***Disclaimer: I do Not own Harry Potter, no matter how much I wish so. The characters all belong to JK Rowling****
Sorry for the long wait everyone, and thank you for the reviews. Here is the next chapter everyone!
Chapter 7: Dumbledore Humbled
Mrs. Weasley tried desperately to stop Harry from proceeding down the stairs, but Harry wouldn't have any of it. It wasn't until Remus spoke up that Mrs. Weasley gave in.
"Molly, I believe that Harry needs to do this," slowly coming down the stairs, with Hestia, Tonks, and Kingsley all behind him giving assertive nods to Lupin's statement. "Besides, look at what he's done to the décor of this dreadful place." Motioning to the house that was behind them." Mrs. Weasley just nodded, slightly awed at what had happened to the once dank, dark house.
Once Harry reached the kitchen the entire room changed to match the rest of the house. Dumbledore looked up, surprised at the sudden change in decorum. Seeing Harry, he looked slightly shocked, but put on his passive smile with his usual twinkling blue eyes, "Ah, Harry! I'm glad you had a safe journey. If you could, please go upstairs and wait for our meeting to be over, I'm sure we can speak then."
"I don't think so, Headmaster. I have a bone to pick with you." Harry said darkly.
Professor McGonagall spoke up, "Now, Mister Potter. That is no way to speak to the Headmaster, apologize and listen to as he says."
"My apologies Professor McGonagall, but I will not leave until I have finished." Harry responded.
"And what exactly is it you wish to speak about so urgently Harry?" Dumbledore asked, the twinkle in his eye having faded a little.
"I want answers. Why are you making my friends keep things from me when you know full well that I would be better off informed of all that is happening. Also. Why is it you've never mentioned the prophecy to me before?' Harry growled.
The twinkle in Dumbledore's eyes had completely vanished at this point. "Harry. I am doing everything I do for the Greater Good."
"You call leaving the only person in the world that can get rid of Voldemort in the dark part of the greater good?" Harry questioned, his voice rising steadily.
"Yes." Dumbledore said simply, his eyes now a very icy blue.
"Here's what I think, old man." Harry started, his eyes now matching Dumbledore's in coldness "I think that you enjoyed the glory that came with defeating Grindelwald so much so that you just had to start manipulating things in such a way that when the next Dark Lord arose, you would be able to take credit for destroying Him. If not directly, then by making the one that would be able to into your pawn."
At this point, everyone in the kitchen was paying rapt attention to the argument between the Boy-Who-Lived and their Leader of the Light. The raised voices had even been enough to get those who were upstairs in their rooms (namely Fred, George, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny) to all be sitting in the stair well, still with a very good view of the argument going on.
"THAT IS COMPLETELY UNCALLED FOR MISTER POTTER! THERE IS NO REASON TO MAKE SUCH ACCUSATIONS AGAINST ME! " The headmaster yelled, while letting his aura seep out, which was a bright blue flame, of his very being. Nobody had ever seen the headmaster in such a fury in their lives, and were all cowering a bit. But not Harry. No, Harry stood firm.
Everyone in the room was already shocked into silence already, but none of them could have guessed what happened next.
Harry, too, started to let his aura out, which was a molten golden flame and shouted back in response.
"YOU THINK YOU CAN JUST SHOW A LITTLE AURA AND SCARE ME INTO SUBMISSION OLD MAN? I'LL SHOW YOU AURA!" With that, Harry's aura began to get brighter and brighter. Their audience shielded their eyes from the brightness, and some began to whisper amongst themselves. Fred and George, it seemed, were communicating telepathically, as they often do, as were Sirius and Remus. Ginny turned to Ron and Hermione, "Did you know he could do that?" she whispered quietly. In response she got to slack-jawed headshakes in the negative.
"HARRY I DEMAND THAT YOU STOP THIS AT ONCE!" Dumbledore continued, with his eyes still covered from the brightness.
The aura around Harry began to fade slightly, but only so you could see that what should have been Harry's form wasn't. When it finally dimmed enough that you could clearly see the animal, Mrs. Weasley gave a loud shriek, and ran to the furthest corner in the room, while Remus' jaw was opening and shutting like a gold fish. Dumbledore's aura disappeared immediately, and he had a look of pure horror in his eyes.
Harry's voice began to sound as if it was coming from the very air, while the alpha werewolf bared its teeth, and growled.
"THAT'S RIGHT OLD MAN! FEAR ME! YOU HAVE MANIPULATED MY FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND I FOR THE LAST TIME! I DO NOT FEAR YOU! I HAVE VERY LITTLE RESPECT FOR YOU NOW! THE ONLY REASON YOU WOULD DO WHAT YOU JUST DID IS IF YOU HAD BEEN DISCOVERED FOR WHAT YOU TRULY ARE! IF YOU EVEN SO MUCH AS THINK OF TRYING TO GO BACK TO BEING KING OF THE CASTLE, USING ALL OF US AS YOUR LITTLE PAWNS, YOU WILL BE JOINING REMUS FOR THE FULL MOONS! UNDERSTOOD?"
Dumbledore nodded vigorously, to, which Harry responded, voice still coming from the air, "SWEAR TO IT!"
"I swear! I swear I will not be a manipulative old fool ever again! I can see the error of my ways!" Dumbledore cried.
With a soft pop, the wolf transformed back into Harry, whose aura was fading, and with a cheery voice, pearly white smile, and twinkling eyes said, "Good." and walked out of the kitchen, being followed closely by Ginny, Ron, Hermione, and Fred and George.
Upstairs in the room that he would be sharing with Ron, Harry brought out his trunk, and enlarged it.
"Harry, what do you think you're doing!?" Hermione wailed, "The ministry is looking for any way to discredit you, and you just preformed underage magic!"
"Ah, that's the beautiful thing. I can preform magic as I wish now." Harry smiled, and at the questioning looks he received from the other five, "According to my parents' Will, they wanted me to be emancipated on my fifteenth birthday if they died before then. I'm going to arrange a way for me to get my apparition license as soon as possible."
"Ah, good to hear my man, good to hear. But I am sorry to say that Forge and I must get back to our work, mustn't we?" said one of the twins, to which the other responded, "Quite right, Gred, quite right." With that, they both apparated off somewhere, probably to their room, with rather loud pops.
"Harry?" Ginny's timid voice came from just at the door. At this, Ron turned to face her.
"What are you doing here Ginny? Harry wants to talk to only Hermione and I right now."
Before she could respond, Harry cut in, "No, I'd rather have her for company, seeing as she was the only one to keep me informed the whole summer."
Ron shut up after that. Hermione spoke up at that, "It was on Dumbledore's orders that we didn't… You have to understand…"
"No, I don't Hermione. He doesn't have any authority over us out side of school. Especially since the Ministry has revoked his position on the Wizengamot. While I can appreciate his help in getting him from the Dursley's, I'll do as I please." Harry stated with a dark look on his face.
"Harry?" Came Ginny's voice again, a little more confidence this time, "When did... When did you… become so… fit?" she questioned, although the last word came out as though she was questioning her choice of words.
Chuckling to himself, Harry responded, "Magic," concluding with a wink, causing the redhead to blush deeply.
"Speaking of magic," Hermione cut in, "When were you planning on telling us that you're an animagus?"
"Well, I can't say exactly, but I will say that I had entertained the idea since third year, but I came by the means this past summer." Harry explained vaguely.
"But Harry," Ron cut in, "You've told us everything, why do you need to start keeping secretes from us now?"
"You shouldn't put all of your bets on one horse." Harry explained simply, causing Ron's eyes to frown in confusion, and Hermione's to light up in almost delight.
"Oh, it's wonderful that you're starting to learn so much Harry!" she squealed in delight, rushing to embrace Harry in a suffocating hug. Harry stiffened slightly, while hugging her back. Hermione pulled back, blushing slightly. "I… I didn't realize just how much you had been working out this summer…" she muttered quietly.
This got a laugh out of Harry, and Ron's face went red in anger, although none of the other three occupants in the room saw.
Back in the kitchen there was a heated argument going on between Molly and Sirius.
"But he's just a child! He shouldn't have to do anything but live his life as such!" Molly argued.
"But he isn't a child any more Molly, he stopped having any opportunity of having a normal childhood the moment Voldemort decided to mark him for death." Sirius stated.
"And anyways," Remus cut in, "He said something about being emancipated…"
At this, Dumbledore looked up, shocked. Molly still shouted, "It doesn't matter if he's been emancipated! He's still just a boy!"
Sirius responded, "I can't think of him as a boy if he has faced three more times since starting school, faced a troll AND a basilisk, fought of hundreds of dementors at once, and even won the Triwizard Tournament, and is still drawing breath."
Molly huffed resignedly, before they continued the meeting. "So," Dumbledore spoke up, "Other than this latest announcement, is there any other news?" When no one spoke up, Dumbledore continued, "Well, if not, why don't we adjourn for now?"
After everyone had left that wasn't staying for dinner, and Molly had called all of the kids down. They all ate until they had their fill, and afterwards Dumbledore approached Harry carefully.
"Might I have a word with you in private, Harry?" he asked. At this, Harry looked at him calculatingly.
"Okay, but if I don't like the way the conversation goes, I'm leaving." He said simply.
Once in the drawing room, and Dumbledore had added a number of privacy spells around the room, causing Harry to raise an eyebrow in question. After he was finished, Dumbledore sighed. "Harry, forgive an old man his follies. As you said, I have gotten to used to things going my way, and I'm not sure that that is going to happen much longer."
"Why should I trust you?" Harry questioned, a dark look in his eyes. "Hogwarts is supposed to be one of the safest places in the world, and yet I've faced dangers during my first four years there that almost all grown wizards die without having to do. All in the name of 'training' me for The Greater Good' as you always put it." He paused for a moment, before finishing, "You know, you sound a lot like Grindelwald. That was his motto, was it not?"
Dumbledore looked dejected at this, and then spoke up, "I am sorry Harry. I'll let you in on something only a select few know. Just after I graduated from Hogwarts, I was thrust into the position of Head of the Dumbledore family. My mother had died from a magical outburst from my younger sister, whose magical core was damaged so much that she was basically a squib, with the occasional outburst of magic. My father had died in Azkaban for killing the boys who did that to her. I was only seventeen at the time, and had just been forced to stay home from a trip around the world with one of my classmates.
"A couple months later, a young man my age moved in next door by the name of Gellert Grindelwald. We hit it off right away, and began making plans of grandeur. We had been making plans of finding the Deathly Hallows so that we could take over the government; revolutionize the wizarding world, for the Greater Good.
"Once Gellert started down a path that was not to my liking, I backed out, there was a fight between him, and my younger brother Aberforth. Gellert was going on about how the family was holding me back from being able to reach my full potential, the next thing I know, and the three of us are dueling against each other. There were Unforgivables flying everywhere. My sister had come out because of the commotion, and was hit by a stray Killing Curse.
"To this day, we don't know who cast the spell, but the guilt has always been overwhelming. Gellert took off after that, fearing jail time for the crime. At her funeral, Aberforth and I got into a fistfight, in which he broke my nose. I was still feeling guilty, so I did not get it fixed." He said, looking solemn.
Harry was a little startled, but did not comment on it, allowing him to continue his story, "It wasn't until years later that the public became aware that I was the only one who was powerful enough to take him down. Word had spread that he may have found the Elder Wand, so I was having doubts that even I could defeat him. I delayed the inevitable as much as possible. In the end, I did end up having to duel him, and won. But it was with a heavy heart…" he trailed off.
Harry looked at him for a moment, before speaking. "I am sorry for your losses, Professor. But that still doesn't excuse you from playing chess master in everyone's lives."
"I understand…" Dumbledore said downcast.
"I'm glad that you do. Now, if you don't mind, I plan on going out and finding a way to clear my godfather's good name." With that, Harry walked with cat-like grace out of the room, walking straight through Dumbledore's protective enchantments.