The school soon filled with rumours and speculation about Dumbledore's new found behaviour. The man was always known to be eccentric, always known to be treading the line between genius and insanity. It seemed as of late he had strayed a little, and not towards the side of insanity. The castle had found itself in a state of disarray, with rugs changing colours, suits of armor wearing many different clothes, the torches in the halls being spelled to cast lights of different colour and so much more. It was enough to get the students nausiated, even the first years were growing tired with everything.
The thing that was the most worrying was that Voldemort would get wind of the headmasters insanity and attack the school. It wasn't so much that they couldn't protect the school, they could. It was the cost that worried them. They wouldn't get notice of Voldemort attacking until he was trying to take down the enchantments around the place. They would then have next to no time to remove the children from the school somehow.
No. What they needed to do was prepare to take the fight to him. They needed to get in there, kill the snake, kill him and get out. He wasn't going to be the problem, it was the death eaters that would cause the most havoc. Potentially, the death eaters could die with their master. They could also feel an immence pain at his demise, or they could be fine, apparate off intot he night, potentilly cause a hell of a lot more havoc, or dissapear and never be seen again.
It was after listening to some first years complain about lucrative colours that Harry arranged a get together with Draco, Severus and Narcissa.
"We need to do something before anybody outside of the castle gets hold of Dumbledore's behaviour." Harry paced frantically before the three sat on the settee.
"What do you have in mind?"
"We need to get to Voldy, we need to get him before he get wind of this. Before he thinks he can just walk into the castle and take over."
"He won't be able to do that."
"No, but if he comes and we have no warning, we will suffer heavy casualties."
"The children would have to be cleared out before we could start properly defending ourselves."
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose, something he was fond of doing when stress took it's toll, eyes scrunches as though hoping that when he opened them, everything would be better.
"You think we can get to him without this being a problem."
"The only problem we have is not knowing where he is?"
"Anyone got any ideas?"
"Use someone as bait?" Surprisingly the suggestion came from Narcissa, she seemed reluctant to voice such an option, but everyone there knew she was right. It really was the only option.
"The plan has merit," Severus reluctantly agreed.
"The plan is ridiculous," Draco couldn't believe the plan was even being considered.
"It will work."
"At what cost?"
"No cost. It's a good plan."
"How can you say there won't be a cost!"
Draco had joined in with Harry's pacing now, adding in a few over exaggerated hand movements and the occasional huff.
"Because at least two of us will be there, of course one of us will be invisible, we'll see Voldy, one of us will distract him, one will kill the snake then we kill Voldy."
"Anti-apparation and portkey spells will have to be put up. He will know what's happening and try to escape."
"That's where the third of us will come in."
"And the forth?"
"We need a look out, someone who is going to be able to communicate between us, maybe with somewhat of a birdseye view. "
"How will we do that?"
"Mobiles," Harry told them confidently.
"Mobiles?" Narcissa asked, not knowing much about the muggle world, she had been kept away from it for so long.
"As in the phones without strings?"
Harry nearly snorted at the question, "yeah."
"Don't you need a hand for that, like a free hand, how are we going to be do what you want without an extra hand?" The introduction of muggle technology to wizards was always fun.
"Muggles have wireless headsets now, they just attach to your ear."
"Huh, that sounds good. Maybe we have a plan."
"It would seem that way."
It didn't take long for them to find the muggle devices and get them to work in a magical field. This was the easy part, a slightly modified bubble head charm (restricted to the device) was placed upon it, making the device immune to most things. Harry toyed with the idea of just placing the bubble head upon them, it would have been a brilliant distraction method, but no, the others wouldn't agree to it.
No, the hard thing was finding out where the meglomaniac was hiding. For someone who was confident about being undefeated, he really didn't come out into the open often. Unfortunately, (well mostly fortunately), with the removal of his scar Harry had also lost his connection to the, whatever he had become. He had no on call view into the evil ones mind to find out where he was.
Reluctantly, another plan set into action. Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle had become followers of the Dark one. Whether this was upon their fathers orders, or with their own free will, nobody would know, the boys weren't talking.
The point was, these two young men had the Dark Mark. Said Dark Mark was a constant connection to Tom Riddle. So why couldn't they reverse the connection? Why couldn't they cause the same delightful burning sensation until he apparated to them? Simple, there was no reason they couldn't. The question was where they were going to call him to and whether to take the one or both of the boys.
Harry smirked as he had flashbacks of second year. Harry and Draco looked around the corner as they watched in disgust Draco's former bodyguards stuff their faces at the Slytherin table. As they finally stood up and finished, pockets stuffed with various sweets from the table, Harry quickly placed two cupcakes on the banister leading to the dungeons, pulling Draco behind a suit of armor a little way down the corridor.
Harry kew full well that the goons would take the cakes and eat them straight away, they had done in second year. Most people would learn from their mistakes. Somehow, he knew these two wouldn't.
He was right, as soon as they caught sight of the cupcakes they grinned stupidly at each other, stuffing the spiked cupcakes into their mouthes. The draught of living death could only be reversed by the antidote. This choice of potion would have seemed a little dramatic for the mission, but most sleeping potions could be reversed with an ennervate, not this one though. Only Severus would be able to reverse it, he had created the potion and modified it slightly and only he knew the antidote, only he owned the antidote.
"I'm not sure whether I'm shocked that worked or not," Draco told Harry, a little confused as he watched his two ex friends collapse to the floor.
"Yeah, you'd think they'd have learned the first time," Harry grinned, he was thankful it was so easy.
"Come on, lets get a move on."
Things didn't go one hundred percent to plan. Well, the main plan was carried out, Harry and Draco had taken Crabbe and Goyle and apparated them to Severus' rooms. They had everything prepared, the mobile phones were all connected, Harry, Draco, Severus and Narcissa were stood holding hands in a circle, Crabbe and Goyle in the middle of them. They were prepared to apparate out, an old factory in the midlands in mind, somewhere people expected minor mishaps.
Everything would have gone perfectly had it not been for the 'wise' old headmaster joining them at the last moment. Thinking on is feat, Harry imperioed the old man, hoping to god he could get the man to return to Hogwarts with a message to McGonagall to keep him safe for the forseeable.
Dumbledore, on the other hand, ahd different plans. When Harry cast the imperious curse the old man threw it off with ease. "Naughty, naughty Harry. I'm only here to help."
Harry paled, he had never had anyone resist him imperious before, not that he had tried it on many people, but Severus thought it was wise he learn, just in case. "Sir, please, it's not safe for you here. You need to go back to school, protect the children."
Dumbledore sighed and shook his head, "no Harry, my place is here with you, by your side." His voice sounded innocent, almost childish, he didn't sound the tinyest bit angry that Harry had just tried to remove his free will, no he sounded more understanding, "don't make me go back Harry, I need to see this."
Harry gaped at his headmaster, the man he thought as strong and reliable forever. "We don't have time for this," Draco whispered next to the gaping yound man, "Harry we need to send him back," Draco grabbed Harry's hand and tried to will the headmaster back to Hogwarts with their combined strength.
Dumbledore smiled, "you can't get rid of me, I won't go, you can't make me."
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose, his only tell. Taking a deep breath he tried, "Albus, I can't do this with you here, please. Go home, wait for us there, I can't concentrate if I think there's the slightest chance that you're not safe. Please go home." Half of the statement was true. Severus had loved Albus, to some extent, but the man he had known had soon diminshed over the last few months, his mind becoming weak, insanity had taken over the genius at last.
"I can't go home knowing my boys are here," Dumbledore sounded the sanest he had been in a while, "I can't stay at school not knowing, I need to know your ok. I'll stay out of the way, I promise."
The four awake looked at each other, was it worth the risk? No, but there was no way of getting the headmaster to return home, by force or any other methods. Harry opened his mouth to speak as a boom announced the arrival of another being.
Everybody turned to the newcomer, faced with none other than the one they were going to attempt to summon. Harry shook his head, so many plans and all he had to do was appear.
"Hello Tom," Harry greeted cheerfully, hoping that Narcissa would be able to slip out unnoticed, they really did need a scout for the area.
Voldemorts eyes glowed in the darkness. "You dare call me by such a filthy name?"
Harry smiled, "sure, why not? It's not like it's a name I made up for you is it?" He knew it was a low blow, but he couldn't resist, Harry knew voldemorts true heritage and he was damned if he would call him Voldemort to his face. Not when it was so much fun to annoy him.
Harry was pleased to Nagini slithering from her masters shoulders, they would be easier to get at seperated. "Such a disrespectful little boy aren't you Potter? Such a fool."
"How so?" Harry asked, knowing he needed to stall, Severus had began sneaking out, he was to help with the anti-apparition spells and look out, not that they expected anyone, ot was just a precaution.
Tom sneered at him, it didn't have much effect since he had no nose. Really, the look only worked if you could look down your nose at a person. "You look down at your elders, your superiors."
Harry giggled, "you think your superior to me? Everyone who supports me supports me of their own free will. Not because they are threatened or conceited, there are no false promises and I don't pretend to be pureblood. Your bloods dirtier than mine, your father was comepletely muggle, at least my mother was a witch, even if she was muggle born." Tom sneered at him again, anger coming off of him in waves. "Don't sneer at me in such a way, it really doesn't look intimidating at all. Maybe if you had a nose, it doesn't have the same effect if you can't look down your nose at someone." Harry was determined to babble on until Draco had moved far anough away from him that he would be able to attack the snake in peace. "In fact, I bet you can't do many expressions can you? Go on try a happy one."
Tom was fuming, metaphorical steam was puffing from his ears, Harry had to stifle a giggle. "Now, now Harry," Dumbledore stepped up next to Harry, placing a hand on his shoulder, "you know you shouldn't make fun of people who have issues, you should help them." Before anyone had the chance to stop Dumbledore, he had flicked his wand at a shocked Tom Riddle, gracing his features with a nose.
The terror Harry felt at Dumbledore getting involved in their discussion faded away as he caught sight of a snout like nose, much like the one Tonks used at the dinner table when entertaining. "There you go my boy, have a go at sneering now."
Tom eyes widened as his eyes caught his newest feature. Harry couldn't hold in his giggle, it came from his lips as sudden as an April shower. "Yes... yes, much scarier."
"How dare you!" Voldemort screamed, all thoughts of magic out of his mind as he felt the need to rip the man who had disfigured him apart.
Harry, loving the idea of tormenting the mad one waved his hand at the fuming wizard, causing the man to grow hair. Blonde, curly, Gilderoy Lockhart hair. "Maybe with a makeover you'll get laid Tom, then maybe you won't be so frustrated and attacking innocent people ay? Although I don't know why you haven't taken her advances before. Maybe it's a man your after eh?"
Eye's wide in anger, Voldemort advanced on Harry, fists clenched, wand clutched in said fist. "How dare you treat me as such. I am Lord Voldemort, the most feared wizard on the planet!"
Dumbledore shook his head sadly, "you may be my boy, but that doesn't really mean that everyone fears you son." The headmaster perked up, his eyes shining as an idea came into his mine, "I know what you need if you are indded looking for your own man," Dumbledore waved his wand, transfiguring the loose black robe Tom wore into a muggle tuxedo. Apparently, Dumbledore took Harry's suggestion seriously, "if I were fifty years younger," Dumbledore sighed.
Harry would never have believed it was possible had he not seen it with his own eyes, but Voldemort blushed! He actually blushed at Dumbledores words. Harry was about to open his mouth to agree with the headmaster when a terrible scream penetrated the air. Harry quickly glanced at Draco before grinning. The snake was gone.
"Your time is up Tom," Harry told him sadly, "tonight you shall join the rest of your soul in hell."
Tom's eyes widened at the implications of what Harry had said, "Avada Kedavra," Harry whipered, hating himself for the murder, no matter how neccassary.
There was no body, the man (if that's what you can call him), simply disintegrated. There was nothing to be rid of.
Dumbledore trundled over, looking down at the pile of ashes. "Are you sure he's dead?"
Harry nodded, "I'm certain." There was no spirit left unlike the time in his first year.
Draco ran over to Harry, jumping at him, knocking them both to the ground. "We've done it! You've done it Harry! We're free!"
Draco draped himself over Harry, clinging to his body. It took a moment for everything to sink in, it really was done. Wrapping his arms around Draco, Harry clung to the other boys body, lifting the blondes head so he could kiss him soundly. "I love you," they blurted out together as they parted, both grinning at each other.
Severus approached them, "it's done," he stated, grabbing Narcissa's hand.
The round up of the death eaters was easy. The Order was called to the factory and everything was explained. They were warned before Harry used the Dark Mark that Crabbe sported to call the Death Eaters to them.
Sounds of apparition was heard everywhere, as each person came in they were bound by a memeber of the order. It was a smiple yet effective method. Everyone would be given a trial under veritaserum, some of the death eaters were made to be under duress, it wasn't a way of life they had chosen. Others deserved to rot in Azkaban. They would all be found out.
Hogwarts cellebrated that night. When the five returned to Hogwarts Dumbledore ordered everyone out of bed, he made an announcement to the student body and set up a buffet for everyone to help themselves while music pumped throught the halls. The teachers were not amused.
Luna wrote Harry's interview to the papers. An interview he didn't give, but was perfect none the less. A copy was sent to each publisher. Luna earned quite a bit of gold from it that she donated to St Mungos and other charitable organisations that were worthwhile.
Ron and Hermione, yet again, tried to be friendly with Harry. Much to their dismay, Harry wasn't interested. They were put out that they had lost the opportunity to be part fo the Horcrux hunt. They were more than dissapointed that they hadn't even been called to help round up the death eaters. The tabloids had been informed that they were infact, the former friends of Harry Potter. Friends who turned their back on him as he reached out his hand of friendship to a brave boy who defied his father, a high ranking Death Eater, to join the light in their fight.
Ginny left them be, the clever one it seemed. She carried on about her business and was neither credited for anything, nor slated. Luna and Neville's relationship bloomed. They were constantly seen around school hand in hand. Both very much in love. Severus' and Narcissa's relationship became public knowledge, Draco practically attacked them (in a loving way) when he found out. He was so happy, telling anyone who would listen that his family was how it should have been for years. Harry was happy for all of them.
Dumbledore was in fact taken into hospital, his mind broke completely after the party. Flitwick had found the man trying to sweet talk a suit of armor and, after determining that the man was indeed sober, decided to have a discussion with McGonagall about getting him into the right care. It seemed as though with the stress f the war, the old mas mind really had cracked, he was happy though, in his own little bubble.
Harry left the Dursleys residing where they were, in a wizarding neighbourhood. The neighbours all knew the muggles knew about them and used magic openly, much to the annoyance of the Dursleys. Now they were the freaks.
Not much could be said about Narcissa and Severus, they continued in life together, not getting married, but no one could deny the love felt between them. Very much the same as with Harry and Draco, both choosing to travel for a little while before returning and becoming staff at Hogwarts. Severus returned to teaching potions, Harry becoming head of Gryffindor and teaching Defence. Draco took over as transfiguration teacher, relieving McGonagall of one of her many duties. Severus refused the role of deputy headmaster, giving the title to Flitwick, Narcissa took over from Trelawny as Divination teacher. The woman had left shortly after the battle, telling eveyrone who would hear that her role was now done as the prophecy had passed. No one could quite understand exactly what this role was.
The world wasn't back to the fluffy place that everyone expected it to be. Werewolves didn't walk hand in hand with humans in the moonlight, vampires weren't suddenly welcomed round for dinner and house elves were far from freedom. But things were normal and were only getting better.