AN: Here we are, the final chapter in 'A Chance Encounter'. This post is only this story and 'Shadow of the Force' due to the poll I've put up on my profile so the next post will start the new cycle.
A Chance Encounter
"That is not the Dark Thingy!" Fudge screamed as Pierre held Voldemort's tiny Homunculus body in a containment spell that, thankfully, kept the miniscule monster's high pitched screams of fury inaudible. All around them, the various Death Eaters lay scattered. Either dead, or unconscious and bound.
"Yes, it is you incompetent buffoon." Martin Delacour looked close to cursing Fudge till the idiot shut up, consequences be damned.
"The Dark Thingy is dead!" Fudge continued to deny, "And when my aurors get here you all will be arrested for assaulting such valuable upstanding members of the comm-" Harry's fist cut off the blustering man, the lime green bowler hat flying off to land in a puddle of blood and gore. Normally he'd have been worried about Dumbledore using that as an excuse to try something but given Sirius was behind the old bastard with wand drawn, he didn't feel too concerned.
"Martin," he looked over at Fleur's father "I think I'll be taking Fudge and his Ministry before the ICW for aiding a Dark Lord, threatening to arrest me for defending my life upon being kidnapped, which I'd say also counts as attempted kidnapping and illegal incarceration."
"Now Harry my bo-" Dumbledore's 'disappointed grandfather' tone was cut off by the wand between his eyes, Harry's expression showing just how little he would appreciate the old man finishing that word. A faint crack signaled the arrival of the British aurors, Dumbledore and Fudge having not waited for them when they followed after Sirius, Martin, and Pierre.
"'Melia!" Fudge slurred around a swollen face "rest im!"
"Fudge openly showed support and tried to aide the Death Eaters who revived Voldemort, at least partially." Martin kept himself sounding far more controlled and dignified as he gestured to the screeching abomination in a bubble "Something we will be taking him, and potentially his cabinet, before the ICW for."
The red-haired woman's eye twitched in frustration as Fudge kept blubbering "Shacklebolt, diagnostic charm on that…whatever the hell it is." She gestured to the tiny Voldemort.
"I don't even know what it is boss." The large bald man frowned, "I'm getting plenty of dark magic readings from it, but I can't make heads or tails of it. I'd suggest you have the Unspeakables check it over."
"I'd suggest you take that with you as well." Harry gestured to the giant snake's corpse "When I killed it a black miasma came out of the stump and Voldemort there seemed to be in physical pain as it died."
The red-haired woman, Amelia, nodded "Shacklebolt, Dawlish, Tonks, you three take the…thing and the snake corpse to the Department of Mysteries." The woman ordered as the three aurors saluted, a spell carefully taking the bubble holding Voldemort from Pierre.
The second they were gone, Harry's hand shot to his pants leg, the compass was vibrating again now that Voldemort was gone.
Pierre had said that given the inherent magical power of the number seven, and the fact that Harry's scar would not have been an intended Horcrux, they were looking at seven or eight potential pieces of soul to destroy.
The diary had been destroyed in his second year.
His scar had been destroyed when his mutations purged it from his body.
Sirius and Martin had found the Cup and the Locket in Gringotts and the Black Manor.
Then there was the Diadem found in Hogwarts.
And now there was the Snake and Voldemort's primary body.
That meant that whatever the compass was picking up would have to be the last shard.
"Martin, it's nearby." Harry hissed, eyes wide as the French Minister's eyes widened, realizing full well what that meant.
"What's nearby?" Amelia demanded, the woman's wand in hand and eyes flitting about warily.
"The last anchor for Voldemort's survival." Martin's grin was vicious, "He used Hor-"
"Delacour!" Dumbledore roared, "That information is not safe to be simply bandied abou-" the old man's tirade was cut off even if his mouth kept moving, a silencing spell shutting him up and taking a moment for Dumbledore to register.
"Thank you, Fleur." Martin nodded to his daughter who was smugly twirling her wand after having cast said enchantment, "As I was saying, Voldemort used Horcruxes to cheat death. The man split his soul into various pieces, mostly intentional but one seemed to have been done accidentally during Halloween of eighty-one. That miasma Harry described sounds like one such soul shard and with the main body captured that only leaves one left."
"You've been hunting them down." Amelia blinked in surprise.
"Your minister is a swine who would happily ignore the problem till Voldemort rose again and once more brought death to France's shores." Martin's glare made the still whimpering Fudge squeak in fear, "So we've been tracking them down. France has run into Dark Wizards making multiple horcruxes before, so we have a way to remove the soul shard from one container into another that acts as a compass." Dumbledore's expression was thunderstruck, the old man having apparently never heard of such a spell or even aware of anyone besides Voldemort himself making multiple horcruxes.
"Potter, bring out that compass." Amelia ordered, "Higgins, Lockwood, Abbot, Scrimgeour, Onai, you stay here and start collecting evidence. Make sure none of these bastards go anywhere." She gestured to the various Death Eaters, "The rest of you are coming with us as we find this damn thing."
"Does that include Fudge?" Pierre scoffed.
"Given I don't want him fucking up the evidence here? Yes." Amelia's glare kept Fudge from protesting, "Alright people, move!" Compass out, Harry led the way, following it as they left the cemetery and started getting closer and closer to overgrown trees.
"I see an old path here." Viktor started clearing away bramble and thicket with careful cutting curses, the path old and clearly unused in several years.
"And a hut." Cedric noted the dilapidated structure ahead, snake bones littering the front door.
"Wands out." Amelia took point beside him, even Dumbledore strangely quiet even with the silencing charm lifted, "We don't know what sort of traps are on this thing." A tap on the front door had the ancient, rotted wood crumbling, dust rising in a cloud as Amelia hastily vanished it.
"The compass says its beneath the floorboards." Harry glanced at the sphere that was pointing distinctly down.
"Step back kid." Pierre had his wand out, a flick of his wand pealing up the old wooden planks to reveal a black lockbox disturbingly free of dust. The compass point never moved away from the box.
"Delacour, you've been working on it. How do we destroy these things?" Amelia and her aurors had their wands trained on the box, ready to curse.
"Fiendfyre and Basilisk Venom are two ways to do it." Martin Delacour frowned, "Magic that destroys the object so thoroughly the soul shard can't survive."
"Charming." Amelia grimaced "But you can remove the shard into another object in case the Horcrux is something that has to be preserved?"
"Yes, I've been taught the necessary spell." Martin nodded as he readied his wand, summoning a rock from the side of the road to use as a new receptacle.
"Alohomora." Amelia flicked her wand at the box as the lid flew open, a ring sitting inside. The band was lumpy poorly shaped gold, and the stone was solid black. A strange eye like triangular symbol stood out, scratched into its surface.
"Argh!" Fleur clutched her head as she, and everyone else, seemed to stagger back, holding their heads as if in pain, "The ring…it wants me to put it on." Beside her, he could see Cedric and Viktor gritting their teeth as they worked to resist the temptation.
Readying his wand to try and destroy the ring if need be, he was unprepared for Dumbledore to rush past, hitting him hard enough to knock Harry aside as the old man grabbed the ring with manic eyes.
"The stone." Dumbledore crooned as he picked it up, not seeming to notice as the skin around his hands began to darken and shrivel "After so long. So, so, long."
"Dumbledore, put it down!" Amelia was the first to recover from the adults from whatever influence the ring was putting out. Although whether that was from her own mental strength or simply the ring having a target, he wasn't sure. Either way, she was on her feet with Sirius, Martin, and Pierre only a hair's breadth behind her.
Dumbledore snarled, eyes starting to glow even as more and more of his body started to whither and blacken "No!" Dumbledore hissed "The stone is mine! I won't let you take it from me!"
"Put it down!" Martin had his wand readied, "I'm warning you!"
"NeVeR!" Dumbledore flared his wand that glowed with sickly looking energy "YoU WiLl NoT tAkE iT fRoM mE! CrUcI-"
"Bombarda!" Harry thrust his wand forward, having already started preparing his spell when Dumbledore's want started to glow, the curse catching the old man in the chest. Dumbledore was sent into and through the weakened wall of the shack, the ring flying up into the air.
"Aurors, secure Albus Dumbledore!" Amelia called out, the red robed witches and wizards shooting after the old man who'd been about to shoot off an unforgivable. Martin was already drawing the soul shard out of the ring and into the stone for destruction. Walking over to the beaded wand he'd seen Dumbledore drop when he cursed the old bastard, Harry staggered. The second his hand wrapped around the handle he felt a surge of power course through him, an unnatural amount. When he inspected the wand, he saw the same triangular symbol that was on the stone.
"There," Martin panted as the ring seemingly lost its pull "I've removed the soul shard and the withering curse."
"Then let's go." Amelia looked exhausted, although that might just be for the sheer volume of paperwork no doubt heading her way "I want that thing questioned under veritaserum to make sure there aren't any more Horcruxes. If there aren't any more then we're destroying that and the compasses." She grimaced as the aurors returned, a body floating with a sheet atop them letting him know just what had happened to Dumbledore.
"For now, I'll be getting our Champions back to Hogwarts." Martin nodded in acceptance of Amelia's words, noting Harry picking up the ring cautiously but not commenting on it. Leaving with Fleur and the others, Harry let out a breath he wasn't sure how long he'd been holding. Things were finally over.
Head held high; Harry walked through the halls of the French Ministry. In the years since the end of the Tri-Wizard tournament things had finally started to calm down in his life. Fudge was impeached and imprisoned for everything he'd done and tried to do; Dumbledore's last bout of madness having not helped the government's standing before the ICW. With Fudge gone, and her acclaim for having helped end the last bit of Voldemort, Amelia Bones had been named Britain's new Minister and started fixing England to avoid more scandals, or worse, Dark Lords.
"Ah, Unspeakable Potter." The head of the department nodded to him as he entered the French Department of Mysteries. Given his fame, he'd never be able to get away with being a simple numbered agent, but this gave the Department a face to send out on field missions with aurors, "Good to see you."
"And you eighteen." He nodded to the researcher "Are today's tests prepared?"
"They are indeed!" the unspeakable nodded eagerly as Harry looked to the stasis field where the wand taken from Dumbledore, the ring that had been the last Horcrux, and even his family cloak all floated. Each bearing that strange symbol. Since he'd seen the connection, France had been studying the three items that were soaked with strange magic that had kept the department full of new questions.
"Then let's get to work." Harry laughed, a ring glittering on his left hand "Fleur's having her sister come visit for dinner tonight and I'll never hear the end of it if I'm late!"
"Better one of our cells than that doghouse!" the researcher laughed, ribbing him good naturedly as they got to work.
Yes, things had calmed down since the ring and he couldn't have been happier about it.