The Dark Lord's Equal (Don't Read This!)

"Your winnings," he said shortly, taking a large bag of gold out of his pocket and dropping it onto Harry's bedside table. "One thousand Galleons. There should have been a presentation ceremony, but under the circumstances…"

He crammed his bowler hat onto his head and started towards the door. It was a mistake that he had turned his back on a person who had had enough, who had had his innocence long taken away and who was at the end of his tether.

Shaking under the recurrent pain of the Cruciatus still lighting up his nervous system, Harry shakily stood up, silencing Mrs. Weasley who was about to protest with a glare, and grabbed his wand. Fudge had barely reached the door when he crumpled down as two bolts of magic shattered his kneecaps. It had happened so quickly, that nobody had been able to react, and now the only reaction they could show was the shock. Harry had attacked the Minister of Magic.

He ignored the gasps of shock and several cries of the general meaning, "HARRY! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?" coming from those around him as he slowly made his way towards the fallen man, holding the beds along the aisle gingerly for support. Fudge was screaming, but the newly silenced room (after the fight between McGonagall and Fudge had woken Harry) ensured that nobody outside the room knew. He finally reached Fudge, standing – looming – over him, pointing his wand in his shaky hand at the man.

"I always wondered," the boy said dispassionately, in a sore, rough, dry voice. "I have kept wondering why our world was so disgusting, why so willing to accept murderers. I was told the answer, you know, but given the source it came from, I was unwilling to accept the answer." He was answered with a string of expletives and more screaming. Dumbledore had had to sit down at the sudden outburst of violence and none of the others knew what to say or do in that moment as this was not the Harry they knew. "Sirius," he called out to his godfather, and the only person he trusted to help him at that moment. "Please, stabilise this vermin long enough for me to speak to him and convince him. And please accept my apologies for stopping you last year in the Shack."

He then added to the room at large, sparing only Dumbledore and Snape, "Please understand that what I am going to do is for the...Greater Good. It is a matter of plausible deniability." He started stunning all its occupants.

Sirius had known from the moment that Harry attacked Fudge that he was not dealing with his godson, but an angry man – a young man, but a man, nonetheless. He knew not to patronise him. Harry had had an experience that would change anyone. To hell with it, he had several experiences that would change anyone, and it seemed that the pup had finally had enough. Still, it was his duty and responsibility to ensure that whatever decision Harry took did not come back to hurt him. That was his job as the godfather. Bounding to the pair, he transformed in one fluid motion with his wand drawn, eliciting shrieks and silencing hushes from the others. He paid them no mind.

"Are you sure?" he asked Harry, with no hint of reproach or of condescension in his voice. Harry had killed before and fought before. He had fought far too much for Sirius' peace of mind, but there was nothing he could do to change that.

Harry surveyed his godfather with narrowed eyes before he saw the intent behind the man's question.

Are you sure that you want to take this action? Are you ready for the consequences, for this won't be the last time, if you start now? Are you ready for everything that this entails? Be so. You shall have my support come what may.

Harry allowed himself a small smile which with his hurting muscles turned into a small grimace. He knew whom to always trust. "Yes."

"Alright," Sirius replied. He turned to the rest of the room and then addressed Dumbledore first. "We tried it your way. You know and we know that this is going to fail. He is an ostrich with his head buried in the sand and we will have to yank it out. Please, don't interrupt. I don't want Harry to do this, in honesty, but he is old enough – older than I am by his experiences. I trust him. Don't hinder us."

He then proceeded to cast numbing charms on the Minister's body. Heavens knew he was proficient at the charm, given the number of times he had cast it on Moony. His next action was to shake his head at the man's stupidity as he threatened his godson.

"I will have you arrested boy!" the minister spat, growling.

"I did not give you leave to speak," Harry replied coldly. "You will shut up and you will listen. The spell I cast was not poorly aimed."

That last sentence gave everyone pause for thought. An in pain, shaking, traumatised boy had the ability to do that. It would be stupid to get on his wrong side, at least unless he was not in a position of power.

"In my second year, I saw you make a non-judicial arrest. Hagrid was so obviously innocent, and yet, yet you connived with the child-murdering bastard Lucius Malfoy who set the monster upon the school, to arrest the poor man, because "you had to be seen doing something." Am I wrong?"

"YOUR ARE LYING!" snarled Fudge. He lost his numbing charm courtesy Sirius and then his ankle courtesy Harry, screaming harder and harder and in such pain that even Snape shied away.

Five minutes later, the charm was reapplied, and Fudge's anger was at least slightly clouded by pain and slight fear.

"Let us try this again. Was I wrong?"

"Lucius would never..." was all the defence Fudge could muster before the numbing charm came off. The screams started again.

Sirius waited for another two minutes before he soothed Fudge.

"Lucius Malfoy is a murderer. Let us move on from there. I will also give you a fair warning that my patience is running out." He had a lot to learn. Intimidating someone was really fun. "Last year you refused to hear us out, calling us liars when we told you that Sirius was innocent. I didn't understand why. Fun fact: I am not stupid, and therefore, I know, now, that the Lestranges, a set of Death Eaters, the Malfoys, another set of Death Eaters, are also the closest living relatives of Sirius, the only non-Death Eater Black male, and of mine as well. And yet, if the Lestranges hadn't been caught red-handed, they would have been free while Sirius wouldn't have been. We both can see where this leads, don't we?"

"You are delusional, boy!"

Fudge lost his entire right hand right from the shoulder, whereupon it was promptly burnt to ashes. This time, the shock was severe. Every person apart from Sirius cried out in shock and to stop the boy, but things had gone too far already to stop. Indeed, when Dumbledore raised his wand begging Harry to stop, he was carelessly disarmed, even as Sirius once more cauterised the wound. The Black then, slightly gleefully, silenced and petrified Snape to prevent him from intruding.

"Don't hinder me, Dumbledore. I am done with your kind. I am done with your brand of false justice. These sheep do not deserve either peace or independence." He refrained from tossing the surprisingly and comfortably warm wand back at the Headmaster. "Your time has passed, marked by failure." He turned back to the Minister. "Are we in agreement now that you have helped the Death Eaters, Fudge?"

Cornelius knew that he was truly at the mercy of the boy. He would no longer bow to the power of positions. He wouldn't even bow to Dumbledore.

"This time, you have seen a Death Eater that was supposed to be dead. You have seen the dead body of Cedric Diggory. You have seen me suffering from the effects of the Cruciatus. You are not trying to imply they were all my plants, or my plans, were you?"

For a moment, Fudge looked as if it was a great idea. Then he saw the blasted boy pointing his wand at his legs and fearfully shook his head.

"Good. This means that you have some survival instincts. So you will accept my conditions. There shall be no delay."

Fudge looked like he was about to piss himself – again.

"You will arrest, and have executed any person that is marked by the Death Eaters and moves. You will conduct an open trial for them and for Sirius here. They will be found guilty. Sirius will be found innocent. The Death Eaters will be publicly executed. Am I in any manner unclear?"

"No," Fudge lowly answered. He knew that all was lost, at least until he reached the Ministry.

"As further incentive for your compliance, I have here a list of your vaults and residences and all your mistresses and their residences. I also have here a will that bequeaths all you own to me. If you attempt to come after me, I will find you, and I will kill you. Furthermore, I shall give you one fortnight to get every marked person's soul. Let it not be said that I am inconsiderate. Thereafter, for every delay, I will kill one Death Eater spawn irrespective of his or her age. The same goes for if you attempt to save their marked guardians or parents with substituted or imperiused people under the Polyjuice or any sort of impersonation, or if you help them escape by prior information. No student of Hogwarts shall return before the eighth of July. They are, shall we say. They are my hostages. I will start alphabetically. And I will not stop or consider. Also, your head will look like a wonderful monument on my fireplace if you refuse. Once you are done, you will resign."

Fudge could only gulp and nod.

"Go on then, chop-chop," Harry urged pleasantly through gritted teeth. "Don't forget that I am perfectly willing to murder the entire Ministry to get what I want. I have more resources than you would care to imagine."

Sirius then proceeded to heal Fudge, silently supporting Harry. He had it well in hand. He would never admit that he was a bit scared as well. Cornelius the One-handed, as he would thenceforth be known, would be considered the Traitor of Britain, a title that Harry himself gave the man. He was no use once he had done what he had been ordered to do, after all.

Once he left, Harry's posture slightly slumped. Sirius was on hand to hold him up. Dumbledore couldn't help but express his disappointment, which was now tinged with fear as he had lost the Elder Wand to this new dark lord. "Why Harry?"

"As I said, I received advice from the source I was uncomfortable with. But now I have learnt it. There is no way I can defeat Voldemort, for he has to be, without becoming the Dark Lord's Equal. And for that I have to realise that there is no good and bad, not truly. There is only power and those worthy enough to seek it and to wield it."

"So you have become Voldemort? You have lost mercy for children?" Dumbledore asked, as true to the intent of everything, Sirius conjured shackles around him after stripping him of all his magical and non-magical effects. "And what gave you the right to demand execution?"

"I learnt more about the quality of mercy, Dumbledore. No man has the right to decide whether another person is worthy of mercy and second chances or not. I just decided to err on the side of caution."


A way to see if the idea of the Dark Lord's equal could be reinterpreted. Not quite where I wanted it to go, but I am just slaking my blood-lust on a Word sheet. I have always wondered why only people like Amelia Bones and Scrimgeour were killed, but Fudge was never assassinated. Forget the fact that Harry knows too much.