A/N: I thank one and all who have been diligently following this story, even though I was not that diligent in updating it. I updated all the previous chapters, taking care of obvious spelling mistakes. I hope that I managed to correct them all but if not please feel free to point them out.
Declaration: I write for my own pleasure and not for profit. I do not own Harry Potter Universe.
"Where's Hermione when you need her" Ron Weasley groaned out loud.
This was the first time that the redhead openly acknowledged a need for the brainy one of their now extinct trio. Being one of six boys, Ron always had an inferior view of girls in general and for witches in particular. Hermione did not help herself by pointing out mistakes and being naturally better at academics than Ron. His other friend Harry had his own cult as the 'Boy-Who-Lived' but Ron never understood why he never liked the fame. As the youngest son and being surpassed by his little sister, Ron needed all the fame he could get. Being the fourth champion in a three champion tournament gave him all the fame he needed and dreamed; unfortunately, things did not go well for him.
He ended the first task in humiliation by fainting in front of not only the entire world but also a huge dragon. Ron thanked his stars every day after that; he lived to see another day. The next task was apparently the easiest, all one had to do was to solve the riddle that was the golden egg and then use the answer to complete the task. Unfortunately for Ron, it was something to do with logic and thinking, two aspects that Ron was allergic to. It was the ever loyal professor Moody that helped him with a gift of a rubbery weed that would apparently help him breathe underwater. With the plant safely tucked in his pants pocket, Ron fell asleep. Not only did he wake up after the task commenced but the taste of the rat tail like Gillyweed that he put in his mouth caused him to bring his dinner out too. With the weed going into the Black Lake rather than his stomach, Ron was left to wait for headmaster Dumbledore to bring his girlfriend out of the water. Walking out of the freezing lake, Lavender Brown walked out of his life too, leaving a hand print on his cheek. Apparently, according to her he did not love her more than the taste of a good meal.
Then, today was the final task. A maze of all things; how was he supposed to find his way through this mess. It was always either Harry or Hermione who were used to do such things not him; Harry with his blind luck and determination and Hermione with her brains. He was never the one to lead, in any situation, he always followed his other two friends in all of their adventures and now he was in the middle of a game that could turn deadly at any time.
Muddling through the hedges, Ron discovered his worst nightmare, a table laden with food and only to see it disappearing right in front of his eyes. Unable to eat, he was enraged and ran right into the disappearing food in an effort to grab whatever was available, and straight into the boggart. The creature was terrified of the raw magic radiating out of him and dropping the illusion, immediately turned into a mist that allowed Ron to move through. The most terrifying and the luckiest escape thought was from Hagrid's blast ended skwert. Seeing the humungous beast barreling towards him, Ron cried out the first spell that came to his mind, the 'expelliarmus' spell and incredibly, the skwert was thrown into the air. The creature thankfully landed on the other side of the hedge and Ron heaved a sigh of relief at his easy escape. Now, he was facing a Sphinx that was trying his nerves.
Unknown to him and the others watching the spectacle, another person was ready to tear his hair out. Barty Crouch Jr. disguised as 'Mad-Eye' Moody was cursing the day that he agreed to bring his master an enemy worth forcibly taking blood from. Oh! Do not make the mistake to think that he was not willing to serve his master any way he demanded but Barty was ruing that he did not put in a caveat that the demand had to be within reason. Now he was finding that what looked like a simple task initially was turning out to be his personal nightmare. Never before did he suffer such torture, even under the Dark Lord's cruciatus curse.
The first two tasks were a disaster but the third one looked to be more than the first two combined. Barty was so involved in the keeping his magical eye on four wizards that he was finding it difficult to keep track of the time; he nearly missed taking a dose of polyjuice potion. There was no way he was willing to let two foreigners, especially the half breed Veela, to get to the cup and so he had to use his wiles to not only delay them but also help the two Hogwarts champions. He was quite sure that Cedric Diggory would do well for his master but on the other hand, Barty was not sure that Peter Pettigrew would be able to handle a talented wizard like the real champion of Hogwarts. That was the reason why Barty wanted the youngest and least talented champion to make it to the cup and that was why he was facing this torture.
The redhead was dead last going into the maze due to his total accrued points being barely above zero. Barty was not the only one surprised that he got even the meagre points that he was awarded. Then again, taking the first few steps to face a dragon before fainting would probably count to some bravery.
Patrolling outside the maze, Barty tried to ensure that the simplest of challenges would be before the youngest representative in the Triwizard tournament. A boggart should have been easy, but who would have even guessed the redhead's obsession with food. Thankfully Ron was so enraged that the sudden and accidental burst of raw magic vapourized the creature. Then there was the gigantic Blast Ended Skwert; Barty nearly missed the beast. During a lull in the action, he was going to implement his secondary action to ensure that the Hogwarts champions made it to the cup; his plan was to cast the imperius curse on the Bulgarian and force him to knock-out the Veela chick. It was due to his momentary distraction from keeping an eye on Ron Weasley, that the Blast Ended Skwert barreled toward the terrified redhead. It was only his hastily cast blasting hex, that saved Ron Weasley from certain death. What was he thinking when he used a 'expelliarmus' against a charging beast the size of Hogwarts carriages? Probably he was not thinking at all; that was the only thing that Barty could conclude.
Right at this moment his charge was struck for five minutes before the Sphinx. Who would have thought that Ron depended so much on the only girl of the 'Golden Trio' to get through his schooling, that a simple puzzle stumped him?
Barty Crouch Jr., a man acknowledged as the next most vicious of death eaters after Bellatrix Lestrange, palmed his face in frustration. This was worse than babysitting, something which he swore he would never do. Exasperated, he shot a 'confundus' at Ron and forced the answer out of him.
Ron was looking at the Sphinx clearly stumped. Though he did not admit it out loud, he knew that he was not the sharpest tool in the box. In fact he knew for sure that he had Hermione to thank for passing the last two years; it was very much evident in his third year scores as he managed to pass by the skin of his teeth. Unlike the first two years where he averaged in the middle of the class, the last year he was at the bottom just managing to beat Crabbe, Goyle, and Nott from Slytherin who occupied their usual bottom rung. Even Harry did not depend so much upon Hermione for his schooling but he knew that Harry would have depended on Hermione to solve puzzles like this; their first year was a case in point. Ron had to acknowledge that the 'Boy-Who-Lived' would have at least made an honest attempt at solving the riddle, probably even getting the answer due to his muggle background. The redhead learnt from both his friends that they did indeed solve such riddles as part of their primary education, something which no pure-blood wizard would even think about attending.
Ron's musings and desperation was cut short when he had a strange compulsion to blurt out the word 'Spider' which was the answer to the riddle, but due to his terror of anything to do with the arachnid, it came out more like a scream. It was enough for the Sphinx though, and it moved aside to allow the youngest champion to advance. Which Ron did, furiously slapping his clothes to remove any imaginary spiders that might have got onto him.
Many wrong turnings and more than two hours later, Ron saw the light at the end of the tunnel in the form a glowing cup that would indicate the winner of the Triwizard Tournament. With a bounce in his step and an eager grin on his face, Ron darted towards the pedestal on which the cup was standing, not heeding any dangers that might be lurking. He knew that his salvation was with the cup and therefore was lost to everything else.
Rubbing his hands together in excitement, Ron made to grab the cup but his hand was arrested hovering over the handle of the cup as a giant acromantula came crashing through the hedge on his right. An unholy scream of terror ripped through the redhead's throat as he spun to face the spider and at the same time backtrack as far away from the immediate threat as possible. The whirling motion allowed his rob to balloon out and the hem of the robe hit the cup.
In his paranoia, when making the cup into a portkey, Barty Crouch Jr. ensured that the portkey would be triggered even by the barest hint of foreign magic near it. A normal portkey would have needed an activation phrase, a no go in this scenario, or a deliberate activation by pushing magic into the portkey; Barty did not want to take any chance and the result was that the act of Ron's robe touching the cup was enough to activate the portkey. Thankfully, for the redhead that is, even though his robes were hand-me-downs laced with enough magic to activate the portkey, they were also reinforced with enough magic that even the tug of a portkey, did not part the seams. By that time, Ron was also falling to the ground in his haste to get away from the Acromantula and that meant that the cup made its journey without a passenger.
The acromantula that was forced into the clearing that had a prostate Ron tried to get onto its legs but was unable to do so as three of them were severed by cutting curses from the other three champions who followed the downed spider into the clearing. Lying on the ground, Ron watched in horrified fascination, as they worked in unison to not only down the ugly beast but also deliver the killing blow.
While this was going on, the removal of the Triwizard cup from its pedestal meant that the tournament was at an end and the hedges were magically removed to allow the spectators to see the winner raise the cup. Instead they were greeted with a sight of three of the champions bringing down a creature that even a seasoned auror would not tackle, while the fourth champion watched from the ground. Everyone could see the difference between the three who were the legitimate champions and the youngest champion who boasted of hoodwinking Dumbledore to enter the competition.
As soon as he detected the danger to the champions, Dumbledore was out of his seat in a flash and belying his age, raced towards the center of the maze. He was furious. He became complacent knowing that the Tom Riddle Jr. was gone forever.
Harry and Hermione showed him their memory of the destruction of Voldemort and he was awed at the power associated with the master of death. Dumbledore coveted the three hallows, he always thought about the privilege or at the most the responsibility associated with that title. Experiencing the emotions of countless souls, even second hand through a memory, brought forth the startling conclusion that being the master of death was not a privilege but was a burden. Dumbledore was shocked at discovering that Harry and Hermione relinquished the power of the three hallows, but at the same time he was humbled by the strength of their character and by the maturity the two teens displayed.
Knowing that the dark lord was banished forever from the mortal plane, Dumbledore did not bring the polyjuiced Barty Crouch Jr. to justice. There was no way that the death eater would get the go ahead for the plan to resurrect Lord Voldemort as neither Peter Pettigrew nor Tom Riddle Jr. himself were in any position to do so. Dumbledore felt that the plan would be abandoned. He did not take into account that the fanatic death eater would take the view that 'no news is good news' and proceed with his plan, which he now knew involved a portkey made from the Triwizard winner's cup itself. Now that he knew for sure that the plan was to abduct one of the champions and use them to resurrect his master, he was justifiably angry.
Part of it was directed at himself, but the major part was towards the Minister of Magic, who forced the tournament to continue despite the obvious evidence of sabotage and towards Barty Crouch Jr. for concocting a plan that would seriously harm a student in his care. Seeing that the three real champions had the situation under control, Dumbledore turned his attention to the disguised death eater. Channeling his fury, the aged wizard shot out a stunner with such force that it not only knocked out Barty but also propelled him back towards the stands where he was brought to a sudden stop by the cushioning charm on the seating area.
"Minerva" the headmaster turned towards his deputy who managed to reach him along with the other professors, "please lead the four champions to the hospital wing and let Madam Pomfrey check them out. Do not let anyone enter the wing until I allow." He turned to the Charms professor, "Filius, please see that the rest of the students are safely tucked away in their dorms. I will make an announcement at breakfast tomorrow." Finally Dumbledore addressed his potions professor, "Severus please floo call Madam Bones and ask her to come to the hospital wing. She could take the statements of the four students before I get there."
With that he turned towards the downed death eater. But before he could even move, the clearly out of breath Minister of Magic, arrived at the scene and demanded the one thing that was on the mind of everyone present there but were not brave enough to ask what was happening.
Dumbledore did not even stop to acknowledge the man, with just a brusque, "Not now Cornelius" he strode towards the knocked out Barty Crouch Jr. and levitated him. The others hastened to comply the headmaster's orders.
Walking towards his office with a stunned and trussed up Barty, the aged wizard was feeling his age but was also thankful that except for a few scrapes, no one was seriously injured or worse dead. He realized that it was a big mistake to not take Barty down as soon as Harry and Hermione confirmed that Lord Voldemort was banished to the depths of hell. There was nothing he could do now except for making sure that the other death eaters would also be caught. With that in mind, Dumbledore realized that it would be best if the head of DMLE would be present when he interrogated Barty Crouch Jr. Amelia Bones was already aware of the horcruxes and the way that Harry and Hermione Potter destroyed them. The head of DMLE was able to confirm the fact by checking the magical registry of all witches and wizards in Britain. The death of Tom Marvolo Riddle was confirmed right down to the exact time that Harry, Hermione, and Sirius destroyed the final horcrux. With that though in mind, Dumbledore retraced his steps to the hospital wing instead of his office.
Entering the hospital wing, Dumbledore saw that the four champions were resting on beds and Madam Pomfrey was doing her thing to heal them. He was vexed to find that the Weasley matriarch was also present with her brood; the headmaster did not dare to ask her to leave, besides it was probably better for her to learn the truth now rather than later. He could not take her screeching otherwise. Apart from McGonagall and Severus, the Minister of Magic was also present and he was trying to answer an equally bewildered head of DMLE, Amelia Bones. Behind the monocle wearing witch, four aurors were also present, one of whom was a pink haired Tonks who gave him a saucy wink as soon as she saw the burden he was bearing.
Dumbledore could not prevent chuckling at the audacity of the young woman who became a good friend to him through Harry and his family. Thankfully it broke his somber mood and also alerted those present within the wing to his presence.
Amelia Bones recovered first, "Albus, is that Alastor?"
The headmaster decided not to let the secret out himself, hopefully Nymphadora would support him, "I do not think so Amelia; I was suspicious of some of his actions, but today's events reminded me forcefully that Alastor would never harm innocents."
With a flick of his wand, Dumbledore deposited the unconscious man onto an empty bed on the far side away from the four students and restrained him. "Now, do you have any veritaserum?" he asked.
The dark skinned auror, Shacklebolt gestured towards his junior partner, Tonks, who took out a vial from within her robes. With her partner prying the bound unconscious man's mouth open, the pink haired auror administered the veritaserum.
Slowly but surely the truth came out of the mouth of Barty Crouch Jr. about the attempt to bring the dark lord to life using blood from an enemy. How one of the champions, preferably one of the two pure-blood wizards from Hogwarts were to be transported to a graveyard and then killed. How Peter Pettigrew who was still alive was also to assist in the ritual. Snape rushed out to rescue the real 'Mad-Eye' Moody as soon as his location was unearthed from the death eater who reverted to his original from during the interrogation.
When the questioning came to an end, Cornelius Fudge blustered, "You are lying" he screamed, "there's no way that 'You-Know-Who' was alive."
"Yes, Harry Potter got rid of the evil" Dumbledore agreed.
Behind the head of DMLE, Tonks muttered, "… and we showed our gratitude by throwing him away." It was meant to be audible to everyone in the wing and she succeeded in that.
While the Minister turned an alarming shade of red, the twins and Ginny Weasley snickered openly. "Auror Tonks" Madam Bones admonished. Everyone could see that her heart was not in it and they agreed, but this was not the occasion for such a discussion.
"Nevertheless" the head of DMLE brought the discussion back onto track, "we can only decide that the many years spent in Azkaban unhinged Barty Crouch Jr. and in his delusion, came up with this plan" Madam Bones concluded.
Though Amelia, Dumbledore and Tonks were not happy, they had to agree with the decision. There was no way that they could prove that Peter Pettigrew was alive. Harry and Hermione were able to go back in time one last time before they lost that part of their power, to see Tom Marvolo Riddle's death and also confirm that Pettigrew was trapped in his rat form forever. The record of Tom Riddle Jr.'s death and Harry's memory of the sixteen year old Tom Riddle declaring himself as Lord Voldemort was enough for the head of DMLE to accept that the dark lord was indeed dead. It was a pity though that even if she knew that Harry and Hermione somehow retained their magic, she could do nothing to reverse the Minister's decision to banish them from the wizarding world; not that Harry and Hermione wanted to as long as Fudge or Umbridge were in any position of power.
"Since there was no winner, I will take the prize money back to the ministry" Fudge declared to the consternation of all those present.
Dumbledore cleared his throat, "As the head judge, I declare all the four participants as winners."
Away from the horrors of the maze, Ron was vocal in his protests, "I reached the cup first, I should be the winner."
His brothers, the twins could not let the opportunity go. They knew that he was the laziest and the dullest of their family, "Yeah! You are a winner…" Fred began.
"… at screaming like a girl" George finished.
Everyone who knew about the last of the Weasley Boy's temperament openly snickered at him. McGonagall struggled to keep up her stern façade while Mrs. Weasley began reprimanding her sons.
Ron was adamant and very vocal in his protestations and to satisfy him, Dumbledore looked to the other three champions for their view. "We three" Cedric Diggory pointed to Fleur Delacour and Victor Krum before continuing, "came to the center of the maze through a gap in the hedge we made by blasting an acromantula through it." Everyone noticed the visible shudder that ran through Ron at that and that further cemented their view that he was undeserving of the prize. Cedric continued unperturbed, "I was frankly too busy dealing with the creature to notice anything else…" he trailed off looking at the other two and they also supported his view of being focused on the giant spider.
"After we killed it, I noticed Ron lying on the ground, shaking in terror" he had no sympathy for the younger champion, especially after seeing his performance in the first two tasks. "For all we know, he tried to sneak in while we were busy…" he concluded.
Ginny defended her brother vehemently, "That cannot be possible, he is terrified of spiders. If there was one anywhere near, he would either be running away from it or frozen stiff." She may not have liked the way Ron ignored her after becoming a champion, and took the credit for rescuing her from the Chamber of Secrets, but he was still her brother. They may crack jokes against each other, but Weasleys always stick together.
"Then, it may very well be possible that he was there first" Cedric conceded.
Ron began beaming but it was wiped out by Amelia Bones, "Be as it may, we all know that it was Barty Crouch Jr. pulling the strings. I support the headmaster's decision and declare the three of you winners. The prize money will be distributed equally among you tomorrow at breakfast by the Minister of Magic. Mr. Weasley should not have been in the tournament at all and if not for the death eater, he would not have been."
Ron wanted to protest and throw a tantrum but the shock was so great that nothing came out of his mouth. He tried to look for support from his family but except for his mother who was torn between loyalty to him and the truth of the matter, the rest of them agreed with the decision. The icy glare from his head of house decided the matter for him and he chose to remain silent.
After a few minutes of silence, Dumbledore spoke, "Well, I should be going to the graveyard that Barty mentioned." He might have made a mistake in his infinite pride bordering on arrogance, but he knew that Harry and Hermione would not have taken anything for granted. They would have been waiting at the graveyard where they knew Tom Riddle Sr. was buried and where Lord Voldemort was last seen, just to be sure that nothing untoward would happen during the final task. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence would agree that this was the final chance for Barty Crouch Jr. to make his move and he did.
"… and why would you need to Albus" McGonagall's icy tone cut through the background chatter.
The headmaster turned towards his grandniece and answered in a placating tone, "To get the Triwizard cup back for one and just to make sure that there was no other death eater in wait."
"Albus, I want one of my aurors to accompany you" the head of DMLE interjected.
Dumbledore wavered, if Harry and Hermione were there as he suspected then he would not want any others to come with him, "I do not think that there is any danger Amelia." Then he realized that there was one in the group other than the head of DMLE, who knew the secret, "… may be young Nymphadora could come with me. It would also satisfy you, and I am not as young as I used to be."
Getting a nod from her boss, the pink haired auror moved to join the aged wizard, who was a good friend and a mentor whenever he could find the time. She could not resist teasing her one time headmaster, and also pay him back for using her full name, "… as if you ever were" she scoffed in mock annoyance.
Those present in the hospital wing looked on in shock as an amused Dumbledore and Auror Nymphadora Tonks with a cheeky grin on her face, took hold of Fawkes' tail feather and disappeared in a flash of fire.
Shared, Power He-Knows-Not
"Why are we doing this again" a petulant sounding Sirius enquired for the umpteenth time.
They arrived at the deserted and dilapidated graveyard more than two hours ago and now he was bored beyond reason, doing nothing but stare at the grave of Tom Riddle Sr. Remus was used to his friend's occasional mood swings and his degradation into a spoiled toddler but Harry and Hermione were not. They were sorely tempted to shut him up and send him packing back to their home; the only thing stopping them was the unknown. They needed all the wands they could get if there were unknown surprises waiting for them.
Clamping down on his irritation, Harry answered, "We know that Riddle is dead, we know that Pettigrew cannot resurrect him. What we don't know is that Barty Crouch Jr. abandoned his plan. Right at this moment, one of the four champions could be travelling here via portkey."
"… and who's to say that he would not have planned something else to wreak havoc" Hermione added.
All of that made sense to Sirius yes, but waiting was so boring…
Before he could say anything else that would further irritate the two teens, Remus bodily dragged the dog animagus away giving them some much needed respite and welcome silence. It did not last long though, as the watchers were jolted to their feet when the Triwizard cup landed in a flash of light beside the grave of Tom Riddle Sr.
The four magicals watched with bodies coiled and ready to spring into action. However, there was no other disturbance and it looked as if the cup was unaccompanied. "That's strange…" Harry voiced the thought that was also communicated to him by his wife via their mental link.
After doing nothing for over two hours, Sirius saw the cup land near them and literally sprinted towards the cup. Before he could lay his hands on the cup, Harry, Hermione, and Remus shouted, "It's a two way portkey Sirius/ Padfoot."
That halted Sirius' forward momentum, "Sorry" he grinned sheepishly, "I forgot."
Hermione huffed at him and ran her hand a couple of inches over the cup and found the 'Portus' charm on the two handles of the cup. "Well" she grinned, "what would have happened if I lifted the cup with the base rather than with the handles?" The current Mrs. Potter sent out a pulse of magic from her outstretched hand to cancel the portkey charm on the cup.
"Now you can touch the cup Sirius" Harry interjected.
A giddy Sirius lifted the cup above his head, bowing grandly to imaginary applause. With a mischievous smile on her face, Hermione shot his antics down, "Now you can carry the cup home."
While Harry and Remus laughed at the escaped convict's expense, Sirius voiced the most important concern, "Should we give the Triwizard cup back to the ministry?"
"Nah…" Remus replied, "Unless it is to Dumbledore or Tonks we should not."
Harry agreed, "Besides, we do not want the ministry to come poking around to investigate how the cup was returned to them when it was supposed to be in the middle of nowhere."
"I am sure that Dumbledore would come looking for this" Hermione added, "… if he thinks that we should give it back, we will."
That was quickly agreed upon by everyone, and without further ado, the four treasure hunters apparated back to their home. There was no point in waiting there, as they were not sure if and when Dumbledore would come looking for the cup. Besides, if he had a passenger with him, then all their secrets would be blown out of the water, something which neither the teens nor the head of house Black wanted.
Half an hour after Harry and Hermione along with the two remaining marauders left the graveyard, Fawkes flashed with Dumbledore and Tonks. The two strolled around the place to confirm that it was indeed deserted and that no death eater was lurking around in the shadows. Seeing that the Triwizard cup was also not there, Dumbledore turned to his pink haired companion, "To Potter retreat, I believe?"
With a nod of agreement, Tonks apparated out of the graveyard and to the residence of Harry and Hermione, with the headmaster following her a split second later. Hugs and greetings were exchanged between the residents and the visitors and even though it was quite late into the night, Dumbledore gave an account of the events of the night. Harry and Hermione were surprised that whatever obstacles Ron had to overcome, they were the same as those faced by Harry. It seemed that fate or time had a very funny way of repeating itself.
Finally, the entire tale was told and the two teens brought the Triwizard cup to the headmaster. The aged wizard looked at the teenaged couple with pride in his eyes but also a touch of regret. Whichever way he looked at it, Dumbledore could not deny that he failed Harry and Hermione, Harry especially. It was under his care that events happened to rob the two remarkable individuals of their deserved accolades in getting rid of Lord Voldemort once and for all. What was heartening to the headmaster was the love shared by the two teens, a love strong enough to form a bond of the deepest commitment which also saved them from their memories being wiped away. Even with all the troubles they endured in their short life, the two teens went out of their way to get rid of Lord Voldemort even if they did not need to. Yes, Harry was the prophesied one, but with the banishment from the magical world, and the removal of the parasitic soul piece from Harry, they did not have any obligation to the wizarding world. Yet, they did the right thing. A tiny tear made its way into his beard as Dumbledore took in the sight of a very happy family; Harry and Hermione were now surrounded by loved ones.
"What will happen to that man Barty?" Emma asked.
Tonks sighed heavily, "He was sentenced to death by Dementor's kiss."
Silence reigned for a few minutes with only the slurping of hot chocolate breaking the monotony. Remus roused himself from the goodness induced stupor, "Will you take the cup back to the ministry sweetie?" he asked his girlfriend.
Tonks was unsure about the correct response and looked towards the head judge who was also the headmaster of Hogwarts who was also the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot.
Dumbledore looked at the two teens with a fond smile, "Keep it" he declared, "… you both are the real champions of the wizarding world, though it would never know about its saviours…"
Shared, Power He-Knows-Not
Things did not change much in the British magical world after the fiasco that was the Triwizard Tournament. With no evidence of the dark lord Voldemort ever being in a position to come back to life, all the death eaters were able to consolidate their positions as upstanding members of their society; their wealth ultimately making them leaders.
Dumbledore tried to at least get the suspected death eaters a trail, under the guise of helping them get rid of the stigma they were carrying. He even got a few supporters from within the auror corps, especially Amelia Bones and Mrs. Nymphadora Tonks- Lupin who rose to be the head of the aurors and also some of the departmental heads, those who were firmly in the headmaster's camp. However, all his plans were thwarted; Dumbledore suspected that the gold from people like Lucius Malfoy was lining the pockets of the Minister of Magic and few other movers and shakers in the magical world. Laws that were meant to bring in equality were stonewalled easily while those that increased the power of the pure-blood bloc gained easy passage. There was nothing drastic, only subtle maneuvering that did not look threatening at a glance, but taken together, all the laws that were passed in the few years after the Triwizard Tournament were meant to make life increasingly difficult for mixed races and for muggle-borns.
Most of the so called 'light' families were down to one or two members only and were keen only to sink in their roots once again and flourish. The politics of the land never bothered them before and now with many of their allies focusing their attentions inward, there really was no united front against the rising malcontent. It was a sad state but that was the way it always was, self-preservation always took precedence over the good of the community. More importantly though, the Potter family that usually took the lead in times of desperate need was no longer represented in the wizarding world. And that probably broke the back of the 'light' side giving the pure-blood fanatics a greater foothold to flex their muscle.
Even though Dumbledore was a beacon of what was right, the loss of Harry and Hermione Potter to the same laws that were drafted to protect every witch and wizard drove him to despair. His desperate attempts to introduce laws that were more accepting of muggles and muggle-borns were quickly and effectively thwarted. It almost looked as if his struggle against Grindelwald and Tom Riddle Jr., and Harry Potter's triumph over the self-styled Lord Voldemort was to no avail. There was no change in the attitudes of those in power, while the common witch and wizard were too afraid or too busy with their own lives to protest. Change was needed, everyone could see that it was needed, but feared that it would not happen.
Finally, tired of hitting his head against an unmoving wall, Dumbledore resigned his position as a law maker and concentrated on improving values among the next generation. Hogwarts consolidated its position as a bastion of the 'light' side with Dumbledore putting all his efforts in imparting strong moral values in young witches and wizards. He did not remain in that position very long though. With his health rapidly failing, Dumbledore passed on the reigns to his grandniece and erstwhile deputy; Minerva McGonagall continued the sterling work of her predecessor.
Dumbledore moved into 'Potter Retreat' concentrating on passing all his knowledge and the various trinkets he collected over the years to Harry, Hermione, Remus, and Tonks. Added to the collection of long forgotten tomes from the Room of Requirement, Harry and Hermione became the guardians of knowledge. Finally, ten years after the death of Lord Voldemort, Dumbledore passed onto his next great adventure.
Sirius fell in love and married a muggle-born witch who had veela blood in her. It was a far cry from the times where the lady of house Black was supposed to be a pure-blood. Sirius never actively entered the public life in the wizarding world, as he was content to manage the enormous financial empire that was the Potter fortune. The Potter name once again became much revered in the magical world, while it made enormous strides in the muggle world.
The much needed catalyst for the desperately needed change was once again provided by Harry and Hermione Potter, this time when they made their entrance into the magical world more than twenty years after they were banished from it. It all started from a seemingly innocuous event, two children, twins James Sirius Potter and Emily Alice Potter boarded the train to Hogwarts and the rest was history.
Harry and Hermione were forced to acknowledge that their soul bond not only protected their memories from being obliviated but it also gave them unprecedented control over their magic. With Subtle maneuvering they made it look as if the then Minister of Magic Fudge and his Under-Secretary Umbridge were responsible for forcing Harry and Hermione out of the wizarding world. The unspeakables also helped them saying that in cases of extreme magical exhaustion like the two would have faced at that time, the magical core might take a very long time to recharge. Sometimes as long as a year.
Madam Pomfrey was able to show the results of her scan where Harry and Hermione had a lot of diffused magic in them instead of a concentrated core as was normal. All of this led to the conclusion that it was a deliberate ploy of Fudge and Umbridge to consolidate their power and to cast the real heroes Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter in poor light. The failed attempt of the Ministry trying to take control of Hogwarts the very next year was also used as an example.
All of this brought forth the undeniable conclusion that the wizarding world in Britain has to change. Their friends rallied together and forced that old guard out of their positions. Those that grew up hearing about Harry Potter or actually knew him through their years at Hogwarts became instrumental in bringing forth reforms that were more tolerant towards the muggles, muggle-borns and other magical creatures. Who was worthy of leading the country and bring about these changes? Why none other than Harry Potter.
The public opinion was overwhelming in support of making Harry the Minister of Magic. Harry however refused, he wanted to be able to impart the extensive knowledge he and Hermione gathered through their travels and from Dumbledore himself. He was promptly made the headmaster of Hogwarts.
Harry's philosophy of treating everyone with respect garnered him support from the other magical races too. Many changes were brought to the school, not only in the curriculum but also in the way that the knowledge was imparted. Harry was adamant that the children of today were the guiding lights of tomorrow and so stressed ion inculcating strong moral values in all his students. He was acknowledged as not only the most powerful wizard after Merlin and Dumbledore but also as the best headmaster, even surpassing the fame of Albus Dumbledore.
Her formal education in muggle medicine, combined with magic made Hermione the perfect candidate for bringing in much needed revolution in the magical healing. After her tenure as the head of St. Mungos was extended to twenty years far more than the usual five years, she joined her husband at Hogwarts. The duo made a great impact in bringing the wizarding world on par with the technological advances in the muggle world. It was ironic but tradition and technological advances went hand in hand in the new British magical world.
As promised, Harry threw his weight behind Remus for the position of Minister. The resistance against him was minimal; no one dared to contradict Harry's word; in addition, many of the new heads of houses personally knew and respected the man. With his wife, Nymphadora as the first Assistant Minister of Magic, changes were brought in swiftly and efficiently. Conditions in Britain improved to such an extent that many of the muggle-borns who left for distant shores to make their living returned to their home country. The economy naturally flourished and peace reigned.
Harry and Hermione Potter had a total of six children, three boys and a girl were given the Potter name while one boy took on the name Dumbledore and a girl took on the name McGonagall, who then passed it onto her son. The two houses flourished alongside house Potter.
The Potters enjoyed a long life full of love and did their best to ensure that peace flourished for a long time. When they died, Harry and Hermione were welcomed to the afterlife as long lost friends by the creator himself.