The Power the Dark Lord Knows Not
"I hope this job is worth it," Bill Weasley thought to himself for the umpteenth time over the past week while taking a break for some water. Granted, he was getting a whopping ten times his normal salary for the week, and he'd even been paid upfront (something unheard of when dealing with Goblins!), but that was before he knew the details of the job. He still didn't know why he, and all of Gringotts' top warders, were working out here in secret. He just knew that they were less than a mile from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's headquarters, and they were on a tight timetable. "At least it's only another day," he thought, "and then it will all be over. Not that I'll remember any of this."
And he wouldn't. Part of the contract (and the reason for the upfront payment) was that he and all of the other warders would be obliviated when they were done. All they would remember was that they had been on a top secret project that had paid them very well, and that they had helped rid the world of You-Know-Who. Which was a real shame, he mused as he got back to work. Assuming these wards worked they'd probably be good for a Mastery for everyone involved.
Ron Weasley couldn't help the grin on his face, even though he was scared out of his mind. He was flying towards Riddle Manor on Harry's Firebolt in the middle of the night, carrying a large teddy bear which contained a Muggle device that he knew was dangerous even if he didn't understand how. Harry had told him to fly to the edge of the wards they'd had the Goblins erect, toss the thing and use the portkey the second it was past them. He'd even made Ron give an Unbreakable Vow that he'd use it within five seconds of tossing it, telling him that if he didn't do so the Vow probably wouldn't have time to kill him. So that's what he did, feeling the tug of the portkey as it whisked him away as the stuffed bear fell towards its target.
As Ron vanished with a slight "pop", a parachute deployed, slowing down the package and letting it drift towards Riddle Manor, right on target.
Lord Voldemort sat on his throne in his Little Hangleton hideaway, where he'd taken refuge after his resurrection. At least that's what most people would call it; the chair was large enough to hold both Voldemort and his pet snake Nagini, and was carved from dark wood with gold inlays. It sat on a raised dais, which only added to the impression of a Lord ruling over his subjects.
The Dark Lord felt uneasy. He wasn't sure what was happening, but his link to Harry Potter felt smug, something he'd never felt through it before. While he was used to projecting those feelings through the link, he wasn't used to getting them back, and it wasn't a pleasant feeling. If any of those present could tell that he was disturbed, none of them were foolish enough to mention it.
He was about to try and invade Potter's mind to find out what was going on when the ward sensors went off. The Death Eaters who were with him all ran out to see what it was before they realized that it was coming from above. They called their Lord out to see it after they couldn't figure out what it was.
Voldemort was both amused and concerned to see what looked like a child's stuffed toy floating down towards the house on a parachute. It was about the size of a large dog, although he couldn't tell what it was really supposed to be in the darkness. As it reached treetop level, he raised his wand to destroy it, but never finished the curse. As he started to cast the spell, there was a bright flash of light, and then nothing.
Hundreds of miles away, Harry Potter gave a brief scream, and then collapsed.
Three days later Harry awoke to a familiar white ceiling. Between that and the smell, he knew he was in the Hogwarts infirmary, and that meant he was going to have to explain things before he got any peace. "Oh well," he thought, he knew that would probably happen. He concentrated on his scar for a minute and then relaxed. His connection to Tom was gone; that meant that the plan had worked, at least in that regard.
As he sat up, Madame Pomfrey rushed over to his side, telling him to lie back and rest. He smiled at her, thanking her for her concern, and said, "I'm just going to the loo, I promise to get back in bed when I'm done." She fussed at him for another minute, then acquiesced and let him go. As much as he wanted to just sneak out and leave, he kept his promise and returned to the bed when he was finished. Only a few minutes later the expected crowd arrived.
First in were his co-conspirators - Hermione and Ron, his chief partners in crime, then Ginny, Neville, and Luna Lovegood looking particularly serious for some reason. Behind them were Remus & Tonks, looking rather shaken, and then came Professors Dumbledore, McGonagall, Hagrid and Snape, the latter looking less annoyed than usual. Mr. & Mrs. Weasley, Auror Shacklebolt, Madame Bones and Minister Scrimgeour rounded out the crowd. The last was looking particularly harried, as though he'd been on the receiving end of too many howlers. Maybe he has, Harry thought, as his friends mobbed him and rejoiced in his being OK.
After he had assured them he was fine, and everyone settled down, Harry said, "I'm sure you're wondering how I got rid of Voldemort. I'll be happy to tell you, though I suspect the Minister has already gotten at least part of the story judging from the size of the headache it appears you have."
Minister Scrimgeour gave Harry a sour look, then spoke. "I don't know what you did, but the Prime Minister told me that if you hadn't warned him in advance he'd already have revoked the Wizarding Charter. He said that there's practically a hole in the town of Little Hangleton, and the Muggles are in an uproar about it. So you'd better explain yourself now!"
Snape looked like he was torn between saying something snarky about what Harry had done, and defending his actions, which took harry by surprise. "Apparently getting rid of Voldemort wasn't quite enough to make him like me," though Harry, as Snape opened his mouth, closed it, and eventually just looked dour. A few other people noticed the Potions Master and looked curious, but nobody said anything.
Harry looked around, picked up his wand, and conjured a few extra seats. "It's a bit of a story, you probably want to take a seat. Hermione, Ron, please jump in with details if you think I miss anything." He patted the bed next to him, then looked at Ginny. "Join me?" he inquired. She was already moving before he finished, sitting on the bed next to him and putting an arm around him gently to support him as he spoke.
"I'm sure by now you all know about the prophecy, that I would have a power that the Dark Lord didn't know about. I realized early on that Voldemort probably knew more about magic than I ever could ever learn in a reasonable time, but that he probably had very little knowledge of things in the Muggle world. After Dumbledore gave me some of Tom's history and I did a little more research, I realized what that power must have been."
Harry looked around at the assembled group, knowing that of the people here only Hermione really understood how he had killed Voldemort. The whole story would take a long time to tell, especially explaining the details to the non-Muggleborn, but he also knew he couldn't keep them waiting before he told them what it was.
Hermione jumped in at this point, and Harry decided to let her have her say for a minute before stopping her. "We knew that Tom Riddle had opened the Chamber of Secrets fifty years before our second year, which was in 1993, and that he was Head Boy the year he did so. We also know he considered Muggles incapable of doing anything useful, so even if he'd heard about this, he'd discount any possibility of it being a threat. The hard part was getting all the parts and making sure we didn't make it too powerful; that's what took us most of this past year."
At this point most of the adults were shouting some variation on "What are you talking about?" so Harry interrupted. "We had the Muggle government quietly evacuate the area around Little Hangleton just in case, and I spent nearly the entire remaining Black and Potter fortunes to get Gringotts to put up containment wards around the area to limit the damage. Then I sent Voldemort a small example of the Power he Knew Not."
Minister Scrimgeour looked stricken as he finally realized what the Prime Minister must of been trying to tell him, but Harry beat him to the punch.
"That Power," Harry said, "was the Power of the Atom."