Don't Come Unarmed to a Battle of Wits
A Harry Potter Fanfiction
SUMMARY: Voldemort arrives in Godric's Hollow for a rather unpleasant surprise...
Characters: Lord Voldemort, Albus Dumbledore, James Potter, Mad-Eye Moody
Peter 'Wormtail' Pettigrew could hardly contain his excitement. Unbelievably, li'l ol' Peter had been made Secret Keeper to the Potter family, the people his true Master had been hunting for months. Here, he had given the Secret to Lord Voldemort. He would be a rising star in the New Order. As they passed the gate of the crofter's cottage at 17 Godric's Pride Lane in Godric's Hollow, Peter was so busy seeing his stellar future that he failed to see the shadows move from his left. A flash of steel and he knew no more.
Lord Voldemort approached the small cottage, but abruptly came to a halt upon seeing the cloaked figure standing motionless before him, his/her unseen face gazing at an old-fashioned pocketwatch in its left hand.
"Ah, Tom. Right on schedule, it seems."
"You know Tom, I'm actually a bit disappointed in you. When my brother Aberforth suggested this ambush, I thought it too obvious for you to fall for. Abe, of course, asserts that you were too arrogant to believe you could be trapped. Sadly, it was Abe who was right. You're not really much of a planner, are you Tom?"
Tom Marvolo Riddle, aka Lord Voldemort, bristled at the old man's cocky attitude. Add to that that Dumbledore had yet to make a move other than to pocket his watch, and Tom felt the old fool was trying to chastise him. Him! Lord Voldemort! A man whose name Magical Britain feared to even speak! "Are you this overconfident yourself Albus, to act so dismissive towards me?"
Even though Tom could not see Albus's face in the shadowed hood, he could clearly hear the smirk in the old man's voice. "In single combat? I would not stand a chance. Though I am more skilled than you, I do not have your raw power, plus I am more than a bit past my prime. However, there is one very effective tactic that, ironically enough, I learned from you Tom."
Riddle became aware of several cloaked figures, two significantly shorter than the rest, and one significantly taller and broader, melt out of the shadows, all wearing all-concealing cloaks like the old man.
"Never face your opponent with even numbers if you can avoid it."
"The traitor?" One of the cloaked men behind him replied. Riddle vaguely rcognized the voice- Sirius Black. "He's been...handled. You know, Moldyshorts, those Dark Marks of yours have a major drawback- you need another Death Eater with you to signal other Deez for help. For some strange reason, you of all people don't wear your own Dark Mark."
"Looks like you're alone out here, Snake-Lips." Another familiar voice: Alastor Moody.
Trapped like a rat, Tom's wand snapped into his hand and pointed at Dumbledore. "AVADA KEDAVRA!"
With astonishing speed, another cloaked figure stepped between Dumbledore and his death, brandishing his wand and stating, "STUPEFY!"
Red and green combined to form a connection, a golden beam formed, and beads of light quickly traveled up the beam into Voldemort's yew-and-phoenix-feather, which promptly exploded, taking two of his fingers with it.
Dumbledore, brushing an imaginary piece of lint from his robes, stated, "a bit more spectacular than your description of the Priori Incantato, Sagacious, but effective nonetheless."
The defender twirled the length of holly between his right fingers and replied, "Anytime, Albus." Sagacious Ollivander, the old wandmaker? "Few know the rules of 'brother wands', but to one who does know, much can be done. I have wanted to destroy that wand ever since I had discovered what atrocities it had gone out into the world to do."
Holding his bloody hand, Voldemort seethed. The rat had led him into a trap. When he got his hands on him...
"Oh, you needn't worry about him, Vulturesnot," stated a voice to Voldemort's left. James Potter. "His occlumency is crap. We knew well before he became our Secret-Keeper that you had turned him, and used that fact to set up this little ambush. Now Snivellus, his shields were impressive. By the time I got through them, he was drooling all down the front of his robes. Poor guy. Madam Pomfrey isn't sure if he'll awaken ever again. Off to the Janus Thickey Ward, I suppose."
"So cavalier about risking your wife and son's lives, Potter?"
A deep chuckle sounded from the tallest cloak. "Even I'm no' tha' dumb, Tom." Rubeus Hagrid? That oaf? "Yeh used ter be such a brigh' lad. Did them Dark Rituals you used make yer dumb as well? Lily an' Li'l 'Arry ain't nowhere near 'ere. Never were."
"Rest assured, I will find and destroy the Child of Prophecy..."
A chuckle, more feminine this time, sounded from Albus's left hand. The cloaked figure did something the others hadn't: she lowered her hood. Messy hair, overly-large glasses, and the way she clasped her hands together before her made Sybill Trelawney, in Tom's opinion, look like a giant preying mantis. "You poor, gullible boy. Prophecies aren't real. I, and my famous great-grandmother, are actually what the Muggles would call 'mentalists'- the short of it being that we can 'read' people well enough we can sucker the gullible into believing we're reading their minds, or predicting their future! It was my demonstration to Albus about the 'Theatrics of Fortune-Telling' that your Death Eater spy stumbled upon,scurrying back to you to report a false prophecy, and it became your main focus."
Snarling, Tom turned to advance on the bint- only to cry out when a goblin-steel shortsword sprouted from the outside of his knee. One of the shorter cloaks stepped back as Tom collapsed to a kneeling position on his healthy knee.
"You always did disregard me because of my stature and parentage," Filius Flitwick said, shaking his head. "You forget, the Goblins were a warrior race when humans were still sitting in caves trying to decide whether to eat the paints or write on the walls with them."
Before Tom could react, a meaty fist smashed into his noseless face, then grabbed his collar and yanked him around to see a meaty face, blond hair, bushy moustache, and the most hateful sneer Tom Riddle had ever seen outside his own mirror. Had he known more, he might have recognized Vernon Dursley, James Potter's Muggle brother-in-law. "Good God, you are a freak, aren't you? You don't even look human anymore! You cost me my parents and my in-laws trying to punish Lily for having the stones to outsmart your inbred sycophants, and now you get a lesson in how a normal person delivers pain!" Half a dozen blows later, both of Riddle's elbows were dislocated, he was bleeding from one nostril and the opposite ear, he had a brilliant shiner growing on his right eye, and his balls had been hit so hard by the Muggle's knee they felt like they had jumped into his throat. Gasping for breath, Riddle collapsed to his knees as Vernon stepped over by his brother-in-law.
"Feel better, Vern?"
"Actually, yes, Jim. Very therapeutic. Got any more twisted murdering psychopaths I can beat the piss out of for you?"
James just chuckled.
Riddle looked up at Albus. He, like most of the circle, had now pulled back his hood, and was gazing sadly at the kneeling Dark Lord. Riddle chuckled. "Go ahead and kill me, Albus. I am immortal, I shall rise up from the grave and strike back at you before your celebration is even begun!"
"Ah yes," spoke a gravelly voice from Tom's left. One of the few still cloaked, the all-concealing mask-hood of this robe marked him as an Unspeakable from the Department of Mysteries. Still, only Albus Dumbledore knew that this man was Algernon Croaker, the Head Unspeakable. "Your Horcruxes, I believe? Like this Locket that belonged to Salazar Slytherin?" He held up a shattered locket, dangling it by its chain.
"I believe he might mean the Ring of the Gaunt Family," the mournful voice of Unspeakable Broderick Bode stated from Croaker's right, holding up the cracked ring. "Nasty curses on that one, but nothing really original. Quite pedestrian, in fact."
"Then again," came the voice of Frank Longbottom, "he might mean the Cup of Helga Hufflepuff." Frank held up a half-melted golden chalice. "Freeing Bella from the Slave Curse Rodolphus had her under proved quite helpful, on top of saving her from the spiral into madness she had just begun."
"I say the tricky one was the Diary that old Lucius had," stated Remus Lupin, holding up a ruined diary. "We ended up having to kill him to get it. Of course, for what he did to my beloved Narcissa, I would have killed him anyway. Poor Cissa, widowed so young. I should go comfort her."
"The one that hurt the most to destroy," added Minerva McGonagall, "was the Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw." She held up the shattered halves of the ancient crown. "Such a waste."
Riddle could not believe it. All his treasures, his soul anchors, destroyed! He felt his head yanked around to face an old, irate house-elf. "Kreacher remembers you," it growled. "You is bad wizard who force fed Kreacher poison. You is bad wizard who hid Locket that Master knew had to be retrieved to save lives. You is bad wizard who took Master Regulus from Kreacher and his Mistress!"
The elf's face contorted into a smirk. "But Master Regulus got last laugh. Master Regulus told Kreacher to deliver Locket to Albus Dumbleydore and help Albus Dumbleydore bring about final death of Bad Wizard Moldy-Warts. Now, Kreacher gets his revenge. Oh yes. Kreacher is a good Black family house elf. And if there is one thing the Ancient and Noble House of Black understands better than anything else, it is revenge." And with that, Kreacher shoved a large butcher's knife through Riddle's unbruised eye into his brain, killing him. "Bad Wizard thought House Elves to be vermin, and now a vermin has killed him. Mistress will want to know that Young Master has been avenged." With a pop, Kreacher vanished.
Albus looked sadly down at the mortal remains of his former student as the others dispersed. Tom had had such potential once. He could have been one of the greats. Instead, he took the worst of both worlds and became the bogeyman that even adults feared. Such a waste. Still, he had had to be stopped. And the only way to prevent the twisted sociopath he had become from harming anyone else was to put an end to him. Albus hated to cause or allow the death of anyone, even Tom, but recognized that sometimes it simply could not be avoided.
After all, it was for the Greater Good.