He was in his room of the manor, and then suddenly he wasn’t. Instead, he was facing an unknown figure. He tried to go for his wand but realized he couldn’t move.
“What is this? “His attempts to move were futile, and he was afraid.
“Relax,” The person told him and he felt himself relax. “Take it easy. “
“Who are you?” Peter Pettigrew asked and tried to look at the stranger in front of him more closely, but he could see nothing in the dark. And he couldn’t shake the terrible feeling he felt, radiating from the person in front of him, he felt worse than being near a dementor.
“What I am is unimportant, because I am somebody beyond your power to grasp. What is important is what I have to tell you. My power is unlimited because this is my story, which makes you mine to control.”
He felt his blood run cold.
“Do you understand? You will move when I want you to, you will speak when I allow you to. You are a puppet, and I am your new master. You will be a conduit of my ideas and bring civilization to the ruins because I wish to see it happen. Rise, do your part in this story.
The desperate people don’t care about the long-term consequences that their desperation could lead to, irrationality, in that case, is completely expected, and this is why Peter Pettigrew would succeed.
He had one task – the most important task- but first, he needed to have a conversation with his master.
“My lord? “He inquired quietly, he never knew in what kind of mood he would catch his master, but today he didn’t need to worry, because Lord Voldemort was expecting him.
“Pettigrew, have you come to tell me something important?” Voldemort asked and he shivered. It felt like his master already knew what he was going to say.
“I have come up with a plan, my master. “He replied and he heard his master chuckle in response. It was terrifying, but it wasn’t as bad as being in the same room with The Stranger. “I have thought about how we should proceed”
“I already know what you’re going to say, Pettigrew. But feel free to share it. Do you think I would believe that a rat like you could have thought of something that I didn’t already, and decided against it?”
His breathing slowed down, and he felt somebody else trying to take control. He surrendered to the feeling, and the words started pouring out of his mouth that were not his. The Stranger was here, and he was in control, and they both knew it.
“You have always looked at Britain as something that you need to conquer. It was your first step towards total world domination, and I am not judging you for your aim. It is not my will that you should stop this endeavor, but I want you to look at it differently. Instead of becoming a tyrannical despot, that will rule with fear… Forcing people to follow you using force, live with a risk of being deposed because nobody is truly going to be loyal to you. What if instead of all this, you would become a God of your world? Imagine people following you willingly, bending their knees with pathetic reverence. You would have their loyalty forever; you could have the whole world under your thumb. “
Lord Voldemort looked at his servant in deep thought, and he wondered with whom he was speaking. Rational thoughts told him that something is very wrong here, but the words intrigued him, he didn’t want to admit it, but he was desperate, and he knew, somehow – That everything the person that is currently possessing his rat is possible, and he would have the strength to do it.
“And how do you propose we do that? How do you make a villain to the entire world, a hero?
“It’s simple. “Pettigrew smiled, it felt unnatural to him. “A crisis will force people to look for it, and you will come out in a shining light. And I have one particular crisis in mind. You and Pettigrew create something so terrifying, so devastating, so that when it gets so bad… People will not mind accepting your help, quite the opposite. You will rise from death and become a savior of humanity. And together, a new civilization will rise from the ashes of the old, and it will be you who will lead it to the new era, the world will become whatever you want it to become. People will not ask questions, not enough of them at least.
“Who are you? “Voldemort asked in wonder.
“What I am is not important, because it is beyond comprehension. What is important right now is whether you accept your new role as a God of Earth.
Voldemort nodded and The Stranger smiled behind his mask.
“Good. Your follower Pettigrew will make sure that everything that I want to happen, happens. My only condition is that you trust him – and only him. Is that fine for you?”
“Yes.” Lord Voldemort’s desperation, his craving for power and glory – He never had a chance, he succumbed to The Strangers’ manipulations the moment he entered the room.
Everything that is going to happen from now is already set in stone. The only thing anybody could do is enter the train and embark on a journey.
“Sometimes, a time comes where you must use the tools that you despise to further your goals. You will study what I tell you to study, and you will learn what I need you to learn. Do you understand?”
“Sometimes, you must use the tools of somebody you despise. You will study what I tell you to study, and you will start the process. Do you understand me?”
Pettigrew nodded and felt euphoria because it made The Stranger happy. He left his body, and Peter left the room without looking at his old master. It was time to begin the work.
His first task was the research Muggle History. It was beyond him, why would his new master order him to learn about them, but it was The Stranger’s will and so he followed it without question. His research helped him to understand the muggles more. He realized how terrifying and inhumane they could be. History books talked about the evil deeds committed by the singular figures that could rival or even surpass his old master.
He felt his hatred of muggles increase. It wasn’t his anger, but he accepted just the same. They seemed to advance together with the violence, they invented so many ways to kill another person and the worst part is that they haven’t stopped looking for ways to improve their methods. Their advancement came from violence, and he concluded that the muggles couldn’t live without it. It was ingrained into them and it made Pettigrew feel shame. Are the Wizards any different? Yes, we are superior, but where did this question come from? Pettigrew shuddered and went to sleep. His mind is already being influenced by the teachings of The Stranger
He learned about their corruption next, their abuse of power, their lack of morals, their hypocrisy – What is the difference, Pettigrew? You feel hatred because you look at Muggles and see how worthless they are, but have you looked at your master? He is just the same Your government is the same, and people everywhere are all the same. You are no different. Stop, make it stop – The voice inside Pettigrew didn’t stop. Violence, greed, hypocrisy, lies – It’s inside of us all – Fighting against them is like attempting to swim against the strong current. Possible, but ultimately pointless because sooner, or later – You will get tired of fighting it. Stop. You can’t stop, Pettigrew. Succumb to the hatred, let it fuel you. Do you understand why you must do what I tell you? Yes. Of course, you think you understand, but all you are is a conscious marionette.
“It has to be a virus, it’s simple to alter, to mend together. To get the best results, we are going to use the worst of both magical and muggle kinds. The method of Transmission is already thought of, but it will require sacrifices.”
“Because this is what our master wishes is for, my lord. “There was no need for a better reason, both of them already accepted their new roles in the story. “We will use the magic of the person to spread it. I am not sure about the specifics, but he assured me that it will work perfectly. “
“And the cure?”
“It will be ready, my lord. I will create it together with the virus, and it will be easily modified, it will be able to adapt to future mutations of the virus. This is what he told me. The effects of it will be instant, and enough will be prepared for you to use whenever you decide that it’s time to act.”
“Good, then it’s time to begin. I trust in your abilities, Peter.” Years ago, this kind of trust in him would have made Pettigrew the happiest man in the world, but now it was irrelevant. His mind belonged to The Stranger now, and he knew that his master doesn’t want him to be happy. And Lord Voldemort stopped being relevant in the grand scheme of things the moment this story began.
He outdid himself. The virus was here, and it was glorious. Peter looked at his finished work without any emotions. His disease was created by combining the most dangerous kind of muggle and magical virus, in a way that hasn’t been done before, because what he did was impossible. But The Stranger has deemed that it was important for a disease such as this to exist in the story, it was a thing that is going to help him finish the story. This is why Peter managed to create it. The Stranger bent the rules of the magical world and the result was a perfect disease. The Disease will infiltrate the host’s body, and it will replicate itself and spread to others using the magic in its body. The simple acts of magic will cause The Disease to spread, it will attach itself to any magical surface and will slowly consume everything alive inside the human body. The result is the agonizing and slow death of a host, disguised by magic – invisible to everybody because this is how The Stranger wishes things to be.
“Is it ready? “Lord Voldemort asked him the next morning.
“It’s ready for the trial, my lord. We just need to choose a location.”
“I have a location in mind, Peter. Let’s do it in France.”
Hundreds of unexplainable and sudden deaths have caused havoc in one part of the French magical community, because it was almost only veelas who were dying, people didn’t bother to look for a real cause. They only cared that it didn’t affect them, and anything slightly different than theirs didn’t matter.
It mattered to Monsieur Delacour though, but only because it had the potential to affect his family. And so, he spent his resources, which he had plenty of to find the cause. His efforts didn’t go unnoticed and the Stranger decided that it was time to visit him. To set up a new plotline.
“Who are you?” Same question, same answer.
“What I am is unimportant, because I am somebody beyond your mind to grasp. What is important is that I am here to give you the answers, you want. You are investigating what has been happening to Veelas in the magical community, and I am here to give you a cure under one simple condition.”
“And what is that condition”?
“I will give you a book. I want you to read it. It will explain the reason why things are happening as they are. It will give my justification, and I want you to decide whether it’s a good reason. I want you to judge me and give me your answer. The most I can expect is understanding. I know that you are going to accept, so here’s the formula for the cure. Begin by administering it to your daughter, Fleur. Because I need you to be fully focused on this book, I will make sure that nobody else is going to be infected by The Disease until you finish it and give me your answer. “
“To what question?”
“Will you join me?”
Days went by, and Monsieur Delacour made his choice. The Stranger accepted this and wiped their meeting from his memory. The plan will proceed without him and he felt no remorse, he was judged, but he decided that the judge was wrong.
He also modified the virus after it killed a lot of people suddenly. Sudden deaths weren’t good for the story, he needed to prolong it.
“The trial was successful, just as expected and the Disease is ready for the worldwide spread, my lord,” Pettigrew reported
“Peter… My most loyal friend, we did good, didn’t we? Do you think he is proud? “Lord Voldemort asked, his voice hesitant.
“I am sure that he is, my lord. “Pettigrew replied and tried to smile, but he couldn’t. Because he knew deep down that The Stranger despised both of them.
“Yesterday he brought news to me. The Dementors have seen his way and accepted it. I think it’s time to bring our oldest friends here, to show them the light. “
Bellatrix Lestrange was always the most loyal servant of the Dark Lord, she served him faithfully until the very end, she felt joy when she received his message and they managed to escape the prison, but when she came back to him, she felt something was missing, and quickly she realized that it was the power which he was lacking. She saw him just as an old shell trying desperately to cling to life. Her disappointment was immeasurably and she wanted to kill herself right there, her life was a failure. Then she met The Stranger and all her doubts were gone. This was her new master, and a new meaning was given to her life, just like that. She will serve him until the very end.
“You were always his most precious, and his most loyal. The strongest of them all. I can see why he would admire you so much. A man would do a lot of things to get a woman like you, for a strong woman like you bend her knee to him, and degrade herself in service to him. You had the potential to be so much, Bellatrix, but it was wasted on him, you allowed him to control you, you allowed a weaker person to dominate you and force you to commit evil deeds because it was easy. You were beautiful once, but now you’re nothing but a ruin, you chose the easiest way to destroy yourself. Instead of attempting to fix unfixable, fight against the current, you went for an easy way out and surrendered yourself without a fight. Being good is a futile effort, but I can’t let those who choose to do evil live without consequences, and so I brought you here today, to be your jury, judge, and executioner. Do you accept?”
“Yes, master” She replied and bent her knee, and The Stranger just shook his head in disappointment. Humans would fight for their cause but would betray it, betray their ideology, and betray themselves the moment somebody stronger than their old master comes in and tells them to think differently and act differently, no matter how negatively it would impact them themselves, as long as the voice was powerful and convincing enough. The Stranger thought he was in the right, but he was just as wrong as the characters in his story of his. His ideals seemed right to him because they were his concept. He thought that his hatred of community came from rationality and logic, that he wasn’t influenced by anybody but himself, but it was false. The Stranger had no right to judge people, but he did it anyways because he had the power to do so. He accepted the surrender of Bellatrix. And he enjoyed it.
“And the rest of you, pathetic worms. Will you accept my judgment?” He asked them and inspected the vile human creatures that stood before him. They all deserved to rot. One by one they bent their knee, and he saw submission in their eyes. Nobody dared to stand against him, nobody defended their ideals. It was the moment of total destruction; Death Eaters were no more.
“We accept you, master.”
“I judge you for the crime of being human. I judge you for not trying to fight back against the nature of humanity, and succumbing to the evilest parts of it. I judge you for not defending your ideals and allowing another person to influence you like it’s nothing. I deem you all guilty and your punishment is the realization that you are nothing. All you are is a patient zero and will bear responsibility for the extinction of humanity. The journey the ten of you will embark on today will change everything. You will be the spark that causes the fire to burn the world “
The ministry was busier than ever, it also had dozens of Aurors patrolling all over the atrium due to the recent Azkaban breakout. Bellatrix Lestrange stood in the middle of the busy crowd. Nobody took a notice of her, because it was unimaginable that she would be out in the open like that. She would have smiled if she could feel anything. She closed her eyes and started counting. At the end of the countdown, she thought of The Stranger and suddenly guilt hit her like a hammer. The last emotion she felt was remorse for all the things she has done, but it was too late. The story is already written, and her actions are determined, so she started an incantation, wand pointed at the ground.
At the same time, nine other explosions caused havoc in nine different parts of the world.
The clock has started ticking. Tick, tock. Humanity is counting its last seconds.
Severus Snape entered the office of his old friend and took a seat. He nodded at Albus and took a gulp of a drink, he felt like he needed that, after all, that happened recently.
“I spoke with The Unspeakables today. They identified that one of the remains was Bellatrix Lestrange. The Owls also came in from France, and United States – Dolohov and Rookwood were responsible for the attack. We can probably expect similar answers from others. Why would 10 loyal Death Eaters kill themselves in such a meaningless terrorist attack? “
“Why would Dark Lord order them to commit such an act? There is no logical reason for him to sacrifice his loyal followers like that. I think, if we find an answer to this question, everything that has happened recently will be easier to understand.
“You think that it’s his work? The deaths in France, the dead Dementors, this attack. “
“He is the most obvious culprit. We both know that he didn’t truly die that day, recent years have confirmed our theory. I am confident that he had some part to play in recent events. What I want to understand, is the reason for his actions. What does he gain by killing all those Veelas? What does he gain by stopping it? How did he manage to kill all those dementors? Why would he send his strongest followers to death like that? “
“Any guesses, Albus?”
“I have no clue, Severus. And this is what worries me the most. I feel like I am being outplayed here, but I don’t know the game, nor the rules of it. I can’t rest until I find out what is happening, but we can’t do this alone. It’s time for Phoenix to rise again, my friend. Meet with your old friends, talk with them, convince them that something weird is happening and organize a meeting in a week. We will discuss the matter together, share ideas and only then make our first move.”
“I will contact them. “He nodded and stood up. “Good day, Albus.”
Everybody that survived the Atrium explosion became infected. Those infected brought The Disease back home and spread it to their household members. One unfortunate muggle had an infected wizard as his neighbor. The Disease evolved and managed to spread without the use of magic. It remained dormant inside the muggle and waited for instructions. The Stranger has decided that The Disease will be allowed to spread to the Muggle world, and so it did. During the commute to work, the innocent muggle infected people he met or passed by that day.
Another infected muggle had a flight the next day, and so The Disease managed to reach Muggle Population in mainland Europe. A magical disease was spreading through the muggle world like a fiendfyre, it learned along the way, how to improve itself. It also learned how to kill better and more impactfully when the need arises. Until then, it was just a sleeping beast lying dormant inside of every person.
The Stranger decided that it was going to be more chaotic if the symptoms would start to appear. To make people restless, tired, and confused. And with no way to cure it.
The next day, Voldemort coughed. Dumbledore coughed twice during the secret meeting of the Order of The Phoenix. The Disease was following The Stranger’s will.
Slowly the clock was ticking, it would speed up or slow down depending upon needs of his.
The weather was quite nice for Autumn, thought Harry Potter. Too bad, he was going to spend the day inside, studying. He was walking together with his best friends towards the Great Hall for breakfast.
“So, what do you think?” Ron asked suddenly and he looked at him.
“About what? “He asked, unsure what Ron meant.
“The tournament, of course! Imagine, eternal glory… People would remember your name for years, and of course, the money wouldn’t hurt either.”
He just shook his head.
“It doesn’t matter though, does it? We’re not even of age” Hermione answered
“But imagine if we were… I’d do anything to be able to participate and winning it would be awesome.”
“Believe me, Ron. There’s not a single thing enjoyable about fame” Especially when it came from your parents dying fighting an evil wizard. He didn’t say that out loud though, but Ron understood. And he was glad that the topic was over.
“You all right, Neville? “He asked while choosing to take a seat next to him, Neville looked gloomy ever since the terrorist attack.
“What does it matter?” Neville asked harshly, but quickly apologized and went red from embarrassment. “Sorry, it’s just… I’m okay, just wondering about some things, that is all.”
He knew from experience that people don’t like being pushed, so he accepted his answer. “Okay, but just so you know, I am here if you need me. Anytime” He replied and was surprised when Neville started talking
“It’s Bellatrix. I still can’t get over that she managed to get off so easily, also even in her end, she managed to kill more innocent people, it’s unfair.”
“Yeah, - “
“It’s unfair, Harry. You know, I fantasized about how I am to make her pay for all the things she did. Before the breakout, it was only imagination, but… My fantasies quickly became my motivation, I wanted to be the one to make her suffer, to end her life. Does that make me a bad person? Is it evil to want another person to die?
“Not if that person is Bellatrix, Neville.” He responded but it didn’t satisfy Neville.
“I think it should make me one. You have no idea how dark my imagination got; I wanted her to suffer, I would have made her suffer, her escaping gave my life meaning, an opportunity. And then… it’s just gone, just like that. It’s unfair.
“Do you think doing that would have made you happier?”
“Happier, no. Of course not. But that’s not the point. The point is… I don’t even know. Maybe, just maybe my point is that you can’t know what kind of person you are, or what you feel until you find your breaking point. I don’t know, Harry.”
Weeks went by peacefully, and the other schools arrived for the tournament.
Unsurprisingly, Durmstrang sat at the Slytherin table, meanwhile, Ravenclaw’s had the pleasure of having beautiful French students at their table.
The feast that was prepared for this moment was amazing, you could find any kind of food at the table, from all around the world. People socialized together with people from other schools and houses, the tables began mixing. They laughed, they bickered. Having no idea that they were carrying a deadly disease inside of them. A bomb, ready to explode at any moment. The reaper is coming for you all, and the Stranger was already standing in the corner, invisible to everybody. Watching, looking for a reason to stop.
Tick, tock. His heart is beating according to a clock. The story will not have a happy ending, he knew that now.
Minerva noticed that Albus’ coughs were getting worse.
“You should check out these coughs, Albus.” She looked at him worryingly, and in response, he just shrugged and smiled
“It’s all because of my old age, Minerva. Besides, an experienced med-wizard has already checked me out and found absolutely nothing wrong with me.”
“But the cough…- “
“Everything is going to be fine, Minerva. “He replied confidently, and Minerva believed him because she wanted to.
He didn’t tell her how many doctors he had already visited, and how worried he was. There was no reason for Minerva to worry, she had more important matters to attend to than the senile wizard.
“Did you tell her that it’s getting worse? “Severus asked him when they met that evening
“I can’t let her worry about me, Severus. She deserves that much”
“Ah. So, you are forcing me to be the one who needs to be worried about you. I guess you think I don’t deserve to live in ignorance, and I should be grateful for that
“Has there been any more activity? “He asked and Snape shook his head.
“There is absolutely nothing. The Dark Lord has been quiet, there isn’t anything suspicious that happened recently. He didn’t contact any of his old associates, and the mark is still not active. It’s like he doesn’t exist anymore, Albus.”
“So, we are just as stuck, as we were before. We haven’t come in any way closer to solving the mystery. How do I fight somebody who doesn’t act?”
“This is what worries me the most. We are stuck, and we’re not in any way closer to solving the mystery. How do I fight somebody who doesn’t do anything?”
“You sound like you want Dark Lord to get more active. Isn’t it a good thing that nothing is happening? The world deserves some peace.”
“Not when that peace is fake, my friend. I don’t know what is happening exactly, but my gut feeling is saying that this is just a calm before the story, and the storm will be more destructive than ever. And we need to find the source of this calmness before it’s too late “
“What if I tell you, that you are dying and there’s nothing you can do to stop it? “The Stranger asked and Dumbledore’s old instincts of war came alive. But he couldn’t move.
“Who are you? “He asked in fear.
“The Stranger. Your Jury, Judge, and Executioner. Your actions in your youth led to millions dying, and I hereby proclaim you guilty. You will not remember this meeting, but know that your end is coming.”
And Dumbledore didn’t remember, but he felt that something is very wrong. The story moved on.
“My name is Harry. And who are you? “He introduced himself to the girl he just met in the owlery. A girl on whose shoulder Hedwig was currently sitting
She turned around to face him and smiled. He looked at her and recognized the girl from the Beuxbaton that stunned every male during her entrance
“Harry Potter… “she said and he felt heat rising to his face under her gaze, he looked down. “I heard a lot about you.” She smiled. “I always wanted to meet the hero of Britain. “She turned towards Hedwig. “You have a beautiful owl, Harry. What is her name? “Hedwig hooted happily.
“Hedwig” He replied while trying to look anywhere, but her face.
“Hedwig…” She chuckled and let the owl fly away towards her spot in the owlery. “What do you think about me, Harry Potter? “She asked.
“What do you mean?”
“Do you think I am beautiful?”
“Yes, you are. “He answered without hesitation, a blush creeping in.
“You haven’t even looked at me properly, Harry Potter. How can you form an opinion of me without looking at me? Check me out, Harry Potter, and tell me whether I am truly beautiful. Take your time”
He listened to her and raised his head. She looked even more beautiful than he could remember of that day. Her dark blue eyes were alluring, and her smile was hypnotizing. Everything about her was perfect, she waited patiently for him to respond, and he managed to recover after a few seconds.
“You’re the most beautiful person I had laid my eyes on.”
She sighed and shook her head in disappointment. “Just because I am beautiful from the outside, it doesn’t make me a beautiful, Harry Potter. How do you know whether I am beautiful from the inside? I did tell you to take your time in sharing your conclusion.” She smiled sadly at him and left him alone in the owlery without saying goodbye.
Harry felt as if he just participated in the most important exam of his life. And he failed it.
She found him in the hallway the next day and surprised him when she took his hand and brought him to an abandoned classroom
“Do you know what Yule Ball is?” She asked.
“Not even hello? “He replied, still shaken by the sudden kidnapping, however, she just raised her eyebrow and waited patiently for his answer. “No. “
“It’s a wizard celebration, on the same day as muggle Christmas, with a different name, of course, because wizards just couldn’t handle having something in common with mere muggles, and so here we are. But that’s not important right now. “She was speaking fast; he barely could follow along.
“And, uh, what’s important? “He asked
“Champions need a dancing partner, which means I am required to find somebody. “
“You are one of the few male beings in Hogwarts who managed to have a conversation with me without losing yourself. So that’s a positive. Your owl is also beautiful, that’s another positive. Congratulations, you’ve more positives than anybody else in this school. Will you be my dancing partner during Yule Ball?
“I don’t know how to dance. “He replied, still trying to understand the implications of the conversation. Did this beautiful French witch just invite him to date? Did he also not instantly accept the offer?
“God, Harry Potter. Why must you make this harder than it has to be? Will you learn in time for Yule Bell?
“Not good enough. Tell me that you will learn in time.
“I will learn.”
“Finally. Now, will you be my dancing partner during the champion’s dance?
“You are not a champion yet. “He answered, and struggled to understand himself. Why didn’t he say yes already?
“I will be. “She replied confidently.
“Because you are the best of the rest. Now, answer. Will you go with me? “
“Why did you say yes? Just because I am beautiful? Are you hoping to kiss a beautiful French witch at the end of it?”
“No, what.? “A lie. They both knew the truth.
“Once again, you only judge me from the outside. Stop looking at outside beauty, and start looking deeper.”
“Okay. I will, give me a chance and I will. “
“You don’t want that, Harry Potter. Trust me. “She replied, for the first time, he noticed the hesitation. Was it always there? Under the cover of her beauty? “You should have said no, for the sake of you.”
“But I want to go out with you, I want to learn more about. I want to have a chance to get to know you deeper. Let me look at the inside of you.
“What is your name?” He asked and she laughed.
“Fleur Delacour.” She smiled at him, it strangely felt like a pitiful smile “You made your choice, Harry Potter. Be careful while digging, you might not like the results.”
“Hermione, by any chance…Do you know how to dance? “He asked her in the middle of the History of Magic lesson, Ron was sleeping so he had a chance to have a rare private moment with her.
“Harry? “She looked at him questioningly.
“I need to learn how to dance,” he said quietly, blushing.
“Why? “She asked
“Never mind.” He replied and turned away to focus on the lesson, which was… Goblin rebellions, of course.
“Is it because of a girl you like?”
“A boy? “
“Never mind” Now she was the one blushing
A few minutes later, after even more useless knowledge about goblin wars, he asked Hermione again.
“By any chance, do you know any books about… dancing?”
In response, she just laughed. Which was so loud, it caused nearby people to groan from being awakened, however after seeing the lesson was still not over, they quickly fell asleep.
“I am not sure a book would be useful, however… I know somebody who can teach you. “She smiled while he was blushing.
He met Fleur again next week, in an empty corridor.
“Harry Potter.” She smiled at him and it made his day better. “How are your dancing lessons going?”
“They’re… going well “He replied. He hasn’t started yet.
“Cast a Patronus charm”
“How do you…”
“You are Harry Potter. Everybody knows a lot of things about you. Do it, please.” She asked and yet again he noticed her confidence falter.
“Okay.” He replied and he did it. And she smiled sadly.
“It’s beautiful. Thank you.”
The next day, she decided that they were going to race with brooms. It turns out, he had no choice in the matter, so during the evening, they raced. He won, and she was happier than he could remember her being, it felt genuine this time.
“Thank you, that was amazing. “She hugged him and he started blushing.
They were talking in the same empty classroom when she suddenly stood up.
“Let’s duel. “She said and he knew there was no point to say no.
“Okay. “He replied and stood up, wand in his hand.
She destroyed him the first time, and they fought again. And again, the same result.
She was dominating him.
“Well, at least we know that you could just fly away when the real fight begins.”
He wasn’t sure how to feel after that.
“Magic is a fickle thing, “Dumbledore said after his fit of coughs. “It can create amazing things, but it can also destroy them just as easily “he coughed again; this time blood came out. Snape looked at his old friend with worry but didn’t mention it.
They were looking at the remains of Ravenclaw’s Diadem. An invention by one of the great founders, a historical piece destroyed and gone like it never existed.
“Where did you find it?” Snape asked him.
“By investigating an old lead, I had suspicions about something after a second year and our lack of progress made me follow it. I am glad that I was wrong, and it was one area that Tom didn’t fall to. There was a line he wouldn’t cross, and it makes me feel better in a way. However, I am saddened that an old historical artifact was destroyed just like that.”
“My potions aren’t working you, and it’s getting worse.”
“Indeed, Severus. I don’t understand what sickness ails me, but I feel that it’s killing me slowly. But I accept my future, and I don’t want you to worry about it.”
He looked at Snape, and suddenly he was in a similar location as before. The Stranger was here.
“Magic is a fickle thing, really? “He started. “Magic is not doing anything that a human doesn’t want it to do. You can’t blame the tool for the actions of conscious beings”
“Who…Are you?” This time Dumbledore was slower.
“You always want to know everything, Albus. I am here to share some things. Do you know why you feel the effects of The Disease worse than everybody else? It’s because I decided that you deserve to suffer. Your neutrality has led to the suffering of thousands, being neutral is just as bad as doing evil. I won’t be neutral in this conflict; I will destroy everybody for the sins of humanity. In one week, you will receive a present, it will make your theories irrelevant. You will forget about this conversation, of course.
“Tell me about yourself, Harry Potter. “They spent more and more time together, he became addicted to her presence, and she enjoyed it.
“I like flying.”
“You also like getting into troublesome situations, don’t you? You go rushing into any situation, no matter the circumstances, a dashing hero from the old stories.”
“I also hear that you like getting into trouble. You go rushing into any situation, without any thought, no matter the circumstances, you would save everybody if you could. A true Gryffindor. A dashing hero from the old stories.”
“I don’t like the trouble, it’s just that often the trouble finds me instead. And I don’t think I am the hero.”
“This is where you are wrong, Harry Potter. You are the biggest hero of them all. And this is where you are correct, the trouble indeed manages to find you. But you did invite me, so I hope you don’t mind if I stay.”
“You are a trouble?”
“Dig deeper and you might find out.”
She smiled and they dueled again. This time, it did come closer. But she still beat him.
“You learn about Severing Charm in the second year, you learn how to cast it in the third. Don’t you find anything unusual about this? “Fleur asked him during one of their meetings
“What do you mean? “He asked.
“Not only do we give our children a weapon from a young age, a weapon that could hurt, maim, to kill without an effort. It’s not enough, we also teach them how to use it. Do you think children can understand the power that they wield in their hands? A single accident and they hurt dozens, hundreds. Do you? You could kill thousands if you wanted to, at the age of fourteen.”
“When do you think they should learn?”
“Think of me as something akin to a pacifist. I believe that no wizard whatsoever should be able to have such power because I don’t believe that humans are mature enough to handle such responsibility”
“You would take away something that makes somebody a wizard”
“I would take away something that has the power to destroy everybody, and if the consequences are that Wizards are no longer Wizards, I can live with that.”
“Not everybody is the same, do you want to punish everybody because of a few people?”
“Of course, not everybody is the same, I know that. But tell me, what is the ratio that makes it worth letting everybody have that kind of power? One person can be responsible for millions of deaths, nine others are the good guys. Tell the families of those who died, that it’s okay for humans to wield such powers because it’s only one wizard out of ten that’s going to kill your family.”
The next day, she asked him another question.
“Pretend that this is a test, Harry Potter. Name me one good person that deserves this kind of power, a person that is mature enough to be able to handle it.”
“You failed a test once again, Harry Potter. But this doesn’t surprise me. We spent so much time together and you still haven’t learned that you shouldn’t look at the person from the outside. Dig deeper.
Voldemort was gone. It started with the cough that worsened every day, and it ended with his fragile not being able to handle the strain.
His Horcruxes gone destroyed The Disease, he disappeared to oblivion.
Peter Pettigrew was sitting in the corner of the room, shuddering. He felt no emotions. He knew what killed his old master, he realized that both of them were betrayed. The cure was gone, and he felt The Disease ravishing him from inside, slowly. He coughed and spat out the blood. This was supposed to be his moment, but nothing remained.
At least he was dying while knowing that ultimately, his work will eradicate humanity. He could accept that, even if it meant dying alone. Suddenly, he was in the same room that he was at the beginning.
“Before you die, I want to confess. “The Stranger appeared out of nowhere and started speaking. Pettigrew listened, but he didn’t understand. He was barely alive. “The thing, that you think you did? Well, you didn’t. It was all me. Everything that you have thought that you did was done by my hand, and if not for me, The Disease would have been impossible to create, especially by you. I bent the rules of your magical world because the story needs to flow, I hope you realize that you are nothing, but a character that was used and thrown away into the trash. You were my conduit, the only logical choice to be in contact with Voldemort when I needed him. You did your part well, but it’s time to say goodbye, you will die knowing you were nothing but a puppet, and nobody in this world will know about you.”
The Stranger looked at Wormtail for the last time and teleported away together with the body of The Dark Lord. The next day, the body of the most feared wizard in Britain was found in the Atrium of The Ministry of Magic. At the same spot that Bellatrix Lestrange blew herself up.
Meanwhile, he decided that it was time to expedite the story. Muggles have started slowly dying from an unknown plague, but he wasn’t in hurry. The process, even when it started moving, was slow.
Nobody from the magical world noticed, why would they? They won’t notice that there is anything wrong until it starts affecting them. They think they are superior to them, how ironic, that both are going to die from the same thing.
“And the Hogwarts champion is…Cedric Diggory! “Dumbledore shouted and the thunderous applause sound filled the hall, everyone cheering for their school champion. Ignorance is bliss. The first parent of a muggle-born Hufflepuff died at the same moment, while his child was cheering hard for his champion.
“What did you think about my present?” The Stranger asked.
“What is happening? “Albus was once again unable to move, and he suddenly knew everything.
“The world is ending old man, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.”
“Why… why are you doing all this?”
“You won’t understand, I am not going to try and make you understand. “
“You are so young… You don’t have to do this. We could still fix this”
“No, we can’t, I am afraid. I made my choice a long time ago. Humanity deserves this.”
“You are punishing billions for the sins of few.”
“No, Albus. I am punishing billions because they allowed the few to commit those sins. Humans have had a lot of time to fix it. But they carried on, making the same mistakes over and over again. The destructive cycle of history. I am here to break the cycle and put a wretched thing that is humanity to rest. It deserves peace”
“You are wrong about this, let me help you.”
“… You are right, probably. Rationally, I don’t think everybody deserves this. With my power, I could probably fix this, and make everybody play nice. But that would strip the freedom of thought, and action that everybody deserves. So instead of living in an artificial utopia, imprisoned by me – I will let humans remain free, and die free because that’s the only option a miserable being like me could think of. “
“I will stop you.”
“You can’t, Albus. The events that are currently happening are impossible for you to understand. You can’t solve the puzzle when I took the key parts out. “
“You were always curious, you always wanted to dig deeper. I don’t know, maybe it’s perhaps because I can’t write complicated mysteries, maybe it’s because I don’t want a hero in my story. I admit it, it makes my story a bit more depressing, not having a hero that you could cheer for against the villain. But the story is already finished, and the only thing any of us can do is enter the train towards the final destination with no stops.”
“When I am going to die?”
“DIE? Who says that you’re going to die, Dumbledore?”
“Bombarda” And the table was gone. “Which year spell this is? “
“We were taught this last week. “He answered
“This same spell was responsible for killing hundreds in that terrorist attack. And a fourth-year student in Hogwarts already knows it and can cast without effort. When do you think Durmstrang teaches this one? Don’t answer.”
“It requires effort and talent to make it powerful.”
“All it requires is motivation, you want it powerful enough and you will most likely manage to destroy a few buildings. “
“Fleur, tell me about yourself. “
“Because I am not important, Harry. Let’s duel instead.”
They tied each other.