Bob opened the office door, then stopped. "Who turned out the lights?"
"Shh!" Alyx said from some distance. "It's about to start. Close the door and get down here!"
Stepping into the room, Bob closed the door, then took two steps and stopped. "Where are you? And why is it so damn dark?"
"Honestly, Bob, what am I going to do with you?" Alyx asked, then sighed.
"I've got several ideas," he told her lasciviously.
"Later, dear. We have a disclaimer to get to. And you need to get down here," she said. "Hang on a second."
There was small clicking sound, then small, dim lights appeared on the floor.
"A theater?" Bob asked.
"Yes, now get down here and hush.!"
Bob hurried down the aisle, stopping only when he heard his wife hiss at him. Sliding in next to her, he sat down and sighed. "Give a guy a bit of a warning next time, would you?"
"I'll think about it," she said, then sat up straight when a spotlight appeared on the stage. "Oh, it's about to begin!"
"The disclaimer. That's why were here, after all."
"What did you cook up this time?"
"Oh it's...Wait! It's starting!"
Into the spotlight stepped a three year old Hermione Granger. She held a giant, eight inch lollipop in front of her. When she turned to face the audience, she lowered the treat so she could peek over it.
"Alwx an Bob don own Hawey Potta," she lisped cutely, then giggled.
Alyx stood up and cheered loudly, clapping her hands with enthusiasm.
Bob stood up more slowly. He clapped, but stared at the lollipop oddly.
"What do you call that?" he asked.
"You remember your "Quick and dirty" disclaimer? Well, this is my "Short and sweet," she gushed.
"How much did this cost us, honey? We used the last of the budget on the parade."
She shrugged. "We'll be paying it off for a few years."
He blinked. "For a disclaimer?"
"Do I need to remind you of the technicolor penguins?" she asked in a huff as she slipped past him and headed for the door. "Let's go."
Nearly to the exit, she heard Bob's voice behind her. Turning, she saw him up on stage taking to Hermione. Frowning, she moved back down the aisle to hear him better.
"But you have to give it back! We can't return the use of the theater, but I bet I could get a few bucks for that lollipop! Come on, kid, give a guy a break!"
Hermione hugged the sweet closer, then kicked Bob in the shins and ran off stage yelling, "My lolly!".
Watching her husband hop around on stage in obvious pain, Alyx snickered, then turned to the readers. "Enjoy the final chapter of Saying No, everyone!"
Dumbledore swallowed a mouthful of brownie and smiled at his teachers. "I would like to thank you all for your support these past few weeks. I know it's been a difficult time for all. Minerva, would you start off by reading off the current point assignments?"
Minerva blinked in surprise, unaware that they'd actually be conducting school business at the meeting. She rummaged around her robe pockets for a few moments, before giving up and waving her wand in front of her. The scores appeared before them all, glowing brightly.
She cleared her throat roughly. "As everyone can see, Slytherin House has six points, mostly awarded for being brave enough to leave their common room.
"Hufflepuff house has a negative seventeen thousand, five hundred and seventy seven points."
Ponoma moaned and lowered her head to the table. "I'm so ashamed," she said. "I can never show my face in the greenhouse again!"
Minerva glanced at her sympathetically, then continued to read. "Ravenclaw House has a negative twelve thousand, eight hundred and ninety one points."
Filius Flitwick growled in the back of his throat and his hands clenched reflexively.
"Gryffindor House," Minerva said, her voice shaking, "has a negative two hundred and eighty seven thousand, five hundred and sixty one points." She whimpered, then buried her head in her hands. It was all that Potter boy's fault! she thought to herself. His father was never so disobedient and his mother was a dream student. Where did this bad streak come from?
"We're winning," Snape said smugly. His eyes gazed lovingly at the numbers before him. "We're actually winning!"
"It's just not fair!" wailed Sprout suddenly. "The students don't care about points and they refuse detentions. This used to be a good school, a refined school."
"That's right," murmured a tearful McGonagall. "We even managed to avoid too much frivolity!"
"Yeah, except when it was your Weasleys," sneered Snape.
"They weren't my fault! Albus wouldn't let me spank them like I wanted to do!" hissed Minerva. "Spanking worked for their father. Why wouldn't it work for them?"
"I remember finding Molly and Arthur one evening in their last year," Dumbledore said fondly as he doodled on a piece of parchment in front of him. "Arthur was busy spanking Molly -"
"It's worse than that," Filius interrupted quickly. He didn't want Albus to talk about that incident, or it might lead to how the Headmaster had found him with the head girl later that same night. "They don't need us!" he exclaimed angrily.
Dumbledore looked up from his doodles of kittens and bunnies. He reached over and plucked the brownie from Minerva's hand and took a bite. "Oh? How so, Filius?" He asked, doing his best Ron Weasley impression.
Minerva stared at Albus with narrow eyes. She hissed at him softly, then summoned more brownies to her plate. With a flick of her wand, she placed an electrocution ward on her pastries. Let him steal one now, she thought grumpily.
"They've been studying," Filius said. "I've been watching them. In fact, I found that a group of six years had brewed a levitation potion and were using it for their own amusement. Not only had they brewed the potion, but they had improved -" He gasped suddenly and looked around, alarmed. "Wait! Did you feel that? I'm sure I felt something!"
As the staff froze, trying to feel what Filius had felt, they heard the diminutive professor giggle, then watched as he slid sideways off his chair.
"I told you I felt something," he called from the floor a moment later.
"I knew he was going to do that." proclaimed Trelawney smugly.
"Sure yeh did,"muttered Hagrid. He sat in a corner, calmly munching on a fist full of brownies. At least these didn't give him gas like the previous batch had.
"I felt something also," said Professor Harris, the muggle studies teacher. "A disturbance in the force," he added solemnly.
"Impossible!" protested Snape. "Those dunderheads couldn't p-p-possibly improve on a p-p-potion that has been around for two hundred years! That p-p-potion is p-p-perfect!" His expression softened. "It's exquisite and sublime, and arousing in its simplicity and p-p-erfection," he finished, nearly crooning to himself.
Dumbledore reached out calmly and grabbed Snape by the nose. He then yanked downward, hard, causing Snape's head to hit the table with a thunderous crack.
Snape slowly lifted his head and looked around groggily. "Mummy, why are the stars so bright?" he asked in a high pitched voice.
"I always wanted to do that," Dumbledore said, smiling. He then turned to Snape. "Now, Severus, I won't put up with you bad mouthing our students. Just because you're a failure as a teacher, there's no excuse to call them names."
When Snape began to sputter indignantly, Hagrid leaned around Ponoma and slapped the back of Snape's head.
After another thunderous crack, Snape raised his wobbly head. "Is it time for bed, Mummy?" he asked, then slid to the floor and began to snore.
"Yer right, Professor. That was fun!" Hagrid said to Dumbledore.
"I know, dear boy. I do hope Poppy has some headache potion for after the meeting," he replied.
"For Severus?" asked Minerva.
Dumbledore chuckled. "No, no, for me. I fear Severus will be most put out with us, but it was for the greater good, you see."
Poppy shook her head. "Potions? We ran out of those weeks ago, Albus. We've been so busy with -" She paused. "Well, we've been busy. I'll see about ordering some in."
At the far end of the table, a nearly naked Professor Vector danced slowly around Professor Trelawny, who was nibbling on a brownie and watching the show with great interest.
Dumbledore knocked on the table several times and finally managed to draw the attention of the staff. He raised a finger and stopped suddenly, transfixed by the sight of the digit.
"Albus?" asked Minerva. "What's wrong?"
"My finger glows," he replied in awe. "I am more powerful than Merlin. He couldn't make his finger glow. And look, it's such a lovely shade of pink."
"I had pink poop once!" offered Ponoma.
Minerva turned to eye her fellow teacher. "The twins got you too, eh? Mine was green and sang the school song! Blasted redhead menaces."
Ponoma turned to stare at Minerva and wondered if she should inform the Deputy Headmistress that she had vines growing out of her ears.
Dumbledore waved his glowing finger and sparks shot out from the tip.
Everyone turned to stare in amazement at the Headmaster's spark shooting finger.
"Now that I have your attention," Dumbledore said, standing and swaying ominously.
Poppy watched, slowly chewing a bite of her fourth brownie. She was confused. As a trained healer she could recognize the signs of being under the influence of a potion and she knew without a doubt that she was under such an influence. Strangely, she couldn't muster enough will to care about it. Nor did she care that Albus' finger was on fire. If he wasn't screaming about it, she wasn't going to worry about it. She hated when they screamed. It always gave her a headache.
"I want to talk about Harry Potter," Albus said. "Cute, cuddly, adorable Harry Potter."
"Headmaster, you know the Minister ordered you to stay away from Harry Potter," Minerva said seriously, then she turned to Aurora Sinistra. "How far away did he have to stay, Aurora?"
"Four point two light years," the Astronomy Professor said, her voice firm, her eyes glassy.
Minerva turned back to Dumbledore. "That's right, Albie. You have stay away from – Um, who were we talking about?"
"Ron Weaseldick," offered Hagrid.
She turned and looked at Hagrid in consternation.
"I didn't think anyone else knew about that," Pomona said.
"His brothers passed around some photos they took last year while he was in the shower," replied Minerva. "I was appalled by the obviously doctored photo."
She didn't tell the others that she hadn't added the photo to her collection of Gryffindor willie photos she'd been collecting over the years. She didn't want fakes!
"No, no, no! I want to talk about Harry Potter!" Dumbledore shouted. He leapt to his feet and thrust his hips forward. He looked down at his pelvis, confused, then suddenly grinned. "Well, look who finally woke up!" He patted his crotch proudly. "Soon, my lovely. First the Professors and I must finish our meeting," he crooned.
Looking up, he smiled at the staff. "Now, who were we talking about again?"
The room was suddenly plunged into darkness and a hush fell among the teachers. If they'd known to listen for it, they may have been able to hear the sound of unrestrained laughter coming from three houses.
"That's not funny," muttered Hagrid.
"I'll fix it!" shouted Flitwick. In the darkness it was impossible to tell just where he was.
"Who just pinched my nipple?" exclaimed Minerva. "Albus?"
"Wasn't me, my dear," replied the aging Headmaster.
Flitwick started a chant in what had to be high Latin. It was lengthy, involved and, unfortunately for him and everyone else, punctuated by hiccups. He finished his incantation with a short stabbing motion that no one saw, but Trelawney felt.
Crying out in pain, she slapped a hand over one eye. She settled into a stoned whimper as the faces of the faculty began to glow. Not a pure white, or even a pleasant yellow. No, they glowed in a rotating barber pole pattern.
"Well, that's different," Albus exclaimed brightly. "Filius, you simply must teach me this spell, I have a robe that would go marvelously with these colors."
Hufflepuff Common Room...
Hannah reached over and grabbed a handful of popcorn from Susan's bowl and chuckled along with the rest of her housemates. Then she noticed Susan tapping her wand on a small parchment which contained a map of the school.
"You didn't!" she exclaimed.
Susan looked up and grinned unashamedly. "Hermione gave it to me. With this map I can turn out lights, cause toilets to backup, freeze the staircases - just about anything, really."
"And you turned off the lights on them?"
Susan nodded. "Watch this," she said, then muttered something over the parchment. The image on the wall slewed wildly for a moment, then it steadied, showing a dimly lit corridor and a closed door.
When everyone turned to look at her, she shrugged. "What? It's just outside the staff lounge. What did you expect? It's dark in there."
The Hufflepuff's settled down when the door started to open, then stopped. Laughter and whispers could be heard from behind the door.
"Watch where you're putting your hands," said a voice that sounded like a very groggy Snape.
"Excuse me, dear boy," replied Albus Dumbledore. "It slipped. I didn't mean anything, unless you'd like it to."
More peals of laughter were heard in the dark staff room.
"Who's that?" asked Hannah. She pointed at a small figure standing at the end of the corridor.
Ernie McMillan leaned forward and squinted slightly. "Isn't that Tracy Donovan? She's a first year Slytherin."
Before anyone could answer, the door to the staff room was flung open with a loud crash and several glowing teachers spilled out into the corridor, laughing loudly.
Professor Sprout was holding onto the hem of her skirt and was fluffing it up over her head, then down again. "Breezy," she moaned.
Tracy stared at the glowing teachers, then screeched piercingly before turning and bolting in the opposite direction.
"Oh, that's going to be a problem," muttered Ernie.
Susan turned to look at him. "Why?"
"Tracy's dad is the director of news services at the Wizarding Wireless network. By this time tomorrow her father will know about this," he replied.
Hannah grabbed another mouthful of popcorn and nodded. "Maybe that's a good thing," she said.
On the wall, they all watched Dumbledore as he tried to climb on top of Hagrid's shoulders. He was shouting a challenge to all the Professors, claiming that he and his pony could beat them all to Hogsmeade.
Gryffindor Common room, November 30th, early evening...
All of Gryffindor was packed into the common room in a scene being played out in two other House common rooms. The only sounds were the crackle of the fire and the breathing of the students as they watched the images on the wall, shocked into silence.
Seamus turned slowly from the images on the wall and stared at Harry for a moment. "Was that supposed to happen?" he asked, his voice strangely high pitched.
Harry blinked slowly. "Um, no?"
"You mean you don't know?" Lavender blurted.
"It's not like I expected him to actually find a unicorn!" Harry protested. "And let's be honest, even if he had, who here thought one would actually allow Snape to touch it? And even if someone was foolish enough to believe he'd find one and touch it, who in their right mind could have imagined what just happened?"
"Luna," Ginny said quietly, her eyes still on the image of Snape, who was busy trying to fix his shredded robes enough to cover himself.
She glared around the room. "You don't all have to shout. I'm not deaf. Well, I wasn't."
When people started shouting questions at her, Harry bellowed for silence.
He stared at Ginny once the room was silent. "Let me see if I understand you correctly. Luna said that Snape would find a unicorn, walk up to it and touch it?"
"And after having touched the unicorn, she said it would turn on Snape, beat the hell out of him, knock him off his feet and...er..." He paused and looked about helplessly.
"Molest him?" Hermione offered as she reached for the popcorn, never taking her eyes off the wall.
"So, is he still considered a virgin?" Parvati asked curiously, then ducked as people tossed popcorn at her.
As the groans and retching sounds died down, Harry looked at Ginny and quirked an eyebrow. "Well? Luna predicted this?"
"Well," Ginny hedged, "I don't know that I'd call it a prediction. I think it was more of a joke. Maybe." She sighed then. "Either way, I owe her two Sickles."
He shook his head for a moment, then turned to Hermione. "Do you think we should ask Luna..."
"No," she interrupted, still staring at the wall. "If you do, you should know two things. There won't be a "we" in that scenario and the explanation will only give you a headache."
"What is that?" she interrupted again, leaning forward and squinting.
Turning, Harry stared at the wall, puzzled. "What? It's just Snape. Looks like he finally made it back to the entrance hall. Pretty fast for a man who crawled the whole way."
"No, I think she's talking about that thing on the left, Harry, at the bottom of the image," Ron said as he tilted his head from one side to the other. "Whatever it is, it's moving."
"It looks like a bit of rope," Harry muttered, leaning forward so far he nearly fell off the couch.
"That's no rope," Dean said. "It looks more like a..."
Several screams drown out whatever Dean said as a tentacle shot out and wrapped around Snape. The man's scream echoed off the castle's walls.
"What is it? The camera's angled all wrong!" Lavender shrieked.
"Quick way to find out!" Harry shouted over the noise in the common room as he jumped to his feet and bolted for the door.
Ron, Hermione and Ginny were a few steps behind him. The rest of the Gryffindors followed, though there was a bit of a jam at the door as they all tried to rush out together.
Reaching the entrance hall, Harry skidded to a stop, panting. As he realized what he was seeing, he blanched and turned away as Ron, Hermione and Ginny arrived.
Hermione shook her head and clutched at her stomach. "I shouldn't have eaten all that popcorn," she murmured.
The thunder of many feet bounced off the walls and students from Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Gryffindor began to arrive.
When the shrieks, moans, sobs and retching sounds ended, the hall was silent as everyone stared at the sight before them.
"What...what..." Ron murmured again and again, unsure of just what he was seeing.
"I think it broke him," Ginny said, poking her brother several times.
"Merlin, look at the mess!" Lee blurted. "I'm telling you now, I'm not cleaning that up."
"Lee!" several people shouted.
"What? Are you telling me there's someone here who actually liked the bastard?"
"Well, no," Susan said with a shrug. "But to go like that?"
Harry turned back to the mess on the floor, ignoring the questions and comments from his fellow students, as he tried to process what he was seeing.
The body of the thing was covered in bright green fuzz. It looked almost like a huge, out of control Chia Pet. Well, if Chia Pets had tentacles. Lots of tentacles.
He took a few steps closer. Each tentacle he could see, and he could see a lot of them, had an eye at the tip. His imagination began to play tricks on him and he nearly crawled out of his skin before he realized that, no, they weren't all staring at him.
His eyes moved to the creature's mouth and he shuddered. Saliva still dripped from the maw of the thing, soaking the sleeve of what was left of Snape's robe. And while that in itself was disturbing, it was the fact that Snape's arm was still in said sleeve, hand curled into a claw, that nearly caused him to vomit.
"The Bundimun," he murmured to himself. "Kreacher's going to be pissed."
A loud pop, quickly followed by a strong, foul smelling breeze rushed through the hall, caused the students to cough and back up quickly. As they watched, the creature seemed to melt, exposing the chewed, beaten and mostly naked body of Hogwart's Potion professor.
What was left of the creature was a very large puddle of greenish soup, with many eyes.
"Now what?" someone asked quietly.
"Colin?" Susan called.
"Way ahead of you," Colin answered, holding up his camera.
She then looked at Harry. "I'm not sure what all you have planned, but I think I should owl my aunt about this," she told him, pointing at the mess on the floor.
"Yeah, mate" Dean said. "I'm all for disrupting things and causing a bit of chaos, but we're not equipped to deal with, well, this!"
Harry looked at Ron and Hermione, an eyebrow raised in question.
Ron shrugged. "It's your show."
"Send the owl, Susan," Harry said quietly, then looked around. "The rest of you should probably head back to your common rooms." As the students began to file out, he spoke quietly with Susan for a few moments before rejoining his friends.
"I asked her to wait until early tomorrow morning to send the owl. I need to remove the spells from Snape. Oh, and Ron? Use Hedwig to send a note to your brothers. Tell them to send it. Tonight."
Ron's eyes narrowed. "You're sure?"
Ron flashed a feral grin, then spun on his heel and jogged away.
Hermione's eyes narrowed as she watch Ron for a moment, then she turned to Harry. "Do I want to know what that's all about?"
He rolled his eyes. "You're Hermione Granger. Of course you want to know!" He smiled at her then. "But I'm not going to tell you." He ducked away as she took a playful swat at his head.
"God, but you're a prat sometimes!" she huffed. "So, now what?"
"A bit of wand work," he told her as he drew his wand and began to remove all traces of his spell work from Snape's body.
Returning to the common room, Hermione and Harry found their housemates still up and discussing the night's events.
Sighing, Harry said goodnight to Hermione, then moved through the room, stopping to talk to Dean, Seamus and Neville for a few moments.
Pushing open the door to the dorm, he saw Ron opening the window a bit.
Seeing Harry enter, Ron explained that he was leaving the window open for Hedwig. "I'm not sure if they'll send a reply, but I figured this would make it easier."
Harry grinned. "I was thinking the same thing. I warned the guys that the window would be open."
Once he'd changed, he climbed into bed, then called Kreacher.
The elf appeared, standing at the end of the bed. "Master called?"
Harry nodded. "I have a bit of bad news. At least, I think it's bad." He thought about that for a moment, then shrugged. "The creature created by your potions is dead." He then spent the next several minutes explaining what happened.
Harry looked at Kreacher intently. "I thought it was warded?"
The elf frowned, then shrugged. "I said I warded it, I never said it was a permanent ward, besides its not really dead. It just reverted to it's original state. It's nothing more than a fungus now."
"A fungus with eyes. Lots of eyes."
He grinned. "So, it's a very creepy fungus. Besides, all Kreacher has to do is feed it potions again and..." he cackled and danced out of Harry's reach as the young man tried to grab him.
"Don't you dare! That's an order, Kreacher!"
Sighing, the elf nodded. "Kreacher knows."
Dismissing the elf, Harry stretched hard, then fell back against his pillow. It had been a long evening. That night his nightmare consisted of an angry Hermione with tentacles for hair.
Grimmauld Place, later that night...
George's head hit the table with a resounding thud and Fred sighed.
"Wake up, Gred. If you keep banging your head against the table when you fall asleep, what's left of your brain is going to dribble out your ears."
George jerked upright. "Corncobs," he said authoritatively.
"Not just now," Fred muttered as he flipped through the pile of notes in front of him.
Shaking his head, George scrubbed his face with his hands. "I dreamed that I was cleaning my ears with talking corncobs. They kept offering suggestions on wax removal."
"Try a crowbar and a blow torch."
A sweet, childish voice drifted down to the library and George sighed. Seeing the pained expression on his brother's face, he smiled crookedly. "Well, look at it this way. At least he doesn't hiss and spit anymore."
"A minor improvement, brother." Scowling, Fred glared at the ceiling. "The silencing charm has obviously worn off. It's your turn."
"Oh, come on! I've done it the last six times," George groused.
"Yeah, well, it was your idea to charm the thing to play that song repeatedly. Silencing charm, tape, an old sock or a ball gag. I don't care which one you use, just shut him up!"
Taking out his wand, George shook his head. "I think you're failing to see the humor in this situation, my dear Forge." With a few flicks of his wand, he applied the silencing charm on the room. "There. That way I don't have to keep going upstairs," he muttered, tucking his wand away.
"You're right. I'm not seeing the humor in this."
George contorted his body in such a way that he made himself look smaller. Widening his eyes and batting his lashes at his brother, he twirled around on his toes. "But don't you see?" he asked in a high, squeaky voice. "What could be more amusing that the most feared Dark Lord of our time, believing himself to be a Tom Marvolo Albus Percival Riddle Dumbledore, the six year old, bastard great grandson of our most wonderful Headmaster? Why, listen to how happy he is, singing his favorite song!" Taking a deep breath, he leaned down toward Fred and began to sing. "I love you. You love me..."
"Oy! Shut it! God, that song's been stuck in my head for weeks now!"
Laughing, George sat down and pulled a pile of papers out of the stacks. "Right. So, have you found anything?"
"Lots. Just nothing very helpful," Fred told him, disgusted.
A small pop was heard in the room as Kreacher appeared with a tea tray. "Kreacher thinks the two red headed menaces believe he doesn't have enough to do. There is no other reason for this latest disaster. Kreacher has had to tether Master Harry's house guest to his trunk to keep him from knocking things over!
The elf made his way toward the table, glaring at the twins. "What ever made you think doing that to Voldemort's ears would be a good thing?"
"It wasn't intentional," George said, scowling. "And we are working to fix it!"
"Work faster!" Kreacher exclaimed furiously. "And to think, Master told Kreacher that you two were funny!"
Slamming the tray down on the table, the elf straightened and his face suddenly cleared of anger. "Tea?" he asked politely.
"Um, thank you, Kreacher," Fred said sheepishly.
Another small pop was heard and Dobby appeared, arms crossed and leaning against the far wall. "The House of Potter never has problems like this. Dobby thinks the Potter head elf must be better than..."
"You little..." Kreacher began as he sprang toward Dobby.
George grabbed Kreacher's arm to halt his attack on Dobby as Fred glared at both elves.
"Do you want me to report this to Harry?" Fred asked angrily. "You know his orders!"
Both elves went ridged.
"No, Mister Fred," Dobby replied meekly.
"Kreacher and Dobby won't fight," Kreacher said quietly, then scowled. "All right. We will fight. But we won't harm each other or anyone else."
"Was there a reason you joined us, Dobby?" George asked as he released Kreacher.
The elf nodded. "Master Harry's owl delivered this," he said, walking toward George, holding up a small note. "Hedwig waits in the kitchen, so Dobby thinks a reply is needed."
Taking the note, George read through it quickly, then quirked an eyebrow. "You know, it's times like this that I really miss being at Hogwarts," he told his brother as he passed him the note.
Looking up from the note, Fred shook his head. "What do you think he's planning to do with it?"
"I've no idea, but I wish I could be there to watch."
Gryffindor boys dorm, obscenely early in the morning...
Grumbling, Harry swatted at his ear. "Go 'way," he mumbled. He groaned and batted at his ear again. "There's food in the owlery, Hedwig. Hedwig!"
He sat up suddenly, then apologized to the owl as she clapped her beak at him in annoyance. "Sorry, girl, it was a late night. Did you bring it?"
She held out her leg and stared at him expectantly.
He took it from her, then stroked her softly. "Thanks, Hedwig."
She ruffled her feathers, nipped at his fingers, then flew out the window.
He unwrapped the small package carefully. Seeing the note the twins had included, he unfolded it and read quickly.
"You nitwits! That's all we need, a mobile torso. Like he wasn't freaky enough before?" he muttered as he climbed out of bed.
Glancing around the room, he noted that the curtains were closed on the other beds. Sliding his feet into his trainers and dropping the note on his bed, he left the room quietly and went down the steps to the common room.
Stopping at the bottom, he blinked in surprise. "What are you two doing up?" he asked.
Hermione looked up from the book she was reading and smiled. "You wouldn't tell me what you were up to, so I figured I'd find out myself."
Ron's yawn was so large, his jaw made a popping sound. "I know what you're up to. You didn't honestly think I'd miss watching, did you?"
"You're both insane," he told them as he walked over to a table and sat down.
"Had I known insanity was infectious, I'd have requested a change of house to get away from you two," Hermione told him as she and Ron joined him.
"So, what's the plan this time, oh Master of Mayhem?" Ron asked as he all but fell into a chair.
"I figured I'd go back to the beginning. Something simple, but with the possibility of being disgusting," Harry replied.
"Did I ever tell you that I hate not knowing what we're doing?" Hermione asked. Putting her elbow on the table and her chin in her hand, she looked between her two best friends tiredly.
"I think you've mentioned it once or twice," Ron told her.
"This should give a smart girl like you a clue," Harry said as he carefully unwrapped the small piece of cloth he was holding, then placed it on the table.
She jerked back and wrinkled her nose. "Harry! What on earth is that doing here?"
He looked up her, his eyes serious. "Ending this. None of us are safe as long as those bastards run free."
"Agreed," she said, still staring at the item on the table. "I'm just trying to figure out what you're going to do with that."
"Two things. First, I'm going to use it to achieve my goal, then I'm going to destroy it. I can't leave a trail back to me in any of this if I can help it."
"Like removing the spells from Snape?" Ron asked.
Hermione massaged her temples. "All right. But what are you going to do with Snape's Dark Mar...Oh, you're not serious!" she exclaimed.
He nodded. "I'm going to use Voldemort's own leash to kill his Death Eaters. All of them."
"But how?" she asked, frustrated.
He smiled. "Watch and learn, Miss Granger!"
Cracking his knuckles, he picked up Snape's contribution to the cause and set to work. It was a difficult medium, but he'd had plenty of practice of late.
As the sun began to rise several hours later, Hermione sat staring at Harry with bloodshot eyes. She studiously ignored the thing on the table. "I think I've found the flaw in your plan."
"Mm?" he grunted, his head resting on his folded arms as he slumped over the table. A particularly loud snore from Ron had him jerking upright. "What flaw?"
She flicked her fingers toward the item on the table. "How will we know if that worked?"
"I'm not," he began, only to be cut off by another snore from Ron. Looking at the red head, he scowled when noticed the drool pooling on the table. "Ron," he said loudly, kicking him in the leg, "wake up! We have a problem."
Ron sat up suddenly. "Ginger snaps," he said, panicked.
"Ron, you were dreaming. Snap out of it," Hermione said testily.
Blinking several times, Ron then rubbed his nose and shuddered. "I was being chased around the Quidditch pitch by millions of ginger snaps and I couldn't find my broom," he mumbled.
"Then be glad we woke you up. Listen, we have a problem," Harry told him.
"And that is?" Ron asked, then yawned.
"How will we find out if Harry's little project last night actually worked?" Hermione asked.
Ron blinked, then stared at her for a few minutes. "Seriously?" He looked between her and Harry, then rolled his eyes. "Come on, you two. The Prophet isn't the only place the magical world gets it's news, you know!"
Harry laughed. "Of course! The wireless."
"Right," Hermione nodded. "So, we listen to the news broadcast on what, exactly?"
"Upstairs!" Ron exclaimed as he jumped to his feet and ran for the dorm.
Harry and Hermione followed him, arriving at the top of the stairs in time to see Ron enter the dorm.
"Guys, wake up," Ron shouted as he yanked the curtains around Dean's bed open.
"For Merlin's sake, Ron!" Dean cried as he sat up. "We just got to sleep." He looked around, confused. "At least, I think we did. What time is it?"
"Dunno," Harry said, as he stepped into the dorm and looked around. "But we need to turn on a wireless."
"Seamus has one," Neville said, then yawned as he climbed out of bed. "What's up?"
"Seamus?" Harry called as he rushed toward the young man's bed.
"Yeah, yeah, I heard." The mound of blankets moved and Seamus crawled out of them at the bottom of the bed. "This better be good," he grumbled as he reached over the end of his bed and flipped open his trunk. "Should be on the top."
Seeing the wireless, Harry grabbed it, then paused. "Um, how do I..?"
Dean plucked it out of his hands, then looked at Harry. "What are we wanting to listen to this morning?"
"News! There has to be some sort of news program, right?"
"There is," Ron said. "Mum listens to it every morning in the summer. Only, I've never actually tuned the wireless for that."
"Oh, for pity's sake," Seamus cried as he took the wireless from Dean. "Wake a guy up so we can listen to the news?" he muttered as he reached for his wand.
"What's going on, mate?" Neville asked Harry as Seamus fiddled with the device.
Harry waved the question away. "I'll explain later."
"Bloody wankers wake a guy up and expect him to...There! There's your damn news," Seamus exclaimed as a voice floated out from the wireless. "Now what's so important?"
Harry and Ron shushed him as they listened to the broadcast.
"...should continue to be clear, but cold, so bundle up, folks. Back to you, Cid!"
"Thank you, Matilda. For those of you just joining us, the top story this morning is the tragic and horrifying deaths that have taken place across the globe. In Ministries and boardrooms, private homes, hospitals, pubs and even the great hexagon of the International Confederation of Wizards, men and women of the magical world have been dying in the most gruesome fashion.
"A witness at the ICW, which was meeting in full conclave to discuss the removal of Albus Dumbledore, reported that people suddenly began to twist around, fold up, and dry out. When it was over, fully half of the attending members of the ICW were dead. It was later revealed that they all seemed to resemble origami llamas made of heavy parchment."
"Bloody hell!" Ron breathed. "It worked!"
"Wait. What's going on?" Dean asked, looking between Harry and Ron.
Harry waved him to silence.
"A spokesman for the ICW has confirmed the deaths and reported that, upon examination, each of those who died was a marked Death Eater."
"Yes!" Harry cried, pumping his fist in the air.
"Quiet!" Seamus barked.
"The Ministry of Magic, St. Mungo's hospital, the Leaky Cauldron and the Daily Prophet have all confirmed several deaths among their staff members. Azkaban prison has reported several deaths of notable prisoners."
A gasp from the doorway caused the boys to turn around.
"Oy! What are you two doing here?" Seamus asked as he grabbed a blanket and wrapped it around his waist.
Hermione grinned. "I've been here. Nice underwear, by the way. Never knew you were a fan of Batman."
"I couldn't sleep," Ginny said, eyeing Seamus with amusement. "I figured I'd go down to the kitchen for a snack, but found Blaise Zabini standing outside the common room door." She held up a piece of parchment, shuddering slightly. "He had some news."
Taking it, Harry read quickly, then looked up, his eyes wide.
"What is it?" Ron asked.
"It seems Slytherin has lost a few members," he said quietly. "According to Blaise, Malfoy, Nott, Crabbe, Goyle, Greengrass, Pucey, and Montague are all dead. From what he describes, they died the same way as the others."
"Merlin, I wonder where he got the parchment," Dean asked, staring at the note in Harry's hand.
Ron cuffed him over the head as the others in the room groaned. "That's disgusting!" He cocked his head slightly and thought for a moment. "Though it would be the first time Malfoy had ever been useful."
"Ron!" Ginny, Neville and Hermione all exclaimed.
Dean plucked the wireless out of Seamus' hand. "Come on, guys. The house will want to know about this."
Sometime later, the students made their way down to breakfast and were met by the sight of a furious looking Amelia Bones. She spoke to an auror, then dismissed him with a flick of her hand. Turning, she spoke to Susan, who stood nearby.
Susan nodded, then made her way toward the great hall. Once inside, she waited at the Gryffindor table. When Harry arrived, she sat down next to him.
"Auntie's very angry," she told him quietly. "You've heard about the deaths at the Ministry, the ICW and here at Hogwarts?"
"We were listening to the wireless this morning. We didn't know about the deaths here at school until later," Harry said.
"She was called into the Ministry very early this morning, then came here to deal with Snape and the thing that ate him." She shuddered. "That's when she found out about the deaths in Slytherin. She couldn't find any of the staff at first. But Dawlish finally tracked them down. They were in an abandoned classroom on the third floor. She wouldn't tell me what they were doing, only that drugs and nudity were involved."
Harry blanched. "I didn't need to know that."
She flashed a quick smile. "Two things, then I'll leave you to your breakfast. First, Auntie says that all the deaths reported so far are..."
"Death Eaters," Harry interrupted. "I know. The wireless reported that, too."
She nodded. "Second, Auntie says that there's every chance that the school will be closed. She's called in the board members, and Griselda Marchbanks, Head of the Wizarding Examinations Authority. They're the ones who oversee O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. testing."
"And as far as they know, we've learned next to nothing this year?" Harry asked.
"Right. And while we've done well, studying on our own and all, nothing can replace a competent teacher. So I was thinking that maybe we shouldn't tell them?"
He shrugged, then looked around the hall. "I don't care one way or the other. But it might be interesting, attending Hogwarts with real teachers."
Susan fidgeted a bit. "What about Hermione?" she said quietly.
Harry winced. "Shit! She's going to kill us."
December 10th, breakfast, Great Hall...
The Hogwarts student body sat quietly, looking up at the staff table calmly. The announcement currently being read by a member of the Hogwarts Board of Governors, a weedy looking man named Noddy Blankit, had been known for several days. The Hogwarts rumor mill had been working overtime for the last ten days and was surprisingly accurate for a change.
"And so it is with great sadness that the Board announces the closing of Hogwarts for the year. An official announcement will follow at a later date, once we have a plan in place for the school's reopening. Arrangements have been made to send you all home at Christmas. The school will reopen on September first and you shall all begin your current year once more. All staff members have been dismissed from their posts. The Board is already working on hiring new teachers, but it will take time.
"As you have all noticed, the Slytherin students have been sent home early. Witnessing the horrific deaths of so many of their housemates, not to mention the death of their Head of House, has been traumatic."
Blankit looked up then and sighed. "As you know, the Board did discuss your request. Though we understood why you made it, we felt we had no choice but to deny it."
As the students began to grumble, he held up both hands and asked them to hear him out.
Once the hall grew quiet, he cleared his throat. "The Ministry, specifically Minister Fudge and Amelia Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, asked us to reconsider. In light of what has happened here this year, we also consulted several healers at St. Mungo's. The considered opinion is that you should be allowed to go ahead with your plans, as it will bring you closure – or something like that."
"So, we can have the feast?" Ernie Macmillan asked as he stood up.
"Yes," Blankit confirmed.
Lisa Turpin stood. "And the guests we requested?"
Blankit nodded. "The invitations and arrangements have already been made. Everything is scheduled for the fifteenth."
As the hall erupted in cheers, Harry sat back and crossed his arms. "Time for the last act," he murmured.
December 15th, Hogwarts Great Hall, Dinner...
The leaving feast was well underway and the noise level in the Hall was tremendous. The press, the Board of Governors, and many Ministry officials were present, sitting at separate tables from the students. At a table off to the side sat the disgraced ex-staff of Hogwarts. Parents and siblings had also been invited, and they were seated among the house tables, chatting with their children, as well as each other.
The meal, as always, was a fine one. Many stuffed themselves to the point of groaning. Strangely, Ron Weasley wasn't among them. He was too excited to gorge himself as he usually did.
He kept glancing at Harry, who sat across from him, until the young man glared at him and told him to stop.
"Can't help it," Ron said, leaning across the table. "Come on, Harry! When does the show start?"
"Do I want to know what he's talking about?" Remus, who sat beside Harry, asked.
Harry sighed. "Doesn't matter if you want to know or not. You'll find out soon enough." Seeing Ron about to cheer, he raised his hand. "But after dinner, if you please!"
"Do you know where you're going to do it?" Hermione asked.
Harry nodded toward the raised dais where the Hogwarts staff used to sit. "They removed the table, so I figured it would give the best view."
"Yes, but," Ron began, then blinked as the dinner dishes were cleared away and dessert was served. "Oh, pudding!"
Ginny rolled her eyes.
"I have to admit, I'm rather curious about this gathering myself," Arthur Weasley said as he looked around the room. "This year hasn't exactly been Hogwarts best."
"No, it hasn't," Molly agreed, glaring around at her children.
The twins held up their hands.
"Don't look us," Fred said.
"We weren't even here," George added.
"And when has that ever stopped you two?" Bill asked, grinning.
"I have to admit, when I got the invitation to the feast, I was a bit surprised," Charlie added.
"It's too bad your parents couldn't attend, my dear," Molly said, smiling sympathetically at Hermione.
Hermione wrinkled her nose. "Oh, I think it's better this way. They wouldn't understand half of what's going on here. And explaining it would be...complicated."
"You did well enough the first time," Moody muttered around his unlit pipe. "And why am I at the Gryffindor table? I was a Hufflepuff," he groused.
Hermione looked at him with wide, innocent eyes. "Why, because we love you, of course!"
Moody flinched. "Knock it off. And answer the damn question!"
Harry grinned. "If it hadn't been for you, none of this would have happened."
"Oh, no. You're not blaming me, Potter," Moody growled. He yanked his pipe out of his mouth and pointed it Molly. "I'll not have her thinking I'm responsible for this!"
Once the dessert dishes had been cleared away, the crowd began to grow a bit restless.
Harry looked down the table at the twins. "So, where is it?"
George patted his robes for a moment, then reached into a pocket and pulled out a small item. Setting on the table, he gave it a shove.
As it slid toward Harry, those at the Gryffindor table watched, puzzled.
"What's that?" Remus asked as it passed him.
"The main event," Harry told him as he reached out and plucked the item off the table. Standing, he look at Ron and Hermione. "Coming?"
The two looked at each other, then stood.
"Wouldn't miss it, mate," Ron said, grinning widely.
As the trio made their way to the front of the room, the crowd in the Hall began to quiet down.
Climbing the dais, the three turned to face the crowd. Harry bent down and placed the item in his hand on the ground in front of him. Straightening, he looked out at the crowd and smiled.
"This year has been an interesting one. With a few exceptions, it's been the best year I've ever had at Hogwarts."
"If you ignore the fact that we had no classes," Hermione muttered.
"Like Harry said, best year ever!" Ron quipped.
"Ronald!" Molly said, standing up. Arthur yanked her back down and shushed her, surprising most of his family.
"Hush, dear. I want to hear this."
Shaking his head, Harry continued. "But to understand what you're about to see, you need to know that the beginnings of what took place here this year actually took place over the summer.
"I won't take you through all of it, as it's long, involved and a really none of your business. All you need to know is that I reached a decision over the summer.
"You see, this world can't seem to make up it's mind about me. In the press, at the Ministry, and even here at school, I was a hero, a psycho or a dangerous, dark lord in training."
The crowd began to shift uneasily, realizing the true of his words.
"Some in the Ministry, especially Fudge," he continued, glaring at the man in question, "hated me because I forced them to admit that Voldemort..." He paused as many in the Hall flinched, or cried out at the name.
He looked at Remus with a raised brow and a smirk.
Remus rolled his eyes and made a motion for him to continue.
Harry raised his voice. "I forced them to admit that Voldemort was back. In my fifth year, Fudge saw the Dark Lord himself in the halls of the Ministry. And yet he still tried to deny it."
The crowd began to mutter darkly as they stared at the Minister.
"Then we come to our dear Headmaster Dumbledore," he said, his tone mocking as he looked at the man in question. "Tell me, Albus, what rational man tempts a dark lord into a school full of innocent children, all in the hope that a mere first year student could destroy him?"
Dumbledore squirmed uncomfortably. "But Harry, the prophecy said only you could vanquish Voldemort!"
The crowd erupted, shouting questions at Dumbledore.
A high pitched whistle echoed through the Hall and all eyes returned to the front of the room.
Before Harry could speak, a cackling laugh came from the staff table.
Sybill Trelawney stood up on unsteady legs and raised her glass of cooking sherry in salute. "I think you're the only one I didn't fool with that little gem," she said, grinning at Harry.
"What?" Dumbledore asked, staring at her in horror.
She shrugged. "I was broke and had been evicted from my home. Great Aunt Cassandra taught us well. Find your mark's weakness and exploit it to gain what you need. Though I will admit, she had more luck than I've had. Many of her predictions came true. But then, she was better at reading people than I am."
She looked at Harry then, her face drawn. "I am so sorry, my dear boy, about your parents. I didn't realize that Snape was listening at the door."
"It was all fake?" Dumbledore asked, shocked. Standing, he leaned across the table, staring at her in rage. "Do you know how much time I had to spend setting up that meeting? How long it took me to convince Severus to go to Voldemort with what he'd heard? Do you understand the guilt he carried around for years, having been the cause of Lily's death? Woman, what have you done?"
"Notice," Hermione said to the crowd, "that he has sympathy for a marked Death Eater, not the child his actions orphaned? That he blames another for his own guilt?" She looked at Dumbledore. "You are an utter waste of human flesh," she spat. "You pollute the very air with every breath you take."
Many in the crowd stood and moved toward Dumbledore, shouting angrily at the man.
Not liking what she was seeing, Amelia Bones made a few quick motions with her hands. Aurors stood up throughout the hall and began forcing people back to their seats.
"You might want to move this along," Hermione told Harry quietly. "Things could get ugly in here."
"Everyone take your seats!" Ron bellowed, his voice augmented by magic. "We can lynch the old man later!"
Shaking his head at his friend's announcement, Harry raised his voice, but didn't use magic "You're right," he called, looking at Trelawney.
Those still standing stopped arguing with the aurors and quickly found their seats, not wanting to miss what the boy had to say.
As the Hall grew quiet, he nodded. "Yes, you're right. I didn't believed the prophecy. But it quickly became apparent that Voldemort did. And as Dumbledore continued to force me into confrontations with him, and with the sheep at the Ministry being unwilling to acknowledge that he was back, something had to be done.
"But I refused to allow Dumbledore to sacrifice me on the alter of prophecy. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it my way!"
He looked around the Hall and grinned. "So, with the help of Alastor Moody and Remus Lupin, Hermione, Ron and I trained over the summer. I won't go into details, as again, it's none of your business. Let's just say that we were more than prepared to do what had to be done.
"We invited you all here to see some of the results first hand. You all know about the Death Eaters. Interesting how they all died at the same time, isn't it?"
"Are you saying that was your doing, Harry?" Dumbledore asked, puzzled.
"Boy, can't slip anything by him, can we?" Ron asked, sarcastically.
He scowled. "But how?"
Harry grinned at old man. "Never underestimate the power of origami!"
Dumbledore's eyes widened as he remembered just how those Death Eaters died. "But how did you reach so many, and at the same time?"
Harry's eyes widened dramatically. "Why, magic, Albus. Magic!"
Ron began to laugh, but Hermione rolled her eyes. "You're such a child sometimes, Harry."
"Oh, come on! That was priceless!" Ron said.
"You killed them all, Potter?" Amelia asked bluntly. "But there was no evidence!"
Harry's smile was innocent and charming. "I know. You don't have to believe me. I certainly wouldn't mind if you didn't. But on the off chance that you do, keep what you just said in mind. There is no evidence. Try to prosecute me, and I'll tie the Ministry up in court for so long, we'll both be dust before it's settled."
She shook her head. "Can we just finish this, please?"
With a shrug, Harry look out at the crowd. "I don't need tell you what went on at Hogwarts this year. You all know the most important details already. We had no classes because the teachers were too busy with their drug-fueled orgies to think about the children under their care. And we, the innocent children of Hogwarts, will be forced to take this year over again."
The ex-staff members shrank back from the glares they received.
"Laying it on a bit thick, aren't you?" Hermione asked him quietly.
"Oh, please. They deserve every bit of the scorn aimed their way," Ron told her.
"True, but I feel like I'm trapped in a poorly performed and over dramatized play," she groused.
"And who was it that introduced them to the wonderful world of drug laced brownies?" Harry murmured.
"Hermione Granger, drug dealer," Ron said, staring at her. "Who'd have thought it?"
"You're just annoyed because you didn't think of it first," she told them haughtily.
The three friends grinned at each other.
"So," Harry said loudly, gaining the crowd's attention once more. "Where were we?"
"For Merlin's sake, Potter, just get on with it!" Moody shouted.
"Right, then! If I could direct your attention to the item at my feet," Harry said, drawing his wand, "you'll all find out the true reason you were invited to Hogwarts tonight."
With a flick of his wand and a quick murmured word, the small item grew in size to reveal a trunk.
"As I said earlier, my friends and I decided to solve the Wizarding world's biggest problem, though by no means it's only problem. Ladies and gentlemen, behold!"
With swirl of his wand, and a kick to the trunk for good measure, the lid popped open and the trio stepped back.
From inside a childish voice was heard quietly singing, and Voldemort slowly floated up from the trunk, only stopping once the rope around his torso went taut, keeping him tethered to the trunk.
"Wizarding Britain, I give you the Dark Torso, the most feared Dark Lord of any age, the one known as Voldemort!" Harry shouted, then bowed to the crowd.
The crowd didn't notice his little gesture, as they were too busy shrieking and running for the doors.
"You did lock them, didn't you?" Hermione asked as she observed the crowd calmly.
"Yep," Ron told her. "And just as we suspected, the sheep are too panicked to actually use their wands."
Harry sighed. "I think I feel a headache coming on. Why do they have to be so predictable?"
Casting a quick Sonorus charm on himself, Harry addressed the crowd. "I'm just curious," he said, his voice booming through the crowd loud enough to be heard over the screaming. "How many of you noticed that the Minister, the Head of the DMLE, all but one of the aurors and every former member of the Hogwarts staff beat you all to the doors to the Great Hall?"
The crowd stilled and everyone began to look around. Sure enough, those in question were squished against the doors of the Hall, desperately trying to get them open.
From the Gryffindor table came the sound of bleating sheep. Glancing that way, Harry shook his head as the twins, ducking their mother as she tried to grab them, continued with the sound effects.
Moody stood up and shook his head. "You know, these kids are right. You all are sheep! Didn't a single one of you notice that the thing up there on the dais has no arms? No legs? No wand? What are you running for?"
Almost like something out of the cartoons that Dudley used to watch, the crowd slowly turned to face their greatest fear.
What they saw was a floating torso staring back at them, a serene smile on his face.
"Is it tea time?" he asked them in a childlike voice. "Someone will have to help me into my pink dress. One cannot have tea without dressing first."
Slowly a large pair of ears unfurled from his head and began to flap lazily as Voldemort turned to face Harry. "Will there be cake?" he asked The Boy Who Lived.
"I'll make sure that there is," Harry told him, trying hard not to stare at the elephant sized ears.
"You're such a nice young man," the Dark Lord exclaimed.
Ron shook his head. "I still think it would have been much more entertaining to do this in Diagon Alley."
"Oh! Are we going shopping, then?" Voldemort asked as he flapped his ears to face Ron.
"Er, no, not now," Ron told him. Seeing the disappointed expression on the Dark Lord's face, he waved a hand at the crowd in the hall. "But all these people came to see you."
As Voldemort slowly turned himself around to face the people in the hall, Hermione and Harry looked at Ron as though he'd grown a second head.
"What? He looked so upset at not being able to go shopping!" Ron defended himself.
"And you care about how he feels...why?" Hermione asked.
Ron squirmed. "I don't. Not really. It's just that..." he trailed off and looked at them a bit helplessly.
"He is rather pathetic, isn't he?" Harry murmured quietly.
"Exactly!" Ron exclaimed, obviously relieved that someone understood.
"What about them?" Hermione asked, gesturing toward the crowd.
"Right. Forgot about them," Harry said. Stepping forward so he stood beside the most feared man...torso...thing, in Britain, he cleared his throat. "If you people would be good enough to move away so the Ministry personnel can step forward?"
Rather than a path being cleared, the crowd turned on the officials and began shoving them to the front of the room. Once Fudge, Bones, the staff and the aurors had been forced forward, Harry bowed.
"I now turn custody of Voldemort over to you – assuming one of you is brave enough to actually step forward without being shoved," Harry told them, a brow raised in challenge.
Amelia Bones coughed, then stepped forward with her wand drawn. Then she looked at Harry. "I'm not really sure what to do with him," she said quietly.
Harry shrugged. "There's not much that needs to be done. Feed him, keep him clean and, whatever you do, don't untie the rope around him. You don't need Voldemort bouncing off the ceiling. And he will, with great pleasure, if untethered!"
Hermione stepped forward and leaned close to Voldemort. "You've a nice crowd here. Why don't you entertain them?"
The Dark Lord's eyes widened. "May I?" he asked. At her nod, his ears clapped together three times in excitement. "How lovely! Thank you."
Clearing his throat, Voldemort took a deep breath and, in his childlike voice, began to sing.
"The sun will come out, tomorrow..."
The trio quickly left the dais and headed for the doors. The twins, grimacing at Voldemort's song, quickly followed, as did Moody and Remus.
"Well, that was fun," Harry told his friends.
"Yep," Ron said, laughing. "Best year at Hogwarts, ever!"
Prophet Article, some days later...
Hogwarts Closes! Government Falls!
Yesterday the Board of Governors for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry officially announced it was closing it's doors until next September. A Spokesperson for the Board claimed that in light of events in the last week, the Board was moving to completely replace the staff and revamp the course curriculum.
Following on the heels of this shocking announcement, the Ministry fell. The Fudge Government collapsed late last night after suffering attacks in the press, as well as from within the Wizengamot. Cornelius Fudge was arrested immediately following his resignation.
Forty two other Ministry officials and members of the Wizengamot were arrested or forced into retirement last night. Dirk Cresswell, former Head of the Goblin Liaison office, became the first muggle born wizard to assume the role of Minister of Magic.
The Goblins announced that with so many Heads of families dying in what is being called the Great Origami Purge, some families have been declared extinct, while others have been assigned a new Head based on standard Patriarchal rules. As it stands, Harry Potter is now the Head of the Parkinson, Malfoy, Nott, Rookwood and LeStrange families.
When asked what he was going to do with all the wealth, as well as the witches who had become his chattel, he announced that the former students of Hogwarts were invited to a three day long party, followed by a road trip to Disney World. As to his newly acquired chattel, he said, "They can get jobs flipping burgers, if they want to eat and have a roof over their heads. I'm not going to support them.
Oh, and Dumbledore? I know you're reading this, you pervy bastard. I told you that you should have expelled me!"
~Smiles brightly~ Something I thought I should tell you all. I finally picked a ship for this story. As it's finished, I guess there's no point in telling you my decision though, is there?
I know you're just itching to ask, so let me stop that line of thought right now.
No. I won't. Don't even bother asking, begging, bribing or otherwise trying to enticing me into it. This is the end of my little crack tale. I won't continue it. Nope. Not happening. Not gonna and you can't make me!
Clear enough? Good!
Are there unresolved threads in the fic. Yep. Did I answer all your questions? Doubtful. So, as I won't be writing any more of this, and if you feel so inclined, grab something in this fic that tickled your fancy and start writing! Just let me know if you do, as I'd like to read it.
Hope you enjoyed my bit of madness. I think I'll retire back to writing a few scenes for Bob's fics and editing them - poorly I might add.
~ Bob's Note.
On a serious side, there are other stories in the works, some crack, some not. But don't expect anything soon.
Thankfully those stories will allow me to resume full control over the disclaimers.
Give us Liberty or give us Donuts!