus Dumbledore had been hailed as the most powerful wizard alive many times in his long life. He had been when he had defeated Grindewald, and that state had continued until Voldemort came into power. He had been on the verge of losing that status once, but Harry Potter had prevented the Dark Lord to come into power, and Albus Dumbledore had found himself back in Destiny's favours.

And to keep his people's adulation, he wove a new bit of spellwork. Using Hogwarts' huge reserves of magic, as well as the Ministry's, including most of the magic of their denizens (yes, including himself, but that was nothing that couldn't be slept off in a few days), he cast a spell encompassing all of Albion.

No Dark Lord was ever going to show his ugly face as long as he lived. And he intended to live for a long time, not drown in his own… shower (a luxury one, with gold everywhere).

And that is because of that spell that Voldemort had to wait after his old nemesis' demise to come back (instead of before, when he could be dealt with).

A forgotten Horcrux, hidden behind wards that made it so that it didn't join the rest of his soul when Harry sent it to Hell, was enough. The plaque commemorating Tom Riddle's Special Services to the School took possession of a random student, who left school soon afterwards in order to find what remained of his old followers' families.

And he found Draco Malfoy. Who, much like his father before him, owned politicians but cowered when shown true power.

With no official leader, the Light side lost immediately. They lost the fights for their lives, but they also lost the Wizengamot, because Malfoy and his friends pushed everything according to Voldemort's wishes.

Because the possessed student had explored the world a bit, to see what had changed, he knew what could be used for his advantage. Being a muggleborn, he had had access to Internet, including a very special list of things not to do if one wanted to be a successful Dark Lord.

And the man had taken these lessons to heart. He controlled the people through fear, but also their politicians. And then he used said politicians to create laws governing what people said. Subverting what remained of Dumbledore's spellwork, he made his own name Taboo, as well as several key words or even sentences.

With carefully planned publicity, the other powers of the world saw a part of that, and decided that it was a good idea: subvert the language under the pretext of helping the people, and the people will agree, heedless that "the people" isn't the same group, here.

While the politicians did their shtick, Voldemort embarked on his next quest. Because he was a lone Horcrux after all, and prone to dying – seriously, the concept of soul jars was not immortality, but only the way to have a couple "lives".

Raiding museums, or government agencies, or specific people's homes, the Dark Lord had harvested several artefacts that, put together, gave him something he had sought for a long time.

True immortality.

After this, Voldemort started to expand his "empire". Chosen people in other countries pushed to have laws such as Britain's. Some fell without fighting, others tried to resist, but the tiny pockets of resistance fell one after the other, because they were now illegal with their new laws, and the country's own police was sent there.

Some rebelled outright, only for them to be deemed fear-mongers and shunned by their neighbours. And then, the Dark Lord sent his army, and he was often leading them from the front, now that he couldn't be killed. People died by the thousands. And still his name was forbidden, making people even more fearful.

When they saw him advancing almost unopposed, the last free countries tried to regroup, to band together, but to no avail. It was only a small group who succeeded, mostly made of "gifted" people (the term they used to designate wizards and witches without speaking those words).

They had hidden in a secret American base, under a mountain, and had secreted there every artefact that their research had indicated as having a link to the Dark Lord's ascension. Among which was a large ring of metal, large enough to walk through.

And they activated it, using both magic and electricity (because using only one was deemed too high a risk of discovery, given the power required).

And they found other planets. And met other species. And found the Ascended ones. Of which some were clearly interested to see what had become of their ancient playground.

"Aaah…" said the first of them when getting out of the Planet Portal – some had wanted to call it the Star Gate, but it never led to a star, only planets. And you couldn't open it like a gate, so…

"Yes." opined the other (because they were two). "Sol-3. Or Earth, as they call it. We made it perfect for life."

"…and look at what they did to it." the first one said, ascending (pun not intended) to the sky with his partner in tow. Literally out of phase with reality, the rocks of Cheyenne Mountain didn't stop them. Nor did the magical wards. And the people there, magical or mundane, didn't perceive them either. In fact, to them, they were gods – much like regular witches and wizards could be seen as gods to ordinary people's eyes – especially prehistoric ones.

The two beings of energy took the whole planet in, looking quite sad as they did so – although "looking sad" that was debatable since they didn't have the usual human features. The first was perhaps humanoid, despite two sets of lidless amber eyes in a bald head, two sets of arms, and a red skin tough as stone. The second was even stranger (from our limited point of view), looking like a mix between a medusa and a squid. But, as they were now both being of spirit and energy, their appearance didn't prevent them from interacting. And perceiving the reality around them. Turning this way and that, the inspected the planet through their heightened senses. They couldn't miss the pollution, and overpopulation, and the chaos, and the misery.

"We should have come back sooner." said one. They had names, but didn't need them since they were rarely more than two in the same place. Some had forgotten them, even.

"Sure. But we had that whole cluster to watch over. This small planet is on the furthest arm of its galaxy, and not even in the centre of the universe. Easy to have forgotten." A pause. "And I'm sure we had some failsafe mechanisms, too. Where are they?"

They inspected the planet again.

"Well… it seems that the Harvester came too early."

"Isn't that the one which reaps excess energy from planets so that they can prosper peacefully? Galactus?"

"The very same. From what I can perceive, the locals were very powerful, a few thousands local years ago, compared to now. They built those pyramids, there, and those statues, over there. And even that whole floating city." the gestures led to nothing, but the other being nodded, his perception switching automatically to Egypt and the Easter Island. And to the sunken Atlantis, with all its masonry spread across the ocean.

"And now…"

"The Harvester came. Those people were too concentrated in one place. They perished, and their island sank. Those who remained didn't have that much power, but they still isolated themselves from those who had none."

"We could improve them, give them all the power of energy over matter, again. Magic, I believe they called it."

"Or not. Given their current population, the Harvester would come here in a heartbeat and consume the whole planet."

"We could change the genetic algorithm of the species?"

"When we inseminated this planet, we did it so that random mutation may occur. That's why there are some powerful ones. But they are very few."

"What about locking away reproduction from the flawed ones while duplicating the fit ones?"

"It shouldn't be necessary, because normally, too large a population is quickly unsustainable. However, they have managed to sustain it to really large number, and it's really bad. Especially as those who had the means of sustenance gave some to those who had to resort to numerous offsprings for survival of the species."

"What about… control stones? Like our friend did with his pet project?"

"The black monoliths? That would have been interesting, but remember that they had to be there from the beginning, in order to work efficiently."

"Ah. Right." A pause. "What do we do, then? I don't want to scrap everything only to restart at the same place. Or simply remove their access to "magic" – it would be as antithetic to them as it would be to us. Is there a means to make them stop being so… mean?"

Another pause. "Remember the second effect of a Harvest?"

"Oh… you mean to call Galactus here?"

"I think that it would strike two birds with one stone. Or three, even."

"And they are?"

"First, the truly malevolent one, here, isn't doing this planet favours."

"The one they call You-Know-Who? Right."

"Second, the truly powerful one, there, isn't reacting as he should."

"That's true. That Harry Potter seems happy in his little harem, though, but with great power should come some responsibilities."

They chuckled. Perhaps because nobody could really impose that measure on them. Or perhaps the quote belonged to another universe (and what a marvel that is).

"And the third is the secondary effect of a partial Harvest. Each time Galactus does so, the remaining sentient species find themselves with a blank slate regarding language."

"I notice that it happened once already, on this planet. They had been forced to relearn everything."

"Given how complicated they are now, it will be a blessing rather than a curse. So. We agree?"

"Agreed. They started to launch missiles at us. Nuclear ones, even. Eurgh. I'll feel unclean for a week, after this."

"OK. Here goes…"

And after a hard bit of concentration, a worm hole appeared in the nearby space, and the Devourer of Worlds made its appearance.

For some, it was a black hole. For some, it was a deity with which you could bargain by sacrificing innocents. For the two onlookers, it was a safety valve for overzealous civilizations, as Galactus ate whole worlds only when they were completely suffused with energy – which meant that the two onlookers had to leave before they were eaten too.

They didn't see what happened when all those nuclear missiles and plants ceased to function, the former falling any which way while the latter caused mass failures on the electricity production.

They also didn't see what happened when both Tom Riddle and Harry Potter were spirited away by the powerful vacuum cleaner.

Earth fell into a nightmarish chaos for some time. Many died. Magic-users like everyone else. But as they fell like the non-magicals, they noticed they were all the same, and started expanding their reproductive needs outside of their limited community. More magic-users appeared. And in the chaotic environment, they assumed power and control.

This is not to say that it went better than before, but they were less tempted by mass-producing mediocrity for everyone equally.

And Harry and Voldemort battled for Galactus' control – the former allowing more planets to escape death while the latter pushed for complete annihilation.

Both immortals, they did so for a very long time. Until their host died of hunger, in fact. Because it had nothing more to eat. Because it was the end of times. And they stared around them in surprise. And they solemnly shook hands because they realized the futility of their existence, immortal or not.

And from their joined hands, the power of their eternal struggle allowed for a spark to appear. A spark that quickly grew, enveloping them while keeping them outside. As observers, almost unable to touch the new reality. And the spark-that-grew became another universe, in which the two of them were the only ones with the power to shift reality without actively working on it.

It didn't work immediately, though: since they could control the universe's rules, they started too simple. And the spark fizzled out. Or exploded. After a few tries, they found out the correct parameters and a relatively similar configuration started, with galaxies, stars, and eventually planets, a few billions years down the road (a heartbeat for the two observers).

And soon, a planet grew life, and life became sentient, and sentience invented order and rules in everything, blaming invented gods for everything that they didn't understand. Refined further, people started believing in one god… and its antithesis.

One was named Satan.

The other smirked.

The game was on. Again.

The End… of this one