Disclaimer: J. K. Rowling owns Harry Potter not me. She's just nice enough to let those of us so inclined to play in the marvelous amusement park she created. So I get no money just the lovely reviews that lovely people send me.
A/N: Lovely short sweet plot bunny that has teeth like a barracuda. Should be a one shot. Does include language and character death.
I Am Not Going Back
Harry was distraught. He couldn't believe what was happening. He had found out his godfather was innocent. The Minister still intended to have Sirius kissed on sight and the Headmaster had the gall to stand there and tell Harry that he could do nothing. Harry was a lot of things: under educated, a bit naive, and lazy when he could get away with it, but stupid wasn't on the list.
He didn't know what game the Headmaster was playing, but it was obvious to Harry that the Headmaster was up to something and what ever it was it didn't bode well for him. Dumbledore talked a good talk and his grandfatherly mien was easy to mistake as genuine caring. But the fool me twice rule definitely applied. He had bought it lock stock and barrel first year, despite what happened with Quirrell. But last year after the basilisk, with the Headmaster's lack of concern for Harry's well-being when he arrived back in his office the seeds of doubt had been planted. Harry hadn't realized it when the Ministry had allowed him to stay at the Leaky Cauldron but looking back they had him staked out like bait for his godfather. But with Dumbledore trying to sell him a line that the Head of the effing Wizengamot couldn't get a veritaserum trial for his godfather, well something was rotten in the state of Denmark that was for sure.
Now the blasted old man was trying to tell him he had to go back to the Dursleys. Harry didn't know much but he knew after blowing Aunt Marge up last summer that to set foot back in Privet Drive was suicide. He could feel himself getting more and more agitated as he tried desperately to talk Dumbledore out of sending him to his death.
"Harry, no more of this nonsense you must return to Privet Drive. I'm sure, you're exaggerating. They are your family."
There was an abrupt popping sound. Suddenly two identical boys faced each other across the Headmaster's desk.
Harry looked in astonishment at the Headmaster who now resembled himself. Right down to the cowlicks, the scar and dorky glasses. He had a sudden flash of what he privately called his preservation instinct. "Headmaster, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to … but this could work for us. You're so convinced that my relatives is the safest place for me and I'm telling you it's not. So I'll make you a deal. You look like me now. You go and you live with them for a week. I'll stay here in McGonagall's care. If at the end of the week you are still convinced that Privet Drive is the safest place for me, that I'm being properly looked after there, I'll go back and we'll never have this discussion again. Deal?"
With a calculated expression that didn't suit Harry's face at all, the Headmaster agreed.
Harry felt a little remorse, but the Headmaster was a fully qualified wizard. He could look after himself, and it wasn't like Harry hadn't warned him. It was decided that they would switch places tomorrow when the train left. Harry managed to persuade the Headmaster that Hedwig should stay with Harry instead of going with the Headmaster.
Harry headed for the dorm while Dumbledore called in his deputy and Severus Snape. After many minutes of convincing the two teachers of his true identity plans were made. McGonagall would watch Harry in the Gryffindor dorms and Snape would shadow the Headmaster to Privet Drive and stay available at Arabella's for the week.
Albus cheerfully took his time as he impersonated Harry making his goodbyes to Harry's friends. Finally he went through the barrier at King's Cross.
"About time, boy." Vernon Dursley growled.
"I'm sorry had to make my goodbyes you know. Lemon Sherbert?" Albus offered his favorite candy. He had been puzzled by Harry's muggle clothing choices the string to hold up the boxers had puzzled him until he realized its purpose. He was surprised by the hostile air of Harry's uncle as the man led the way to his car. He was more surprised when the man left him to struggle to get Harry's trunk into the boot on his own.
He spoke of Harry's year at Hogwarts and asked about the rest of Harry's family, but Harry's almost currant colored uncle ignored him to chew on his mustache. Finally they reached Privet Drive. He was surprised when Harry's Uncle again offered no assistance with Harry's trunk. He entered the house. The door had barely closed behind him when he felt two large beefy hands wrap tightly around his throat and start squeezing hard. He heard Harry's cousin shout in a gleeful voice. "That's it, Dad! Pop the freak's head off!"
It appeared he had miscalculated. He groped for his wand as he felt his trachea collapse and the world around him went black.
Severus Snape was surprised when Fawkes flamed into Arabella's parlor, but he willingly took hold of the Phoenix's tail to flame where Albus was. In the next minute they appeared in the foyer of Petunia's house. Severus watched in shock as Potter's uncle dropped the dead body of the boy onto the floor and it transformed into the body of the Headmaster.
Petunia's shrieks at his and Fawkes' sudden appearance barely shook him out of his shock in time to stun Vernon Dursley before the man's punch connected. Dudley was luckier though his punch into the strangers side connected in the kidney zone and his second cracked ribs. Knocking Severus atop the Headmaster's body. "Fawkes, get us out of here!" he shouted.
To say Minerva McGonagall was shocked when her boss died was an understatement. But what was even more shocking were the revelations that came with the investigation into his death, and the sorting of his personal journals that she did as she settled into her new role of Headmistress.
The Ministry broke the seal on the Potter wills and it named Pettigrew as secret keeper and Black as godfather which gave grounds for a Sirius Black to finally get a trial.
That trial plus Albus' journals revealed that Albus had been manipulating the situation so he could control Harry. It also brought out how many things had been controlled by the Headmaster. The acrimony and distrust that was the result of his manipulation and favoritism of students from Tom's time forward and how he used those feelings to his advantage.
It brought the existence of the prophecy about the downfall of Voldemort to Harry and the Ministry's attention, and finally it revealed the corruption that was rampant in the Ministry. Many Death eater's that had bribed their way out of trials found themselves hauled in and given trials with veritaserum.
When Harry and Sirius heard the prophecy they discussed what it could mean. Harry spoke with his godfather and in the end he buckled down and got serious about his studies.
It took three years and Harry and his godfather worked extensively with Amelia Bones of the DMLE, the aurors, and the Unspeakables to make sense of all of Albus' notes. The goblins and the muggle prime minister also got involved. It was through unprecedented levels cooperation and transparency between all parties involved with Harry frequently acting as a liaison that resulted in the complete and utter destruction of the being that styled himself Lord Voldemort.
When Harry was interviewed following his receipt of an Order of Merlin First Class he spoke of the prophecy, "I think the power he knows not that was spoken of in the prophecy was trust. I trusted others with the information and trusted them to work with me. His defeat was the work of many, I may have gotten this award but it was a team effort. The magical world under Headmaster Dumbledore was mostly about individual power as it has been for centuries. That model has given us dark lords and ladies too numerous to count. It's time for a new era where we are both independent and interdependent where we work together openly and honestly for a future that gives all of us hope and happiness."