The Failures of Albus Dumbledore

Albus Dumbledore grunted as another wave of spells plowed into his magical shield. A bead of sweat ran down his forehead from the strain on his magic. His blue eyes scanned over the crowd of lost souls clothed in black and silver masks. So many lost in the darkness, desperately trying to find their way back to the Light. Blue met an eerie red, and he felt his past mistakes pushing down on his shoulders.

Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Order of Merlin (First Class), Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, and Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot had failed. His many failures spanned for decades and cast a long shadow. One of his most significant failures stood before him, cackling in glee as he watched his minions try to strike down his last defense.

However, his most recent failure could be considered one of his worst. In his own hubris, he truly believed he knew best, and everything he did was for the Greater Good. His word carried a heavyweight and was considered the law to most. Perhaps that is how he grew so blind to his own arrogance.

Harry James Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, the Child of Prophecy, and last hope to the wizarding world had perished. Not at the hands of his destined encounter, or some ancient rouge monster. No, instead, he was murdered by his own flesh and blood. An accident according to the Dursleys, but one that doomed their entire world to be ruled under a tyrant.

The poor boy had been having a rough time after losing his cherished godfather. His uncle did not care for the wave of depression following the young teen and instead tried to make the boy work. An argument blossomed, and fists were launched. Young Harry's head snapped back and slammed into the corner of a kitchen counter. Like a puppet whose strings have been cut, his body collapsed, and his soul moved on.

Things in the wizarding world took a dark turn after that event. The Light lost hope, and the Dark grew bold and arrogant. Death grew exponentially alongside fear. Once the Ministry of Magic fell, Hogwarts became the last safe place. A beacon that could not sink or all would be lost.

A plan wormed its way into his old mind. Months of researching rituals, he discovered one that would bring hope back to the Light. A summoning ritual that would bring a hero, a champion that's strength would rival if not eclipse Tom's might. With some of the brightest budding minds still left on his side, they went to work.

So, here he stood in the great hall of Hogwarts, protecting the remnants of the Light as his children finished preparing the ritual. He felt his magic waver as another wave of spells crashed into his shield, but he held firm. His Light would not be snuffed out so quickly, not when hope was being rekindled.

"Dumbledore, surely you can see how futile this is. Give up, and I promise your death will be swift and painless," Tom called out with a distinctive hissing. Albus did not banter back, he couldn't lose focus. He continued to push his magic forward at an even rate.

"Professor!" the voice of one of this generation's most gifted witches called out from behind him. "We've finished preparing, we need your magic to begin!" Hermione said as she took her position beside the vast, intricate magical circle.

The Headmaster turned slowly away from the attackers and eyed the summoning circle carefully. He didn't have time to deliberately gloss over the runes and check for imperfections. With faith and trust in others, something he struggled with, he split his magic forward. The summoning circle glowed a bright, vivid green. It grew brighter and brighter until it forced everyone to look away for dare be blinded.

An explosion of magical energy rushed outward, shattering Dumbledore's magic shield and throwing everyone onto their rear end. A deep biting chill washed over both sides as if a group of dementors appeared around them. A multitude of eyes blinked away the spots in their eyes and glanced toward the source.

A young man stood in the center, his arms hanging limply to his side. His skin is as pale as the moon and contrasted his dark, messy hair. Barely noticeable, a faint scar rested on the man's forehead. Startingly bright – almost glowing – green eyes studied them all curiously. His black robe appeared neat and clean for the most part, yet the bottom half is in tatters.

"Well now, isn't this interesting," a smooth, silky voice reverberated off the walls. They all watched the man tilt his head upward and gain a small, almost unnoticeable smile. "Such nostalgia. I haven't seen this place in so, so very long," he whispered out loud, though his voice carried in the silent hall.

Albus stood up shakily, his body magically exhausted. "Harry," he whispered out, almost not believing his eyes. Green eyes turned to meet his blue ones. "Harry, my boy, is that truly you?" he asked, his hope and relief lacing his words. The sound of Harry's best friends gasping in shock reached his ears.

"Professor Dumbledore," the green-eyed man commented, his smile growing ever so slightly.

"My boy, we are in dire need of your help. Voldemort has breached the wards of Hogwarts," he informed, shifting his eyes away from his summoned hero toward the shocked Dark Lord.

Harry followed Dumbledore's line of sight, and his smile thinned considerably. A long-forgotten enemy that made his early years of life miserable. Tom Marvolo Riddle, though he liked to go by his anagram, Voldemort. A silly fake name created by an angry child to escape his past and fears. He had forgotten how distasteful the budding Dark Lord looked. More snake than man.

"Ah, so many memories are surfacing after so long," he muttered to himself.

The Dark Lord seemed to snap himself out of his shock and glared heatedly at his prophecized enemy. "Potter, how are you here?" he hissed venomously, though a hint of curiosity snuck in.

"Oh, Tom, believe me, I'm just as curious," he retorted with a light-hearted answer. "I believe our answers can be found with our silver-haired friend here," he answered, tilting his head toward Dumbledore. Harry ignored Tom's automatic 'Don't call me that!' response to being called by his birth name.

"A summoning ritual, hinted at in old tomes, hidden away from prying eyes. It brought forth a hero, a champion that can rival or overpower the summoner's enemy," Albus answered vaguely, not wanting to give Voldemort any ideas. "I had not expected it to bring you back, Harry, but I'm relieved," he answered with a twinkle in his blue eyes.

"How curious, but I believe you made a mistake," the summoned wizard replied.

Dumbledore blinked and narrowed his eyes in confusion.

Voldemort started laughing, which signaled his followers to laugh alongside him, even if they didn't know what they were laughing about. "You believe Potter has the strength and skill to match me, the greatest Dark Lord in history?" he bellowed out. "The-Boy-Who-Died-To-A-Muggle, summoned only to die once more!" he said, laughing intensely, bringing forth even more chuckles. The laughter died down, and the defenders of the Light tensed. "Come, Potter, face your death," he said calmly before crying out, "Avada Kedrava!"

The Light could only watch helplessly as the green spell shot toward their last hope, one who did nothing to move out of the way. Dumbledore did not have the magical strength to save him. Yet, Harry stood passively, a strange glint in his emerald eyes.

The killing curse splashed against Harry, who simply looked down at where it had hit his chest. Both sides stared in shock but were unprepared when a chuckle escaped Potter's lips. The laughter grew until the young man threw his head backward and roared in amusement. The Light and Dark took a step back nervously.

The laughter abruptly ended, and emerald eyes sharpened. Blackish-blue flames erupted around Harry, sucking in the remaining warmth that lingered in the room. Dumbledore felt a tingle of fear at the sight of those familiar flames. "Oh, it has been so, so very long since I last played," Harry said with a small smile.

"Harry, my boy… those flames…" Dumbledore said, backing away to a safe distance.

"Ah, yes, you would recognize these flames. Do they bring back fond memories?" Harry tittered.

"You believe some fire scares me, Potter?" Voldemort hissed.

Harry smiled peacefully and waved his hand toward the consort of black-cloaked individuals. The fire rushed outward with a roaring temper, engulfing the death eaters. Their bodies turned to ash instantly, screams of terror silenced in moments. A few seconds and all that remained of Voldemort's followers were Voldemort himself. "Are you afraid now, Tom?" he said, stepping forward slowly toward the surrounded man.

Tom raised his wand and flung a multitude of spells toward the summoned wizard, but the flames simply moved and consumed the magic. As if the fire were a pack of starving wolves, they moved closed in gracefully. The free space shrunk until his only choice was to create a shield around himself. The cold flames licked at the Dark Lord's magic, savoring it. "You're not Potter, the boy would never kill!" he roared out, forcing his magic into his shield.

A dark chuckle escaped the young man's lips. "Ah, it seems you've all come to an inaccurate conclusion. You seem to believe I'm Harry Potter brought back to life. What did you call him? Ah, that's right, The-Boy-Who-Died-To-A-Muggle," he commented airly.

"If you're not Harry Potter, then who are you?" Dumbledore asked, having moved to stand in front of all his people like a living shield.

"I am Death's Master, but I did once go by the name of Harry Potter," Harry answered honestly as the flames roared once more against Tom's shield. "I had grown so bored in my world, so imagine my surprise when I felt a tug on my magic. I must thank you all for summoning me here. You've opened so many opportunities I had not considered. A whole new world to cleanse of its taint."

"What do you mean, cleanse?" Dumbledore questioned uneasily.

Harry gained a benevolent smile. "I will purge this world of magic as I did the last. No magical creature or human will remain. You've opened my eyes to infinite possibilities, and now I will cleanse all worlds," he called out, raising his arms dramatically, and the fire around him grew.

The eyes of the wizards and witches widened with shock. "You use magic to purge magic, yet not yourself?" Voldemort growled out, straining under the magical pressure. His shield slowly began to flake away before the fire poured in and swallowed the Dark Lord whole. Silence graced the hall, and the champion tilted his head lightly to the side.

The Light did not celebrate the demise of the Dark Lord, too fearful of what they brought into their world. "Harry, do not do this, please," Dumbledore begged, his wand in his hand. The elderly wizard did not have the strength to fight this young man.

"I'm getting some serious déjà vu. You said those exact same words just before I burned down this beautiful castle last time. I wonder how different it'll be," Harry replied while bringing both hands up. He slowly brought them closer together, and the flames followed his movements. Slowly but surely, the Light fell to their summoned hope.

Tears slide down the Dumbledore's cheeks just as the fire consumed him. It seemed that even at the end of his life, he still continued to fail the magical world. He had brought something far worse than Voldemort into this world.

Harry frowned at the silence before turning toward the exit. He stared at the spot the Headmaster once stood and watched the fire dance gently. A sigh escaped his lips before he turned around and made his way out of the castle. His fire followed him through the halls and split off to consume their master's enemy. The school cried out in pain as it burst into flames.

Emerald eyes set themselves onto Hogsmede, and a small smile graced his pale face. Memories of different times flashed before him. "Don't worry… I won't let magic hurt this world anymore," he whispered to himself.