Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns Harry Potter and company. They're slaves.
Chapter 1: Voldemort's Demise and Our Premise
Hey. I'm the nearly omniscient narrator and this fic is going to break the fourth wall so often we might as well drop the author's notes altogether. I really rather hope you don't mind, but if you do, come here and fight me. You win, ANs are back. You lose, ANs are still gone.
So, this is what happened that night. It's just going to be just between you and I, because the main characters won't find out for awhile. It's a lot more fun to watch them struggle than give them the answers from the start.
Where was I?... Right. Voldemort had sent all his minions away because he wanted to do some dark, insane magic in peace and quiet. Mind you, his repitilian brain was so short-circuited by then that he hadn't bothered to do the research properly, so as you can probably guess, it wasn't going to work out so well. You think that anything bad happening to him is good news for our Golden Trio? Yeah, you would. But it isn't. See, there's a thing in the world called the Theory of Narrative Causality. Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, neatly explained the principle of it somewhere, but I don't want to go looking for the entire quote, so I'll just give you the basic point: some things happen because the plot says they should.
For example, the dark-haired, green-eyed hero of this universe should fight against the Dark Lord. And there should be some sort of Epic Battle. Heroes aren't allowed to get off the hook too easily. Worlds aren't allowed to get off the hook easily, either. Where would the fun be if Voldemort had really died the night he failed to kill Harry Potter? Nowhere. Rowling would have had a pretty plotless book on her hands and fanfics would be here in the thousands, not the hundreds of thousands.
So, knowing this, keeping it safely in mind, think about the following fact: Voldemort Is Going To Die.
Are you cringing yet? You should be, by now. The implications should be flowering in your mind like killer dandelions. He's going to die. It's going to happen this very night I'm telling you about. Harry will have nothing to do with it. He'll be away, he won't know a thing. Nobody will know a thing. The plot is gone. The big bad is gone. And if that looks as if Harry Potter is going to get off easily....
Think again. This is a story.
The Theory of Narrative Causality says that he needs to suffer and struggle before getting away and having a life. So it's cringing time. Cringe as the Dark Lord dies, because that throws everything into whack. Trust me. Voldemort dying stupidly is Not Good. And guess what? Harry won't even know what's going on, why things are BAD, because none of the Death Eaters will dare to check up on their master before being called and they'll just assume that the shit everybody's going to go through is brought on at Voldemort's command. The Dark Lord's corpse will be rotting away unknown in his dungeon, hanging by a piece of rope while the world goes to pieces because of his demise.
That being said, let me tell you what happened that night. I'd love to keep beating around the bush, but the thing is I promised myself to not write more than 5 pages per chapter and I can't leave you without a bit of an exposition that actually contains some story telling. But before that, you should know that I'm going AU from about the 5th book onward, since I never really agreed with the idea of Horcruxes and, 'sides, they'd be detrimental to the plot here.
What happened is this: Voldemort opened the door and admitted three women inside. It was a stormy night, which pretty much figured, since this is a pretty dramatic universe. One of the women was a young, sweet girl dressed in a long white dress, with a crown of flowers on her blond head and innocent blue eyes. You had to love her when you saw her, you had to admire her, her graceful movements, her light step, her overflowing young love and care and kindness... She made you feel like a better person.
Sorry, I have to put a pause in the narration again. You won't meet her again, or if you do, it will be by accident only. She's not a Mary Sue. She's not even all that nice. She's the Virgin version of a Triple Goddess. In fact, all three of the women were one and the same Goddess - and goddesses are meant to impress. They're also immortal, so they have a lot of time to practice impressing people.
The second woman was middle-aged and seemed to be caring, nurturing, loving, protective. She made you feel at home. She made you feel that all was going to be fine. She would teach you, point the way to you, save you. She watched over all her children – and every person in the world was her child. In case you haven't gotten it, I'm trying to depict the Mother here.
And the third was an... Errr... Well. Hm. I can't say anything bad about her, because people usually don't – something horrid might happen. She might get pissed. She was not nice, not pretty, not kind, but an... Darn, this place won't let me add strikethrough... elderly-looking woman who held the approximate kindness of a rabid tiger, but a lot of wisdom. Since Voldemort wasn't big on good sentiments, he felt that he needed her the most.
"Come in, Ladies," he invited them. Even he knew to be polite with aspects of the Universe, which might have been good news for everybody – if he hadn't sorely lacked research in a very important department. And it wasn't just the department that said you can't threaten, coerce, seduce, bribe a goddess (a goddesses? My mind spins with the grammar describing 3-in-1, be it goddesses or coffee) into doing your work for you.
So, he tried those threatening to bribing actions anyway, while the elder one looked at him impatiently, the mother's smile was getting less kind by the moment and the virgin's eyes widened in childlike amazement.
"You can't convince me," they all said at the same time, in different tones - with the enthusiasm of young, the simple statement of the mature and the despise of the old who have no time for this.
"You should have done your homework," the Virgin said so delightfully that even Voldemort felt a slight need to apologize, which surprised him greatly. Goddesses. They do stuff to you.
"We don't murder children," the mother said, sternly. "We are not forces for you to command. We are not ordered, we are asked. Our favors are our own to grant."
"You're pretty stuck-up, aren't you?" the old one asked, grinning in a very unpleasant way. "Oh, little boy, believing yourself so great by having achieved no more than a transitory, low-scale control over the fabric of the universe without any idea of how the Rules really work. You are a speck of dust ordering the thunderstorm. You are a kitten involved in a nuclear war. You are a petty, stinted thing that wants to command something as old and as great as the world with all the impudence of the truly unworthy."
"We are the Ladies," the mother said. "We will not answer this, your demand."
"We are the Great Ones, we can't be small and evil," the Virgin said with a very charming smile. If it hadn't been so charming, one might have thought it was quite threatening. "If we were to hunt down people and make them die, then we would do so not in this aspect, but as the Kindly Ones. We are so kind. We would hunt down those who have the blood of their own kin on their hand."
"Harry Potter does not," the mother said.
The crone leaned back and grinned again, her teeth crooked, seeming to belong to a skull, not to a living being. She liked the part that was to follow. Voldemort had annoyed her by being a complete dunderhead. And she didn't forgive. "But you do."
"Oh, my," the young one said, her delightful smile growing larger. "Well. I guess that makes you ours."
"You really oughtn't call that which is so much greater than yourself."
I'd tell you what happened next. But this is a T-rated story and I want to keep it that way. Here's the hard, cold fact: the Ladies don't kill – well, usually, at least. They drive people to death. And they did such things to Voldemort that night that they managed to touch the very core of him, to hurt him more and more beyond any limit of pain he might have assumed he had, touching whatever was left of his heart, making it alive, then squishing it until it turned to dust. He became human, he was tortured and he lived agony through all the cells of his being. And when morning came, Voldemort was dead, having summoned a rope, made it magically stick to the ceiling, then hung himself, where he would dangle in the draft for months before his body came unloose enough to end up on the floor, where it would further remain undiscovered for years until a minion finally checked up on him and saw the bones. They'd need DNA testing to figure out it had been Voldemort.
But Narrative Causality does not admit the suicide of the antagonist as a solution for the hero, unless they drive the antagonist to suicide in the first place. Harry Potter's Story was meant to be a great one and if Voldemort had been stupid enough to die in such a remarkably anticlimactic way, it would find ways to rectify that, to bring forth world-threatening forces for him to face. And because like a petulant child, it would not give in to being thwarted like this; because like an inflamed passionate lover, it would not admit to be robbed of its climax; because like a slave tried too far as his heart filled with rage and he trained his body with his work, it would rise against its oppressors; - because of this, it would do better, it would do more, it would succeed in bringing conflict, it would climax as many times as would a teen promised against his will to a monastery when finding himself in a harem on his last night of freedom, it would fight against anything and everything to get its way and take over the world if it could.
Because yes, that was what there was needed here. Somebody to try to take over the world. And thank God, there was no lack of those people. No lack at all. The story knew where to grab them from. If it had had a voice, it would have cackled evilly and madly now.
So, this is how Voldemort did the worst disservice he ever could to Harry Potter. He died. This is how he ruined the boy's life forever. He committed suicide. This is how Harry would come to be faced with anybody and everybody in a guerrilla war while wondering what the hell was wrong and never quite figuring it out. He would be a participant in a story gone wild.
It would all start that very morning, his first day of his 6th year at Hogwarts.
Harry would discover that their new Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor would be a creepy man who went by the name of Ron Sau, a man with a passion for rings, who secretly thought he'd rearranged the letters of his name cleverly. And then he'd casually read how Senator Palpatine of the US was going to move to the UK and start a political career here. And while nobody knew it yet, Genghis Khan had suddenly found himself reincarnated somewhere in Russia. And there was a really sad voice in the Chamber of Secrets saying 'exterminate'.
But this is just between you and me, now. You needed to know what happened that night. You need to know that all that happened was not a fluke, but simply the universe going crazy and hiring help. So that afterward you can't blame me of randomness and you'll understand why this story isn't officially a crossover – there's too many things that it crossed itself over with and frankly, it's only my omniscient nature that lets me know where those things come from. Harry and company might figure it out after a long time, but....
Look, I'll just describe them. Get the reference, great. Don't get it, no prob. Neither do the wizards. The difference being that you've got me on your side. I'll explain as much as I can. The really important question that you need to ask yourself right now, though, isn't whether I'll be able to tell you who the people are in such ways as will be neat for both people who know whom I'm talking about and those who don't, or where the Ladies came from – I think it may be Neil Gaiman's The Sandman – scratch that, I'm sure, I know almost everything here, emphasis on almost only if you want a fight, but why Sauron slept in a nightie and had his corkscrew and ring necklace on. Because if there ever was a creepy image, that's it.