Chapter 49: Potter vs Dumbledore
Every person in the Great Hall turned towards the doors and abruptly fell silent. Orion Potter, followed by Charles, Orion Black and Abraxas Malfoy strode into the hall, followed by the Board of Governors. The pureblood students immediately sat up straight, and whispers broke out as all the students noticed the formation the wizards were in. Orion Potter was at the front but that wasn't what caused the whispers. Rather, the fact that he was wearing Gryffindor's sword and Slytherin's daggers as well as high quality dueling robes emblazoned with the crests of both Gryffindor and Slytherin, announcing his position as Lord of both families, caused the majority of the speculation. Behind him, Charles walked quite calmly between Orion Black and Abraxas Malfoy, their positions announcing to the more politically aware that the three were working together and didn't that cause a stir. For the head of a known "Light" family to be so at ease with the heads of two known "Dark" families, particularly these three heads, who were often at odds in the Wizengamot, had never happened before, at least not publicly. They'd chosen the perfect time as the Opening Feast was over and Dumbledore had just stood up to make his start of year speech, a speech that he'd now abandoned in favour of staring at the unexpected visitors.
"What's going on?" James whispered to Sirius.
Sirius shook his head, eyes wide. "I think this might be a takeover attempt," he whispered back. "Your uncle looks dressed for war, and with Dad, Malfoy and your Dad backing him like this they're saying that there's been a shift in power or there will be."
"Yeah," Remus said in a low voice. "Dad looks ready to kill Dumbledore, but I wonder why the staff aren't doing anything."
While various conversations had been going on, Orion, followed by his grandfather and their two allies had reached the middle of the hall. Before he could speak, Dumbledore stood and said calmly, "Why are you here?"
Orion met his eyes and said in a clear and confident tone, "Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, you are hereby stripped of your position as Headmaster due to your lack of concern for the welfare of the students and your mental abuse of at least three that we know of. As Lord of both Gryffindor and Slytherin, and therefore a dual Founders' heir, I am taking command of Hogwarts as Headmaster unless and until Hogwarts herself says I'm not worthy."
Dumbledore now moved down from the head table. Power began to crackle around him as his kindly grandfather image disappeared and the powerful wizard he was made an appearance.
"You would threaten me," he demanded, angry. "You actually think you have a chance of defeating me? I'm Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards. Do you honestly think you can challenge me and win."
Orion now smiled, although to everyone watching, it reminded them more of a wolf right before it attacked. "Didn't you hear, Albus? You've been stripped of those positions, there was a vote in the Wizengamot this morning, one I noticed you didn't attend. When we presented our evidence, there was a unanimous vote to remove you as Chief Warlock and the International Confederation was all too pleased to get rid of you. I believe the French and German representatives were almost dancing in joy at having you so publicly disgraced."
Albus was now furious. The air around him now began to sizzle with magic. "You little swine," he hissed. "I demand to know what proof you have, and if you think I'll just give up the wards you can think again."
The students were now shrinking back in their seats, awed and a little frightened by Dumbledore's display of magic. Orion yawned and then let his own magic loose, proving that he could easily match Dumbldore in raw power. "You want proof," he said softly. "Here's your proof,"
He waved a hand and a packet of documents landed in front of Dumbledore. "Sworn statements by a neutral Healer of the spells he found on James and Severus Potter, as well as what their effects are and who the caster was. Also a statement of the spells found on Lily Evans when she came in for her vaccinations, along with the effects and the caster. I also visited the castle last week while you were out, along with a team of qualified curse breakers, whose statements about the illegal spells you cast on Hogwarts and the students themselves are also in there."
He paused and glanced around at the students, who were looking shocked and in some cases fairly sick. Lucius Malfoy raised his hand and Orion nodded to him.
"Sir, what were these spells?"
Orion looked at his own copy of the results. "A compulsion charm on all the Gryffindor, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff students to be suspicious of the Slytherin students, three different spells on the dungeons to make any non-Slytherin students uncomfortable down there, and potion laced pumpkin juice which reinforces the image of Dumbledore as someone to be trusted but only the non-Slytherin students are given that. It makes the Slytherins look bad as they doubt him, but the other three houses are never aware that they have been compelled to trust him."
Dumbledore was now looking far more uncomfortable. Not even he could explain away those statements and the fact that they were sworn statements, meaning done in front of a law officer, meant that his only way out of this was to fight. Unfortunately, the Unbreakable Vow he'd sworn so long ago meant that he'd be severely hampered in what he could cast at his opponent, if he could cast anything at all.
Having an idea, he turned to his staff and said, "Would one of you stand in for me if it comes to a duel?"
He then had the shock of his life as all the staff rose as one and moved past him, all giving him looks of disgust. They took up positions behind Orion, glaring at Dumbledore but saying nothing. Severus and Remus looked at each other and then stood themselves, moving to stand with their father. The rest of the students soon followed so Dumbledore was standing alone, facing Orion who had the staff and students of Hogwarts standing behind him in silent support, along with the Board of Governors.
"I believe Hogwarts has spoken, Albus," Orion said softly but with a definite edge to his tone. "The only thing left now is your decision. Will you give up the wards peacefully or do we have to fight?"
Orion watched the old wizard carefully, he was well aware that he'd backed Dumbledore into a corner and with nothing left to lose, the older wizard may well decide to go down fighting. He kept a careful eye on the wand in Dumbledore's hand, he needed the Elder Wand and the only way to get it was to win it, an Expelliarmus would do but he had a feeling that Dumbldore would make him work a lot harder than that to get not only the wand but also Hogwarts.
Dumbledore wasn't finished though, he looked at the staff and said, "Why do you believe him?"
Minerva now spoke, her voice laced with disappointment. "Because he came here a week ago and showed us everything that you'd done to him and his family. He then showed us those statements you hold in your hand, and got Hogwarts to show us where those spells were. Filius confirmed what they were, and after that, none of us will support you. You're a danger to everyone here and I for one, am hoping that Hogwarts has a new headmaster after tonight."
Dumbledore absorbed that news and then made his decision. Drawing himself up he cast several powerful spells at Orion, who promptly shielded against them.
"Students, everyone, move!" Orion yelled and everyone behind him scattered to the safety of the House tables, which had slid to the side of the hall. Once everyone was seated, Orion noticed that Hogwarts herself had put up powerful shields to protect the staff, students and guests. With them protected, Orion focused on one thing only, taking Dumbledore down.
Spells were cast and shielded or dodged, the power behind each one making the audience gasp, but Orion was more focused on figuring out his opponent's game plan. Since each spell that had been cast at him was overpowered school spells he guessed that the Vow was still in effect and smiled. This he could use.
Dodging an overpowered Reducto curse, he sent an equally powerful blood-boiling curse back and called out, "Hey Dumbledore, are you sure you want to fight or are you just playing with me? So far you've only sent school spells at me, either give me a real fight or give up!"
Feeling strong twinges in his magic as he fought to circumvent the Vow, Dumbledore nonetheless upped his game, sending painful-but-non-lethal spells at his younger opponent, who danced out of the way of several and deflected the rest. Both were breathing hard, neither had had a fight like this for quite a while, and Orion was admitting to himself that Voldemort was right to be afraid of the old wizard. Dumbledore was moving more towards making this a transfiguration fight than anything else and Orion knew that he would be outmatched if he let Dumebldore control the battlefield.
Slipping into a state of heightened awareness, Orion began pooling his power. The duel had gone on long enough, he could see that his opponent was tiring, as he'd been shielding more and more, barely moving unless he had to. Now was the time to unleash what he'd been practicing for most of the summer, ever since he'd known that he might have to duel Dumbledore.
Breathing in and then out again, he raised his wand, drew on all the magic he could and cast a very specific spell-chain, one that his great-great-grandfather had devised and never given out the secret of. The spells were Potter family spells, and the chain required a very specific and precise series of wand movements, which Orion had practiced diligently, as well as providing his family with a source of entertainment as he failed more than a hundred times before finally getting it, sometimes with explosive results and accompanied by a lot of swearing.
Dumbledore saw the chain of spells coming at him and raised his strongest shield, too tired now to dodge. The first three spells splashed against the shield but the fourth pierced it and the following one saw it fail completely. The last two in the chain struck him and Dumbledore staggered and fell, feeling his ribs break under the impact of the bludgeoning spell, and gasped as he felt his magic being bound by the binding spell, which had been the last in the chain. He winced as bolts of agony lanced through his body as his magic informed him that he was close to breaking the Vow. He struggled, even as his magic fought against the powerful binding spell which had been cast on him.
Orion stalked up the hall towards Dumbledore. Reaching him, he looked into the old wizard's eyes and said calmly, "Expelliarmus." The Elder Wand flew to his hand and he felt the slight rush of power as the wand bonded to him. Crouching down beside his opponent, his eyes never leaving Dumbledore's, he said "I warned you what would happen if you messed with my family. You chose not to listen, and cast those vile compulsion spells on my son and nephew." Seeing that the wizard was listening, he leaned closer and whispered, "I hope the "next great adventure" is hell on earth for you."
As Dumbledore's eyes widened, Orion stood and said formally, "Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, I hereby pronounce the Vow between us broken by your actions against me and mine."
He stood back and watched silently as magic accepted his statement. There was no sound as the formerly great wizard died, he simply stopped breathing, as magic itself took what was owed. Many thought the Unbreakable Vow was simply that, but, like any vow, if the one it was made to decided that the one who had made it hadn't lived up to their end of the bargain, then it could be deemed broken, and the penalty would be paid. In this case, the penalty had been Albus' life, and he sighed, twirling the Elder Wand in his fingers, wondering why he didn't feel happy. His enemy, his family's enemy, was dead, and all he felt was tired.
Noise from the edges of the hall drew his attention and he shook himself as he realised that no-one had left during the duel, the entire student body had watched him duel and defeat Dumbledore, although he wondered if any of them realised that the former headmaster was dead. Looking around he saw that the staff certainly realised, as many were looking at least somewhat sorrowful.
Sighing, he raised his wand. "Can all the students please go to bed, now, the show's over."
There were loud protests at that and Orion scowled. "The staff and I need to discuss what to do now, and you won't miss anything, my official ascension to the Headmaster's position will happen tomorrow morning. Now, please, go to bed."
The students grumbled a bit more but obeyed, the Prefects rounding up their Houses and leading them to bed. Left in the Great Hall with only the staff and the Board of Governors, Orion looked towards Dumbledore's body. "Did he leave a will?" he asked.
"Yes, we'll take care of it," Minerva assured him.
Orion nodded. "Good. I wish it hadn't happened this way, but he forced my hand." He was about to say more when Hogwarts interrupted. Speaking so everyone could hear, the castle said, "Orion, he would never have given up peacefully. I am glad you challenged him and won, now I have a headmaster who will put the students first and won't play his own games with no respect for anyone else. You belong here."
Orion nodded, even as the rest of the staff stood there in shock at the castle speaking. "Thanks Hogwarts, I won't forget it."
"See that you don't, unless you want to be locked in your room all year," the castle said and the listeners got the distinct impression that the castle was teasing the new headmaster, an impression which was reinforced as Orion blushed slightly and nodded.
The next morning, the hall was packed as Orion stood in formal robes in the middle of the hall. Breakfast had been eaten and now everyone was awaiting the ceremony, one which hadn't been done in public in living memory.
With a groan, the floor in front of Orion opened up, the two sides falling away on hinges to reveal a massive crystal inset into an equally massive stone rising up to fill the gap. Drawing Gryffindor's sword, and smiling as the ghosts of the Founders appeared, to muffled gasps from the audience, he cut his right palm and laid it on the crystal which pulsed as his blood was sucked into it.
Taking a deep breath, Orion spoke the words required of incoming Headmasters since Godric Gryffindor. "I Orion James Potter, also known as Harry James Potter, swear to lead Hogwarts to the best of my ability, to treat all residents, both staff and students with respect, and to ensure that all challenges are overcome with a combination of courage, hard work, intelligence and cunning. Furthermore, I swear to work to restore Hogwarts' reputation as the best school of magic in the British wizarding world, so we can stand on the international stage and not be ashamed of the quality of our education."
Taking another breath, he drew one of Slytherin's daggers and cut his left palm before repeating the oath in Parseltongue. It was required of Parselmouth Headmasters, he'd been told, that the oath be given in both languages. He'd shrugged and agreed, not thinking it worth the effort of arguing even though he didn't see the point.
The students cheered themselves hoarse and Orion stood, feeling the wards settle into him and wrap round him like a warm blanket. The staff were all looking at him with a mixture of pride and a little awe. They'd felt his bonding with Hogwarts and knew that whatever they might think privately, the school had chosen a strong, and good, Head.
Later that day, in his lair, Voldemort hissed in disgust. He'd heard of his rival's defeat of Dumbledore and while he was glad that the old wizard was dead, he was less glad to hear that Hogwarts had chosen his rival as Headmaster. That would make any attack on Hogwarts almost suicidal, unless he had overwhelming numbers, which at the moment he didn't. Growling, he pulled down a book on rituals, hoping to find a way in which he could acquire the power he needed to triumph over his rival. Orion Potter would soon learn that while Lord Voldemort could be temporarily beaten, he could never be defeated.
Sorry about the very long wait but the last two months of last year saw a series of RL events which kind of overtook everything, and I'm not just referring to Christmas. My then boyfriend surprised me by proposing towards the end of November, which I accepted, and then we dived into the happy chaos of the newly engaged, planning and having the engagement party and soon after that, Christmas arrived. Add in the fact that I am now preparing for my final bit of University study and I have had literally no writing time recently. So, hopefully this chapter will tide you over and I am making no promises as to when the next will be up as study starts very soon and will take until June at least. I will never abandon my stories, but I can't write every day or even every weekend so please, no queries as to when the next will be up, it will be up when I can write it. This chapter was hard enough to finish, it kept coming out stilted and wrong.
May the Force be with you