Reflections Through Time
Chapter Six

by Lionheart

Author's Rambling Nonsense:

You know one of the saddest things in fiction? I don't restrict this to HP stories, but all fanfiction. It's when an author comes up with a wonderful idea, an absolutely beautiful 'what if' scenario that really fires the imagination and excites you with opportunities, but the author is such a slave to the original material that they swear outright to make sure to follow canon to the last detail - in essence making sure that their previously wonderful idea has no effect on the storyline at all.

Why are they even writing?

What's the point of writing 'fanfiction' that's just another rewrite of the source material? If you aren't going to change anything, don't bother writing! If every mystery, every quest or personal relationship is going to come out exactly the same as the source did, what are you wasting all our time for? We could just go back and reread the originals if that's what we wanted. Fanfiction is a venue for stuff that turns out differently than the original, explores new territory and makes up new problems to solve, or solves old ones in new ways.

It exists to do what the original author did not do, but could have. Anything else is a waste of the venue.

As for Rowling's works... sigh.

The list of things wrong with book seven is longer than the book!

The saddest of all truths about the Harry Potter series is that the very worst of all fan predictions did not even match the horror of the reality, where Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore ADMITS to driving Harry to suicide 'For the Greater Good.'

(And yes, walking up to a known murderer, at large, who has made attempts on your life before, and is armed and in the act of committing further violence, then refusing to defend yourself counts as suicide.)

Dumbledore doesn't use those words. But that's what he said, which lends a VERY creepy note to his statement in Book 1, where after McGonagall asks him to do something about Harry's scar, always a symbol for the boy's link to Voldemort, and Dumbledore says that even if he could - he wouldn't.

Is that not a creepy statement to make? Harry's scar, ALWAYS Rowling's tool for symbolizing his link to Voldemort, and even if Dumbledore could do something about it, he WOULDN'T??

So the obvious inference is, even if Dumbledore could have saved Harry, he wouldn't bother? Just what kind of 'Hero of Light' is THAT?!

Sorry, it's not possible to 'redeem' a character that would do that.

Disclaimer: It would take the IQ of a mountain troll to believe I owned these characters. I will, however, own Harry Potter only after I go back in time and write it myself before Rowling does - and you can trust that I won't make as many stupid mistakes as she does, either!

I O I O I

A figure of glowing blackness coalesced into Death Eater robes, lifted both hands to its hood, and exposed the face of Barty Crouch Jr. who then leered and pulled back his left sleeve to show the Dark Mark on his arm.

The waiting Auror strike force, warned by this illusion appearing over Harry's crib, immediately sprang up to go arrest the man.

The time travelers had decided to go on the offensive, after Voldemort cut back on his own attacks, wary of having sent his men off into too many ambushes, the side of Light having been forewarned by the Infant Seer.

So the four infants had taken the opportunity to thin out the Dark Moron's ranks a bit by identifying some of his followers to the Ministry counterstrike and reaction forces.

This act of service also highlighted that Harry seemed incapable of going through life without acquiring pretentious nicknames thrown at him by an adoring public, and Infant Seer was only the latest one. But, having had a greater effect on this war than Dumbledore or anyone else, it seemed unavoidable that Lily's child had acquired another title for his duty.

Voldemort was going mad trying to put a stop to him, of course.

Although, Moldy's schemes weren't always what they could be. And being fussed over by 'Aunty Cissa' was enough to throw poor Harry for a loop, even after he considered the events that lead up to it.

He had not been a controller for counterstrikes against the Dark Idiot long at all before Harry's continued existence had become intolerable to Moldy. This was to be expected, and, naturally, anything Moldy didn't like had to be dealt with permanently. So his servants began to make attempts to neutralize The Boy Who Flies (what Harry'd been called before Infant Seer became more popular). The first of these were ordinary assassinations, which the defenses around Harry had so far been sufficient for thwarting. The children had all been preparing and planning for what to do when Moldyshorts himself made a personal strike when Malfoy Sr made an attempt that had all of their jaws dropping.

Other Death Eaters tried assassinations of various sorts, but the Malfoy's first try at neutralizing Harry's opposition to the Dark Idiot was the most original scheme they'd seen, and actually kind of amusing to the displaced children.

Lucius Malfoy was a clever man, and one who had made a substantial part of his fortune on the motto of, "Why destroy what I can own?" Thus, if he saw a chance, he would try to steal or control something once before trying to eliminate it. That had actually been the philosophy behind his having instructed Draco to try and befriend Harry Potter in the first life they had lived.

Now he saw such a chance with the baby Harry Potter, the Infant Seer.

Arranging to run into James Potter at the Ministry nursery was child's play for Lucius. Had he not a daughter of his own he could be leaving at that facility while he attended to business there? Engaging Harry's father in conversation and pretending to be polite wasn't much harder. Getting the man to a bar was a tricky part, but pulled off marvelously, in part by dropping a (completely false) hint to the Order member that Lucius himself might be vulnerable to a conversion, having been changed enough by his daughter's birth to be tempted to join the Light.

Utter fabrication, of course, and James was completely unconvinced by this paragon of Pureblood poise and ancestral authority lying through his teeth. But deciding to play along was the work of a moment for the Master Marauder.

Malfoy's act of feigning a sense of fatherly fellow-feeling with a fellow Pureblood was marvelously pulled off, and his lies of admiration were all executed so skillfully that they were almost a work of art unto themselves. They were so good James began to memorize them to use himself on some future occasion. But they didn't begin to convince the canny Lord Potter, who was far more curious about why a servant of the Dark Idiot would be making so obvious an attempt at befriending him, and so played along in order to find out.

The flow of things led the fathers to a bar, each seeking to get the other drunk in spite of the early hour, and Lucius got plastered while the Master Marauder didn't get a drop of alcohol in him (wandless transfiguration had been a prize trick of his and used for countless pranks, and, in spite of its limitations, the low degree of control he had was still perfectly sufficient to turn booze into water as he lifted a glass to drink). At that point Lucy started to spill some details about the trap he'd laid.

Lucy's trap was just too good to resist, so James walked straight into it.

Having gotten each other bragging about their homes and families, it was a simple task to challenge one boast with another and lead to a disagreement of sorts, one that could be settled by a wager, of course!

All according to Malfoy's plan.

So, the next morning, with a hangover that ought to have been able to kill small trees at a distance of thirty yards, Lucius praised himself over the success of the initial stage of his plot as he stared down at the wizarding contract in his hands, signed by himself and James Potter.

Victory ought to have been so trivial after that.

The bet was simple. A housekeeping test, a "I bet my place is cleaner than yours" sort of gamble that was childish and a bit immature and aimed toward intriguing the childlike prankster spirit Lucius suspected lurked in the often whimsical Lord Potter.

In 24 hours from the signing of the bet a previously chosen group of wizards would tour each man's house, doing white glove tests to measure how clean everything was. The winner between Lord Potter and Lord Malfoy got to take any one thing he chose from the home of the loser, to keep for his own in a very real and legally binding sense.

A simple enough bargain, sounding a bit innocent, if a touch risky financially as each was certain to take the most valuable thing they could if they won. Potter would doubtless choose a painting or other costly trinket if he won, which he couldn't possibly, as Lucius had dozens of house elves to do his cleaning for him.

Lucius, on the other hand, was going to take Potter's son!

Let Dumbledore's lackey cast cleaning charms all day long! He couldn't win. And with the present market for house elves as it was, well... Lucius himself had bought every elf there was for sale to prepare for this scheme, during the whole week prior to the bet being made. It was a simple and virtually flawless plan that ought to put that dreadful child into the Dark Lord's hands within 24 hours.

A seer in the service of the Dark Lord. Wonderful!

It would raise the Malfoy's standing in Voldemort's eyes tremendously, and as a direct consequence, allow him to increase his power. Lucius could hardly wait for the bet to be concluded so he could collect his winnings and present this triumph to his master!

However, Lucius' plan, while depending on the observed attitudes of a prankster to get itself started, was plotted through without taking that prankster's genius into account.

James Potter was no dummy. He knew all about house elves and had even gotten Lucius to divulge the bulk of his plan to him in his drunken ramblings last night. He also knew he had until the early afternoon (24 hours from when the bet was signed) to get his house in a condition to where it was more clean than the spotless, elf-cleaned, Malfoy Manor, or he would lose his son.

This presented no trouble to the veteran prankster at all.

So Lucius got up in the morning, headache pounding, and as was his wont when this was the case reached for a bell-pull that hung suspended by his bedside. The purpose of this bell was to summon one of his household elves. He used it for making special orders for things he didn't usually require, like hangover remedies, and it was certainly easier than learning all of the little blighter's names.

The bell was enchanted so only house elves could hear it, and it would summon whichever one was on duty pretty much regardless of where the disgusting creature had managed to hide itself. But, after pulling on the cord, Lucius had made his request three times before the lack of a hangover cure appearing in his open palm convinced him to open his eyes enough to note, after several seconds, that no house elf had appeared.

Concluding that he must have missed the cord, or not pulled hard enough, Lucius again gave the bell-pull a yank, this time a good, sharp one. Once again he was halfway through making his request before he noted the distinct absence of an elf.

Three more sharp pulls, the last so frantic and powerful in his anger that it pulled the cord out of the bell, breaking it, but still no elf appeared. Grumbling about the thing having had its enchantment run out, and weighing the possibilities of braving his pain long enough to go in search of an elf in person, Lucius closed his pain-filled eyes and crawled back into his large, plush bed, rolling the thick, soft covers back over him to blot out the light, all this while never noticing that he was next to naked.

James Potter, along with his friends and fellow Marauders, were downstairs at that time standing outside on the lawn blowing great clouds of soot in one of the Manor's open, ground floor windows from a several ton pile of ash they'd brought to the estate for just that occasion!

All of them were happy and in an excellent mood, but Peter had gone so far as to wet himself as James had told them all the story of how he'd escorted Mr Malfoy home the previous evening, taking him upstairs to let him get some rest in his own bed (this being a very kind and neighborly thing to do, assisting his fellow Pureblood in an hour of need). Of course, nobles (or those that viewed themselves as such, like the Malfoys) did NOT go to bed in their street clothes. It simply wasn't done! So James had kindly assisted him, using charms to remove articles Lucius no longer needed to be wearing and put them in the man's hands - where Lucius would blink at them drunkenly, only to drop them. They'd performed this routine over and over again!

And, well, if Mr. Potter had been playing with the Malfoy's bell-pull at the same time, and the head of the Malfoy family just happened to be standing, propped up, where the clothes he dropped landed on the elves as they arrived, well, that could hardly be viewed as James' fault, now could it?

Actually, the guy had proved to have so many elves that James had been forced to employ charms to dress Lucius again and again, and he seemed to run out of nightclothes by the time no more elves responded to the pull. Luckily, James had been there, able to transfigure a large diaper for the man to wear to bed, so it all turned out well in the end.

Several of the Marauders had laughed themselves blue while he was explaining this to them. The pictures hadn't hurt any.

After spraying the inside of Malfoy Manor black with soot, and adding several tons of dried leaves (stolen from dumps for this occasion) and artfully spraying cobwebs in the corners for good measure, James Potter led his merry companions away to avoid being caught on scene when the judges arrived in a few hours.

Back at Godric's Hollow, they all joined in with the Weasleys in a massive spring cleaning party that James had arranged to get everyone's mind off of the gloom of war, and they finished up right before the judges arrived.

A groggy Lucius was wakened in the early afternoon by the judges arriving, almost simultaneous with his wife's shriek as she returned from a long day of shopping to find her house a wreck, covered in blackened soot and strewn with leaves, with dead spiders hanging in their webs festooning every corner.

Even Snape would have had trouble trying to declare Malfoy winner of that contest.

So, turnabout being fair play and all of that, James had selected for his prize a family member of Lord Malfoy's to take as his prize. And, well, Narcissa was the only one there at the time, the children having been out to the park with their nanny.

In other circumstances, Harry and his girls would have all been silently rooting for Anastasia/Luna. But they had such short notice of the contest they wouldn't have been able to come up with a way of safely communicating that, having only learned what was up when the judges arrived at the Potter house that day. In actuality, they had far less warning even than that, as when the prize first got mentioned they'd all been thinking what magical artifact or valuable trinket the Potters could claim. It wasn't until after James had already stated his choice that claiming a family member as a prize was even possible occurred to them.

The small and intelligent group of babies had been well and truly caught off guard by this singular event.

If the children had been at the house at the time of the prize taking, James would have had a much tougher choice. Grabbing Draco to steal away Malfoy's son and heir had some appeal. However the crux of the matter would still have to be considered, when the fact of the matter hit that Narcissa carried with her almost half of the current Malfoy fortune, given as her dowry from the Blacks, and all that money would have to be withdrawn from the Malfoy estate when she left it.

Such a kick to Voldemort's financial pants would have been irresistible to the lead Marauder, even more choice than the yearned-for look on Lucius' face if they'd taken his son away to raise his pureblood heir as a muggle-lover.

But you can't have everything.

Lily would possibly liked to have had a daughter, but getting one second hand just wasn't the same; especially with Lucius peering around from time to time it would never have felt as right. Besides, James was confident of his own abilities to grant Lily all of the kids anyone could ask for, all on his own.

Plus, an added boost to grabbing Cissa was that she represented a vote on the Wizengamot, holding the proxy of Sirius' mother who was presently too ill to attend personally (and who'd never trust it to Sirius while she considered him a blood traitor, and his brother Regulus was ineligible, being a hunted fugitive).

Losing a vote on the Wizengamot amounted to a kick in the teeth to add to that kick in the pants for the power-mad Voldemort, and was just too good to pass up!

So, Harry got an Aunt Cissy out of the bargain, and Anastasia lost her mother out of her father's failed gamble. Narcissa had to swear an Unbreakable Vow of loyalty to James Potter before he could accept her into his house (there was the Ministry, and their paranoia over protecting the Infant Seer to be considered here, it wasn't just James' idea), but it did happen and Narcissa actually seemed quite happy over it.

The way Anastasia explained it, they could hardly be surprised, as Lucius had, from the moment of their engagement, viewed his wife as nothing more or less than a breed cow to produce pureblood children for him. And, after a few years of not being loved or treated like much of a human, Narcissa was quite prepared to surrender that life in hopes of a better one.

The prank James had played came back to bite him on the rear when he discovered the way the Ministry officials had recorded his winnings. The logic was actually drawn from a goblin treaty regarding the distribution of wealth.

Very simply, the relevant clause went something like this: Changing the owner of an item does not change any properties of the item itself, other than ownership. So, when he took the wife of Lucius Malfoy she remained a wife, just not Lucius Malfoy's.

For the goblins this was a very simple case of: we know whose wife Narcissa was, and we know whose wife she IS. Belonging to you as she does, she is a wife, and she is yours, so, ipso facto, she is your wife. The fact that you already had a wife merely makes Narcissa the second in order of acquisition, and therefore, your second wife.

Before James had even knew this was going on the Ministry had already recorded it as the goblins claimed, with Narcissa as his second wife.

The revelation of this unforeseen turn of events had knocked James out for the count, and he would have been spending a considerable portion of the rest of his life on the couch had not Narcissa seen this as an opportunity to win points over Lily and offered James the option of using her bed - with her in it, of course.

Ambition.

She may not have been in a new environment by her choice, but she was going to climb the ranks in it like any proper Slytherin! If she could rule the roost, she could do as she pleased about correcting the regrettably humble appointments of their meager abode. And the key to all of that was, of course, to engage the affections of James.

If he loved her, her suggestions would motivate him out of a desire to please her, and the easiest way to gain that love was by offering him kindness, and of course her body.

Lily wasn't about to let her sudden rival get so easy a victory concerning their mutual husband's affections, so had to forego punishing James as fully as he might otherwise have earned. Lily was very quick to consider Narcissa her enemy in this situation, not James, who was every bit as surprised by it as she was.

His Marauding friends had much help and support to offer, of course, while busily laughing themselves half to death over the situation. And... well... most of their suggestions weren't very helpful.

Sirius even sprang for a new bedroom set for his delightful cousin to sleep on, with a big heart carved into the headboard, proclaiming "James and Narcissa, together forever."

Lily ran him out of the house for it and came near to canceling his status as Harry's godfather over the perceived insult of his prank, which he made up to her in part by getting her a very similar bedroom set (a very nice one, it must be said) as well as taking care of a certain legal problem for them by covering for James so he could have an actual wedding, thus giving him actual, legal control over Narcissa's assets (snicker) like her immense wealth and seat on the Wizengamot, which Albus immediately proclaimed he could put to good use in service to the Light.

The prospect of saving the lives of many of her friends mollified Lily enough that she gave in to pressure from their friends and admitted that James could not have known of that clause, or that the goblins would invoke it, and that his original intentions to hurt the dark side had been right all along.

So Lily abandoned her plans to create an explosive castration charm to use on her husband.

I O I O I

The former Luna, now bereft of her second mother, was having some interesting name convolutions. To start with, she had four of them: Anastasia Bridgette Pomona Malfoy (and now they knew, or had a good idea anyway, how their headmaster had come to be Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore).

Now Anastasia, her father's preferred name for her, was rather long, taking a full four syllables to say, and thus the sort of cumbersome thing people often neglect to say the full amount of, and putting her at great risk of becoming simply 'Ana', or more appropriately spelled 'Anna', at a much more comfortable two syllables. Although her father, who in his youth had often been subjected to 'Lucy', absolutely detested nicknames, and wouldn't be likely to put up with any amount of shortening until the years wore him down.

Though her mother was no longer present in the Malfoy home, Lucius graciously allowed her to still be permitted to breast feed her daughter, who was rather in need of her mother's nourishment (and the only provable advantage to having magical parentage came in the form of a slight growth of one's magical core from having breast-fed on an actively magical mother - thus something that Lucius was absolutely not going to deny his daughter, and therefore something that James was able to make him PAY to have her do). Narcissa's chosen name for her daughter was Pomona, also weighing in at a slightly cumbersome length of three syllables, and so also subject to nicknames.

No one calls their daughter by their last name only, so no one in her family seemed in danger of calling her simply 'Malfoy'. That left, as the only comfortable option, to haul out her second middle name and refer to her as Bridgette, which weighed in at a comfortable and handy two syllables, which fell firmly in that zone of what people found easy to say. It was neither obscure, nor too pretentious, and if people mistook her for French that was only to her advantage in most circles.

It was also what Urd had called her, and the children had wondered a time or two since that day whether or not the goddess had had a hand in naming her. If so, all present were delighted by that show of affection and concern.

And, as time wore on, those who came into contact with the former Luna found that the most handy among her many names and used it more and more. So that in time even her father and mother were using that handy label.

Bridgette, alone among the girls, was privileged to spend a majority of her time with Harry over her first year. For a very young child breastfeeding seems like it is constant, every two to three hours, and it was just far more convenient to her breastfeeding mother to keep her child with her rather than make trips to the Malfoy Manor so many times a day. Thus, the former Luna simply joined the Potter family as an add-on for that period.

I O I O I

"Harry, consider this carefully," Daphne cautioned.

"Guys, we've GOT to do it!" Harry insisted. "We need to keep my parents alive, and Wormtail is the one who betrays them! We've got to expose him!"

"I'm not saying we shouldn't." The former Hermione continued. "It's only, we've been doing so much exposure of Death Eaters lately that we are running low on sources. Without accurate, current information on Tom Riddle's plans, we won't be able to foil as many attacks - and more people than your parents would die.

"All I'm saying is: if we keep going at this rate, we'll lose access to all our information sources," Daphne cautioned. "Moldyshorts was getting closer to exposing Lucius as a leak all of the time, until Bridgette moved in with you, that is. But now we've effectively lost that source until she moves back, and if we also expose Wormtail as a traitor to our side, we'll lose most of our current cross-mapping capability. Lucius would die within days of being reactivated, and without an inner circle Death Eater whose mind we could get into, we'd lose most of our ability to correct our future knowledge to local conditions!"

"One of the most pathetic excuses of all time is not using the information you have because you don't want to invalidate it. Not using it is the same as not having it!" Harry insisted. "What's the POINT of traveling through time and having future knowledge if you're not going to CHANGE anything!? So we ought to use it As Much As We Can before it invalidates itself!"

Daphne did a moment of thinking. "You're right, Harry. I'm sorry for disagreeing with you. I was wrong. Forgive me?"

"Of course," he sighed, happy that she'd relented. They'd all become so close over the years that openly disagreeing with one another was hard on their morale.

He could hear the former Hermione sucking in her lower lip. "Harry, while we're on the subject, Snape has to be removed, and the sooner the better."

The collected children sounded blinks of confusion through their mental link.

"Not that I'm objecting, but why?" Harry asked. "You yourself just said we need information channels, and without Peter, that's one of our last guideposts for predicting changes Voldemort's behavior: knowing what he learns from the Order through Snape."

Daphne sighed. "Harry, our need to remove Snape has less to do with this war than the second. The principle has been called by many names, many times, "Wars are won in the will", "Morale is the key to victory", and so on, but presumption of victory is one of the strongest forces during battle, and it was our ENEMIES who had it during the second and third rises! When two equal forces meet and one feels sure of victory and the other is certain of defeat, they're both right! Smaller armies have beaten larger, better outfitted and trained ones just because they were sure they could, so they kept fighting until they'd done it!

"But in our case it was worse, as we didn't even get to struggle effectively." Daphne grimaced. "When Voldemort rose the second time the rest of the magical world went down without any real fighting. He'd won before even the first spell had been fired! Those willing to fight against him didn't even number enough to form a real resistance group, and the rest of the magical world didn't oppose Riddle at all! The Light side's will to resist had been beaten out of them long before before his return, and it was beaten out AT Hogwarts, and it was beaten out BY Snivellus Snape! He taught his Slyther-things that they could get away with anything, that in any conflict between them and a non-Slyther-thing, it would be the Slyther-thing that would win! And he taught them that by cheating, lying and breaking rules to protect their foul deeds until his cronies really believed they COULD get away with murder! After all, why not? Snape let them get away with everything ELSE!"

Daphne's voice rose in passionate strength. "Snape encouraged bullying and evil deeds, sheltering and protecting those who did them until the Slyther-things truly believed they were better than anyone else, and that they could BEAT anyone else! He GAVE THEM that presumption of victory! While, on the other hand ALL of the other Houses came to expect being bullied, pushed around, treated cruelly and unfairly, and that there was nothing they could do about it! And he kept it up until a whole generation got raised up to EXPECT it! Snape spent sixteen years breaking the will of the wizarding world, and making the next Dark Idiot's victory certain!"

"The war of the Second Rise was lost before it even begun, because Snape had never stopped fighting the first one!" the former Hermione insisted.

"Now that I think about it, you're right," Electra allowed. "I mean, nobody stood up to the Slyther-things at school because Snape was always lurking about ready to punish any who tried. His House could do anything they liked and not only would they get away with it, but anyone who tried to defend himself just became a target for more abuse. None of the staff would protect us, not even McGonagall, who was trying so hard to be impartial she just effectively endorsed the abuse. So everyone just kind of grew used to being bullied by the Slyther-things, and when the War of the Second Rise started, it was normal for everyone by that point to roll over and continue to accept abuse from the Slyther-things."

"Their will to fight against oppression had been broken long before the fight began," Daphne summarized. "And it was broken BY Snivellus, AT Hogwarts, under the twinkling eyes of our Headmaster."

Bridgette spent a moment considering, before she agreed. "It was Dumbledore who gave Snape that ability, and who stood back smiling fondly while he perverted the office he'd given him to make certain that whoever their next Dark Idiot was, that there would be no resistance to him."

"You don't sound surprised," Electra evaluated.

The former Luna sent them all a mental shrug. "Personally, when Albus stood up and testified before the school that Snape was no more a Death Eater than he was, I took him at his word and have always seen him as just another Dark Lord. That is the only pretext under which the behavior Daphne just described makes sense - Albus wanted to be the one who had no resistance to his rule, so he encouraged and allowed Snape to break their spirits."

They all spent several moments in sober contemplation.

Harry eventually broke it. "Bumble-more kept saying he trusted Snape. In the best case, that might be on the matter of siding against Voldemort. But after hearing her case, I'm forced to agree with Daphne. Snape did more harm than good in the long run by the fact that he couldn't be trusted to do his job."

"It wasn't just NOT teaching Potions, Harry," Daphne admonished. "It was that he strove actively, consciously, and constantly to break the will of anyone who wasn't one of his Slyther-things. THAT cost us the war more than anything!"

"Although the extra Healers and Aurors who never appeared because they never got an effective Potions education would have been nice." Electra admitted.

"Not so much, no." Bridgette corrected. "What it all comes down to is what Daphne has just been saying - the people we had on our side were all sure they'd lose, so they never fought. Having more people on our side would not convince them to fight. Only the idea they might win could do that, and it was that idea, that the Light Side might win, that Snape spent so many years destroying in the minds of all our world's children."

"And, for whatever reason, Dumbledore stood back and let him do it," Harry groused.

"Not just 'let' him do it, Harry," Bridgette inserted. "Dumbledore had so much power he could have kept Snape nearly anywhere and still had access to him as a spy. He could have put him in a shop, or granted him a job at the Ministry, or International Confederation, set him up as as a private potion brewer, or nearly anything else. He chose to put Snape in Hogwarts as a teacher - not as an advisor, or a supplier of potions, or a member of the school board who never actually had to interact with students. Dumbledore chose out of a near-infinite list of possibilities to put Snape there in that position, and kept him there once it was painfully clear what he was doing. The only possible explanation was that it served Dumbledore's purposes to have Snape where he was, doing what he could to break the will of the magical world."

Electra could be 'heard' through their link rolling her eyes. "Well, maybe he was senile. He is pretty old."

Bridgette disagreed. "Someone who is naive, or crazy, will NOT choose all of the worst possible choices, ALL of the time! They will make random or senseless ones as often as bad ones, and mixed in there could also be a few GOOD choices! Consistent bad choices ALL of the time, comes ONLY from a rational yet evil person!"

"So you don't believe he's well-intentioned, yet self-deceived?" Harry asked.

The former Luna sent them all a shrug. "I learned to detest and distrust the old fart for dropping a toddler off on a doorstep with only a letter, to people he knew hated magic. The lad was a toddler and could have (and should have) wandered off. Just dropping the baby off on a doorstep shows a criminal disregard for the child and an inability to form a rational plan. And all other areas under the Headmaster's control show the same rot and corruption. We saw how totally incompetent, irrational, and eager to jump to wrong conclusions the Ministry of Magic is, and Albus has been guiding that body for years! Dumbledore is the one who has guided Hogwarts to its current level of incompetence and poor teaching. His one major responsibility is the school, and he has allowed it to fail academically due to either disinterest or planned destruction. NOTHING that Albus controls is what it should be!"

"So that opens the possibility of the Headmaster being not just an obstacle to be moved around, but an enemy actively engaged in ours world's destruction," Daphne said.

They all spent a sober moment reflecting on that possibility.

"Why?" Electra asked, desperation in her mental voice.

Harry sent them all a shrug. "When you come right down to it, we don't even know Voldemort's ultimate reasons. All we know is the propaganda he trumpets for his followers, which we know are lies. We can guess at his true motives, but ultimately we don't know any more about his true reasons than we do Dumbles."

"Only that between them their actions eventually destroy our world," Daphne whispered.

End Part Six