No Thank You
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Notes: I always thought that the Dursley's borderline (if, indeed, it was only borderline) abuse of Harry was a rather stupid way to get him to conform to their standards of normality. This way might have been a bit more effective. I'm not a Ron basher, but he was horrible as far as Hermione is concerned. Fortunately, he's grown up since then. This is the first time I've technically done a Harry/Hermione story. Although, of course, the story really isn't about that.
Vernon and Petunia Dursley were proud to say that they were perfectly normal. They had a perfectly normal house. They had a perfectly normal marriage. He had a perfectly normal job. She had a perfectly normal tendency to gossip. They had a perfectly normal son. He had a perfectly normal spot on his school's wrestling team. They had a perfectly normal nephew.
Well, nearly. Harry could technically understand snakes. Technically, of course, because whenever he encountered a snake, he would quickly walk right past it and tell himself firmly that it was just his imagination, though, of course, he did not hold with such things.
After all, when someone thought that they could actually understand what snakes were saying, it was a sign that they needed mental help and that didn't fit into the Dursley's nice little worldview. And assuming Harry wasn't crazy…well, that was altogether worse.
Vernon and Petunia were quite proud with the progress they had made with Harry. Initially frightened to be saddled with such a…strange child, they had briefly toyed with the idea of keeping him in the cupboard under the stairs. Out of sight, out of mind. They had quickly decided otherwise when they realized that normal people did not keep children in closets, no matter how abnormal they were.
There were a few minor setbacks in the early years, of course, but ten years later Harry Potter could truly be said to be a nice, normal member of society. Take that very morning, for instance. He had gotten up a half hour before everyone else in order to cook a nice healthy breakfast for everyone. Dudley, of course, would have preferred something greasier, but as he had had some weight problems when he was younger, Harry thought it was best to go the opposite route. Besides, health food was very fashionable at the moment.
He finished cooking and brought the scrambled tofu over to the table where his relatives were already sitting.
"Thank you," his Aunt Petunia smiled at him as he dished out her portion.
"Well done, my boy," his Uncle Vernon concurred, flipping through his newspaper.
Dudley whacked him with his Smeltings stick as he passed and Harry just rolled his eyes. There was nothing wrong with tofu. As he put the pan back on the stove, he heard the click of the letter-box and flop of letters on the doormat.
"Get the mail, Dudley," Uncle Vernon said.
Dudley, despite his earlier silent protest, was quite immersed in his food.
"I'll get it, I'm up anyway," Harry volunteered.
Harry picked up three letters: one from his Aunt Marge (delightful woman, great with dogs. The moustache was a tad unfortunate, but she got that waxed regularly), the electric bill, and a letter for him.
"Hm," Harry remarked as he went back to the kitchen. "This looks official. Maybe it's an offer for a school?" He'd had several of those, but there had really been no doubt in his mind that he wanted to go to his Uncle's alma mater, Smeltings.
He idly opened the envelope and scanned the contents. Even though his mind was made up, it never hurt to be polite.
"Harry, are you alright?" Dudley asked, concerned.
"I…" Harry shook his head to clear it. "It's them."
Immediately, his Aunt and Uncle looked up from their discussion of Marge's illness.
"They want me to attend their school," Harry explained.
"What are you going to do?" Uncle Vernon asked. They had done their best to raise him to be normal and this was the measure of their success.
"I'm going to write them back and tell them no thank you," Harry replied.
"Are you sure? The less contact we have with these people the better; maybe we should just ignore it and hope they get the picture," Aunt Petunia suggested.
"That would be rude and even if it wasn't, they would probably assume that it means you are keeping this…opportunity from me and cause them to send more. No, best to just get it out of the way," Harry decided, reaching for a pen.
"There must be some mistake!" Minerva McGonagall insisted as she threw a letter under the Headmaster's nose at the weekly Hogwarts summer staff meeting.
"Mistake, Minerva?" Albus Dumbledore repeated, his eyes twinkling madly.
"Only Muggleborns have ever chosen not to go to Hogwarts," she explained.
"Who elected not to?" Dumbledore asked, glancing down at the paper. "There must be some mistake!"
"So we've heard," Severus Snape remarked dryly.
"Imagine, Harry Potter not attend Hogwarts," McGonagall said incredulously. "Lily and James would be rolling over in their graves."
Snape looked like Christmas had come early. "I think we should respect his decision."
Everyone else just glared at him.
There was a knock on the door at 4 Privet Drive that very afternoon.
Petunia answered the door. "May I help you?"
"We're here about your nephew, Harry Potter," Dumbledore informed her, smiling benignly.
Petunia was about to reply when she saw Snape. "You!"
"So you remember me 'Tuney?' I'm honored," he said sarcastically.
"You've got a lot of nerve coming here," Petunia said, turning to Dumbledore. "First you abandon a small child on our doorstep in the middle of the night with no notice, barely any explanation, and in November and just expect us to take him in and then, when we do, tell us how to raise him!"
"I'm not trying to-" Dumbledore began.
"He saw the letter, he wasn't interested, and we're sending him to a fine school. What more do you want from us?" Petunia demanded.
"I want to talk with young Harry," Dumbledore said firmly, unable to believe the lengths Lily's sister would go through to hide the truth from Harry. His heart went out to the poor boy. What lies he must have been told about the Wizarding World!
"Out of the question," Petunia said, crossing her arms. "The less Harry has to do with you people, the better."
"Unfortunately, we're not leaving. The Headmaster seems to be quite determined and if you don't hurry up and let us inside, I daresay the neighbors will start to stare," Snape drawled.
"Fine," Petunia huffed. "He's in the living room."
Harry looked up when he saw the three wizards enter the room. "Hello."
"Harry, my boy, it's good to see you again," Dumbledore greeted him genially.
Harry's eyebrows rose. He certainly didn't recall seeing this man before. And why was he wearing what appeared to be a fancy nightgown? He couldn't possibly be quite right in the head. "Again, sir?"
"Ah yes," Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling madly once more. "And let me tell you, you are the very image of your father. Except, of course, for your eyes. You have your mother's eyes."
"Is there something wrong with your eyes, sir?" Harry asked.
Dumbledore chuckled. "What makes you think that?"
"Well, they appear to be…twinkling. I don't think that's quite normal," Harry explained. McGonagall and Snape, who had both had similar concerns, nodded in agreement.
Blithely ignoring the question, Dumbledore began again. "I was a friend of your parents Harry, and I am here to offer you a place at my school, their old school, Hogwarts."
Harry's eyes widened and he shot a panicked glance at his aunt. "I believe I already got your letter and I will have to again respectfully decline."
"Why don't you read it again, just in case?" Dumbledore suggested, refraining from twinkling because it clearly seemed to disturb Harry (and Minerva and Severus, too, who knew?).
"Alright," Harry agreed reluctantly. He gingerly took the letter and held it far away from him, as though afraid that it were cursed. Which, given the letter's deliverer, it very well could be. He quickly perused the letter again. "Yes, this is the letter I saw before and upon reading it a second time, I find I must still decline your oh-so-generous offer."
Dumbledore, who had been sucking on a lemon drop throughout the conversation, nearly choked on it. "But…what would your parents say?"
"I don't know," Harry replied, a bit crossly. "I was one when they died and so I do not actually have any memories of them. I suppose if I had to guess, that they would tell me that getting involved with you people got them killed when they were barely twenty-one, so if I want to stand any chance of reaching thirty, I'd better keep my distance."
"Your parents loved magic!" McGonagall protested. "I taught them myself."
"And look what good it got them! It got them and ME, their infant son, targeted by some deranged serial killer. While, of course, their death was tragic, at least they had the sense to leave me somewhere where I could escape forced indoctrination into their cult. That's love, right there."
Dumbledore coughed. "Well, actually, I put you here. Their wills stated that you were to be left here only if the first 392 people they suggested as your guardians were unable to fulfill those duties."
"And were they?" Harry asked, raising an eyebrow.
"No…" Dumbledore admitted.
"So you basically kidnapped me." It wasn't a question. "You know, it's strange. I don't think it was your intention, but I'm becoming more and more convinced that going with you would be a horrible idea sure to lead to a life full of constant danger and an early death."
Snape snorted and Harry turned to him.
"Do you want to have a go at convincing me now?" he asked.
Snape held up his hands in a gesture of peace. "Oh no, I think you've made a wise decision, Potter, and would just like you to know that I support you 100 percent. The magical world is a dangerous, dangerous place."
"Can't you put aside your feud with a man who's been dead for a decade for five minutes?" Minerva hissed at him.
"I'm merely respecting the boy's wishes," Snape defended, not very convincingly. "It's what they would have wanted."
"But Harry, you're a hero," Dumbledore tried again.
"Um, what?" came the succinct response.
"Every man, woman, and child in our world knows your name," Dumbledore explained.
"Sir, I know what a hero is," Harry said tersely. "I was just inquiring as to why, exactly, I'm apparently a hero when I left your cult when I was fifteen-months-old."
"It's not a cult," Dumbledore retorted. "And it's because Lord Voldemort, the wizard who killed your parents and countless others, tried to kill you but obviously failed, leaving you with nothing but a scar, and disappeared, ending his rein of terror."
"Disappeared?" Harry seized onto the word. "So he's not dead?"
Dumbledore sighed. "Alas, Harry, Voldemort took several steps to insure he could not be killed that easily."
"So let me get this straight, your entire cult worships me because I'm alive and have an unfortunate facial disfigurement and the…wizard who did this is still out there and probably out to get me because he's bound to resent the fact that everyone thinks he got ass handed to him by an infant?" At Dumbledore's somewhat reluctant nod, Harry continued. "Again, I will reiterate: Thanks, but not thanks."
"But…you have to!" Dumbledore said desperately.
"You're our only hope!" Dumbledore exclaimed.
"Care to explain that?" Harry asked, cautiously. It sounded like they were about five seconds away from proclaiming him their Messiah and forcibly inducting him into their little cult. Clearly these were very dangerous people, especially if Aunt Petunia wasn't intervening, just nervously watching the proceedings from the relative safety of the doorway.
Dumbledore sighed heavily and suddenly looked years older. "I had never dreamed of telling you this early, you're still just a child, after all, but you've left me with no choice. There was a prophecy made before you were born."
"Albus!" Minerva cried, scandalized.
"The prophecy was: 'The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…And either must die at the had of the other for neither can live while the other survives.' That could have applied either to you or to a boy named Neville Longbottom, who was born the day before you. As Voldemort deemed you, as an infant, a threat and chose to attack you, giving you your scar, he marked you as his equal. And so, you see, Harry, we need you."
Harry just stared at him in disbelief. He was right; they did expect him to be their Messiah. "While, of course, I don't believe in rubbish like prophecies, I'll play along for now. If I'm prophesized to defeat him, then I'll do so regardless of whether or not I join your cult. If I'm prophesized to get killed by him, I don't need to paint a huge target on my back. So, for the last time, no thank you."
"Hey, Ron, where do you think you're going?" Parvati demanded angrily.
"…to the dormitories. There's a bloody troll on the loose," Ron replied, confused as to why she was so upset.
"But what about Hermione?" Lavender cut in.
"What about her?"
"She doesn't know about the troll and that's all your fault!" Parvati pointed out.
"Hey, it's not my fault she can't handle the truth!" Ron defended before running off to be closer to Percy where the two first-year girls would have no chance of getting him to go after her.
"He's horrible," Lavender said, disgusted.
"He's right, though, she doesn't have any friend and she's been here for two months. We should really do something about that," Parvati decided. "I mean, she can be a bit of a know-it-all and that can be really irritating, but I think today showed that that's just her insecurities coming out."
"So you think we should be her friends?" Lavender asked.
"Well, it's either us or Ron and those two meatheads he hangs out with."
"Good point," Lavender agreed. "Hey, Professor McGonagall!"
"Yes?" Minerva asked, about to leave. "Why aren't you in your dormitories?"
"Because we had to let you know that Ron Weasley made Hermione Granger cry at the end of Charms earlier today and since she's spent the entire afternoon crying in the bathroom, she doesn't have any idea about the troll," Lavender explained.
"And when we reminded him that she was there, he basically said he didn't care and it's not his fault if she doesn't have any friends," Parvati added.
Minerva's eyes hardened. "I see. Well come with me, I'll go inform Miss Granger and then I'll escort the three of you to your Common Room."
Albus Dumbledore returned to his Hogwarts Castle in a very bad mood. He'd had to drop everything to go rushing off to the Ministry for some very urgent meeting, and then when he'd gotten there, it turned out that they had never even summoned him. And he still had no idea how to convince Harry to come to Hogwarts! Even if there wasn't the whole 'Harry is the only one who can defeat Voldemort' aspect to consider, Dumbledore's decision to send Harry off to Muggles for his own protection and then inability to entice him back was a regular PR nightmare.
When he reached his office, he noticed that the charms he'd set to let him know if someone had entered the third floor corridor were going off. Had Quirrell made his move?
As he headed down towards the Philosopher's Stone, he realized that he was almost relieved that Quirrell had finally made his move. Keeping Voldemort-bait in a school full of children had made him nervous all year. To compensate for that, he left Hagrid's Cerberus 'Fluffy' stand guard to dissuade most of the casual investigators. Those who did manage to get past the giant three-headed dog (he knew there would be some who figured out what to do, for Hagrid never could keep a secret) had some easily surmountable obstacles. Dumbledore had no real way to test this, but he theorized that even some determined first years could get past most of the obstacles. That was fine, the obstacles themselves were just to lull any would-be thieves into a false sense of security before trapping them at with the Mirror of Erised.
Sure enough, when Dumbledore reached the Mirror, he found Quirrell standing in front of it, muttering to himself. That didn't surprise him, but the fact that the man's turban was off and what appeared to be Lord Voldemort himself was on the back of the defense professor's head did. Dumbledore sent a quiet stunner at them and they slumped over, unconscious.
Well, Dumbledore reflected, that was certainly fortunate. And now he could focus all his efforts on figuring out why Voldemort wasn't dead and how to make him mortal again without having to worry about any pesky rebirth attempts.
"You people have got to learn that no means no," Harry informed them, crossing his arms. "I'm perfectly happy at Smeltings."
"But Harry, Hogwarts is a wonderful school," Dumbledore told him.
"So is Smeltings. And let me tell you, I didn't nearly die nor have anyone else nearly die the entire year. Well, except for that one rugby match, but he at least knew what he was getting into and signed the waiver…" Harry trailed off.
"Why do you seem to think that Hogwarts is a death trap?" Dumbledore asked, frustrated.
"Because I heard that a troll was loose in the castle at Halloween," Harry informed them. "And Quidditch! Don't even get me started on that. Not to mention what I've heard about Potions…"
"And where did you hear all of this?" Dumbledore asked, hoping to find the source of his knowledge and use his connection the magical world to tempt Harry to rejoin it himself.
"My dentists' daughter, Hermione Granger," Harry said matter-of-factly. "Apparently she went to Hogwarts last year and when I came in for an appointment during Spring Break, she had read all about me in a number of highly erroneous books and asked me why I wasn't attending. When she tried to persuade me otherwise, the highly dangerous nature of the school came up instead and she agreed that perhaps it was for the best that I stayed home."
"So you won't reconsider?" Dumbledore asked disappointed.
"Nope," Harry said cheerfully. "But you'll probably try again next summer."
"That went well," Vernon beamed after the Masons left. "In fact, they want to send us to Majorca for the next two weeks."
"Sweet," Harry said. "We can be nice and tan for when school starts."
"When are we leaving?" Dudley asked.
"Tomorrow," Petunia informed them. "So you boys better go get packed now."
When Harry reached his room, he noticed that there appeared to be some of gremlin-like creature sitting on his bed. "Ah!" he cried, surprised.
"Are you okay up there?" Petunia called.
"Yeah, fine," he shouted back. "Who are you?"
"Dobby, sir. Dobby needs to be telling Harry Potter that he must not go to Hogwarts!"
"I told you," Harry began heatedly. "I don't want anything to do with-" He stopped as he processed what Dobby had actually said. "Wait, you don't want me to go to Hogwarts?"
Dobby nodded eagerly. "If Harry Potter goes to Hogwarts, he will be in mortal danger!"
Harry snorted. "No kidding. Look, I'm not sure what you've heard or what's going on now, but I have absolutely no intention of going to Hogwarts, now or ever, so you really needn't worry, although I'm a bit touched that you're so concerned."
"Oh thank you!" Dobby threw his arms around Harry, who tensed slightly. This gremlin was obviously unbalanced as well. Harry was starting to wonder if anyone who had prolonged exposure to the so-called wizarding world was sane. He'd have to remember to warn Hermione about that when he got back from Majorca. "Dobby knew Harry Potter would see reason and now it is worth it, even if Dobby does have to iron his ears when he gets home."
"Um…okay then, glad to be of service," Harry said as Dobby disappeared with a crack. "Come to think of it, I should probably call Hermione tonight."
"Is that a diary?" Hermione asked, picking up the book Myrtle had been complaining about.
"All this trouble for a diary?" Lavender asked. "Myrtle's been wailing all afternoon!"
"Well, you know how sensitive she can be," Parvati reminded her. The three girls had been walking past the bathroom when they heard Filch screaming about how much work Myrtle flooding the bathroom was making for him and so they decided to go and see. "And Hermione, be careful with that. Magical books can be very dangerous."
"It says T. M. Riddle," Hermione read. "He got an award for special services to the school."
"How do you even know that?" Lavender asked.
"He has a huge trophy with his name on it," Hermione defended. "There's nothing strange about seeing it and remembering the name. But what's interesting was that he won that award fifty years ago. If this is his diary, maybe it has something about the chamber." She flipped through the book quickly. "This looks like just a normal book," she said, disappointed. "And it doesn't even have anything written in it. I'm not sure why someone would throw it at Myrtle, but it seems innocuous enough."
"I don't know about that," Lavender said. "I mean, we found it in the middle of a huge puddle of water and yet the pages aren't soaked? That's hardly normal."
"It might just be that they used a spell to prevent it from getting ruined if it got wet. But it doesn't make sense that they'd do it if it really is blank. Try writing in it," Parvati suggested.
Hermione obligingly grabbed a quill out of her bag and wrote 'Testing one, two, three.' The words stayed there for a moment and then disappeared. In their place, new words appeared. "Hello, I am Tom Riddle. Who are you?" Hermione read. "You're right, this is highly suspicious. Let's take this Professor Dumbledore."
"You're absolutely certain that you do not want to fulfill your parents' wishes and attend Hogwarts?" Dumbledore tried again.
"Are you finally starting to get the picture?" Harry asked, pleased.
"But surely you've heard of Sirius Black?" Dumbledore asked.
"The escaped mass murderer?" Harry asked, puzzled. "Yes, he was on the news. Why? Is he a member of your cult, too?"
"I wish you would stop referring to the wizarding world as a cult, Harry," Dumbledore told him gravely.
"And I wish you would respect my wishes to stay out of your cult," Harry countered. "I guess we both messed up."
"And to answer your question, yes, Sirius Black is a wizard. And what's more, he's out to get you," Dumbledore said gravely.
"Oh goody. Another cult member out to get me," Harry said dryly. "You know, as far as I'm concerned, the only good thing about you people is Hermione and that's a mixed blessing. On the one hand, I don't get to see her except for the breaks she has from school and then she travels a lot but on the other hand, I probably never would have gotten to know her well enough to date her if she hadn't read about me."
Dumbledore looked up at that. "You are dating Miss Granger?"
"I just said that, didn't I?" Harry asked rhetorically.
"You know, at Hogwarts you could see her year-round," Dumbledore tempted.
"We've already talked about that and decided that since I'd be two years behind her we'd hardly interact at all, especially if I was in a different 'House.' And furthermore, I'd probably end up resenting her for causing me to attend in the first place, so it would destroy our relationship."
"Hermione is a witch, and what's more, one of the brightest witches of her generation. Any involvement you have with her will force you to have some contact with the Wizarding World."
"The fact that you people won't accept no for an answer will force me to have some contact with your stupid cult," Harry countered.
"I can't imagine your relatives approve of your relationship with her, given how hard they've worked to keep you from your magical heritage and her enrollment at Hogwarts," Dumbledore mused.
Harry's eyes flashed. "They don't know she's a witch and don't you dare tell them! I really like her."
"So you're willing to let some aspect of our world into your life."
"I'm willing to put up with as little as I can get away with and only for Hermione."
Dumbledore decided that any further discussion on the topic of Harry's girlfriend would be counterproductive to his goal of getting Harry to become a wizard and so tried another tactic. "We can keep you safe from Black."
"What's this about students last year getting petrified for no apparent reason?" Harry asked. "They never did catch whoever did it, it could happen again."
"It's not very likely that it would," Dumbledore told him. He had been quite surprised that Miss Patil, Miss Brown, and Miss Granger had literally handed him a Horcrux at the end of January last year, but it had effectively stopped the attacks. Granted, the monster that had been doing the attacking was still alive and the Chamber of Secrets undiscovered, but the diary was destroyed, Voldemort himself was still trapped in the drought-of-living-death-fed Quirrell, and it was unlikely that Voldemort, the last descendent of Slytherin and only known Parselmouth in all of Britain, would have made two Horcruxes for the same purpose. Which reminded him, when he was done here, he had several leads to follow up in that regard.
"It's also clearly a death trap," Harry told him.
"But Harry you don't understand," Dumbledore told him, urgently. He had to make the boy see! He quickly explained the basics of Sirius's story and why Harry was in such danger.
"So he never even got a trial? You people really are backwards, aren't you? And at any rate, I think I'll take my chances. It's not like my location is well-publicized and since I'm clearly not even remotely interested in your world, it's obvious that I'm not a threat, so I'll probably be fine. If not, well, then you tried your best."
"Harry-" Dumbledore began.
"Sorry to cut this short," Harry interrupted, not sounding sorry at all. "But I'm late to meet Hermione. Nice talking to you."
Dumbledore reached for the Resurrection Stone, as if in a trance. Finally, after all these years, here it was! Finally, a chance to apologize to his sister for his role in her death, a chance to apologize to his mother for not helping out with Ariana and probably contributing to her death. He held the ring the stone was embedded in in his hand and then stopped. No. He couldn't. He had possession of the Elder Wand and intended to keep it until he died (preferably of natural causes so as to negate the wand's power). He had the Cloak of Invisibility (as Harry had made quite clear that he didn't need nor want anything unnatural like that every time he had seen the boy). If he had the Resurrection Stone as well then he would have finally united all three of the Deathly Hallows, something he'd longed to do ever since he was a boy and planning to conquer the world with Grindelwald.
He mustn't. It was so tempting…But he couldn't. He couldn't be trusted around power. The Stone was dangerous and had to be destroyed. He started as he remembered that he had set out to do that very thing before he had recognized it. The ring wasn't just the Resurrection Stone; it was also the last of Voldemort's Horcruxes and as such was bound to have several very nasty curses on them. Who knew what would have happened had he put it on? Suppose it had killed him and nobody else even knew about Voldemort's Horcruxes, so the ring wouldn't be destroyed and Voldemort eventually escaped the prison Quirrell's comatose body had become? Shaking his head at his own foolishness, Dumbledore set the ring on the ground, walked a good distance away from it, and cast Fiendfyre.
Dumbledore returned from his office with a heavy heart. He had just finally destroyed Voldemort, but it had necessitated killing Quirrell. He had so hoped he'd find a way to separate the two while leaving his former defense professor alive, but regrettably, he had not found a way.
Fortunately, he did not have time to dwell on that for long as waiting for him in his office were a grim-faced Remus Lupin and Sirius Black, an annoyed Severus Snape, and a stunned Peter Pettigrew.
"I can't stay," was the first thing Remus said. "It's the full moon and it won't be cloudy forever so I need to go take my potion."
"I already told you, Lupin, I have some with me," Snape said crossly as he passed Lupin the goblet full of potion. "Now can we please hurry this up, I do not want to spend any more time with that man than I absolutely have to."
"What's going on?" Dumbledore asked. "Why isn't Pettigrew dead?"
Snape and Remus looked at Sirius. "Well, you see…"
"And so you see, Harry, Voldemort is gone for good, your godfather is innocent, and you have no more reason to fear your safety at Hogwarts. Won't you please come now?" Dumbledore entreated. He'd been quite shocked to find Sirius innocent, but apparently Remus had seen Sirius and Peter on Hogwarts grounds due to some map he had confiscated from the Weasley Twins and had rushed out to confront them about it. He had left the map on his desk and the Wolfsbane-Potion-delivering Severus had stumbled across it. Severus had reached the Shrieking Shack just in time to see Scabbers the Weasley Rat turn into Pettigrew the Secret Death Eater. They had thought it best to stun Peter and then take the matter straight to him.
"Hogwarts is a magical school and as such will never be safe. Hermione said the Defense Professor this year was a werewolf and what's more he'll be around next year, too." It was true. Now that Voldemort was well and truly dead, the curse on the Defense Against the Dark Arts job was gone as well. "And besides, now that you're Dark Lord problem is apparently taken care of, you don't even need me anymore. In fact, if I was there I probably would have run around and made a mess out of everything; I am quite nosy, you know. I think I rather did you a favor by staying away and any involvement that I had in your 'prophecy' was fulfilled that way."
"So, for the last time, you don't want anything to do with Hogwarts or the Magical World now or ever?" Dumbledore asked, not comprehending how that was even possible.
"Not anymore than having Hermione in my life will force me to. So, since this is the last time, I would like to again thank you for your generous offer but, really, no thank you."
About the Horcrux: This is either an alternate universe where Harry is not a Horcrux or Dumbledore is lying when he says that Voldemort is gone for good but he's incapacitated somewhere that he can't escape from even after Dumbledore dies and so once Harry himself dies one day Voldemort will be finally gone. I don't really care which explanation you go with.