Disclaimer: Harry Potter doesn't belong to me, it all belongs to JK Rowling and those who she deemed worthy of owning a piece of her masterpiece. I'm just borrowing some ideas and hoping not to making a mess of things.
The aftermath of the Final Battle was just as chaotic as the Battle itself. As soon as Harry collapsed, a massive cheer went up from the survivors while a wail of despair came from the surviving Death Eaters. Hermione, Neville, Luna and the surviving members of the Potter's Marauders quickly formed a circle around the downed Harry. Luna, Neville and Daphne quickly began performing first aid while the others kept watch on the celebrating crowd. The Death Eaters that were still alive were now looking down the wands of a victorious Light side that looked like they were not going to take any back talk or attempts to escape. One by one, the wands of the Death Eaters fell to the ground and were collected, and the Death Eaters were round up and placed in both magical restraints and hand restraints given by the SAS soldiers that had joined the Light warriors.
The Ministry, namely Minister Scrimgeour, attempted to take control of the situation but was shot down by a revived, though exhausted, Harry Potter.
"I don't think so Scrimgeour," Harry panted as he leaned heavily on Neville, with Hermione and Luna flanking them. "You have no power here."
"I am the Minister of Magic boy!" Scrimgeour shouted. "I am in charge now, and you respect me!"
"Respect is earned not given," Harry growled. "Where were you during the battle Minister? Were you fighting alongside those that have fallen or were you cowering, hidden away from the Battle, protected by your Aurors?"
Scrimgeour's face went puce as Harry's words rang true.
"And besides, there's the little matter of the Ministry being disbanded," Harry said lightly.
"What!" the Ministry personnel shouted.
"Her Majesty has lost faith in her magical subjects' ability to police themselves," Harry said as he pulled a scroll from his pocket. "Her Majesty has temporarily suspended the Ministry, Wizengamont, the whole magical government until such a time that She knows that we can be trusted with this power."
"She can't do that!" Scrimgeour roared. "She is just a Muggle, and Muggle's have no business in our affairs."
"You seem to forget the fact that we are all British citizens first and foremost ex-Minister," Harry growled. "And as such we are the Queen's subjects. And if you say another word, the men around you have orders to treat you as an enemy of the Crown, and you will be treated as such. So go ahead, make my day?"
Scrimgeour and his Auror guard looked around at the mere Muggle soldiers that had swiftly surrounded them.
"Minister, I suggest you do as you are told," a stern voice snapped. It was Neville's grandmother, vulture hat and all, though the hat did look like it had seen better days. "Losing is not really option for these gentleman."
Scrimgeour snarled but ordered his guards to lower their wands. "So then Potter, I expect that you will be ruling us now, you and your army?" he spat.
"For Merlin's sake no," Harry said. "Why the hell would I want that job? No, once the Queen is satisfied that Her magical subjects are under control, pretty much everything will go back to normal with some slight modifications."
"Harry James Potter, Hermione Jane Granger, as Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, I, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, place you under arrest for the charge of using an Unforgivable on another human being, namely Severus Tobias Snape and Bellatrix Lestrange nee Black, and the murders of Severus Tobias Snape, Bellatrix Lestrange nee Black and Tom Marvolo Riddle," Dumbledore's voice cut through the diming light.
"You must be joking," Neville exclaimed. "You want to arrest Harry and Hermione, the two heroes of this war because they killed Snape, Bellatrix and Voldemort! Have you lost your bloody mind?"
"I assure you Mr. Longbottom, that I have not," Dumbledore said. "Ms. Granger used the Killing Curse to murder Severus Snape and Bellatrix Lestrange, and Mr. Potter used Dark Blood Magic to murder Tom Riddle, as it is my sad duty but I must arrest them for breaking the law."
Laughter broke out from Harry. "Dumbledore, you senile old fool," he snorted. "Do you really think that you can just waltz in and call for our arrest? You have no power here old man nor over Hermione or I." Harry pulled another scroll from his jacket. "This is a Royal proclamation, signed by the Prime Minister and Her Royal Highness, giving me total authority in ending the threat posed by Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters permanently and by any means necessary, as well as any I deputize. Hermione and all members of my study group were deputized in accordance with this proclamation, giving them the authority to end the Death Eaters threat by any means necessary. In others words, you can't touch any of us for whatever perceived crimes you might have thought up during this war."
Dumbledore stood dumbstruck as Harry laughed at him.
"Oh and Albus, Tom Riddle has been dead ever since Halloween 1981," Harry said. "All Lord Voldemort was, was a magical construct made up of his father's bones, Pettigrew's flesh and my blood, and possessed by Riddle's spirit. So I can't be charged with his murder, because what I destroyed wasn't even human, let alone considered alive."
"Then I charge you with the murder of Tom Riddle, stemming from his death on October 31st, 1981," Dumbledore thundered.
"You truly have lost your mind, haven't you Albus?" Harry said with a pitiful expression. "You want to charge me with the murder of a psychopath who tried to kill me when I was a baby." The crowd was looking at Dumbledore with varying expressions of disgust, pity and awe.
"You bastard!" a shrill new voice howled. "You killed my Ginny and Ronald!" It was Molly Weasley. "IF you hadn't run off like a coward and finished You-Know-Who all those years ago, my Ginny and Ronald wouldn't be dead! You and your Mudblood bitch must pay!"
Molly whipped out her wand and sent a salvo of grief-induced curses toward Harry and Hermione. Dumbledore seeing a chance to regain control joined in, his own volley of spells joining Molly's.
"Molly!" Arthur cried. "What are you doing? Harry and Hermione didn't kill Ron and Ginny."
"Yes they did!" Molly shrieked, as she sent an Explosive Hex at Hermione. "Why couldn't you love my Ronald? You scarlet woman, you were just stringing my poor Ronald along. You knew that he loved you and you just threw his feelings aside so you would sink your Mudblood-claws into Harry. Potter was supposed to be my Ginny's, and with you and Ron, we would have had one Big Happy Weasley Family!"
"It was you! You were the one who created that necklace and gave it to me!" Hermione realized, ducking under a curse. "You were the one who twisted my feelings!"
"He loved you!" Molly screamed.
"But I didn't love him! At least not in the same way!" Hermione screamed back. "He was like my brother, and I did love him like one!"
"So my Ron wasn't good enough for you then? Is that it?" Molly snarled. "Well fie then, I'll just…" Molly suddenly slumped to the ground; behind her was Arthur, wand still raised.
"I'm sorry Hermione," Arthur whispered, as he bound his Stunned wife. "The sight of Ron and…" Arthur's voice broke.
"I understand Mr. Weasley," Hermione said, lowering her wand. "It is enough to make anyone lose control."
"I'm sure that once the shock goes away, and Molly realizes what she did, she will beg for forgiveness," Arthur said.
"There's nothing to forgive Mr. Weasley."
A large boom cut off their conversation. Hermione and Mr. Weasley turned to see the duel between Harry and Dumbledore still raging.
As soon as Mrs. Weasley had launched her first spell at Hermione, Harry spotted Dumbledore drawing his own wand.
"So Albus, you truly can't stand anyone having the credit? You always wanted the spotlight," Harry panted as he rolled out of the way of a spell. "Hell, I don't want all this glory and adulation, and if you had handled Voldemort properly, you would have been the savior again."
"I told you this before Harry, that Tom was much too powerful for me to defeat," Dumbledore said. "Only you could defeat him."
"Then why are you attacking me?"
"Because the prophecy said that you would defeat Tom not kill him."
"You are bloody insane! Did you really think that I should have tried to capture Voldemort, instead of killing him," Harry gasped.
"Killing is Dark Harry, and in killing Tom, you have become what you fought," Dumbledore said. "I will not stand by and let you take over this world."
"I'm not trying to take over anything!" Harry shouted. "You know what, there's no point in arguing with you Dumbledore." Harry pulled out his sidearm and fired at Dumbledore. However, the ancient wizard was not as ignorant of Muggle weapons as Voldemort had been. As soon as he saw Harry reaching for his gun, the Headmaster conjured a stonewall, that shattered when it was struck with a bullet. A second wall met the same fate, as did the next five.
"It seems that you are out of ammunition Harry, now let us finish this as wizards," Dumbledore said. With a flick of his wand, Dumbledore Transfigured the surrounding rubble into various animals that he then sent after Harry with a mental command.
Harry responded with a widespread volley of Explosive Hexes that shattered the charging animals, he then Vanished the rubble to stop Dumbledore from using the same trick again. The two wizards continuing trading spells as they circled one another, searching for a weakness to exploit. The two men had each picked up several small cuts and bruises from each other's spells, but Harry was beginning to flag. This was the second major duel that he had been in; all in the span of an hour plus the Patronus that he had conjured, Harry was rapidly approaching his limit. Dumbledore was also panting heavily, while he hadn't expanded the amount of magic that Harry had, Dumbledore was much older and his magical reserves weren't as extensive as they had been just ten years previously.
"This is the end Harry, you can't defeat me," Dumbledore said. "Please Harry, just lay down your wand and come quietly."
"Like hell," Harry growled. "You haven't beaten me yet old man."
Dumbledore sighed heavily. "Very well then, you leave me no choice," he said. "Expluso!"
Harry's eyes widened as he saw the overpowered Explosive Hex race toward him. He quickly raised a thick slab of stone and braced himself.
Dumbledore's hex blew apart Harry's wall like a bomb. Harry was thrown backward like a ragdoll, before crashing and skidding to a stop nearly fifty feet away, close to where Voldemort's wand and robes lay. Barely conscious and with his muscles screaming in protest, Harry rolled over onto his side to see Dumbledore striding toward him serenely.
"Just surrender Harry," Dumbledore pleaded.
"I don't think so," Harry growled. He snatched up his wand that had fallen out of his grasp, only to see that it had snapped in half from his tumble.
"See Harry, without your wand, you can't possibly beat me," Dumbledore said with a grandfatherly smile. Dumbledore raised his wand but froze as something silver appeared in Harry's hand.
Harry blinked as he felt the Sword of Gryffindor weigh down his hand. Looking up at Dumbledore, Harry saw shock in the ancient wizard's eyes. With a quick upward slash, Harry cut through Dumbledore's wand and his forearm. Dumbledore howled in pain as he clutched at his bleeding stump of a forearm. Getting to his feet, Harry placed the tip of the sword at Dumbledore's neck. The wounded Headmaster froze when he felt the cold sting of goblin-forged steel.
"You've lost Dumbledore, accept it and that will be the end of it," Harry said, his breath coming in great gasps. "Make another move, and your head will be joining that arm.
Dumbledore's head slumped as his strength drained away.
"Someone stop that bleeding!" Harry barked. Dumbledore's head shot up. "Just because you were wrong about me Albus, doesn't mean I'm going to kill you for it."
Two soldiers came up to Dumbledore's side; one put a tourniquet on Dumbledore's injured arm before giving the wizard a sedative to numb the pain.
"Harry!" Hermione cried. Harry turned around just as a bushy-haired missile crashed into him.
"Hey there Hermione," Harry whispered, as he gently rubbed the sobbing witch's back. "It's ok, its over."
Ten Years later:
It had been ten years since the downfall of Lord Voldemort and the British magical world had changed drastically. To make sure that the magical world never again segregated itself from the outside world to the extent that it had, the Queen had charged Harry Potter as the Royal Wizard; his duties were to make sure that the Royal Family knew what was going on in the magical world, and to give the government a second conduit of information. The Ministry of Magic underwent a massive reboot as well. No longer was it rife with corruption and patronage. The Minister for Magic was now a member of the Prime Minister's cabinet, and had to attend each of the meetings. The Wizengamont was no longer overwhelmingly filled with pureblood members; 50% of the seats now belonged to magical families that dated back to before the Ministry was founded, 35% of the seats were given to magical families that had started since the founding of the Ministry and the remaining 15% were given to the various magical beings in Britain.
The members of Potter's Marauders that had survived the Battle branched out from Hogwarts after finishing their education. Neville and Luna married three years after the Battle and had two children, Frank Harry and Selene Hermione. Neville was the new Herbology professor at Hogwarts, while Luna had taken over the Quibbler from her father and had quickly turned the publication into a leading newspaper the world over.
Susan Bones took over for her Aunt, and rose through the ranks of the restructured Auror Corps; her team consisting of herself, Terry Boot, Daphne Greengrass and Dean Thomas were the major response team for the Aurors. Hannah Abbott married Anthony Goldstein and had become a Healer; her husband took over his families' businesses.
Tonks ascended to the Head Auror position, while Kingsley was named the Head of the DMLE. Arthur Weasley was named Minister but after only one term in office, handed the reigns over to Amos Diggory, the father of Cedric Diggory. Molly had spent time at St. Mungo's recovering from the battle and the shock of losing her two youngest. She still had flashbacks and would sometimes lash out at others.
Bill married Fleur and moved back to Britain. He became the professor of Ancient Runes, while Fleur apprenticed under Professor Flitwick before taking over as Charms Professor. Charlie returned to Romania and soon gained his Mastery.
Albus Dumbledore was tried by a secret tribunal, and was sentenced to life in Azkaban. The Dementors had been destroyed during the Final Battle and the island prison was now guarded by the goblins of Gringotts. Former Minister Scrimgeour and Umbridge joined him after it came to light that they had been behind the kidnapping of Amelia Bones during Harry's sixth year. Amelia survived her captivity but retired from the Ministry and settled down helping her friend Augusta Longbottom as the elder stateswomen of the Wizengamont.
Fred and George still ran Weasley Wizarding Wheezes, and were married to Angelina and Alicia respectively. They also created products for the Auror Corps and DMLE personnel. Katie Bell married Lee Jordan, who became Head of the Magical Sports and Games Department at the Ministry.
The two main heroes of the Final Battle, Harry and Hermione, had done well also. Hermione quickly rose through the ranks of the DMLE's legal department and was now the lead prosecutor for the DMLE, after gaining a Law degree from Oxford. Harry was of course the Queen's Wizard but he also designed and crafter broomsticks under the pseudonym James Evans. Only a select few knew the true identity of James Evans, and all of these people were under an oath of silence.
After the Battle, Harry and Hermione had grown closer, the death of Ron bringing them together as the two surviving members of the Golden Trio. Harry also made sure that Ron's final wish was to be carried out; six months after the Battle, the two began dating. Four years later, Harry 'finally' proposed and Hermione happily accepted. Within three years, Hermione had given Harry what he had always wanted but had been denied, a family. On March 1st, 2004, Ronald James and Elizabeth Juliet Potter joined the world. Harry was overjoyed at the additions to his family, and he doted on the twins.
"Harry, I'm home," Hermione called out as she entered the Potter's four-bedroom home in Wandsworth.
"We're out back luv," Harry's voice answered her. Hermione placed her bag on the table and tossed her robes alongside it and walked out to the backyard.
"HARRY JAMES POTTER!" Hermione snapped when she was that RJ (Ronald James) and Liz were hovering several feet off the ground on brooms. Harry cringed.
"Oh come on Hermione, they're just training brooms," Harry argued. "I designed them myself, they're perfectly safe. They can only go about three feet off the ground and have built in stabilization charms as well as speed governors on them. They are my sprogs Hermione, they have to be able to fly."
Hermione rolled her eyes, while her hands were on her hips. "Harry, what am I supposed to do with you?" she muttered.
"Love me," Harry answered with a broad grin as he swept his wife up into his arm and gave her a soft kiss. Hermione sighed as she relaxed in her husband's embrace.
"I do Harry, never doubt that," Hermione whispered.
"I know luv, but it still amazes me that such an amazing woman like you can ever love a skinny, immature, broody…" Harry's colorful description of himself was cut off by the application of his wife's lips to his own. All was well.
A/N: And there you have it! 'Is it Vengeance or Justice?' is complete! I know that I said that the epilogue wouldn't be done until possibly next week but my muse was on fire these past two weeks, and who am I to argue with a hot muse! Hope you all enjoyed reading this story as I enjoyed writing it. I know that there are some things that I can improve on, but that's the beauty of writing, there is always something to get better at. Please check out my new Harry Potter story, 'Rise from the Ashes' and give me feedback on if that story is as good as this one was. Thank you to all the readers that have hung around for the journey, til next time
A/N 2: Several people have rightly pointed out a miscue on my part regarding Percy Weasley. He did die during the Christmas Eve attack in Chapter 6, I messed up and didn't look back on the previous chapters to see who was still alive. I need a beta who would be willing to help me out iron out those type of mistakes. I have gone back and fixed the mistake, hopefully that didn't turn too many people off to my writing.