Disclaimer: Harry Potter and Co. belong to J.K. Rowling, while Power Rangers and all related concepts belong to Saban/Disney/Jetix/whoever (Who does own the rights to the series these days anyway?)
Feedback: Please; I'd really like to know that somebody's reading this
AN: For Harry and his friends, this is set just after the conclusion of 'Half Blood Prince', so don't read if you dislike spoilers. For 'Power Rangers', this is set shortly after the conclusion of 'Dino Thunder', so there are presently no ACTIVE Power Rangers teams (After all, S.P.D. is in the future, isn't it?)
AN 2: If anyone finds the confrontation between Harry and 'Dumbledore' in this chapter familiar, it's because I used it in my other Harry Potter crossover 'Harry Potter and the Mask of Loki', where Harry finds the Mask from the New Line Cinema movie starring Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz; I just made some changes to accommodate the new situation
Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Guardians
Harry sighed as he stared after Ron and Hermione, who had gone off to mingle with the other Weasleys at the funeral. He'd been meaning to go with them, of course, but when he'd seen Ginny standing there with the others, already looking as though nothing had happened, Harry had made his excuses and backed away.
He couldn't face her now. Not yet; not until he'd had some time to himself, time to think about what he should do next…
And, right now, as he turned back to look at the castle that had long been the first true home he'd ever known (The Burrow, of course, being the other one), he knew just where he'd need to go to find it.
And, luckily, there might just be someone there who could help him.
A few minutes later, he was standing in the middle of Dumbledore's old office, looking around the room as though searching for something.
Even as he was looking, however, Harry knew he wouldn't find what he was looking for. All he wanted was to find something that would show him that the last week or so had been nothing more than a nightmare… that Dumbledore hadn't died… that someone called simply 'R.A.B.' hadn't entered the equation, making an already hard task practically impossible… that he hadn't broken up with Ginny… that Snape, although a bastard, wasn't a traitor…
Harry clenched his fists and shook his head.
He knew he hated Snape with a passion that almost eclipsed his hatred of Voldemort, but he wouldn't allow himself to give in to his rage. If he got the chance, he'd hit Snape around so hard that the bastard wouldn't even have the chance to fire off a single spell at him…
But Harry Potter wouldn't kill Severus Snape. There was only one man he would kill. If he was fighting someone who wasn't that man, the man would get out of the fight alive; their adversary would just get bashed as much as humanly possible.
"Which isn't to say that the bastard wouldn't deserve it…" Harry muttered to himself, as he raised one hand up to his face and clenched it as though wishing he had Voldemort's throat in the hand.
"Which 'bastard' would this be, Harry?" a voice said from behind him.
Spinning around at the voice, Harry visibly relaxed as he saw that the speaker was merely Dumbledore's portrait, smiling merely at him.
"P… professor?" Harry said, unable to conceal his uncertainty; even after over six years in the magical world, he still wasn't entirely clear on whether the paintings just had the memories of the subjects or were actually part of the subjects.
He was more inclined towards the paintings containing a fragment of a soul, but not in the same sense as a horcrux. After all, so many primitive cultures had once believed that photographs stole a fragment of the soul; why shouldn't there be some truth to that legend?
"Yes, Harry, it's me," the portrait said, smiling at him. "Or at least, as close as you can get these days."
Then he sat back in the portrait and raised an enquiring eyebrow. "Now, have you anything you wish to say to me?"
Mark nodded, swallowed briefly, and then glared at Dumbledore with an extremely angry expression on his face.
"You bloody IDIOT!" he yelled at the portrait, looking ready to hex something as he faced all that was left of his old mentor. "I told you AGAIN and AGAIN that you couldn't trust that BASTARD! EVERYONE else could see it, except for YOU! He sold out my PARENTS! He provoked Sirius into that fight that got him KILLED! And LOOK WHAT HE DID TO YOU! You're DEAD! You're DEAD AND I… I…"
He stopped, staring at Dumbledore as he sat serenely in the portrait, looking back at Harry with a small smile on his face.
"You… what, Harry?" he asked, his voice in the same soothing tone that Harry recognised from after his tantrum following Sirius's death a year ago.
Harry paused for a few moments. Then he slumped down onto the stone floor of the office, clasped his head in his hands, and began to cry.
"And I… I don't know what to do…" he said, between his sobs.
As he said it, Harry knew that it was true. He wasn't angry at Dumbledore for trusting Snape, although that was part of it; honestly, everyone else could see that the guy couldn't be trusted, and Dumbledore had just gone on and on about how Snape was dependable…
He was angry at Dumbledore for leaving him to deal with this alone. He was angry at Dumbledore for leaving him to battle Voldemort, he was angry at Dumbledore for leaving him to destroy the horcruxes, he was…
Harry groaned. He hated having to even think this next bit, but he still thought it.
He was even angry at Dumbledore for not being available to advise him on what he should have done regarding his relationship with Ginny. True, it would have felt awkward discussing that kind of thing with the headmaster, but it wouldn't have been that kind of advice; more asking him whether or not he should continue to see Ginny, or if leaving her to protect her was the best strategy…
"Harry," Dumbledore said, looking at his young protégé as Harry sat on the steps, alternating between sobbing slightly and nearly fuming with rage, "I am sorry to put a greater burden on you, but we have other business that must be attended to before anything else happens."
"What?" Harry asked, looking at Dumbledore in confusion. "What else is there? I find the horcruxes, destroy them figure out who R.A.B. is, and then take out Voldemort. That's everything I've got to do now, right?"
"Recent events have meant that there is a lot more that needs done, actually," Dumbledore said. "However, you are not the only one who this concerns. Could you fetch Mr Weasley, Miss Granger, and Miss Weasley?"
Harry looked at Dumbledore in confusion. He was already starting to wonder whether Dumbledore's mind had been affected due to have being reduced to a magical portrait; after all, in the past, no matter how large-scale the problem had been, he'd always preferred to talk to Harry alone…
But, on the other hand, dying had been the only thing he'd done that had been a mistake. All his theories about the horcruxes… the link between Harry and Voldemort via the scar… the reason why Harry was the only one who could stop Voldemort… all of that had worked out so far.
Why should his reasoning behind this latest 'idea' be any different?
And besides, what do I have to lose? Harry asked himself.
"OK," he said, nodding at the portrait. "I'll be back in a bit."
He turned around and walked out of the office.
As soon as Harry had left the office, a tall, dark-skinned woman with long brown hair in ringlets, dressed in a long white cloak with a white veil pulled up to under her eyes, appeared in the middle of the room in a beam of white light.
"Ah, Dimitria," Dumbledore's portrait said, smiling and nodding at the woman as she turned to look at him. "You just missed Harry; he's gone to fetch the other members of this little group of ours."
"I see," Dimitria said, nodding at the wizard before turning to look around the office. "Where are the gems?"
"In the top left drawer," Dumbledore said, indicating his desk. "However, I would prefer it if you left them where they are; I feel it might be better if I explained more about the background to the gems before I gave them to these four."
He then sighed regretfully and looked at Dimitira. "By the way, as long as we are on the topic of attempting to avoid too many immediately awkward questions, I would appreciate it if maybe you could, shall we say, 'wait outside' until they have been filled in on the situation at present."
"Of course," Dimitria said, nodding at her new friend before stepping back, closing her eyes, and vanishing in another blare of white light, as Dumbledore settled back down in his seat to wait.
AN 3: Just in case you didn't know, Dimitria served as the mentor to the Power Rangers in Power Rangers: Turbo until she was called away to help out with an invasion of the distant planet Eltar