Chapter Ten – The End
Voldemort immediately blasted a lethal spell at Dumbledore, who deflected it easily.
"Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom," Dumbledore said with a lingering sigh. "Why do you insist on making war on everyone? Can't we all just get along?"
Voldemort fairly crackled with rage at the Headmaster's words. "I fricking hate it when you do that name repeating thing!" he shrieked. "And my name is not Tom! It's Voldemort! I am Lord Voldemort!"
"Tom, Tom, Tom, if I go round calling myself Ragdolly Anna, people may call me that but it certainly doesn't make me a cloth toy, now does it?"
Voldemort didn't seem to be in the mood to navigate his way through Dumbledore's twisted logic. "Avada Kedavra!" he yelled. Dumbledore produced a shield of light and the green beam ricocheted off and blasted a hole in the Atrium wall. The Dark Lord shuffled backward into a clump of Death Eaters, who blasted random curses at the Order members, who were leaping around doing the same. Miraculously, no one seemed to be injured.
Harry Potter suddenly stood up.
"Look at me!" he cried. "I'm a pretty pony!"
He jumped up onto the edge of the fountain and began to prance and toss his head while making whinnying noises. Jets of light narrowly missed him as he cavorted.
"Tom!" Dumbledore bellowed. "Leave Harry alone! He is not your plaything!"
"No, he's yours!" Voldemort countered.
Draco grimaced at Hermione. "That evokes some unpleasant images."
"We've got to stop this!" Hermione said.
"Why? Harry makes a pretty good pony. All he needs is a little saddle…"
Hermione jumped up from hiding and tackled Harry into the water. The shock seemed to snap him back to himself. He stared at her and coughed.
"What happened? I've got the strangest urge to eat some oats…"
"Voldemort possessed you!"
Curses were flying about with renewed frenzy. Harry and Hermione crawled out of the water and flopped next to Draco and Ron once more.
"This is crazy. We've got to get out of here."
Suddenly, they heard numerous loud pops and they peered over the edge of the fountain to behold a group of newcomers. They were bizarrely dressed in torn black robes. Most had long hair and they carried—not wands, but musical instruments. Even the Death Eaters halted to stare at them.
"Cor! It's the Weird Sisters!" Ron whispered.
Hermione recognized Snape immediately, even though he wore black leather pants and carried a small set of silver chimes. In his other hand, he held a large black bag.
"We got them all, Albus," Snape said. He tossed the bag to Dumbledore, who caught it with a grunt. They all watched curiously as Dumbledore upended the bag.
An odd assortment of items spilled out onto the marble floor: A small golden cup, a tacky-looking ring, a large locket, a limp snake, a chain belt, and a tiara. Voldemort goggled at them and then fairly jumped up and down in rage.
"My Horcruxes! How did you find them? Snape, you… you TRAITOR!"
"Calm down. While you were fixated on the stupid prophecy and stopping Potter, my new friends and I went to all the places Dumbledore had earmarked over the past decade. Pretty simple with nine of us on the trail, actually," Snape admitted. "The Weird Sisters aren't just good musicians. They're quite talented wizards, also."
The cello player scuffed a toe on the floor.
"Ah, Sev… you're too kind, mate."
"No, it's true," said the large bagpipe player, who looked like a Scottish clan chieftain.
Dumbledore flicked his wand and the objects returned to the black bag. He slung it over his shoulder like Father Christmas.
"Well, off to Mount Etna," he said and Disapparated.
"Etna?" Voldemort echoed dumbly.
"Italy? Live volcano?" Snape prodded. Voldemort howled like a crazed werewolf and a large scruffy-looking man near him howled with him, as if unable to stop himself.
"Knock it off, Fenrir," one of the Death Eaters snapped.
Voldemort disappeared with a pop.
The Death Eaters milled around uncomfortably.
"Whadda we do now?" Goyle asked.
"I, for one, am leaving," said Lucius Malfoy. "Draco, you're grounded."
The black-caped figure of Draco's father popped out of sight, followed by the other Death-Eaters.
Hermione looked sympathetically at Draco.
"You're in trouble, now."
Draco shrugged. "Actually, I don't think I've been un-grounded since I was six. There's always something. Mum will talk with him. She owes me for not mentioning the Snape incident, anyway."
Harry stood up and started to wring the water out of his cape.
"Is Dumbledore really going to Mt. Etna?"
Snape shook his head. "No, but when Voldemort shows up there, Hagrid, Madame Maxime, and Karkaroff are waiting to push him in. Dumbledore doesn't know about that part. He wants us to capture Voldemort and imprison him. Thinks he can be reformed or some such drivel. Dumbledore is tossing the Horcruxes into Mt. Kilauea. By the time he gets back, Voldemort should be a tidy pile of ash."
Harry seemed to be in shock.
"So… it's over then? I didn't have to fight him… I didn't have to do anything…"
"No, you've been pretty useless," Snape admitted.
"Well, I drew him here, didn't I?"
"At my suggestion," Snape said with a sneer.
"This is all quite fascinating," Draco said, "But, I need to get my beauty sleep and then find a quality tattoo-removal wizard. Granger, you coming?"
She wondered if Harry was going to be all right without the constant threat of death hanging over his head… Draco seemed to read her thoughts.
"Don't worry, the Death Eaters won't give up that easily. My Auntie Bella alone will be hunting Harry to get revenge—she's a bit unhinged. I'm sure it will take Potter a few years to round up the stray crazies. I don't think he'll get bored."
Hermione nodded happily.
"And I'll be there to help him."
"Really? I was hoping you'd settle down with me in a little cottage with a white picket fence, three tabby cats, a tomato garden, and window boxes full of marigolds. We can raise fourteen little Muggle-born babies. Pack them in like the Weasleys."
Hermione was nearly speechless.
"Are you serious?"
Draco snorted. "Hardly. Marigolds, the very idea. Belladonna, maybe."
"I like marigolds."
"You probably want a white picket fence, also."
"There is nothing wrong with white picket."
"Well, it won't keep the Bengal tigers in."
"What Bengal tigers?"
"The ones that keep out trespassers, of course. You haven't been to Malfoy Manor recently, have you?"
"I've never been to Malfoy Manor," she gritted.
"Well, we'll have to remedy that."
"Why? Do the tigers need feeding?"
They were still arguing as they entered the lift and left the Ministry of Magic behind.