And here we go. The final chapter of Mischief Managed. For most of the chapter I'll be showing just why very few Mythologies that I know of have the mortals winning in any Mortal vs. Divine wars.
I posted a new fic idea in my forum... It's based on the very first idea I ever though about writing, it pre-dates 'Mischief Managed' and is far older then 'Hunters Moon'. If you guys would mind looking and giving feedback that would be great. I don't really think there is anything else to say or mention right now so I'll get started.
Harry Potter belongs to J K Rowling.
The Norse Gods belong to, em the Norse?
Loki's first stop was the Dungeons. He needed something only the Potion Master could supply. As Loki neared the more travelled hallways he wrapped himself in a powerful illusion, ensuring none could see him. Loki found the man in his office, Snape's face was stained with tears and eyes bloodshot from the alcohol he'd been consuming all night. He held a small vial of red liquid in his hands and was staring at it as if it held all the answers to his problems... And a quick glance into his mind showed he thought it did.
"Your shields need work." Loki said, announcing his presence. "I spend several seconds in your head and you didn't even realise."
"Lyesmith." Snape muttered, not looking away. "Don't lie, I haven't made eye-contact... And I'd of heard you cast verbally."
"Who says I used Legilimency?" Loki countered. Loki disliked Snape, he'd disliked 'Lockhart' and 'Lyesmith' for getting the Defence Against the Dark Arts job ahead of him and so Loki had responded to that hostility with hostility. But seeing the man like this Loki felt only pity. "You have something I need. And it'll be worthless if you drink that."
"And what's that?" Snape spat.
"The Dark Mark on your arm." Loki gestured at his forearm. "With it I can find others who bare it. I can track him when he tries to summons you."
"Ha! How? In case you don't know the bloody thing is attached to me." Snape sneered. "What are you gonna do, take my arm?"
"No." Loki replied softly. "I'll be extracting it from your arm and binding it to another object. The process will be incredibly painful, almost unbearable. But you don't care about that do you? It's why you picked that particular mix. Fast enough that no one will be able to save you, but slow enough that you'll suffer before you die. What I'm offering will hurt more."
"You take the Mark... Then what?" Snape asked ass he rolled up the sleeve of his robe. "You arrest all the Death Eaters? Most will bribe their way out. You go after the Dark Lord? Ha, he'll kill you."
"Who said I'd take any alive?" Loki laughed, approaching to preform the transfer. "And even if he does kill me, I'll have taken plenty of his servants with me."
"Maybe." Snape said, placing the vial on his desk. "You said you were in my head... So you know, I never wanted this. Never wanted her to..."
"But had it been him, you'd of been delighted." Loki pointed out. The transfer took several moments and it was only Snape's near unshakable mental fortitude that kept him from calling the entire castle with his screams. Once it was done Loki helped Snape back into his chair and picked up the vial. "Do you still want this, or should I get you something smoother?"
"That'll do." Snape whispered as he took the poisonous mix and prepared to drink. "Good luck Lyesmith."
"Goodbye Severus." Loki said as he left the chamber, silently hoping whatever faith the man followed didn't consider suicide a cowardly act.
Loki moved through the halls of Azkaban, ignored and unseen by the Aurors positioned their to replace the now rogue Dementors. Loki had discarded his crimson suit, feeling his armour a more fitting garb for this. As he entered to corridor containing the cells of those who'd been captured at the Ministry Loki dropped all illusions, he wanted them to see what was going to happen to them.
"Crabbe." Loki read aloud as he reached the first inhabited cell. The man, who looked like an older version of his son, was curled up on a pile of rags and sleeping. From the depths of his cloak Loki withdrew a battered old compass, imbued with the magic of Severus' Dark Mark it would react to any other such mark in the general area. A quick glance confirmed what Loki already knew, his tracking spell was working fine. Loki pounded on the bars blocking Crabbe's escape. "Get up!"
"Wha?" Crabbe muttered, sitting up and rubbing at his eyes. When he turned towards Loki he gave a startled cry. "W-who are you? What are you doing here?"
"Who am I, what does it matter?" Loki hissed before letting out a chilling chuckle. "As for what I'm doing here, well I've come to bring you salvation. Salvation and Damnation!"
Crabbe only managed a terrified squeak before he vanished from the face of Midgard. This caused a panic among the other inmates, who'd gathered at the entrances to their cells, to see what was going on. As Loki moved from cell to cell, checking the compass before banishing the trapped Death Eaters, pleas for mercy and offers of bribes came in the hope of avoiding Crabbe's faith. Some of the truly deranged ones even claimed their Lord would avenge them. By the time the Aurors responded to their cries, Loki had only one left to deal with.
"A shame Lucius, if you'd only known how much a bribe to avoid here cost!" Loki hissed, resting his helmeted head against the bars of his cell door. "You might of been able to run... It wouldn't have done you any good, you you could of tried."
"Bribe... You!" Lucius screamed as recognition set in. Sadly it was to late to let him avoid being banished as well.
"Halt!" One of the Aurors ordered, levelling his wand at Loki.
"You might want to pick up the pace boys." Loki laughed as his body began to fade away. Before he vanished Loki cast a wordless Morsmodre, forming a sickly green Dark Mark to form before him. With a smirk, Loki added his own personal touches. The Mark turned a dull red, the skull developed numerous cracks across it's ethereal surface and the snake hung limply from the skull's jaws. "Keep your eyes on the skies, I've only just begun!"
The next two Loki targeted were the Carrows. A brother and sister who'd avoided Azkaban the first time. Loki didn't know if they had rejoined Riddle, he suspected they had but in the end it didn't matter. Darren wanted all the Death Eaters gone and Loki had a lot of pent up frustration to channel into something destructive. As Loki walked up the short path to their home a trio of green bursts shot towards him. Sidestepping, Loki drew and swung Laevateinn releasing a wave of magic back. Loki was rewarded with howl of agony followed by a screech of fury. Soon after a stocky little woman with red hair came charging at Loki, firing off curse after curse.
"Ah, Alecto I presume." Loki greeted before catching her in the chest with a stunning spell. From behind her a man took off in a sprint, most likely trying to clear the wards around the property and disapparate away. A quick flick of Laevateinn and his legs separated from his body below the knee. "Don't go anywhere, I'll see to you in a minute."
Moving to were the trio had attacked from, Loki found Amycus Carrow trying to stop the blood from a deep gash across his chest. Loki quickly banished him and moved to the other wounded man. Whimpering and dragging himself towards the ward boundaries, Rabastan Lestrange looked a pitiful sight. Loki adjusted his grip on Laevateinn, dragging it's blade along the ground, as he drew closer. When he was on top of the man, Loki tossed Rabastan back towards the house. He then banished Alecto.
"Now Mr Lastrange, lets have a little chat." Loki said as he crouched down in front of the wounded man. "Were are you brother and hi wife hiding?"
"Go die, scum!" Rabastan growled out, seeming to have lost his fear now that escape was impossible.
"Shame, I might of reattached your legs if you'd been more talkative. Morsmodre" Loki sighed before casting. Raising Laevateinn, Loki shot a burst of red light at the Mark and turned it into the version he'd created at Azkaban. Satisfied that it would draw attention, Loki turned to Rabastan and prepared to banish him as well. "Bye bye."
In the space of two days Loki did what neither the Ministry nor Dumbledore could, he broke the Death Eaters. Anyone with a Dark Mark was tracked and dealt with. Some fought back. Bellatrix, her husband Rodolphus and the traitor Pettigrew proving to be three of the most skilled of the Death Eaters. Others, like Yaxley tried to bribe him for their safety and freedom. They all ended up the same. Gone from Midgard, with a corrupted Dark Mark burning in the sky. Finally all that remained was Riddle himself. Trying to summon any remaining Death Eaters to himself via their Dark Marks, and revealing his location every time.
"Hello Tom, nice to finally meet the real you!" Loki said, emerging from the shadows of Riddle Manor. "Love the décor. Has a fell atmosphere to it."
"Who are you?" Riddle hissed, levelling his wand at Loki.
"Just a forgotten god, looking for a good time." Loki shrugged. "I found your Diary, interesting work... I'd never even heard of a horcrux before."
"My Diary?" Riddle hissed, giving a small twitch of fear at the mention of horcrux. "So you have ties to that blasted Lockhart?"
"Now it was poor work, interesting but poor." Loki continued as if he hadn't been interrupted. His eyes scanning the corners. "the ring was better, but no were near as good as the locket. The goblet was very intricate, what with those curses and hexes hidden under it's healing powers. Now of course the crown, oh by the time you made the crown you must of had the ritual down to an art form. If I had the time I'd love to see what the last one looks like, but sadly - There!"
Loki fired off a blast of magic into one of the corners, striking the snake he'd been searching for. Before Riddle could act he was struck with a powerful stunner and slumped to the floor. After checking that Riddle was out cold, and giving him a good kick, Loki picked up the snake and dropped it on a nearby table. After searching the folds of his cloak for a moment Loki found what he was looking for, the dwarf made syringe. In it was the final measure of Basilisk Venom. Loki jabbed the needle into the snakes head and forced down the plunger, purging the final horcrux.
As the snake twitched, the venom ravaging it's body, Loki set about preparing the final moments of Tom Riddle's life. He proceed to clear the main hallway of everything before conjuring a pair of short pillars side by side, each topped with a sturdy shackle. Loki then collected Riddle, stripped him and locked his wrists in place. This left Riddle kneeling and slightly hunched over, his arms elevated and held in place. Loki then stepped outside for a moment and gathered several items he'd left by the door. The first was a small container of salt. The second a sharp knife and the third was a small chisel. Setting them down behind Riddle Loki revived the man.
"Okay Tommy-boy, you don't mind if I call you Tommy-boy do you?" Loki asked as he jerked Riddle's head up and froze his body in place. He then conjured a large mirror in front of the paralysed man. "Now, pay close attention, this isn't something you'll of seen before."
With that Loki began to slowly peel the skin from Tom Marvolo Riddle's back. All Riddle could do was let out muffled screams of agony. Every so often Loki would pause, look straight into the mirror and wave before returning to the delicate task of de-skinning the man. When he finally finished Loki undid the paralysis and started searching through his cloak again.
"Where did I put it? Oh here we go!" Loki muttered to himself as he removed a vial of stamina restoring potion. He then forced the liquid down Riddle's throat. "don't want you passing out do we?"
With that he grabbed Riddle's head, returned it to it's previous position and paralysed the man again. He then picked up the chisel and lined it up with one against a rib. Flashing a cheeky grin into the mirror, Loki struck the back of the chisel with enough force to drive it through the rib. As Riddle's muffled screams once again filled the manor, Loki started to whistle that catchy mortal tune he liked.
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore was in Little Hangleton less then fifteen minutes after Rufus Scrimgeour contacted him. As Dumbledore made his way up the path to Riddle Manor he was met by Kingsley Shacklebolt.
"It's a mess in there Professor!" The man said by way of greeting. "A real mess."
"What's happened Kingsley, Rufus would only say it involved Voldemort."
"Look up." Was Kingsley's reply. A quick glance revealed the Dark Mark, corrupted many many before it, hanging in the sky.
"The same man that attacked Azkaban." Dumbledore noted.
"Unless there's another who can make one like that." Kingsley agreed. "But this time is different. That's why you're here."
"How so?" Dumbledore asked as they neared the door.
"It's just a formality, a joke really." Kingsley said, opening the door and ushering Dumbledore inside. "But Scrimgeour wants you to identify the body!"
The first thing Dumbledore saw when he entered was the corpse of Lord Voldemort, Tom Marvolo Riddle. He was facing the door and shackled to a pair of small pillars. What appeared to be his ribs jutted out from behind him, giving the appearance of bloody, ravaged wings.
"What happened to him?" Dumbledore asked aghast.
"It's called a 'Blood Eagle'. We know is we found the skin from his back over there somewhere." Kingsley answered, pointing off to the side. "His ribs were snapped and 'shaped' like that. His lungs were pulled out, but still attached to the body."
"Who could of done this?" Dumbledore asked, feeling sick.
"We don't know. We're hoping you could tell us." Rufus Scrimgeour cut in. "After sending for you, one of the aurors found a message carved into the wall... It seems to be addressed to you!"
Dumbledore followed Scrimgeour and Shacklebolt through the grand house and into the Dinning Room. There, above a large snake's corpse, was a message.
WELL, WHAT'S DONE IS DONE,
AND I'VE HAD MY FUN!
HIS BROKEN SOUL IS FREE,
ALL THANKS TO ME!
"I don't know what to say." Dumbledore said after a minute, having taken note of the phrase 'broken soul' and guessing the author knew about the horcruxes. "Is there anything else?"
"Yeah a list." Scrimgeour answered, leading Dumbledore to a nearby table. "We don't know what it's on about... Do you?"
Staring at the list, Dumbledore realised that everything on it was an item he suspected Tom had turned into a horcrux. After denying any knowledge of why the items were listed, and repeating he didn't know what the 'mistake' listed near the bottom meant either, Dumbledore returned to Hogwarts and made straight for his office.
He'd recognised the hand writing. He'd been reading a journal written in it just before the message from the Aurors. A journal that contained information that no one should be able to know, let alone claim to have know of first hand.
"Hello Albus." Came a voice from his desk. Sitting in his chair, feet resting on the desk itself, was Gilderoy Lockhart.
"Gilderoy!" Dumbledore exclaimed, the sight of the dead man sitting there startling him. "Or-or should I say Lokke?"
"Close." 'Gilderoy' laughed before his body began to shift, like a Metamorphmagus. The clothing shifted as well and soon Dumbledore's missing Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher was sitting in his chair. "So... Am I gonna get a 'thank you'?"
"For what? Disappearing?" Dumbledore asked.
"No, dealing with your Dark Lord problem." Lokke corrected.
"So, that was you." Dumbledore said, drawing his wand.
"My daughter's creation won't harm me Albus, so put it down." Lokke told him. He then reached across and took several Sherbet Lemons. "So lets have a nice, civilised conversation."
"So, is everything you wrote the truth?" Dumbledore asked as he took a seat. "Are you truly Harry Potter?"
"Everything is true. But I'm not Potter." Lokke answered. "The boy died. I... I just got what he left behind. How did Darren react to what was written there?"
"He was confused. James was livid. He refused to believe any of it." Dumbledore said, taking a Sherbet Lemon himself. "If it is all true, then you did murder Dolores!"
"I did no such thing." Lokke argued. "It was the creatures that dwell in the forest. Look, I only stopped by to let you know that he is gone. You know how it is, places to go and people to see."
"Will you resurface, with another face?" Dumbledore asked jokingly. "shall I enjoy your company again?
"That depends." Lokke said rising from his seat and moving towards the door. "Do you believe in Asgard, Valhalla and the All-Father?"
"Having read the journal. Having thought about all that I know of you and having spoken to you now... No. No I do not." Dumbledore answered after a moments thought.
"Then we shall not see one another again Albus Dumbledore. Fare well." Lokke replied as he opened the door but paused. Turning to look back at Dumbledore he seemed to think for a moment before walking back into the office and removing a ring he was wearing. "Use it once. Call your sister. Then I'll go."
Dumbledore turned to examine the ring. It was a simple gold band, with a black stone set into it. Engraved into the stone was a symbol. A circle contained inside a bisected triangle. The Resurrection Stone. One of the Hallows. He'd longed to find it. Of all the Hallows, it was the one he sought most. And there it was, right in front of him.
"How did you... Why are you offering it to me?" Dumbledore asked in amazement.
"No reason. I just feel like it." Lokke answered. "Call her, speak with her and send her back. Once you do, I'll go to."
And that is it. Mischief Managed ends not with a bang, but a whimper. At first I'd planned to write the final scene as Darren, James and Dumbledore arguing about what was written in the Diary. Then for Loki to arrive, confirm everything and explain why he'd targeted the Death Eaters [Darren asked him to]. The scene didn't work. It's rewrite didn't work and neither did the third attempt. Finally I decided to just go with Dumbledore and Loki saying farewell.
For those who don't like this ending, and I'm sure there will be a few, tough. I like it, I feel it fits the story somehow. For someone like Loki just walking away without any big send off is just as in character as him doing loops of the Great Hall on a burning broomstick during breakfast singing the 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers' theme before opening a portal to Asgard and shutting through after stealing Dumbledore's hat.
I'm dyslexic, so please point out any mistakes in spelling or grammar. Feedback via review or pm most welcome and needed, the more I hear back about my writing or the story the more I can improve. Well, I think that's everything I've gotta say so, hope you enjoyed the chapter.
Thank you to everyone who has read the fic. A special thank you to those who followed from the beginning, a special thank you to those who asked questions in reviews [engaging with the story and forcing me to think more about it, to create back stories to what really were just one off comments], a special thank you to those who helped me by pointing out spelling or grammar mistakes and a special thank you to you, the person reading this right now!
This is Highvalour saying goodbye and thank you for reading.