Hey lovelies :) I didn't want to leave you too long without the next update. I'm not that evil. I hope you enjoy this one, and as a little spoiler, you might want to find some tissue for this one :) Enjoy.

WC without A/N - 2159

Chapter 29

The Dark Lord Dead?

By Rita Skeeter

In a statement released last night by Alex Jackson, solicitor of Lord Potter, we were given news that will surely have wizarding Britain celebrating for weeks. Lord Harry Potter Black, The Chosen One, has defeated the Dark Lord, He Who Must Not Be Named. In an epic battle of wills, the young Lord Potter was stronger, as he sent the Dark One up in a cloud of ash. Mr Jackson wishes to remind the wizarding world that Lord Potter was not alone on the battle field, and could never have been successful without the help of many other talented witches and wizards, and an army of Goblins who joined the battle shortly after it began.

When asked if Albus Dumbledore was present, Alex Jackson replied with a very short No, and refused to say anymore on the matter.

The released statement is apparently a prelude to a statement that will be issued by Lord Potter when he is awake. He is currently unconscious, after using up a large portion of his magical core to save us all. According to the solicitor, Lord Potter will be fine, he just needs time to recuperate.

There isn't much more to add at this point, other than to remind everyone that Lord Potter has saved every last one of us from a life of death, destruction and slavery. We all owe him a dept that can never be repaid.

xxxx

Severus sat beside Harry's bed, willing his love to wake up as he held his hand. It had been six days since the battle, and Harry hadn't so much as twitched a finger. Severus hadn't left the bedside for longer than the time it took to go to the toilet, and the strain was showing. Sirius, Alex and Neville often joined him, occasionally someone else would pop their heads in for a while, but Severus refused to move until Harry woke up.

"Still nothing?" Sirius asked, walking into the room with two coffees. He handed one to Severus, who uttered his thanks, before shaking his head.

"Still nothing. I was hoping today, but..."

"The day isn't over yet. He will wake up. His magical reserves are getting stronger all the time."

"I know. I know, it's just taking longer than I expected."

"Sorry to keep you waiting then," a voice croaked from the bed, making Severus spill the coffee he was holding all over the floor.

"Harry! Oh, Harry, you're alright," Severus mumbled, looking into the green eyes he feared he wouldn't see again, drinking in the sight of a smiling Harry like an alcoholic would whiskey.

"It... It'd take more than... more than that to take me out. Can I... A drink?"

"Oh, of course," Sirius said, fetching over a glass of water, smiling like a Cheshire cat. He helped Harry drink, setting the glass within reaching distance when Harry was finished.

"I'll just go and let people know you're awake," he said with a small nod at Severus.

Severus smiled gratefully, thankful that he would be permitted a few moments alone with his beloved before the stream of visitors that were sure to come started pouring through the doors.

"I missed you, Potter. Scare me like that again, and I'll hex you to the moon and back, you hear me," Severus said, before kissing the hand he was still holding in his own.

"I'm.. sorry I scared you," Harry replied, though the glint in his eyes told Severus he wasn't all that sorry.

"Hmm. I'll make sure you make it up to me when you're feeling better."

"Oh, definitely," Harry nodded, wincing at the movement. "How long..."

"Six days."

"It worked?"

"Voldemort is dead. The Death Eaters are in custody at Gringotts until the Ministry get's it shit together."

"Dumbledore?"

"Nothing. The silence is worrying."

"Yeah. We'll deal with it. How many did we lose?"

"Six. Nineteen injured."

Tears formed in Harry's eyes, dropping gently to his cheeks. Severus wiped them away softly, stroking Harry's cheek long after the tears stopped. As Harry dropped back off, this time into a natural sleep, Sirius came back.

"Did you tell him?"

"I told him numbers, I didn't tell him who."

"Probably for the best right now. It'll be hard for him. He knew there would be losses, but it's not the same as it actually happening."

Severus shook his head sadly. It would be hard for Harry, Sirius was right, but Harry was strong. He would get through it. At least, Severus prayed he would.

xxxx

Lord Potter Dark? Or Albus Dumbledore Crazy?

by Rita Skeeter

Albus Dumbledore came to the Prophet yesterday with a rather odd tale that we here at the Daily Prophet found most interesting. Long time readers will know of the feud between the Headmaster and The Vanquisher of Voldemort, and they will also remember the many mistakes the Headmaster has made in regard to the young Lord, not least of which is leaving him with abusive guardians.

Dumbledore came to confess of another 'mistake', one of huge repercushions if it is true. According to Dumbledore, Lord Potter has been engaging in Dark rituals meant to magnify power. "It is the only way Harry could have possibly defeated Voldemort," Dumbledore tells us, the twinkle in his eye missing as he speaks of how terrible he feels that he "missed the signs."

"If only I had realised what young Harry was doing in time, I could have stopped him, gotten him the help he so obviously needs. I've let him down, and I've let the wizarding community down. I deeply apologise."

Dumbledore went on to tell us of his fear that Lord Potter only defeated Voldemort to take his place, a terrifing situation. "Harry will be a thousand times worse than Voldemort could ever have been. He has a ready made army, the goblins and who knows what other magical creatures on his side, and an extraordinary amount of power at his control. Witches and Wizards everywhere should be scared for life the way we know it."

Now, my dear readers, I find this somewhat hard to believe, having met with the young Lord a few times, but until we hear from him, perhaps we should take Dumbledores words into account. Or, we could wait for the promised statement, which, in a recent message from Alex Jackson, will be here in time for the Morning Prophet tomorrow.

It will be interesting to hear our young Hero's take on Albus Dumbledore's accusations.

xxxx

Harry laughed as he finished reading the Prophet. It was much the same reaction as the others in the room, and they were all glad he was taking it well. Severus shook his head as he once more glanced at the picture above the article, of Dumbledore looking all sad and disappointed as he stared out at them.

"If that's the best he's got, the old man's going soft in his old age," Harry chuckled, folding the paper up and throwing it to the bottom of the bed. "Have I got time to make some additions to that statement, Alex?"

"Of course," Alex replied, handing over the statement and a self inking quill. "As for Dumbledore, I'm not rightly sure what his game is. He will surely know that Harry can take him apart, inside and outside of court, so what does he think he stands to gain from pulling a stunt like this one?

"Dumbledore will think that if he can turn the public against Harry, that Harry will go running to him for help. Albus is a clever man, whether we like it or not, but his greatest failing is his belief that he alone knows what is best for everyone and their hippogriffs," Severus said, reclining in his seat with his legs crossed. He had showered and had his first decent meal since the battle the night previous while Harry slept, and he looked and felt much better.

"Have you made any decisions on what to do about him yet?" Neville asked. He had been hit with a slashing hex in the battle, and it had left a nasty scar on his cheekbone, but he was healing well.

"I'm keeping my options open. I don't really want to kill him, thought the temptation is there. I'd rather destroy his life, the way he tried to do mine," Harry replied as he handed the corrected statement back to Alex, who read it over and chuckled.

"If that doesn't get a reaction from him, Harry, I don't know what will."

xxxx

Lord Potter : Dumbledore Is Laughable!

By Rita Skeeter

The promised statement arrived at our offices late last night, and boy did it make for interesting reading. Lord Potter explains about the battle with Voldemort, and gives his thoughts on the article printed yesterday about Albus Dumbledore's accusations.

'To begin this statement, I would like to thank everyone for your patience, and also for the well wishes sent to Gringotts. They meant a lot to all of us, so thank you. To defeat Voldemort, I used pure magic. It's not something I planned, but the idea came to me on the battlefield, and I automatically seemed to know how to use it. In the prophecy about myself and Voldemort, there was a line that went, 'He will have the power the Dark Lord knows not.' I believe this to be the prophesied power, because since waking up, I have not been able to recall how to do it.

A lot of good people fought on that battlefield, and I refuse to take all the credit for something I could never have done without them. We also suffered losses, though their names will not be released until their families wish it. Suffice to say that the people who were killed on that battlefield died Hero's deaths, and we should honor them. The Goblins Of Gringotts should also be honored, because without them, victory may not have been ours.

The accusations made by Albus Dumbledore provided some much needed laughter as I read them, so I'd like to offer him my thanks. Of course, it's all lies, but he's imaginative, I'll give him that. If the British Public decide to believe his nonsence, there is nothing I can say that will change your minds, but just let me ask you one thing. Who, out of the pair of us, has never lied to you? And who has fed you half truths and pointless platitudes?

Albus Dumbledore explains what he wants and often leaves out the important parts. The man is past his time, and its time for a new generation to show what we can do. Dumbledore is passed the reasonable age of retirement, and his friends have the right to be concerned about his mental health. It's the lemon drops I think.

We, everyone here with me, look forward to returning home to Britain, and we look forward to seeing our friends back home.'

Well. If that didn't answer our questions, especially in regard to Dumbledore, I don't know what will. I'd like to take the opportunity to wish our hero a speedy recovery, and look forward to meeting with him again for our next interview.

xxxx

"Severus, you can't keep hiding it from me. I've been awake two day's, I'm sitting up, I've eaten. I don't need anymore strength. I want to know who died."

Harry had been arguing his point since waking up, and he was tired of it. The reason he hadn't released the names of those who had died, was because he still didn't know them, and no one seemed to want to correct that.

"He's right, Severus, we can't keep it from him forever," Sirius said as he and Alex came into the room.

With a deep sigh, Severus relented.

"Seamus Finnigan, Hannah Abbott, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Mad Eye Moody and Blaise Zabini died, all but Hannah on the scene. By the time she was portkeyed back here, she had lost too much blood to survive. I'm sorry Harry."

As tears poured once more down Harry's cheeks, Severus pulled him into a tight hug, rocking him back and forth gently.

"The sixth?" Harry choked out. "You said six people died. That was only five."

"I can't. I'm sorry. I can't be the one to tell you," Severus said, tears falling from his own eyes as he watched the man he loved sobbing for the lost.

Sirius cleared his throat.

"I'm sorry, Harry, truly I am. Ron. It was Ron, Harry. I'm so sorry."