Chapter 27 - Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage
Friday, March 28th, 1997
Harry awakened as soon as Luna touched his shoulder. "It's time, Harry," came Freddie's voice. "The alarms are all sounding, but I thought you'd rather hear it from me."
Voldemort, as expected, was attacking - trying to pull a fast one and catch somebody by surprise. "Very well," he said, quite calm, as he stood. Looking down briefly, he wandlessly transfigured his robes into his "cloak and staff" disguise. "Freddie, are any students out of their dorms?"
"No, Harry; I have locked all common room doors. The students are safe, and the alarms are not sounding inside the student quarters."
"Do you need my help returning to Ravenclaw tower?"
"I think I can manage," came the sardonic reply of a thousand-year-old castle speaking from the mouth of a 15-year-old girl. She left the Room of Requirement.
"Hermione, let me," he said. She was busy zooming around the room, trying desperately to collect all her books study materials. He waved and all of it stacked neatly into her book bag. He took her arm and... they were standing in the Gryffindor common room. He kissed her briefly but fiercely, and disappeared.
"Oh, there you are, Harry," said Professor McGonagall as he appeared in the midst of the gathering of staff in the entrance hall to the castle. "I was going to send a student to find you, but..."
"But all the students are in bed."
"Quite. We're all ready."
Harry looked at the half-asleep group of teachers and staff. Even Filch and Hagrid were there, both armed with pitchforks. "Try not to worry, my friends," he said, knowing it to be a futile request. "It'll all be over in a little while, and then I hope we'll have a nice big breakfast."
There was some half-hearted laughter from the ragtag group. Even though they had seen some of what Harry could do, they were still quite frightened. "Would you all wait in the Great Hall?" he asked. "There's no sense in chasing them all over the lawn, and at least we can be warm in there." He raised an arm to indicate the doors to the Hall.
When he saw them all safely in the Great Hall, Harry set a ward to keep them safely therein. It would be easier to protect them all if they all stayed in the same place. He Disillusioned himself, and triggered several spells he'd prepared earlier. His mouth set in a grim line, he waited.
"Yes, my lord?" came the answer.
"How are we coming with the gate?"
"The gate is open, my lord. You may enter whenever you wish."
Voldemort barely controlled a start of surprise. The gate was open? He walked up to it and waved his wand in some complicated patterns. No, there were no spells. No wards, nothing at all to keep him and his army out. "Well done, Mulciber."
"Thank you, my lord." Mulciber hadn't anything to do with opening the gate; it had been found that way. But he'd been a follower of the Dark Lord long enough to know never to correct the man.
The mob started walking the slow walk up the path toward the school. Even Voldemort wasn't powerful enough to just Apparate on Hogwarts' grounds. Everyone knew that. It took about twenty minutes for the large group to get within eyesight of the front of the castle.
Voldemort stopped in his tracks, wondering at what appeared before him. The castle was dark. Not a single light showed anywhere within view. Not only that, but the massive front door was standing ajar. Rather than being bolted with the massive bars that protected the even-more-massive door, it stood ajar. Not wide open as if in welcome, but crookedly half-open as if in abandonment. The gate had been found open, there were no lights, and the door was open.
Riddle scratched his chin with the tip of his wand, thinking, before he cast a chain of spells. Every revelation spell known to him - and that was quite a lot of spells - showed the castle to be completely empty. First, Hogsmeade had been found deserted. No one to fight. Now, the castle was empty. He could see dead leaves on the floor, disturbed in the cold zephyr that blew in the door.
Could it be? Yes... they had run away! Instead of having his "last stand" battle, they had all just given up and buggered off!
A smile broke out on the snake-like face of Voldemort. It was not a pleasant smile, and did not bring any warmth to those nearby. "Hogwarts is fallen. It is mine, Mulciber."
"I think you're right, my lord."
"You think? I doubt it." Raising his voice, he shouted, "Our day is at hand! You may pillage the castle. Forward!"
A gigantic "hurrah!" was heard by all as a very large crowd of black-robed Death Eaters surged forward and pressed through the doors, flinging them wide and running in. Some hoped to find a person to hurt, some hoped for valuables... but none wanted to stay behind and hang about with their lord.
Standing for a few moments on the front lawn of Hogwarts Castle, drinking in the joyous feeling of total victory, Voldemort was one of the last to enter the castle...
Only to find no one.
Not a single Death Eater was within view. Not only that, but the few of his minions who had followed behind him to enter were also not there.
And the lights were on. The entire entrance hall was brightly lit, as if expecting visitors. "Dumbledore," he began grumbling. "Dumbledore, you pathetic old man, if this is one of your-"
"In here, Tom," came a call from the Great Hall, whose doors were also open.
"Potter? No, it can't be..." he walked quickly through the double doors to find a very strange site indeed. "Potter! Enough of these parlor tricks! Where's Dumbledore?"
The Great Hall stood quiet. All tables and benches had been removed, as had the dais. The enchanted ceiling and floating candles lit the hall very well, and revealed Harry Potter to be standing in the center of the room. Alone. Leaning on a staff of some kind, Potter was sipping from a cup of something hot with his other hand.
In each common room in Hogwarts, a three-dimensional projection of sight and sound was playing the meeting to all who wished to watch. The teachers, locked in the anteroom off the Hall, had a display much like it. They could watch the entire affair, without being seen.
Thinking this to be the perfect time, Voldemort smiled, drew himself up and cast, "Crucio!" Nothing happened. He did it again, and again the unforgivable had no effect. He gave up on that and started a string of other spells, then casting at the walls, the floor... to no avail.
Harry said, simply, "No."
"Where are my Death Eaters, Potter?" spat the old snake.
"Don't vex me, whelp!"
"Why, you gonna cry? Or go tell your mommy?" Harry started talking baby-talk. "You gonna stomp your widdle snakey-man foot and pout? They're all dead. I killed them. Just me. Nobody else. I killed ALL of them."
Voldemort didn't believe it. He started shouting and casting again against Harry, and the floor, and the candles. Nothing happened, and he started screaming and throwing his tantrum before trying his portkey.
It didn't work. He tried another portkey, and it didn't work either. Tried apparating, and that didn't work. As far as the room was concerned, he had no magic.
Harry was walking towards him, slowly. Not even holding a wand. "No escape for you today, chicken shit. You're not going to run away from me this time, like you did so many times before. The little baby that kicked your pimply arse is here to finish the job."
Now Harry was about three feet away. Voldemort kept trying his wand, over and over. Harry didn't need a wand - to do anything. Closing a fist, he thumped Riddle in the chest, knocking him down. Voldemort scampered back, backing away and got back up, so Harry could just knock him down again. "What is this?" he said. He was getting scared now. "What trickery is this? What magic is this? Answer me!"
Harry continued to walk after him, speaking. "I made Pansy a squib by insulating her from all magic, removing its influence. Like this." He removed a little magic from Voldemort, who screamed. Because the Dark Lord's newest body was made entirely from the results of magic, his body wasn't working right, and it hurt.
Harry grabbed him by the robes, picked him up with one hand and slapped him, open hand. "Coward. Fight! Cry-baby. Spoiled rotten little cry-baby. Waaaaaaaaaaa." Punch, breaking bones. "If I can't be in charge, I'm gonna take my whistle and go home." Punch, crunch. Voldemort was screaming, his body weakening even further.
"I'll be back, Potter! You think you've won? I'll be back!"
Harry said, "No, you won't," and waved his free hand. The horcruxes fell to the floor, broken and charred, obviously destroyed. "your little soul pieces have been destroyed. There is nothing left to keep you alive. When I kill you, there will be no part of you left to go anywhere." Punch. "No killing unicorns." punch. "No living under somebody else's hat." Punch.
"I thought for a while about keeping this last little bit of your soul in a snow-globe." Punch. "Imprison the last of your essence into a device from the muggles that you hate so much." Punch. "But I realized that wouldn't end anything. And it's time to end." Punch. "Right, Tommy?" Harry dropped Voldemort to the floor, where he lay breathing through his broken mouth.
Voldemort began to beg. "Please, Harry, please, we can rule together, everyone is afraid of both of us now, nobody will ever stand in our way, you can be my right hand man..."
Harry said, "I can already do any of that I wish. What do I need you for?"
Harry raised his staff and drove it through the eye of the most recent Dark Lord, nailing his head to the floor.
Slowly turning, he conjured himself a new staff, just like the old one. Leaning on it, he released the wards keeping everyone locked up in rooms.
"How did you know the attack was coming, Harry?"
"How did you block everyone from getting close?"
"What happened to all those Death Eaters?"
That last was the only question he decided to answer. "I made a portal on the door. They were all sent to Clo Mor."
"You don't mean..." began Professor McGonagall, before stopping herself. Being a Scot, she was the only one present who recognized the name.
"Yes, Professor. Each of them was sent to Clo Mor, the highest cliffs on the United Kingdom mainland. More precisely, I sent them about fifty feet out from the top of the cliff, several hundred feet in the air. Without their wands." He poited to a wooden box by the door, which was overflowing with wands.
"Professor? Would you call the aurors? I need to rest for a bit." He sat down right where he was, conjuring a comfy chair to catch himself in at the last minute. He looked absolutely exhausted; mainly because he was.
Hermione and Luna sat on the arms of his chair, holding him and stroking his hair while they waited for the next show to begin.
Lots of aurors came. The temporary minister came. Several reporters came. Auror Shacklebolt's very dark complexion was quite gray when he stepped up to Harry. Speaking calmly, he said, "We found the bodies of the Death Eaters. There was quite a mess."
"How many?" asked Harry.
"One thousand, eight hundred forty-one," answered the senior auror, before he fainted dead away on the floor. Harry just nodded, as if he'd expected that too.
The reporters found themselves unable to approach Harry at all. They couldn't even point their cameras in his direction; some compelling force pushed them violently away when they tried. So they had to make do with taking extra pictures of the corpse of the lastest Dark Lord. The so-called "He who must not be named", old "You know who".
Harry looked around to discover Neville at his elbow. "Yes, Neville?"
"Harry, congratulations on the whole killing snakey-doodle over there, but... well, could you let us move him? We have to eat in here." Neville had a goofy grin on his face.
Harry grinned, then chuckled ever-so-lightly. "Alright, Nev. Let's put this dead dick-face where he can finally do some good, eh?" He waved his hand and the corpse disappeared, along with the staff with which it had been affixed. "There, that should be a good place for it."
"Harry," Hermione began to scold. "Where did you put Voldemort's body?"
"I turned it into stone, and made it the new frontispiece for a sculpture I've been working on. It's right in front of the pile of dead Death Eaters in the atrium at the Ministry."
A/N: Yes, friends; this is the end of this story. I could have done another chapter for epilogue, but I think it stops here just fine. It's unlikely that there will be a sequel, but I had a great deal of fun writing this. Thank you all for riding along.