Time passed quickly and Halloween was soon upon them. It fell on a Saturday and on a Hogsmeade weekend. When they went to breakfast that morning something odd was happening. The doors to the Great Hall were locked holding all students in the entryway until they could be unlocked. Tempers were already high by the time the doors were opened, no one was getting an early start to Hogsmeade today. Dumbledore made everyone go into the Great Hall so they could find the culprit behind the locked doors. While the teachers were discussing how to identify the pranksters Harry watched as food rose from platters near him and went soaring across the room to land on a Hufflepuff. Harry recognized the boy as having a bad temper which was proven when he stood up and flung food back at the Gryffindors. Within a few seconds it was an all out food war.
Harry and Neville were highly amused as they joined in the food fight. Students were flinging food in all directions and teachers pretending to try and stop them when in reality they were the instigators. It had been one of his brighter ideas to get the whole school detention so none of them could go to Hogsmeade, Death Eater kids wouldn't have time to warn their parents. They had finally gotten confirmation that Voldemort was going to attack today, so plans had been set in motion. After a good ten minutes of the food fight Dumbledore stopped it.
"Enough." his voice was heard above all others, "There will be no Hogsmeade trip today."
Students from all sides began to complain furiously and Dumbledore stopped them saying, "I didn't see one person not flinging food. It doesn't matter if you started it or not, you participated. As taking points away from everyone won't work I am exercising my other options. Now everyone report to your common rooms your head of house will be addressing you shortly. Anyone missing from their common room will be banned from all trips for the rest of the year."
The entire student body started to leave the hall. Many glared at the Gryffindors where the first food had come from but all of the Gryffindors looked confused not knowing how it had started. As they reached the doors Peeves started talking to them from the Head table.
"Awww did all of you get detention? Poor, poor kiddies." He then went invisible as he swooped at the nearest table and scooped up food and threw it across the room. Everyone then assumed that the poltergeist had started the food fight and the Gryffindor's were no longer at the receiving end of the glares. Pure genius Harry thought to himself.
Grumbling students returned to their common rooms where breakfast was going to be served again. Each head of house went to their common room to supervise the meal after a firm lecture. Before they could start eating Harry and Neville cornered McGonagall.
"I saw the first food float up and get flung across the room."
"I saw it too. I didn't see anyone at our table doing anything to make it float."
"Very well I'll let you present your case to Dumbledore. If anyone leaves not only will that person have no more Hogsmeade weekends. Neither will the rest of you."
As soon as the portrait door closed Neville and Harry took off at a run turning themselves invisible as they ran. Minerva's whisper of be careful was not heard but known never the less. Once inside the Headmasters office they made themselves visible again and the next part of the plan was set into action. In the village people were already at work. The actual villagers and their belongings were taken to the school through the secret passage between the Hogshead and the Room of Requirement. The door to each establishment and house had been charmed so that anyone with a dark mark who tried to enter would be sent instead to the WWW shop where they were met with a big surprise. Harry couldn't believe it when Snape actually volunteered to test it for them a few days earlier. When he had finally gotten out of the shop he was a mess but chuckling madly. Fred and George would be staying in a control room making sure their system kept flowing correctly.
Shields to protect against all manner of destructive hexes had been set up as well as an illusion to make it look like the village was being destroyed. Albus was in charge of that illusion, safe in his high office he would be in the perfect place to make sure it was detailed and realistic. Some handpicked Aurors and order members would wait in alley ways to fight if necessary. The rest of the teachers and order members were placed at the school as a last line of defense just in case. The Head of each house was stationed by the exit door of the common room to ensure students didn't get out to help one side or the other.
All in all very few people would be in the line of any kind of spell fire. Neville and Harry were the only ones seen. They were standing in the middle of the street near the Three Broomsticks. They were ready and waiting when pops announced the arrival of the death eaters. As soon as they could verify that Voldemort was with them Aurors would erect anti apparition and portkey wards.
"What is this?" one man hissed from under his cloak.
"Hogsmeade weekend." Harry said, "Everyone else got detention for a food fight at breakfast."
"Ikle baby boys, can I kill them?" asked a woman Harry was sure it was Bellatrix.
"No they are Potter and Longbottom, the Dark Lord wants to kill them himself." a man that sounded like Malfoy said, "He'll be here for you two in a moment."
"Good I hate waiting." Neville said. Another pop announced the arrival of Voldemort.
"I told you not to call me until you had the two boys."
"They are here my Lord." Malfoy declared
"Easy as pie." Bellatrix laughed insanely, "Can I kill them for you?"
"Where are the rest?" Voldemort asked.
"They said the rest got detention for a food fight."
"Very well, destroy the village I'll dispatch these two boys." Voldemort sent two killing curses at them but they moved out of the way and returned spell fire.
Death eaters moved off and started throwing curses at the buildings and it quickly looked like the town was being destroyed. Five of them moved towards the Three Broomsticks intent on hurting anyone inside. But as they each crossed the threshold they were zapped away. The last three through the door were aware they were being taken but were helpless to stop their forward momentum as the last one had been hit with a propulsion jinx. Within five minutes half of the death eaters had disappeared.
Voldemort had not planned for a full scale assault. He didn't think two boys would be so hard to take down. He began to realize that something had gone wrong. With no dark creatures to back him up he decided it was time to retreat and tried to activate his portkey to no avail. A twist proved that apparating was also blocked. At that moment the Aurors and Order members attacked. The death eaters had spread out and then their ranks had been thinned. The outnumbered death eaters were captured.
The fight between Neville, Harry and Voldemort was a sight to behold. The wands were a blur as they moved through complicated patterns. For an hour their battle raged while the Aurors captured Death Eaters. A wide variety of spells with increasing in strength were thrown as the boys worked hard to stop their opponent. Harry could tell some of the buildings were actually being damaged.
Neville would fight for a while and let Harry rest and then they would trade. It was taking every bit of knowledge and strength they had just to keep up with Voldemort. Harry caught himself thinking that if this Voldemort had been in his world he would have lost. Neville was thinking along the same lines and he was furiously looking for help in his environment without any luck. All three combatants were tired and injuries were slowing them down. Finally the last of the Death Eaters had been stopped and the illusion of damage to the village was no longer needed.
When Dumbledore dropped the illusion, the shock of seeing the village nearly whole caused Voldemort a moment of lapse in his concentration. The two young men had pulled swords and were prepared to attacked when the illusion was dropped. The plan had hoped he would pause when the illusion dropped. They only got close enough to make a few this slices across his torso and arms then they were sent sprawling across the road. Harry was back on his feet within moments but not Neville. He had hit his head hard when he landed. Harry watched as Voldemort stumbled and held his chest.
"Are you feeling it?' Harry asked, "The poison coursing through your veins."
"What did you do?" Voldemorts gasped.
"We killed your snake."
"Nagini." he gasped again.
"Well yes that one too but I meant the bigger one." Harry said, "The one you killed Myrtle with. We used these swords to do it. We made sure they were well coated. Their Goblin made."
Neville groaned and tried to sit up. Voldemort sent another spell at him and Harry blocked it. The staggering mad man almost fell on the street.
"How's he doing?" Neville asked.
"Right about now he's feeling his body start to die. Muscles are weakening and it's hard to stay standing. Breathing will be getting difficult." Harry replied.
"How do you know?" Voldemort could not stand any longer and collapsed on the ground.
"I was poisoned by a basilisk once before. Lucky for me I had a Phoenix that liked me and cured me. I don't think you'll find one to help you." Harry said.
"You aren't winning… I can't die." Voldemort protested.
"Actually you can." Neville said as Harry helped him stand, "We already took care of your anchors."
"No." Voldemort tried to lift his wand arm to no avail.
"We did." Neville said, "And we'll know in just a few moments if we got them all."
"No." his last breath was still a denial.
An Auror checked for a pulse and found none. A victory yell was raised as Neville and Harry headed back to the school. When they reached the Weasley's the last death eater was spit out of the shop into the waiting hands of the Aurors.
The bedraggled man looked at the Aurors and said, "Please get me away from here. Don't make me do that again."
"How about a nice comfy cell in Azkaban?" the Auror asked.
Neville and Harry laughed and were soon joined by Fred and George. Alastor Moody stopped them and asked, "What exactly did you do to them inside your shop? Every single one is begging to go anywhere but back here."
"Let's get back to school and get everyone healed. We'll tell you once you have all these guys under wraps." George answered.
"Be sure to put up wards so they can't change into any animagus forms they might have." Harry warned, "And don't forget they might have portkeys on them. You could use them to take a group and see who else you can catch."
"Any other directions." Moody asked his voice heavy with sarcasm.
"Yes." Neville said, "Toss the dark dork's body through the veil. We don't want anyone to steal his body and claim another resurrection."
"Require all cases to use veritaserum during the trials. I don't think any of these were imperused and it's the only way to prove it." Harry said, "Don't let Malfoy loose again, Renenber Voldy has been hiding at their house."
Much later in the Headmasters office Moody asked again, "What did you do to them? They were all nearly begging for a nice quiet cell."
"As they slid into the store they were dropped into a vat of Bogessence." Fred started.
"It's a little potion we concocted to basically do what a Boggart does."
"It makes you see what you're most afraid of."
"One drop will make you see what you would see in the presence of a Boggart."
"Being dunked in it makes you hallucinate that you are living your worst nightmare."
"Originally we developed it so it could be used to help you deal with a Boggart."
"The idea being if you knew what you were most afraid of facing a Boggart wouldn't be as scary."
"Once we realized what would happen if you overdosed we knew we couldn't sell it."
"We planned to destroyed the potion and the recipe."
"In the wrong hands it could be devastating."
"But when Harry told us what he wanted us to do we couldn't resist using what we had on hand."
"But why were they such a mess?" Albus questioned."The ones I saw were covered in what looked like tar and feathers."
"Our most genius plot." George said, "First we disarmed them while they were unconscious."
"After waking up from their nightmare we sent them through an obstacle course." Fred continued.
"Maybe I should describe it." Severus said, "After all I got to experience all except the nightmare potion."
"Fine but keep in mind they were still prone to hallucinations." Fred said, "We won't know what they really saw so it was worse for them."
"I was dropped into a room with only one door." Severus stated.
"That is where the others were dipped." George said.
"Ah, I see. Well I went through the door believing that was all that would happen but the next room was filled with giant yellow rubber ducks."
"That's Dad's favorite." Fred grinned.
"Yes well I doubt he wanted them chasing you, trying to step on you and then squirting water at you when they missed." Snape said.
"Oh, for you it was water. For them it caused painful boils in the private region." George added.
Neville and Harry were snickering at the mental pictures they had.
"Lovely." Snape grinned, "Anyway once past the herd of stampeding ducks you are faced with a choice of doors. For me they were all locked but one."
"We locked the ones that were already harshly prepared." Fred said, "We didn't want you to miss out on the battle so we made sure you could only go in the one that wouldn't hurt you. For you we used sneezing powder."
"It led to a field of wild flowers that spit sneezing powder at me." he said, "I made it across the room but I couldn't see where I was going. Sneezing and watery eyes will do that to you. So I ended up falling and sliding down a chute."
"Each of the rooms was filled differently." George said, "There was a forest, a mountain side, a desert, a snow field and then Snape's field of flowers. They were hit in the face with conjunctivitis, sneezing, blistering, rash or wart powder depending on the room they chose."
"While sliding down the chute I was doused with water again." Snape said.
"Rinsing agent." Fred said, "We wanted to make sure they could see the next part so we deactivated the powders from the rooms that would obstruct their view, it left the boils, w+arts, rash and blisters though. The chutes all ended in the same room."
"At the end of the chute was a room that resembled the Great Hall." he continued, "It looked like the end of year feast and Gryffindor won. I was inundated with cheers for Gryffindor and then the lions jumped off the tapestries and started stalking me."
"They would see which ever house they liked the least." Fred said, "Most of them saw Gryffindor. But there were a few Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw haters. The raven haters were the best to watch, the birds would swoop at them and they would duck and run every which way running into walls and things."
"I just tried to hold still until one lion started pushing me toward another door." he said, "Just before I reached the door the floor dropped out from under me and I dropped into another room. I was a little shocked when it ended up being Dumbledore's office. I was force fed lemon drops and then the chair turned and took me down a track like the one at Gringotts"
"I loved that part." Harry said.
"He made me ride it with him seven times." Neville said, "The seventh time was one too many for me."
"Did you get dumped out into that little swimming pool?" Severus asked.
"They did, as did our other guests." George said, "But for the other guests it was filled with syrup."
"I bet that helped them slide down that last chute to the door." Snape chuckled.
"Yes it did and just like you, they were covered in feathers just before it spit them out." Fred finished.
A few months later*****************
"Ron if you don't get a move on Neville and I will dress you ourselves." Harry growled, "And we won't be putting you in those nice black dress robes. I'll choose some old fashioned maroon ones with a lacy collar."
"Bad mental image." Neville said throwing his hand across his eyes, "No more please."
"Alright already." Ron answered from the bathroom, "I'm done. Don't get your kickers in a twist. We aren't going to be late."
"We need to be by the doors of the Great Hall in exactly five minutes." Harry said as the three boys left the dorm, "If I miss Ginny's entrance I'll take it out on you during our next lesson."
"We aren't going to miss anything." Neville said pulling them into a short cut, "We'll be there in two."
They arrived without a moment to spare. Ron caught up with Hermione who was already there while Neville and Harry were ushered into another room. Upon entering the room both stopped stunned. Ginny and Hannah and their parents were already in the room and both girls were so lovely they took their breath away. The girls turned and saw their dates and smiled widely. Minerva, who had followed the boys in, reached up and closed their mouths. This woke them up and they moved across the room to the girls.
"You are absolutely stunning." the boys said together each gazing at their own date.
"Thank you." the girls answer was simultaneous. Chuckles filled the room and broke the haze the teens were in.
"Ok, just like we practiced. You four will be the last in the hall. You will advance to the table where your parents sit. After awards and dinner will be the first dance which you will lead." Minerva directed.
"At least I know the dance this time." Harry grumbled quietly.
Minerva ignored him and continued."Parents you need to head to your places now, I'll be staying here."
Hugs were given out and the adults left. Four nervous teens chatted while waiting for their time to enter the hall.
"I hate being the center of attention." Harry said.
"Should of thought of that before you helped me defeat old Moldy." Neville joked, "Whose idea was it to have a Yule Ball to celebrate his demise?"
"I wasn't suggesting a Yule Ball. I just thought a party would be nice." Harry responded.
Finally it was time and the four teens followed their Professor out to the hall. The doors were closed but they could hear the mumble of hundreds of voices talking excitedly. After a few moments the doors opened and they entered the Great Hall to thunderous applause.