Chapter 1 : The Fall of Voldemort
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Saturday May 2, 1998
Harry Potter recounted the adventure in the forest to Ron and Hermione, and he spoke to the portrait of Dumbledore in his tower office, concluding, “I am putting the Elder Wand back where it belongs. It can stay there, and if I die a natural death like Ignotus, its power will be broken, won’t it?”
And Dumbledore nodded. [JK Rowling: Harry Potter, The Deathly Hallows]
Then as Harry stood up and turned, he found that McGonagall and Kingsley Shacklebolt were both standing behind him listening to all that was going on. Harry blushed, for surely this was now to be McGonagall’s office and he felt like he was intruding on her space and time. He made an apology and started to leave, but McGonagall said, “Please sit down, I want to speak with the three of you.”
Then Professor McGonagall then said, “You have done wonderfully well this year. Since you were on assignment for Dumbledore, the three of you will be counted as having been in class. The three of you will take your NEWTS before myself and Professor Flitwick. There will be no problem there. So now what are you going to do? You wanted to be an Aurors if I recall correctly. Is this still the case?”
Harry and Ron said that it was, but Hermione demurred saying that she was not sure yet.
Then Kingsley spoke, “I will not be running an Aurors class this year. I still do not know who I can trust and who I cannot trust. But I will arrange for you to take classes with a martial arts instructor that I know and trust, and we can harden you up, teach you to fight, and more importantly teach you to use your inner strengths, to use magic that you never knew you had. Come around to my office in the Ministry, say in a week, make it Monday at ten o’clock, and I will get you started, and now go on, get out of here and visit your friends.”
Hermione and Ron left to the Great Hall, Harry would have done so too, but professor McGonagall was holding on to the back of his robe. The door closed behind Ron, and McGonagall said “Harry, have a seat, there is much more that I must tell you.”
Harry sat down and Minerva began, “You, Harry have been more than wonderful, to me, to Dumbledore and to the entire wizarding world. You have already done things that almost any other wizard would have found impossible.
“And while you have come of age last year, and should have been told these things last year, that proved to be impossible, and it seems to me to be all the better for it. But now I must give your more of your family history, for it is a very deep history with roots back into the beginnings of Hogwarts itself. Potter is one of the oldest and most revered names in Wizardry, though nobody seems to know that any more. And that is probably for the better too.
“You have already received your father’s inheritance, his vault at Gringotts. But that is not the only Potter vault in there. Your grandfather Fleamont Potter has a vault in there too, and it is quite a bit larger than your father’s vault.
“Now Fleamont and his wife Euphemia, lived on an estate not far from Godric’s Hollow, and that Harry, is your ancestral estate. Your mother and father lived in a cottage in town, I believe that you have seen it, but Potter Hall is about fourteen kilometers from there. I have only been there once with Dumbledore, but your father grew up there and Sirius lived there ever since the end of the fourth year when he had a falling out with his own family.
“Your grandparents were already old when Euphemia gave birth to James, certainly old enough to be his grandparents rather than his parents, so it is no surprise that you have never met them for they died before you were born. Your mother and father lived in the cottage in Godric’s Hollow because it was convenient to town and made a better headquarters for their work as Aurors. They had magic protection on that house, but you already know how that turned out. In hindsight it would have been much better for them to have stayed at Potter Hall, for the magical wards that protect that property are among the most formidable in all wizardry. James probably found them far too cumbersome while involved in his work.
“Kingsley wants to see you on Monday next, so let us say that you and I will apparate out there next Saturday. You as a Potter, will be able to pass the wards, but I will not be able to enter at this time. You will find two house elves there who will show you around and make you comfortable. Once you have learned the bare basics of the wards, you will be able to take Ginny, Hermione and Ron in there too. Or anyone else for that matter.
“I will address one more issue while you are here. Mr. Thackery Prince is waiting for you downstairs in the Great Hall. At the moment he is with the Weasleys, for he already knows them, but he has not spoken to them about what I am going to tell you now.
“Thackery is quite elderly, and he is the father of Mrs. Snape that is to say he is Severus’ grandfather. And now, you are his only heir. His daughter Emelda Prince was Severus’ mother, but she has since passed away. And Lily Evans, that is to say your mother, was Severus’ heir. Have I made this complicated enough for you? Well, I will make it simple, you are now heir to several hundred buildings in Spinner’s End.
Thackery is too old to continue managing them, although Gringotts does most of that for him, but he too has a vault in Gringotts that will soon become yours as well. But I know that he wants to meet you and talk with you, for he already knows that Severus died in your arms. There is a bond there that is tighter than you know. And Thackery also knew your parents, so you will learn much from him.
“Now run off for now, you can let Hermione and the Weasleys know about your inheritance, but keep it close to you, for you will for sure need the protection of Potter Hall for a long while yet to come.”
As he left, Kingsley said to him, “You are now one of the 100 richest wizards in Great Britain, but do not let that go to your head, keep yourself humble. A man is judged not by how he treats his equals or his betters, but how he treats the lowest of his servants and the poor. You will find in Potter Hall a great library of magic. You and your friends will have to read through most of that on your own because before you are a quarter of the way through those books, you will be the most powerful wizards in this century.”
Harry was dazed by what Professor McGonagall had told him, but even more so by what Minister Shacklebolt had just said. Harry wandered down to the Great Hall, and found Hermione and the Weasleys at the Gryffindor table talking to an old wizard who could have only been Thackery Prince. Harry was not sure that he wanted anymore words today, but he knew that he would have to be polite and attend to the needs of his friends, and Mr. Prince.
As Harry approached the table, Kreacher popped into the scene. “Master Harry, Mistress Minerva has ordered that I take you and your guests,” bowing to all present, “to a suite of rooms in the visitor’s wing of the castle. All has been made ready for you, and refreshments have already been set.” Then speaking to all present, he said, “Will you come this way with me please.”
And so the troop followed Kreacher to a part of the castle where Harry had never been before, after all, it is a very big castle. Kreacher opened a door and there was a comfortable parlor, and with several rooms leading off of it. It looked to Harry like there were eight rooms here.
Kreacher said, “I will leave you now, but if you need anything at all, just call, and I will be here.” Kreacher then disapparated with a small pop.
“My word,” exclaimed Harry, “I am all shook up by what Professor McGonagall has just said to me. It is so overwhelming.”
“Mr. Prince, I believe I owe you my time right now, these other characters can wait until I am more refreshed. What can I say to you? Professor McGonagall explained the situation to me, and so all that I can say to you is thank you, from the very bottom of my heart.”
Harry paused, and Thackery spoke, “Well Harry, I am a friend, your friend, even though we have never met. I knew well your parents and your grandparents, much better I am told, than you ever did. And that is sad for the Potters are one of the greatest families in wizardry that I know. As you have been told, I suppose, my daughter, Emelda, was the mother to Severus Snape. Mr. Snape was very poor, but also very proud, and while I could have given him a life of leisure, he wanted to earn his living. So I gave him one of my houses as a wedding present. He accepted that and little more. And that was how Severus lived his life too. I knew Severus well, as any grandfather should, and so I knew the anguish of his love for your mother Lily. Of course I could not blame Lily for leaving him what with his attachment to the dark side of wizardry and all, and of course I knew Lily very well too, for she was born of muggle parents in my neighborhood, and lived in one of my houses. I saw at once that she was a witch, and would be a very great witch.
“You see, Harry, magic itself is a gift, a pure gift. Magic is pure, and more pure than any pure-blood could possibly be. Anyone who has a witch or a wizard anywhere in their ancestry has the possibility of being a witch or wizard. The Spinner’s End community was an all-wizard community until the beginning of the industrial revolution, when someone, some company or other built a cotton mill along the canal that runs past Spinner’s End. That attracted hundreds of muggles to the area to find work in the mill and its surrounding area. My great-great-grandfather subdivided some of our property into 36 blocks and built sixteen houses on each block. That is to say that he built 400 houses that are rented out to mostly to muggles.
“I still own all those buildings, and I still collect rent on them. I have tried to be a good landlord to my tenants, since after all, I really did not need the money that they paid me in rent. I used that money to keep the buildings in a good state of repair.
“Oh, well, as you can see, I have grown old, and am quite ready to move on. I would therefore be grateful to you for receiving this inheritance, since I can see no one better to have this property than you. Gringotts can run it all for you, but somebody has to own it and hold the deeds in their name. All of the property is a freehold, you see, and has never been held by a member of the royal family. That is one of the advantages of being a wizard, Harry, we have been on the land far longer than the Crown has.
“But Harry, tell me now about Severus. He was not well liked by most students here, and as you know by now, he wanted it that way. But Minerva tells me that you were with him when he died. Please, Harry, tell me what happened.”
Harry too a long drink of pumpkin juice, and then sat up and spoke directly to Thackery. “Well, Mr. Prince, he was in a shack with the Dark Lord, and the Dark Lord was not pleased. He thought that he had the Elder Wand, but it was not working for him as he thought it should. He assumed that Severus won it from Dumbledore when he killed him.
“Yes, Severus killed Dumbledore, but I found out only today that it was all arranged by Dumbledore himself. Dumbledore was slowly dying from a magical wound. Severus controlled the wound to keep it from spreading quickly, giving Dumbledore about another year to live. The event was staged to assure that Severus remained in the good graces of the Dark Lord who assumed that he was a strong ally. In truth, Severus was always Dumbledore’s man. He played a difficult role walking a thin line with the Dark Lord. He even snitched on me to keep up this pretense. He was a very great man, and nobody could ever know. And that too, takes a great man.
“Yes, I was hidden in the same room with Severus and Voldemort, although I was under my Father’s invisibility cloak. Voldemort assumed that the wand answered to Severus, and in order to win the allegiance of the wand, Voldemort had to kill him. He cut a slash with his wand, and then turned his snake, Nagini, on him, and she attacked him with her fangs. And then he left to continue the war.
“I rushed in with Ron and Hermione, I tried to stanch the wounds, but it was impossible, I held him in my arms and cried, and Severus too was crying. He told me to ‘take it’ that is to say a strand of his memory. I took it in a beaker that we had conjured, and then held him until he expired. At that moment I knew, and I loved him like the father that I had lost. I wish that I knew him better all of the years that I was at school, but as you have said, that was not to be.
“I rushed back into the castle. Voldemort had called a time out in the battle, and recalled all of his people. He was waiting for me to come to him, but I went up to the headmaster’s office, took out the Pensive, and poured Severus’ memory into it. I saw how he loved Lily. I saw his anguish when she was killed. He did not want to perform the task Dumbledore commanded of him, but in the end he did it anyway. He argued about me with Dumbledore. Dumbledore told Severus that I had to give myself up to Voldemort. That I had one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes in me, and it had to perish at Voldemort’s hand before he could be killed.
“With heavy heart I left the castle, passing a few friends, I told Neville Longbottom that he had to kill the snake. That the snake would be the last Horcrux. I put my father’s invisibility cloak over me and made my way out of the castle to the forest. Now Dumbledore had given me a snitch, the first snitch that I caught as a seeker for the Gryffindor team in my first year. It was inscribed ‘I open at the end.’ I never knew what that meant, and I could never open it. But now walking to my end, I remembered the snitch, and it opened for me. Inside was a stone. The Resurrection Stone. I turned it three times, my parents appeared to me, as did Sirius and Professor Lupin. They encouraged me, they gave me strength where I had none. I followed some Death Eaters right to Voldemort’s encampment. I hid in the bushes, I removed my cloak and folded it up. I put it and my wand inside of my robes, and then stepped out of the forest into Voldemort’s clearing. I stood there in front of him and after a time he perceived my presence and stood up to face me. After some small talk, he aimed his wand at me and yelled ‘Avada Kedavra!’
“The spell hit me and I fell. Apparently he did too. In my void I saw light, I saw Dumbledore, we spoke. The Horcrux that was in me was extinguished. And then I played dead. They took me for dead. Voldemort played with me hitting me with the Cruciatus curse. He tossed me up and down, but I remained limp. Professors Lupin and Moody saw to it that I would be able to withstand the Cruciatus curse. Withstanding the death curse was quite another thing altogether, but this is the second time that his curse failed to kill me, and he did not know it yet.
“Hagrid was his captive at this time, and he made Hagrid lift me up and carry me back to the castle. We came inside of the walls, and Voldemort yelled ‘Harry Potter is dead.’ You could have heard a pin drop. Then there was screaming and disorder. Hagrid put me down on the ground at Voldemort’s feet. While he was distracted, I slipped my cloak over me, and moved to a safer place.
“The battle continued for a while and from hiding I cast protective spells around my friends. Voldemort was aware of the spells but did not know where they were coming from. Nagini the snake moved in to attack some of the staff and students, Neville Longbottom comes out with the sword of Gryffindor, and sliced off the head of Nagini. Now all of Voldemort’s Horcruxes are gone. He is fighting with Professors McGonagall, Flitwick, and Slughorn, three against one, and I cast a protective spell between them. I remove the cloak to reveal that Harry Potter is alive. And I yell, ‘He is mine!’ We circle around each other. I tell him he killed the wrong man and that the wand never belonged to Severus, that it was Draco who disarmed Dumbledore that night on the Astronomy Tower. He said he could deal with Draco later. But I told him that he was still too late, that I had disarmed Draco just two weeks ago, and that the elder-wand would now answer to me. He cast the Avada Kedavra spell, while at the same time I cast the Expelliarmus spell. I was using Draco’s wand, but it worked perfectly well. The spells collided, his wand was expelled, and I caught it, and his death spell rebounded from me for the third and last time, because now he had no Horcrux. And so Tom Riddle is dead.”
Thackery Prince came and sat next to me. He held my sobbing head against his chest, and we sat there with all of the Weasleys and Hermione looking on.
Sunday May 3, 1998
Mr. Prince remained in the castle that night, while the three returned to their dorms. There beds had not been disturbed all year, and now they were warm and comforting. Harry found himself to be at a loss. There were no more Horcruxes to be found, all of the Hallows have been accounted for, the sword was back in the headmaster’s office and he had no homework to study.
Sunday dawned and the castle was still quite a disaster. There was wreckage everywhere, and there were still bodies covered up in the Great Hall. First, second, third and fourth year students had been evacuated to Hogsmeade, but they were sent home on the train. Fifth year students were instructed to study for their OWLs which would be given next week. Sixth and seventh year students were asked to remain to help clean up the castle. NEWT exams would be given the week after the OWLs, so seventh year students would still have time to study up for them, although as Professor McGonagall said, if you do not know it by now, I don’t see how another week will help.
Nobody really felt like eating, but the house-elves set a single table with piles of hot buttered toast, sticky buns, donuts and varieties of fruits. There was coffee, tea, pumpkin juice and even orange juice. Students, staff and visitors grazed about the table and then wandered off to work, to pray, to cry. Harry, Ron and Hermione entered the hall, Harry and Ron swooped down on the food, Harry for an Orange and Ron for a donut. Hermione took Ron by the hand and went to where the Weasleys were still fretting over the bodies of Fred, Remus and Tonks. Ginny caught sight of Harry and ran up to him with a hug and a kiss. She took hold of Harry’s hand and led him out of the Great Hall.
On their way to the courtyard they passed Mr. Filch in the narthex trying to sweep up huge chunks of stone with a small push broom. Behind Filch’s back Harry flashed the Evansco charm and all of the debris, stones, wood and even the dust disappeared. Filch cast Harry a thankful scowl: happy for the help, disgusted that Harry did it for him and he could not do it himself. Besides, Filch never did like Harry and still harbored a bit of resentment for his help.
They stepped outside and Ginny wrapped Harry up in a major world-class snog, “I have missed you so much, worrying about you every day. I even asked Hermione to drag Ron away so that I could have some time with you with out my big-brother watching.”
Harry admitted that he was thinking of her every day that he was away, and that it was her who kept him going when things looked their worst. “And that was every day.” He confessed to her.
After a few minutes alone, it was time to get to work again. They went around the courtyard together vanishing rubble and setting benches and other features aright. Ginny used her wand to repair the damaged tree in the middle of the courtyard. Other students were watching them, and began to do likewise. Harry began to use his wand to replace and repair broken stonework.
Harry met Draco Malfoy in the courtyard. He was watching Harry with a scowl on his face. Then Harry remembered that he still held Draco’s wand. Harry had used the Elder-Wand to repair his own wand, and so in a fit of compassion he went over to Draco, and inquired how he was doing. Draco said that his mother was helping with the dead and injured in the school, and that his father was helping the Minister with the dead enemies. He flinched as he said that word, he was not sure where his family belonged. Harry pulled out Draco’s wand, “Thanks for letting me use this, it sure came in handy, but now you will need it back again.”
Draco produced a real smile on his face, and they shook hands, and then they embraced each other. Harry looked into the Great Hall where he watched some of the people at work. Draco went back into the hall and joined the others in their work. The smile that Harry had given him lasted all week at least.
Kingsley Shacklebolt was confirmed by the Wizengamot as the Minister of Magic and he and some of his Aurors along with the help Lucius Malfoy, were examining the dead Death Eaters. Kingssley cut the right thumb off of every dead enemy dropping them into a canvas sack, as others carted their canvas shrouded bodies off to be dumped into the North Sea just off of Azkaban Island. Any living enemy was ID’d and delivered to the inside of the prison pending further examination and possible trial.
Professor McGonagall removed charms that prevented apparition from within the castle, and many of the seventh year students were apparating the injured to St. Mungo’s. There were many of these since the infirmary at Hogwarts was only being used for small hurts at the moment. Draco got some of the Slytherins to help with the dead, carefully wrapping them and tagging them laying them out in one of the undamaged classrooms. Eventually parents and loved ones began arriving at the castle to claim the dead and take them home with them. Draco had some of the Slytherins help with that task.
Back outside in the courtyard, Ginny grabbed Harry for another snog, “That was a really wonderful thing that you did for Draco, that is why I love you so much.”
Just then Ron and Hermione came outside to see what was happening out there since Draco had told Ron that Harry and Ginny were rebuilding the outer courtyard. Ron caught them in the middle of their snog. He started to run toward them, but Hermione had hold of Ron’s robes. Ginny looked at Ron and cast her famous bat-boggie-hex, and then continued her snog with Harry. Hermione released Ron from the hex, but Ginny came up to him, “I love Harry, and you are just going to have to get over it and start acting like a civilized future brother-in-law!” She turned her back on Ron and Hermione and went back to Harry, taking his hand and walking back into the castle.
“What was that all about?” Exclaimed Ron.
“Nothing, other then you acting like a prat toward them these past two years,” replied Hermione.
“Well, she is my sister. My younger sister.”
“Yup, and she is of age and she is the one who has chosen Harry, not the other way around, so just get over it.”
Inside the Great Hall, the table of refreshments had been refilled, and there were now the makings of sandwiches on the table. Harry and Ginny selected hard-rolls, and put some meat on them, Harry did not even notice what kind of meat it was, some lettuce, tomato, and mayo, and they were off to see where things stood. Bill told them that the Weasleys had taken Fred’s body back to the Burrow, and that Neville and Luna had taken Remus and Tonks back to Andromeda's house, since she could not leave little Ted alone. “They decided that they would stay with Andromeda for the next several days to help her with the arrangements and with the care of Teddy. Neville’s grandmother joined them in this project, which suited everyone, for at the moment, Luna had no place to go, what with the destruction of their home, and her father still being in Azkaban as per the old regime. The new minister had not been in office long enough to repair those travesties yet.”
The Week of Monday May 4, 1998
With the dead and injured cleared away, the sixth and seventh year students turned their attentions to the Great Hall. Harry and Ginny went over the place with a fine toothed comb, while other students followed in their wake, fixing cracks, painting walls, repairing windows, and cleaning and polishing the floors. Professor Flitwick stood on the teacher’s platform just watching. There was nothing for him to do, the students had it all in hand, he watched with a great deal of pride at what the students had learned.
They learned more than just magic this week: they learned team work, and camaraderie. They worked together like he never thought was possible, and if their magic was a little shy of what was needed many of them could conjure their own magic on the fly to do what was needed. Or else others would help them. Harry and Ginny were at the fore front of this.
Harry and Ginny got out their brooms and inspected the roofs. Together with other quidditch players they began to repair the roofs. Harry did this slowly. Instead of just making the repair, he delved into the roofs to see how they were constructed, and he found the wood work fascinating. They rebuilt the window frames, many of which had rotted through, what with most of the towers being over 400 years old. They rebuilt and strengthened all of the roofs, and replaced the wood shingles with slate shingles. That was some work, but those working up on the brooms turned to and the job was done within the week.
By Tuesday the Great Hall was reassembled, the house tables set out as usual, and the Head Table in its place. All the tables had fewer inhabitants seated around them, and while subdued, at least they had the common goals of the rebuilding to bind them together and keep them from dwelling on their losses.
Ron and Hermione returned on Wednesday. Hermione was pleased to see Harry and Ginny sitting together, however Ron was still a little put out that is best friend should be dating his little sister. Hermione told him to get over it, and that these two belonged together. Eventually it dawned on Ron that this was to be the new facts of life.
Now the students were refinishing all of the hallways, and wizards from town were in doing painting, glazing, and generally restoring or even improving the castle. The mountains of polish that they went through made the whole place smell as if it were brand new. Even the Slytherins felt welcomed wherever they appeared.
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