Hermione Granger was in the Great Hall, eating lunch and talking to Neville. Since Harry had 'gone into protection' (the official line) Ron had tried to make moves back into her good graces, they were on speaking terms, but only just. Ron had flown into a rage when she'd told him on no uncertain terms that there was very little possibility of them ever getting into a relationship again. It had particularly soured any remaining relationship she had with Ginny.
Neville had needed to help her subdue Ron. Since then they'd only just been on speaking terms. Very few speaking terms.
It began as an odd smell like burnt toast and then with a horrified fascination she realised her predication was true.
Also, slightly more revealing just how many students, not all of them in Slytherin had taken the Dark Mark.
It was fascinating in a morbid sort of way.
Hermione had her wand in the air, casting the Aguamenti Charm, not at the people burning but over the entire Gryffindor table as the heat coming from the people rocketed from quite hot to intense.
Headmistress McGonagall hurriedly evacuated the Great Hall when it became apparent that all spells failed to put out the fires that seemed to erupt from students' arms as they were engulfed in a white hot flame.
Even to look near them hurt the eyes.
The heat was amazingly painful, even those who had only been vaguely close recieved burns from being close.
Hermione's spell, and others who had followed her lead had been said to prevent the worse damage.
The next day there were reports covering most of the Daily Prophet's coverage of people throughout the wizarding and some people, wizards and witches in the muggle world also burning up as the students at school had.
'This was the single largest massacre of witches and wizards since…I don't know…' said one quote Hermione read.
They'd needed to replace the stones in the great hall where the students had stood and burned. They'd burned down through 2 layers of the magical stone in the hall. It was 'unprecedented' Remus had said and shared a look with her.
They both knew what had happened and what this meant.
It hadn't taken long, 2 days in fact for someone to sneak into where Dumbledore was being held to ask him for an opinion.
'It is my understanding that those who burned were all connected to Voldemort (he-who-must-not-be-named ed.), I believe there is only one wizard who was capable of removing Voldemort from this world.' Dumbledore had gone on, but most of his quote had seemingly been cut.
The headlines after that were less than flattering to Harry after that point.
'Harry Potter Genocidal Warlord' was one of the headlines, Hermione had kept it, mostly because she thought Harry would find it amusing.
That was only one of the amusing parts of the days ahead though.
Being Harry's friend had never been easy, but being the friend of someone who'd managed to kill more wizards then anyone on record was another thing altogether.
"Technically speaking he didn't actually kill any of those people." Hermione said to Remus. They were in his rooms, it was a Hogsmeade weekend, but it wasn't safe. Ironically with all the people who might want muggles dead and now eliminated; a new crop of people wanting to avenge their deaths had come out of the wood work.
Minister Scrimgeour was having a hard time keeping the Ministry together, but he'd taken a very hard line in declaring that after the Ministry had done its researches, rather than listening to the Prophet, that it had concluded that everyone who burned must have been connected to Voldemort.
But that was not to say it was right that they died.
"I think you should request to take your exams now Hermione and leave." Remus said calmly as he poured them each another cup of tea.
"What?" Hermione exclaimed.
"Tensions are rising and as Harry's most prominent friend I think-" He stopped. "I think it would be safer." He finished looking at her eyes full of seriousness.
Hermione nodded, it was something she had been thinking of herself, but hadn't really wanted to admit it, that she would have to leave Hogwarts like this, because of who she was and who her friends were.
At least there was a future, she had a path to follow and a future ahead of her.
One that didn't include being a baby machine.
Hermione returned later the following week to Harry's beach house. When on the third day she was there; the phone, the special phone that is, that Harry sometimes used to contact Night Wolf rang.
"Hello?" She said tentatively.
"Ah, Ms Granger is it?" Said a man's voice that was full of humour and seriousness.
"General Lethbridge-Stewart, thought I should contact you. Harry's mission was a success."
"I gathered that General." Hermione replied.
"Ah, the burning, something we had anticipated, helped by your researches via Harry. Thank you."
"There was-" Hermione started to say.
"We know what has been happening in the world of wizarding. Harry's awake you can see him if you'd like."
"Good show, we'll need you to come by here and sign a few more things and then we can get you up there."
'Up there', turned out to be a space ship. A space ship! Hermione had spent 5 minutes staring out at the Earth before she realised she was here to see someone.
"How long did you spend gaping Hermione?" Harry said from a chair.
He was dressed in army fatigues and looked ill. Quite ill in fact.
There were also large things like in a recording studio but made out of a synthetic material and also wooden ones around him.
"You look…" She trailed off as Harry waved at a seat opposite him.
"Terrible. Radiation it turns out is not friendly." Harry said weakly.
"Are you-?" She couldn't bring herself to say the words.
"Going to be alright. Yes. Radiation wise; spells, potions, technology and something from a Dalek ship has helped me recover from that quite well."
Hermione let the question of what a 'Dah-lek' was rest for later.
"So what are these things?" She asked motioning to the things around them.
"They're matter baffles. I had to loose myself somewhat when I ridded myself of Voldemort." Harry explained as he reached forward for his mug of liquid. It wasn't water from what Hermione could see. "It was quite freeing, a little too much. Until I get myself sorted out completely and re-understand what it's like to be me I've got to stay here or sometimes elsewhere on the ship."
"How long?" Hermione asked, wondering if this was a permanent thing.
Harry shrugged. "Not sure. Until I work it out."
Hermione nodded. "It happened, as I said it might."
Harry nodded. "I got a briefing from Night Wolf." He said as Hermione withdrew a folded piece of the Prophet.
Harry laughed. "Genocidal Warlord."
"Some want your head on a stick Harry." Hermione warned.
"I'm sure they do. When I'm better I'll have to have a talk with the Minister. I did after all rid him of another Warlord."
It was more than a month before Harry met, in secret with Minister Scrimgeour, something Remus had arranged for him.
"I should have you arrested Mr Potter." The Minister said regarding him.
"After what I've just done, what makes you think any prison, any person could hold me?" Harry asked leaning forward slightly. They were in a deserted park in London siting between a table with a chess board inset in it. The concrete chairs were hard but neither him nor the Minister seemed to notice.
"No. You still directly or not killed a lot of witches and wizards. It's not the way we do things." The Minister said tapping his fingers on the chess board.
"Justice?" Harry mused.
"Yes. Mr Potter."
"Something my godfather never got." Harry recalled.
The Minister paused for a moment. "That was an unfortunate oversight."
"They want my blood don't they?" Harry asked.
"Your blood, your head, your body on a pyre, and those are just the loud voices."
"And what do you want?" Harry asked as he leaned back and looked up at the sky.
"For you not to be my problem Mr Potter. You've done a service to the Wizarding World, whether it knows it or not."
Later that week, a statement from Harry Potter, via the Ministry of Magic appeared in the Prophet. It acknowledged he had destroyed Voldemort who had prolonged his life with Dark Magic. It acknowledged that Harry knew Voldemort shared a link with his followers. It did not state he knew what might happen, nor how Voldemort had been dealt with. He then went on to say that he would be stepping away from wizarding and muggle Britain for an undisclosed amount of time.
The Minister then stated that there would be no reparations paid to the families, and that the Ministry would not be pursuing the matter further.
"Harry Potter made a great sacrifice, one that had the potential to end with his life. I would ask no wizard to do this, yet he did so without question so that we might live freer lives away from the tyranny of Voldemort."
"So what now Harry Potter?" Hermione asked as she sipped her drink. They were outside watching the sun set.
"I don't know Hermione Granger. I have literally nothing to do." Harry said swigging at his beer.
"You're going to hate that." Hermione said with a giggle.
"What?" Harry asked.
"Not having anything to do." Hermione broke down into laughter with Harry joining her.
And that's it, the end to UNITed by Sorcery.
The rest of the stories in the series Alexandria Auction and the Encounter series (Doctor, Intelligence and Prometheus) continue to function as sequels to this story. There are some issues with some things which get mentioned which I've cut out from this story.
It took me several years to get around to doing a harsh edit as this was to this one, but I hope to be able to do minor edits to the sequels to make them fit better with this sooner than that.
Though not immediately.
Thank you to everyone who read the original (and reviewed), and thank you to everyone who has read this new version and reviewed and/or sent me messages.