No Hurry At All
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, this is purely a non-profit making hobby.
Updates – I try to update weekly. Since I now have three stories spinning at the same time, apologies in advance if the update I post isn't the one you wanted to read. I'm committed to always finishing my stories so hang in there, the update you're waiting on won't be too far away.
Harry landed in the headmaster's office and began verbally cursing up a storm. "Dumbledore, you whiskered, wrinkled wanker of a wizard! You just made a very big mistake, stupid old bastard…"
This outburst was halted by a cacophony of noise as the portraits of former headmasters vented their outrage at Harry, he recognised Phineas Black as being one of the most vociferous.
"Phineas Black, you do know that I am the new head of the Black family?"
"That doesn't matter whelp! My loyalty is always to the current headmaster of Hogwarts. How dare you speak about Albus Dumbledore in that manner, totally unworthy of a Black."
Harry stood just a little bit straighter as he gave his verdict on the matter. "Very well Phineas, you have made your position on this matter quite clear. Now I shall give you mine. I refuse to have a member of the Black family spying on me or providing aid to Dumbledore in any way. I will count to three and then destroy your portrait, I would advise you to leave it now."
For a portrait, Phineas made an admirable effort at displaying contempt for his new head of house. "You wouldn't dare boy. I've earned my place on this wall and have no intention of moving!"
Flames shot out of Harry's wand and incinerated the canvas in an instant. This action was also greeted by outrage from the other portraits. One female former headmaster who Harry didn't recognise was particularly scandalised by his actions, he really must make time to read 'Hogwarts a History'.
"You said you would count to three?"
"Yes I did, and I always keep my word. I never said anything about counting out loud though! I rather enjoyed that, anyone else want to defend Dumbledore?"
The portraits were all empty before any counting could even be started, Harry switched his attention to the sorting hat. "Well Alistair, can you keep your mouth shut or do I need to throw you out the window?"
The tatty old hat quickly became animated and replied to Harry. "Am I to assume Mr Potter, that you want what happens here to remain unknown to our esteemed headmaster?"
Harry smiled back at the sorting hat. "Yes Alistair, I have no quarrel with you or Hogwarts. I still owe you and Fawkes for coming to my rescue in the chamber."
"If it doesn't endanger Hogwarts then I will happily comply. Albus sticks his big nose into far too many things that are none of his business. I quite enjoy watching him when he doesn't get his own way."
"Well Alistair, I'll do my best to provide you with entertainment for some time to come."
Harry called for Dobby, Winky and Kreacher. Three elves of very different dispositions appeared in the room. Dobby couldn't contain his excitement at having been called by Harry. Winky was sober but had her head lowered in shame, still considering herself a bad elf for being given clothes by her master. Kreacher, on the other hand, didn't try to hide his contempt and disgust at being called away from his beloved mistress by this half blood pretender. Were it not for his bond to the Black family making it impossible to refuse, he would not have answered the summons. This didn't mean that Kreacher had to like it, and he let everyone in the room know.
"Half blood has the nerve to call Kreacher? My mistress will be so angry this mongrel is claiming the head of our great family."
Harry had to physically restrain Dobby from attacking Kreacher, The enraged little guy looked ready to rip the old elf to shreds with his bare hands. Bad enough an elf should disrespect its master, but when that master was Harry Potter! Dobby's blood was boiling.
Harry spoke harshly to the old elf, demanding obedience and an answer. "Kreacher, I am your master now! Is that correct?"
The disgruntled elf fought with every fibre of his being not to answer but the powerful magic involved denied him that option. His 'yes master' was uttered without the slightest trace of respect or enthusiasm.
Harry treated the elf with the same lack of respect, he'd given Kreacher a chance and now totally ignored the old elf. Harry turned to face the other two elves. "Dobby and Winky, would you like to leave Hogwarts and work for me?"
Dobby sprang at Harry and was hugging his leg, the face splitting grin giving its own answer. Winky though was more cautious. "Would Winky be a proper house elf again? Belong to a family? No wages?"
"Winky, whatever makes you and Dobby happy is fine with me." Harry then had a house elf hugging each leg. Harry started telling his new elves what he wanted. "I own a house at twelve Grimmauld Place, I want all my things taken from Hogwarts and placed there. Get my Firebolt only if you can do so without getting hurt, I don't know what traps that crazy bitch Umbridge might have set on it. As to the house, its not been looked after properly so will need a lot of work."
Harry still had his back to Kreacher as he said the next bit. "There are shrunken elf heads on the wall, I want them removed and disposed of. The painting of Walburga Black has to be taken down and burned, just like the one behind me."
This was too much for Kreacher to bear, taking his beloved mistress down could not be tolerated. Destroying her was unthinkable and unacceptable, mistress must be protected at all costs! With a squeal of pure hatred, the elf launched itself at the defiler of the proud Black name, Harry Potter. The instant Kreacher attacked his acknowledged master, his house elf bond demanded the ultimate price. The old elf dropped dead on the headmaster's carpet.
Dobby and Winky appeared more shocked that an elf would dare to attack its master, rather than the fact there was now a dead elf lying before them. Harry snapped them out of it by continuing to give instructions.
"The house has been used by the headmaster and his cronies, that stops now. Bar entry to all but those you know to be my friends at Hogwarts. Any stuff left there by the headmaster and his group I want dumped in this office. The headmaster has locked me in here and I intend to make rather a mess before I escape, add anything you find to that mess. Don't worry, there will be enough work at Grimmauld Place to keep the both of you busy and happy for a while."
Deliberately making a mess went against their instincts but a direct order had been given. The promise of plenty work had them both smiling though Dobby had a question. "Harry Potter sir, you are locked in here? Dobby or Winky can easily get Harry Potter sir out of Dumbebum's office."
"Thanks Dobby, but I can easily get out of here myself. Besides, I also want to make a bit of a statement doing it. Albus Dumbledore is going to have quite the surprise waiting on him."
The two Happy elves popped off to begin their tasks as Harry now headed for the glass case containing the sword of Gryffindor. He was wondering what to do with Kreacher's body when he decided to include it in his message to Albus. A precise application of the levitation charm and one sticking charm later saw the dead elf framed on the wall, stuck over the recently incinerated portrait of Phineas Black.
He then levitated Dumbledore's massive solid oak desk off the floor before applying the same charm used on the golden wand that ended Bellatrix's reign of terror. The desk accelerated at great speed across the room and smashed into the heavy door. The desk and door were shattered beyond the power of any reparo spell to fix, blocks of masonry around the doorframe would also need replaced or repaired. Now he had an exit, Harry cast his next spell at a large bookcase. Every book on the shelves transfigured into a black, fluffy niffler who must have thought they'd reached niffler nirvana. The room was packed full of bright, shiny things that they fell upon like a horde of hungry locusts. Harry kept a tight hold on the sword as Dumbledore's office was stripped bare of anything that glittered, the nifflers began dragging everything they could get their paws on out the smashed door.
Harry spotted a silver glow coming from a cupboard and wondered why the nifflers hadn't taken that until he remembered what it was. With a wicked smirk on his face, Harry spoke out loud.
"Mum, you may want to look away now. Dad, Sirius, you're gonna love this!"
Harry pulled the stone bowl toward him while undoing his robes, he then began using Dumbledore's pensieve as a potty. The silvery swirling mist took on a distinctly golden hue as Harry chuckled with the thought of the next person to use it. He couldn't decide whether he wanted it to be Dumbledore or Snape being next to stick their face into the mist. Perhaps he would get really lucky and it would be both f them! Now he was relieved, it was time to leave. The nifflers had done their work and the room appeared as if Dudley and his gang, wielding cricket bats, had paid it a visit, this would do as a start. Harry suddenly realised what was missing from this tableaux, nothing was spray painted. He soon fixed that omission.
Severus Snape had heard and actually felt the crash shockwave within the castle, he was heading off to investigate. He stood there speechless as a swarm of nifflers raced along the corridor and past him, carrying off some of the headmaster's most treasured possessions. He was still trying to get his head around that vision when the Potter brat strolled along, Gryffindor's sword in his hand.
"Potter, I should have known you would be involved somehow. I'll see you expelled for this!"
Harry wasn't troubled in the slightest by the often-heard threat. "Ah Severus, so sorry to disappoint you yet again. I can guarantee you I will not be expelled for this. The good news, for both of us, is that I've already left Hogwarts."
Harry made to walk past Snape when he was grabbed by the arm. "Arrogant little prick, just like your father. You're stealing that sword Potter so I'm calling the aurors, arrested works for me just as well as expelled."
The potions professor suddenly found himself disarmed and dangling from the ceiling by his ankle. He'd mistakenly thought he'd seen the last of this particular spell. Severus attempted to scream at the brat, only to find a silencing charm had also been applied.
"A death eater calling the aurors to arrest someone? That's novel!" Harry was now right in Snape's upside-down face. "Just how long did you take to pass that message on tonight Severus? Were you getting your jollies thinking we were all going to be killed by the time help arrived?" Harry refused to lose his temper at this arsehole. "You strut around Hogwarts as if you're some kind of super spy when really you're nothing more than a message boy for Albus and Tom. Both have you pegged as a petty little wizard, so petty he still carries a grudge against someone who's been dead for over a decade."
Harry was now giving a still silenced Snape the benefit of his version of an evil glare. "You did get one thing right though, I am just like my father. That means Lily Potter loves me with all her heart. Here's a newsflash for you Severus, she hates your guts for the despicable way you treated her son."
He could now see Snape's face producing colours that even his Uncle Vernon would be struggling to match. "I would love to stay and continue with our little chat but I, unlike you, have important things I need to do. I'll just say bye for now. I'd like it to be goodbye forever but you're just too stupid to let this go. It will end with me being forced to kill you, not something I look forward to but I won't hesitate either. I would do it now but as I said earlier, you're really not that important for me to bother with. I expect I'll see you later though."
With that, Harry walked off down the corridor. Whistling a merry tune while slashing the occasional imaginary foe with the magical sword. Severus was left dangling there, silenced and with his wand lying out of reach on the floor below him.
Albus couldn't believe the destruction in his office. That only one portrait was occupied left him with no one to ask questions of. The occupied portrait wasn't talking either, the elf contained within its frame would reveal no more secrets. It still provided information though, a dead Kreacher and the order of the phoenix paraphernalia scattered around the room told Albus he probably wouldn't be welcome at … he couldn't remember! Harry must have had someone perform a fidelius charm on the house.
What really focused his attention though was the message painted on the wall, it was like the chamber of secrets all over again.
The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches
Don't force me to vanquish you Albus
That Harry discovered the prophecy in this manner was bad enough, that he could consider Albus Dumbledore as the dark lord of the prophecy was catastrophic! Albus was struggling to think how he could have marked the boy until he realised that he was being too literal with his interpretation. It was easy to see a scar and equate that with being marked as an equal but not all scars were visible. Harry would certainly consider being raised by the Dursleys as having marked him. Quirrell, Cedric and now Sirius's deaths had also undoubtedly left their mark on the boy. Albus was currently running the rest of the prophecy through his head.
He will have power the Dark Lord knows not
Harry certainly had displayed a power tonight that Albus had never seen before, the old wizard now felt as if someone had just walked over his grave as he remembered the next part.
Either must die at the hand of the other
Albus knew he was doomed. Since he couldn't bring himself to kill Tom Riddle, Albus couldn't imagine any circumstances that would see him deliberately killing Harry Potter. He had to find Harry and convince him that Tom was indeed the dark lord of the prophecy. If Harry vanquished Albus Dumbledore then he feared for the safety of their world.
Harry was a powerful wizard with a vast capacity to love. Should that love ever be turned into hatred, the world would tremble at the mere mention of Harry Potter's name.
He climbed over what was left of his desk to make his way out of the new exit to his office. Albus needed to find Harry, or at the very least some information.
He found Severus only minutes later but didn't like the information he heard, after he got his potions professor down from the ceiling.
"It was Potter! He left me dangling there for nearly an hour. The insolent brat made off down the corridor with the sword of Gryffindor. I must leave immediately headmaster, the dark lord has been calling me and I was unable to answer. He doesn't like to be kept waiting." Snape then rushed off to get outside the wards.
Albus now headed directly to Gryffindor tower where he discovered the fifth year boy's dorm currently had only two students occupying it. Harry's trunk and things were also missing. A trip to the owlery also failed to bear any fruit as there was no sign of a certain distinctive snowy owl. It would appear Harry Potter had really left Hogwarts, for now.
Hermione awoke in a strange environment and it took her a moment to realise where she was, Ginny's room at the Burrow. Mrs Weasley had refused to let them return to Hogwarts last night. Since today was Saturday, there hadn't been any objections from the five students. A bit of supper later and they had all been shipped off to bed. That was when it all began to sink in for Hermione and the tears had started to fall. It was a still awake Luna who offered Hermione some words of comfort.
"Hermione, Harry will be in touch. It may take a while but he'd never leave his friends. He'd never leave you!" The blond witch lifted the Potter Quidditch jersey from where Hermione had neatly folded it and placed the precious item on the brunet's pyjama clad lap.
"The way Harry was performing magic tonight, he could have changed your ruined clothing into anything he wanted. He transformed them into something he loves for someone he loves. Hermione, he even put his name on the back!"
Hermione was clutching the jersey to her now as Luna continued. "Harry spoke to us all before he got to you. Yes he was a bit different but it's still the same Harry. He wasn't saying goodbye and he'd never leave without at least doing that."
Hermione had slept with her arms wrapped around that jersey, drawing comfort from it and Luna's words. Hermione was certain Luna was right about a couple of thing at least, Harry loved Quidditch and had certainly given the jersey to her. Using the word love had just made the tingly feeling in her chest return, the same tingly feeling that Harry's touch had unleashed. She could hear Ginny and Luna beginning to stir, it was time to get up and see what today would bring.
All the breakfasts inside the great hall lay largely forgotten as the students and staff devoured the latest issue of the Prophet. There was so much information that it was hard to know where to begin. All of them immediately focused on the fact that the supposed dead dark lord had been seen, making an appearance in the ministry of magic no less! That he fought Harry Potter and lost was also something to focus on but even that wasn't close to being the most startling revelation. That there was a prophecy proclaiming Harry Potter would be the one to finally defeat the dark lord would, under normal circumstances, have resulted in much cheering from most of the students. These however were anything but normal circumstances. Harry Potter was not only supposedly leaving Hogwarts, he was leaving their world.
Any eyes that scanned the Gryffindor table couldn't fail to notice Harry Potter was missing, seeing his closest friends weren't there either soon put names to those who had fought by his side. The paper didn't identify them yet and it would be lunchtime before the student body added Luna's name to that very exclusive and much talked about club.
That Sirius Black had died received about as much attention as their breakfast.
At the Slytherin table, there was a definite atmosphere of fear and apprehension in the air. The only other death eater named was the also deceased Bellatrix Lestrange, leaving most of them to worry if their parents were amongst the eleven mentioned as being captured. A glance at the staff table offered no comfort either.
The charges against Dumbledore had, of course now been dropped and he was once more headmaster. He was not seated at breakfast though. McGonagall was still in hospital but there was also no sign of the Hogwarts High Inquisitor either. Her squad knew the writing was on the wall and certain badges found their way off robes and into pockets. That the Slytherin head of house was also missing breakfast was yet another reason to worry.
Only knowing part of a story was stretching all their nerves to breaking point. Sometimes, ignorance actually was bliss.
The two men currently inside Hogwarts infirmary wouldn't agree with that sentiment. They needed knowledge as lives literally depended on it.
It was a rather the worse for wear Severus Snape who spoke to the headmaster. "The dark lord was in the foulest mood anyone could remember, no one escaped his wrath. Two were killed outright with another left a drooling imbecile. What in the name of Merlin happened last night?"
In lieu of an answer, Dumbledore just handed over his copy of this morning's Prophet. If things weren't so serious, it might have been amusing to watch Severus's eyebrows disappear into his hairline.
It was a thoroughly shaken Severus who asked his next question. "How much of this is fact?"
When Dumbledore admitted almost all of it, Severus now understood the dark lord's actions. "The dark lord killed two death eaters who couldn't heal the scar Potter gave him. I managed to brew a potion that at least stopped it weeping blood, nothing anyone tried managed to get the dammed thing to close over. The dark lord is currently wearing a bandage like a common muggle and cursing everyone who comes within range of his wand. I pity the poor fool who has the unenviable task of bring today's Prophet to him. What can you tell me about this curse Albus? My life may rest on being able to treat this scar."
Again, Albus had nothing but bad news for his potions professor. "There was no curse spoken and no wand movement used Severus because Harry didn't use one. It appeared as if his rage got away from him and he struck Tom down with a bout of accidental magic."
Severus struggled to believe this except he'd seen the evidence with his own eyes. The scar was real and so was the dark lord's fear, this was not good. "Albus, do you think we could view the event in your pensieve? We have to discover how Potter did this."
Dumbledore agreed. "If you're well enough to leave the infirmary, I shall bring my pensieve to your office. I'm afraid Harry didn't leave a flat surface big enough to put the pensive on, I believe the expression is he trashed the place. I need to sift through the wreckage for any clues before I can let the elves restore some order."
Both men headed off to watch something that could determine the outcome of this war. Albus knew Harry was playing a very dangerous game by making a false prophecy public, he could only hope it didn't come back to haunt the boy.
Since it was Saturday, Hermione didn't feel the slightest twinge of guilt from not being at Hogwarts today. Having already sat all her exams helped too. There had been very few questions asked of them last night, both Weasley parents recognising they'd been through quite the experience and were exhausted. That would certainly not be the case this morning.
The three girls quickly decided amongst themselves to tell them everything. Luna was dressed in some clothes borrowed from Ginny but nothing would part Hermione from her Potter jersey. That Harry hadn't conjured a bra was to be expected, and something she was going to have to live with until being reunited with her stuff currently at Hogwarts.
The girls beat the boys downstairs and were instantly aware that things were now very different from last night. The twins were studying the Daily Prophet intently, the way Molly and Arthur were staring at the girls clearly indicated they'd already read it.
The boys entered just as Fred quipped from behind the paper, "You lot couldn't let us have it, could you?"
George instantly backed his twin up. "Yeah, we pull the greatest prank Hogwarts has ever seen then you lot just have to go one better."
Both were still reading and obviously got to the same part at the same time. The paper was dropped and there was more than a hint of awe in their voices. "Bloody hell, Hermione! Slapping Dumbledore?"
Fred couldn't hide his admiration, or his disappointment. "Way to go Hermione! I just wish I could have seen it."
Ron smiled at his friend. "Always said she was scary, brilliant but definitely scary."
Molly pulled the paper off the twins. "Where did you read that? It says no such thing!"
Fred pointed out the specific paragraph to his mother. "It says that after Dumbledore sent Harry back to Hogwarts against his wishes, one of Potter's friends struck the headmaster before leading the group of friends from the ministry."
George filled in the blanks for his parents. "Anyone doing our Harry harm will incur the wrath of the delectable Miss Granger here. Out of these five, who do you think would be the most likely to smack old Dumbledore one? Right in front of the minister of magic too."
All eyes turned toward Hermione. "What? Harry had just lost Sirius yet Dumbledore took him from the very people he needed to be near, his friends."
Remus arrived before anyone could answer that, he appeared very relieved to see them. "I'm so glad you came here instead of heading back to Hogwarts. Has anyone heard from Harry?"
Remus now had Hermione's full attention. "No, why? Isn't Harry still at Hogwarts?"
It was Arthur who provided the answer. "No, he upped and left. I floo-called Hogwarts last night to inform them you were all here and safe. Albus called back later to say that Harry had wrecked his office and left Severus dangling from a corridor ceiling..."
Arthur was forced to pause as the ministry five and the twins were now on their feet, cheering and dancing at that news. Hermione was instantly trying to work out just where Harry might have gone when Arthur resumed speaking.
"Albus thought Harry might make his way here and asked me to floo Hogwarts if he turns up."
The teens were already on their feet but all screamed 'NO!' in unison.
This verbal blast silenced Arthur so Hermione took the floor. "Mr Weasley, you can't do that. Dumbledore would come here and try to take Harry away again. Last night he basically kidnapped Harry, right in front of the minister of magic and nobody did a thing about it."
Molly attempted to intervene and defend the great wizard's reputation. "Albus said that Harry was suffering from grief, the poor boy watched Sirius die."
This was even worse than Hermione thought, Harry would be distraught. She wasn't about to stand here and listen to Molly trying to defend Dumbledore though, or his actions against Harry. "I agree that Harry must have been suffering from grief but what Dumbledore did was inexcusable. The best thing for dealing with grief is to be surrounded by your family and friends, everyone in this room falls into one of those categories where Harry's concerned. Yet what does Albus Bloody Dumbledore do? He takes him from us!"
Molly was trying to play the dual role of defending Dumbledore and placating a now upset Hermione. She didn't know one was feeding fuel to fire the other so carried on regardless. "Perhaps Albus sent him to Hogwarts for his safety? I'm sure he would have brought him here..."
Hermione wasn't about to be placated, she wasn't taking any prisoners either. "Oh, like he did when Harry faced Voldemort at the end of first year? Ron and the twins had to break the bars off his bedroom window to get him out the prison Dumbledore put him in. What about after facing Voldemort and a basilisk when he was twelve? No, he had to blow his aunt up and run away. Third year when we were nearly kissed by dementors? Nope! Surely after facing Voldemort again and watching Cedric murdered right in front of him? No yet again, and the old fool banned us from even writing to Harry!"
The silence was now deafening, Hermione had more than proved her point. Put like that, Dumbledore's actions were indefensible. "Mrs Weasley, perhaps now you can see why I have no faith in Dumbledore where Harry's concerned. Dumbledore knew about that prophecy, his initials were on it yet he never told Harry. Had we known what Voldemort was after, we would never have been anywhere near the ministry last night, and Sirius would still be alive."
Remus rested his hand on Hermione's shoulder in a show of support, he wholeheartedly agreed with every word the young witch said. "Sirius and I weren't happy with the way Dumbledore treated Harry, don't even mention the Dursleys! Last night was the final straw for me. I resigned from the order and told Albus I want nothing more to do with him. I would have left with you lot but I had to care for Tonks. She's going to be confined to bed for a few days but will be ok. Sirius made Harry his heir so he's now head of both the Potter and Black families. That's not someone who should be Albus Dumbledore's little lap dog, trained to do his bidding."
Neville spoke nervously. "Em, sorry to interrupt but I only understood about half of that. Do you need me to leave so you can discuss this?"
Arthur was quick to put an end to that idea, Hermione's words had a powerful effect on head of the Weasley family. "Neville and Luna, I fear there has been far too many secrets kept here. It's time everything was out in the open. Harry has publicly said he's the chosen one, he'll need his friends now more than ever. I also think we need to include your gran and Luna's father in this, let them know your safe and invite them over. It won't be long before everything becomes public, I think they should hear it from you, rather than the prophet. Hermione, do you want me to contact your folks?"
Hermione had been on an emotional roller coaster since her history of magic exam yesterday. The thought of seeing her mum and dad was too strong a temptation to even think about turning the offer down.
Minerva McGonagall had progressed to sitting up in her hospital bed. She was beginning to think the multiple potions the healers had her on were affecting her mind, she read today's Prophet for at least the third time. She didn't require one of Sybil's crystal balls to know that most of the children involved in the battle at the ministry were her Gryffindor cubs. It was with a lump in her throat Minerva thought she might have to modify that assessment, it sounded as if they fought like fully-grown lions.
She was drawn from her reading when she noticed her room door opened, yet no one entered. Minerva was reaching toward the nightstand for her wand, that was until a rather large and beautiful basket of flowers appeared out of thin air. The flowers were soon followed by one of her favourite students, appearing from under an invisibility cloak.
"Hello Professor McGonagall, how are you feeling? Sorry about having to use the cloak to sneak in here, believe me when I say it was necessary. Oh, these are for you."
Minerva couldn't help but smile. "Mr Potter, thank you very much for the flowers, they're beautiful. I feel it is I who should be asking how you're feeling? I was very sorry to hear about Sirius."
With that last sentence, Harry was glad he came to see this woman. "Thank you professor, I appreciate your concern. I'm actually feeling ok about it. Yes I'm sorry to see him go but Sirius went down fighting and I believe he's in a better place now. Our loved ones never really leave us professor."
Harry was shocked to see that the stern facade of Professor McGonagall was in danger of cracking, she appeared close to tears. He quickly changed the subject.
"Oh Professor, you might wish to know that the last anyone saw of Umbridge, she was being carried deep into the forbidden forest by a herd of centaurs. They apparently didn't like her any more than we did! Umbridge may have looked like a toad but she squealed like a pig as they carried her away."
Minerva gave a little chuckle at that image. "Thank you for that Mr Potter, Dolores Umbridge getting what she deserves cheers me up no end. I have to ask though, what are you doing here?"
"Well I didn't want to leave without saying goodbye to my favourite professor."
There was more than a hint of sadness in her voice as she replied. "So the Prophet was right about that, you're planning on leaving Hogwarts?"
"It's more than that professor, I plan to leave the magical world behind. It hasn't worked out as I had hoped, it's time to cut my losses. If I start now, I may still be able to achieve the muggle qualifications I need for university."
"While I'm delighted you're continuing your education, I can't tell you how sorry I am that you feel it necessary to leave the magical world to do it. Are you sure about this? What did Albus say about the matter?"
"I'm very sure about this professor, I now know what I want from life. Albus Dumbledore's opinion was neither asked for, nor would it be listened to. I know you've always tried to do your best for me, neither of us can say that where the headmaster is concerned. You were against leaving me with the Dursleys, for that alone I thank you. I'm making my own decisions from now on."
Harry realised that his voice had been getting rather harsh at the end so deliberately softened it for his next comment. "Like coming here to see the professor that not only put me on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, she bought me a Nimbus Two Thousand racing broom too! To this day, that still remains one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me. I'm only sorry we couldn't make the Quidditch cup a permanent fixture in your office."
As they chatted, Minerva was trying very hard not to cry at the thought that this might be the last time she would ever see this outstanding young man. When Harry slipped on his cloak to leave, Minerva lost her battle and fat tears ran down her cheeks. She stared at the beautiful flowers Harry had brought for her, Minerva could always blame the pollen for her leaking eyes.
Harry left as Professor McGonagall began to cry. That the tears were for Harry Potter, her former student and not the-boy-who-lived or the-chosen-one was the reason Harry had visited in the first place.
Albus was left thinking his animation spell must have hit more than the gold elf since there was a golden mist floating through the air. Funny thing was, he couldn't remember ever experiencing a sense of smell when using a pensieve before.
Severus had just watched Potter expel the dark lord from his body, he had to grudgingly admit that was quite the achievement. When the dark lord threatened to go after Potter's friends, the power behind the boy's curse was awesome. Severus could see the dark lord was terrified, that scar would serve as a constant reminder of his fear. When he heard Potter spout off about protecting his friends, Severus's sneer was going full blast.
"Stupid, noble Gryffindor, he just handed everyone listening the key to defeating him. He clearly had the upper hand, why didn't he finish the job?"
"Harry claimed, and it really is hard to refute, that Fudge would have invented some charges and slapped him in Azkaban. As long as Voldemort lives, the ministry daren't move on him."
"That didn't help us discover how he did it, the dark lord is going to hate carrying Potter's mark. Especially now the entire country knows how he got it!"
Albus was too busy watching what he missed the first time, Harry removing the gold rod that killed Bellatrix and heading off to the lifts. It was time to leave.
The instant both wizards left the pensieve, it became rather obvious what the golden mist was. It certainly didn't come from any fountain!
The entire population of Hogwarts now knew Professor Snape was inside Hogwarts. His scream of rage must have been heard in every nook and cranny of the ancient castle. Harry's legend grew even more, Snape's scream of 'POTTER!' was of a volume that not even the Weasley twins had been able to achieve from the potions professor.
A/N Thanks for reading.