Disclaimer: *Sigh* don't own Harry Potter, never will, making no money off this story, etcetera.

A/N: When Harry Potter dies at the ripe old age of 107, an unlikely mourner comes to visit his grave.   Rated PG13 for naughty language and black humor.   Enjoy!

Breaking Tradition

            It was a cold, calm day in February, and a crowd of hundreds of people were congregated outside a small chapel in Hogsmeade.   Loudspeakers at the front of the building broadcast the eulogy that was taking place inside – not that anyone could hear above the men, women and children who wailed as if they were mourning a member of their own families who had died young and tragically.

            Harry Potter had died neither young nor, surprisingly, tragically.   He had slipped away unexpectedly in his sleep a week before, and the country had yet to get over the shock of losing their national hero.   The fact that he had, to his dying day, been referred to as The Boy Who Lived may have had something to do with the average person's belief that he was immortal; alternatively, it may have been because he had managed to survive every confection that Hagrid – deceased nine years earlier – had so generously baked for him.  

More likely it was because he had fought He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named to the "death" fourteen times and always, always won.   You-Know-Who would still come back every few years or so by some means – Gilderoy Lockhart had once tried to get You-Know-Who to tell him about his numerous rebirths so Lockhart could write another book, "Quest for Resurrection", but had been thankfully killed on the spot – but The Boy Who Lived would always catch up with the Dark Lord and set him on fire, throw a spear through his head, send him to an alternate dimension, or whatever else it might take to get him out of everyone's hair for awhile.  

Whatever the cause, the delusion that Harry Potter would live on forever had been shattered by the fact that he was quite dead.   The coroner had been asked to give a second opinion shortly before the funeral, and had reiterated his previous judgment.

"Now the world must let go of its child hero, and return him to the cradle of our Lord," the speaker said.   It was Pamela Weasley, who had shocked her family and friends by becoming a nun.   She was the first Weasley to do so since the sixteenth century.

There was a brief, loud noise.   Shortly afterwards the chapel erupted in terrorized screams.

The noise had been a portal opening, and out of that portal had stepped You-Know-Who, his robes tattered and his wand raised.   Almost immediately, someone had shouted "get Harry Potter!"   At that moment the fact that Harry Potter was permanently indisposed was brought to the forefront in everyone's minds, and thus the screaming began.   They soon reached the conclusion that they would now have to deal with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in the same fashion that their great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents had – by running, hiding, fainting, or knocking themselves unconscious with blunt objects.

Within five minutes the chapel was full of unconscious men and women holding expensive candlesticks in their limp hands, and the crowd outside had dispersed to cower in their respective homes, waiting for the apocalypse.   Purebloods and Muggleborns alike fled the scene as fast as their legs, broomsticks or Portkeys would carry them, for the Dark Lord had become increasingly less selective with his targets, as his general goal seemed to have boiled down to killing as many people as possible before his next climactic battle.  

Yet there was still one man conscious inside the chapel.   He leaned against the wall with a disinterested look on his angled face, and it was to him that You-Know-Who turned.

"There's another candlestick over there, if you're interested," he smirked, twirling his wand between his fingers.   The man turned to the Dark Lord and chuckled, causing his face to twist into his most vicious glare.   "What's the matter, Snape?   Why aren't you running?   Have you gone daft?"

Snape shrugged.   "Not at all.   It's just that it takes a little more than that to make me knock myself over the head nowadays.   When one has survived nine generations of Weasleys, one finds that no one without red hair is capable of providing true terror."   The Potions Master's hair was still jet black after all these years, and greasy as it had ever been.   In fact, he looked annoyingly young compared to the Dark Lord's own ever increasing collection of wrinkles.

The Dark Lord began walking around the room, examining it and looking at the people on the floor curiously.   When he had covered the entirety of the chapel and ended up back where he had started, he stamped his foot.   "Damn.   That portal was supposed to take me directly to Potter.   Goddamn interdimensional merchants.   I swear I'll rip that…thing's…liver out and feed it to Nagini - if it has a liver, anyway."

            "I hardly think that will be necessary, as his product delivered on its promise," Snape said dryly.   He gestured elaborately to the coffin.

            "What?" Voldemort asked, looking from side to side in bewilderment.   "He's here?   Oh," he said, finally looking at the coffin.   "Who died?"

            Snape gave a deep, long sigh, shaking his head.   "Potter."

            "Which one?"

            "Which one?   Which one do you think?" Snape growled, rubbing his temples.

            "Well, how should I know?   There are plenty of Potters in the world, how should I know which one's the dead one?" Voldemort hissed.

            "Harry Potter.   The Boy Who Lived.   The Man Who Beat You Fourteen Times Straight."

            "My Potter?   That's impossible."

            Snape threw up his hands and started pacing the room, nearly tripping on someone's prone body.   "I would think that you, of all people, would understand that Potter is not invincible!   He's one hundred seven years old!   He's lived a long, long time!   Not as long as you or I, but a long time, nevertheless!   What I'm trying to tell you is that he died a perfectly natural death that had nothing to do with you!" Snape shouted.

            Had he not been so surprised, Lord Voldemort probably would have killed anyone who dared to shout at him – especially a servant-turned-spy such as Snape – but he was surprised, and thus Snape was spared.   "You're telling me that Potter is dead?"


            The Dark Lord blinked rapidly, absorbing the information.   As soon as he had, he strode over to the coffin, flipped it open, and began shaking Harry's body by the shoulders.   "Come on you little bastard!   How dare you die before letting me get another crack at you?!   Up, up!"

            Snape howled some frustrated, animalistic noises and ran his fingers through his hair.   "Let's try this again, shall we?   Harry Potter is dead.   He is not getting up.   He is not going to have any more "final" battles with you."

            "He can't do that!" Voldemort countered.   "It's…it's against tradition!"

            "Look at him!   Does he look like he's up to another bout?"

            Lord Voldemort studied the body carefully.   It looked dead.   He frowned and reached out with his spirit, prodding roughly for any remains of Potter's soul within, but met with no response.

            He was well and truly dead.

            "Shit," Voldemort cursed, setting the body – the corpse – back into its coffin.   "What am I going to do now?"

            Snape raised his eyebrows.   "Hmm, let's think.   Take over the world unhindered by your mortal enemy?"

            Voldemort waved it off.   "Yes, yes, of course, but aside from that?   It's just that…" he sighed.   "I think I'm about to say something that may shock you, Snape," Voldemort said, giving the casket an odd look.

"Nothing shocks me anymore."

"I think I'm going to miss the little freak," the Dark Lord said, putting the lid of the coffin down.

Snape shrugged.   "Not nearly as shocking as finding an exact three-dimensional replica of Minerva's buttocks pasted onto my mirror one morning.   That was Weasley generation five, I believe."

            Voldemort turned to him and smirked.   "And how did you know it was Minerva's buttocks?"

            "Generation three.   Long story."

            Voldemort sighed yet again.   "I suppose I'll have plenty of time to hear long stories, now.   Maybe I'll take a trip to Tahiti before I restart the old world domination business.   It's not as if I don't have the time…" he trailed off.   "Well?   Aren't you at least going to attack me?"

Snape rolled his eyes.   "If I attack you, and by some twist of fate I win, then everyone will come back and I'll have to give my damn eulogy."

"You?   Giving a eulogy for Harry Potter?   I was always under the impression that you despised him."

"I do, but since I'm the only person still alive who remembers him from his school days – aside from you, of course – they, ah, insisted."

"Insisted?   How much?"

"Five thousand galleons for a five minute speech.   A thousand galleons a minute is darn good pay."

Voldemort frowned.   "Then why don't you want to give your eulogy?"

"The idiots already paid me, and it's non-refundable under the conditions of the contract, unless I renege.   And who could possibly blame me for not giving my speech under the circumstances?"

            "Ah," Voldemort replied.   He sighed one last time before turning around and walking out into Hogsmeade, shoulders slumped.

            "He'll die of boredom inside of a week," Snape remarked to himself.   He pulled a flask of whiskey out of his robes.   "I had a feeling I would be needing this."   He removed the lid, put the flask to his lips, and took a good, long swig.