','

Wait
You guys are saying this is good
And that I'm actually the kind of FanFiction author who doesn't deserve to be mailed Anthrax
I-I, this, I, what?
What?

','

The Dark Lord's Equal
by Lens of Sanity

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"And thus did Lord Voldemort die by Harry Potter's hand" – DisobedienceWriter

June 22nd 1996: Forest, Behind Greater Hangleton
Mission Clock 00:00, 11:48 Sidereal Time

Here it is Harry, are you ready for this? No backfiring wand this time, no more getting hit with Killing Curses, just you, and him. Are you good enough?

I set my Mission Clock to Zero purely out of habit, and look around the clearing. The Hangleton Manor house in which Tom is almost certainly residing is somewhere over the hill. Couldn't tell you where, he's had one of his guys stick a Fidelius on it, funny but I don't think he could cast one himself.

Never really struck me as the overly trusting type for some reason.

I've seen a couple of the man's fights in a Pensieve when I was preparing. This is always a good idea when you have the opportunity. Though for the first time I find myself doubting that particular piece of good sense. It might be easier on me had I not known what I was up against.

You may have heard that he is the most formidable Dark Lord in history, and then kind of wondered to yourself as to how these things can be measured against one another. For one thing, two Dark Lords sitting in a room together, equals a fight, in which one of them dies. So how does one compare him to say, Emeric the Evil from centuries ago?

Unfortunately, I've fought a few particularly nasty pieces of work over the course of my life. Some have actually gone down pretty hard, I lost my arm once upon never ago, so I know what dangerous people look like.

Watching the Dark Lord Voldemort, full title with no insulting nicknames, watching him actually going at it is nothing short of terrifying. I've never seen anything like him. And don't go on about how I killed him when I was seventeen, I didn't, Dumbledore patsyed me into it and I didn't even try to land a curse.

It's not just Ritual enhanced speed, or toughness, or colossal magical core, but the horrifying command of magic he seems to display with ease.

A few minutes ago I shot off Prongs, quite politely informing him of my whereabouts, he will have seen the Memory Sphere of my Duel with Dumbledore so he knows I'm no pansy.

However I'm not going to Duel him. I have no intension of doing this honourably. This is the real world. Don't start fights because fights, real fights, are not about honour, or glory, or retribution.

In a real fight, the winner is the one who is left standing.

As he enters the clearing we lock eyes, Red and Green. There are no words.

I take to the air.

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He rather predictably attempts to "Avada Kedavra" me, which honestly, I actually find insulting. You don't use Killing Curses against skilled opponents. Do you see me trying to land a fucking 'Stupefy,' no you do not!

So I effortlessly conjure a mini shield about the size of my palm, embossed with my kickass new crest. Yeah, I've changed my mind, I like the thing better than my old one.

It shatters to rubble and I wandlessly banish the shards. This is what I was teaching Neville yesterday afternoon; 'Conjure and Clout.' You conjure a solid shield in the path of the curse and wandlessly banish the rubble at your opponent. Twenty minutes of practice a day, six days per week, for ten years.

Feel free to shoot it at me all day, you'll never come close.

The fourteen disillusioned, poison tipped needles I'd positioned north, south, east, west, top, bottom, and all eight diagonals, race toward his midair position.

He's skewered on all sides, needles everyone, lancing straight through his body. Unforgivable Green? Pathetic.

Yep, he's dead.

That was easy.

I'm ever so glad I managed to access our Soul Bond connection long enough to get 'Flight' though. I've wanted to be able to do this ever since escaping my Dursley Prison, y'know, the sky fight where Mad-Eye died.

You get knowledge piecemeal too, so even though this is my first time, it feels like I've been doing it years. I was right on my assumption, this is something Voldemort invented himself, all as an overcompensation because he's so terrible on a broom.

To think I was worried about having to wait 15 years for that woman living in the Guatemalan Insane Asylum to start designing the only broom I think is better than the Firebolt. And there are/will only be 101 Cloud Pine in existence.

Flight is better.

Faster and more controlled than even my beloved Cloud Pine. Man, for the first time in my life I'm actually glad of my old Soul Bond relationship.

II-SHIT!-II

A massive on surge of indigo wreathed grey decimates the forest beneath where I was just floating. My gods in heaven, if that had hit... holy hell. I suppose he's not quite as dead as I'd assumed. That is so not a good sign.

Who the hell survives fourteen sharpened needles lancing right through their body at all angles?

He sends another huge mass of that scary fucking grey indigo shit at me, and I manage to slash open a 'Severing Void,' a ragged tear in creation my magic holds open, as my opponents magic attempts to force it to close.

All the while I'm discharging enough power to keep myself safe, Voldemort is Simultaneously creating a quintet of what looks like ancient ballistic crossbow bolts, tipped with crimson fire. They arc around the thing I'll call a shield, and unerringly head right for the sweat spot.

I stop holding the Void, it'll take little more than an instant for his magic to heal the wound, but an instant is something, more than enough.

I swoop, twist, turn, and do my best to avoid the bolts, I perform barrel rolls and brave horrendous g-forces to keep from being harmed by the deep red fires.

When I'm safe I turn.

Voldemort is behind me.

"Avada Kedavra"

My world ends in a flash of green.

Damn it all.

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I find myself once more looking down at the Oak and Dragon Heartstring wand Harry bought for me from Master Ollivander. This thing is beautiful, magic just seems so easy now, I never really knew, y'know. Which for an almost 'of age' wizard is probably very unusual. This morning Harry had shaken me awake, told me to get my shit together, and then once I got downstairs, I had the Sorting Hat thrown at me.

"Draw your Sword."

A little on the dramatic side maybe, but it worked, and now I'm holding the same ruby encrusted Sword which he was strutting about with just the other day. It turns out to be the one Godric Griffindor used to stab peasants with, and is imbibed with Basilisk Venom from Salazar Slytherin's pet snake.

My team is the same as it was last time; Auror Kingsley, Professor Moody, the clumsy pink haired young woman who I think is also an Auror, the distinguished Ms. Vance, and Luna. And I notice that I just called it my team. In the possessive. Now that is just downright strange, maybe Harry was right and I'll make a half decent Field Herbologist. I was never really going to go into it, I thought maybe I'd open a greenhouse or something instead. But now... yeah, I think I might.

Harry asked us to kill the snake and make a distraction for the Death Eaters, but not get ourselves killed, so we're in this sleepy muggle village called Hangleton, following a bizarre tracking spell he had shown us.

Apparently it's of vast importance that I be the one to kill it. When I asked he said it was because my Chocolate Frog Card has a totally awesome picture of me standing in front of a big dead snake, swinging a big sword around over my head. He mentioned how he was jealous that he couldn't come up with a picture on his own that was better. No matter how hard he tried.

From the rabid intensity in his eyes, I gather he tried very, very hard.

Nodding the signal to Auror Kingsley, I break over the weathered marble gravestone I'm bunkered behind, and unleash yesterdays well practiced spell-chain on our lured Death Eaters.

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"...this obsession with right and wrong is definitely going to hurt your career" – S'TarKan

June 22nd 1996: Forest, Behind Greater Hangleton
Mission Clock 00:26, 12:14 Sidereal Time

My vision swims back into focus, and I take in my surroundings, as well as the rather surprising fact that I seem to be, of all things, still alive.

I'm covered in a fine peppering of Magicite dust, crystallised magic which you only see where high concentrations of thaumic release are happening for long periods of time. You don't get it in Hogwarts or the old family homes because they are built specifically to absorb ambient magic to strengthen the wards and walls.

My left hand is ice cold, and by shuffling to my knees I take in the reason why. The black stone on my Gaunt Ring, the Hallow of Cadmus Peverell, is black no longer. Instead it is a murky, and very distinctive, shade of green.

'he wanted to humiliate Death still further, and asked for the power to recall others from Death'

You've got to be fucking kidding me.

There is no way in gods green hell that I can possibly be that lucky. I gave up relying on luck before I turned eighteen for Merlin's sake. I don't go around bellowing 'Appropriate Caution' at people, al a Mad-Eye Moody, but I'm not as far away from it as I'd admit in front of other people.

'he wanted to humiliate Death still further, and asked for the power to recall others from Death'

There is just no way in hell that this has just happened.

Trying to ignore the saturation level of the magic in the air, I scope my eyes left and right, landing on a familiar necklace hanging from a tree branch, and a note in my own hand, carved into the bark.

','

I smirk slightly as my "Frango ós" slams brutally into the neck of a black cloaked recruit, one more thing done, and done well, turning I pick up the abandoned sword, and throw it with all my might in the direction of a fleeing Nagini.

All other Death Eaters are down, and everyone watches, as if in slow motion, the Sword of Griffindor tumbles end over end in a wide parabolic arc. It comes to rest point down impaled right through the snakes head.

Okay, I may not have the most self confidence in the world, but even I know that was pretty damn impressive.

Even though we were slightly outnumbered, the battle was just too one sided in our favour. An ambush like that had a third of their force down before they even knew what happened, and other than a conjured block of marble to prevent a Killing Curse kissing Luna, it was pretty straightforward.

I don't see how everyone found conjuring those solid shields so hard, it's not like they take all that much power, although I can't get them even like Harry was showing us, it's still clearly a useful skill.

Professor Moody walks up to me, wooden leg clunking at every other step, and gives me a report in an obviously professional manner. Seems we've not lost a single person, and the worst wound will be healed in a day once Ms. Vance get's to St. Mungo's.

"Thank you Professor, I think it is best we link up with the other Aurors now."

He looks at me strangely for the longest time "I was never your Professor lad, and I think it best you start calling me Mad-Eye."

Following my agreement he does an uncomfortable Side-Along Apparition appearing a few miles west, and I'm greeted by a sweating young Auror, who I hazily recall seeing four days ago, when everything changed at the Department of Mysteries.

He gives me a similar briefing, though with markedly less polish, and I learn that the entire Department of Magical Law Enforcement are out in teams, all patrolling the edges of this forest, with strict orders to be abnormally paranoid about their co-workers being under the Imperius Curse.

They are ordered to do nothing, nothing whatsoever, except watch one another, and hold up the thickest Anti-Apparition, and Anti-Portkey wards in history. All organised to keep Harry and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named trapped in the forest.

My team and I agree to help.

','

Beneath my Cloak of Invisibility I stagger toward the 'Null Point' in the Anti-Escape wards, the incredibly difficult to locate point in any Net which can be gotten through thanks to the nature of their construction. This is a weakness which will not be discovered for another thirty or so years, so I can be confident they will keep Voldemort trapped.

My body is a little banged up from the fall, but other than some deep bruising and a whole load of scrapes I seem to be fine. I guess the trees helped slow my decent or something.

Shaking myself from my thoughts, I check my Display to find out when precisely I was hit with the Killing Curse. Opening the appropriate menu, I check playback and in a soft, pleasing blue the timestamp flashes up:

June 22nd 1996: Forest, Behind Greater Hangleton
Mission Clock 00:01:02, 11:49 Sidereal Time

No friggin' way, after 58 years of life, large parts of it fighting fuckers like him, I only last 62 fucking seconds. That is the single biggest bad sign I've ever seen. I need a drink.

A silent crack and I make my way back to the room Hermione and I shared last night, good times, and more good times to come once this war is over. Applying the appropriate healing spells, and downing a broad spectrum potion I set about messing with my Display, preparing for the upcoming fight.

The note my future self had carved into that tree read 'You Know You Want Too,' and as it had the future analogue of my Time-Turner hanging right next to it, I can be pretty sure I know what I'm going to do. As well as why the saturation level of magic in the air was so gods damned high.

If I spin back one hour and hover behind the Dark Lord right as he's about to AK me, I can shoot him in the back. Simple plan. Simple plans are best. I like how honourable it is too, nobody can ever doubt I know the difference between right and wrong.

The Unspeakables who study time regularly made me promise not to do things like this with a Time-Turner, the pansies all seem to think having multiple versions of oneself occupying the same space is dangerous, however the very first occasion I used one was in a battle against Dementors where I saved my past self.

They always say that it's impossible, that if my claim ever actually happened that it was a fluke, and I won't be able to do it again. But I say that I managed it once so I must know what I'm doing.

They never think that is a good rationale for doing it though.

Which is why every time I come up with a new argument for 'abusing' my Time-Turner they shout at me for the longest time, then make me promise not to do whatever insanity I'd thought of.

Bumps and bruises healed I'm back in full fighting shape, so I collect my things and wrap myself in the Cloak, then spin-back and make my way to the battle zone. I'll be in for a bit of a wait.

Eventually the ghostly image of Voldemort which is outlined on my Display is about to match the real Voldemort that is charging a once and again Killing Curse. I race toward his future location with as much speed as can squeeze out my newfound abilities of Flight.

The spell I'm going to use is a nasty little bit of magic, to be used against stationary targets as it is awfully slow moving, and a mobile target could quite easily sidestep it without much trouble. But what it lacks in delivery time, it more than makes up for in punch. And travelling as fast as I am will only do good things for the magic's momentum.

"Singularis Nex" I roar at the last possible instant.

A mote of pure darkness shoots from my wand, connecting squarely with the centre of my adversaries back. As I peel off to escape the deadly wave, a huge cylinder of blackness erupts from the bursting ball and engulfs the man in malevolent energy.

','

"...of those few, the half who weren't already insane, soon would be." – Less Wrong

June 22nd 1996: Forest, Behind Greater Hangleton
Mission Clock 01:01, 11:49 Off-Sidereal Time

The spell clears and Voldemort is in great shape, virtually no damage, though his entire back is monochromatic. He's in great shape and he's pissed off, as is shown by the wicked spell-chain he is tossing at me.

Hell, to call this thing a spell-chain is to insult it, for Merlin's sake the power some of these hexes have behind them is amazing. I recognise a Cascading Immolation Jinx amongst others, and take that as my cue to drop any facade of offence, switching up to precision conjuring and specific shields.

Transhields are good, and small ones will stop an AK, but even low level bludgeoners will turn them into rubble with ease, and have enough force left over to do you harm. I palm, conjure, duck, dodge, and dive, doing everything in my power to avoid the sinister magic coming my way.

I can cast pretty fast, with two wands in my hands I'm damn near unbeatable when it comes to rate of fire, but he's only using the one wand. Shit, I know how he's doing it, I was right he's got to be insane. This is Simultaneous Casting. You can't cast more than one spell at a time, you can fudge it a bit by holding one thing and casting another, or by shooting out a fraction of a second apart, but you can't do two at once. Not without risking a psychological break.

With a lucky swoop and two good dodges, I manage to get off a shot of my own.

"Londaren Cor"

How about a Taste of Sunshine, sunshine. It annihilates his solid barrier and slams into him, sticking slightly as the magic is kind of gooey.

He recovers right away and sends another of his Infernal Spell-Chains, while I go back to solely relying on point defence.

If his mind is damaged enough to pull off Simultaneous Casting I wonder just how many he can do at once. I guess that pondering advanced Thaumology in the middle of the hardest fight of your life is not the best idea, because as soon as this question pops into my mind I take a nasty Concussion Hex to the side of the head.

It was colourless, I have an excuse.

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As I tumble and attempt to right myself gigantic roar breaks out behind me, and I throw on the Cloak and listing I make my way toward the Null point, Apparating to Dumbledore Cottage in Godric's Hollow. Strange choice, I wonder why I decided to come here.

This is another of those things I really should have asked about. I always thought the Potter's owned this place and the Ministry had turned it into a war memorial, when it was really Albus' all along, and after its destruction he was the one who donated it. He lived at Hogwarts anyway so it wouldn't matter.

It's easier to put a Fidelius on something smaller, and maybe dad didn't want to be the ancestor everyone remembers as the one who lost Potter Place.

Trudging inside I take a few minutes to verify there's no lasting harm, not even a concussion which is a pleasant surprise amongst this morning's mostly unpleasant surprises. Even better news is I lasted, not 62 seconds but 304 seconds, quite the improvement even if I barely made it past five minutes.

As I take a seat on a sofa which was once used by a twenty one year old Lily Potter, I take out my Time-Turner and stare at it as I sip slowly on a healing potion. Time-Turners are really just wonky kind of sideways versions of space expanding magic, they don't so much as send you back in time as they do stretch out your personal timeline, that's why you're limited to six extra hours.

Yet I seem to instinctively understand something the so-called experts don't really get; the device makes it so that both future you and past you, cause events to happen at the same time, it's a single sweep, with your first self living in a reality in which things you have not yet caused are effecting your experience.

Which is totally garbled and confusing.

I know it is. There is a saying in law enforcement which basically goes; 'of the few who are qualified to investigate cases involving Time-Turners, the ones who aren't currently insane, soon will be.' This is due to the fact that the universe doesn't care that we can't understand how it works, and it is how I can quote, unquote, 'abuse' my Time-Turner, even when all the experts tell me it's impossible.

You've just got to be careful, and most people are naturally just not careful, which I why they die a lot when using Time-Turners.

The reason this is working is because I have my Hallow, and have taken the opportunity to turn off the function on my Tactical Display which can see through it. I really don't want to see the future me or mes before I catch up to them.

That would likely trigger one of those things that cause other not careful people to die a lot.

The Hallow of Ignotus Peverell does not actually make you invisible, it conceals you, hides you. You cannot see or feel anything done beneath its protection when the true master of the artefact uses it. I, and doubtless Voldemort, use mage-sense all the time, it doesn't make you able to see magic, but you can sense it, and sense people's cores. But cradled in the Hallows arms I cannot see, nor can I feel a person, and neither can my foe.

Unless he owns a directional microphone I suppose, but I suspect he doesn't, and even if he does I didn't see him frantically swinging it around out there so I'm safe.

For some reason I start giggling uncontrollably.

Eventually I spin-back and leave.

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Poking at my feelings I, Junior Auror Benjamin Jenkins, have decided that I am a little out of countenance thanks to the events of the last few days.

This morning began when the Director had conscripted me into manhandling Roberts to Level 5, and stuffing his stunned form in one of Scrimgeour, the new Head of Cooperation's magically expanded desk draws. When I asked why we weren't using magic to get him down there, he said that manhandling was traditional in this type of situation, and when I asked why he had Vanished the man's pelvis, he said because it was funny.

The Director doesn't seem to like Roberts very much, which is understandable since I've met him, but pelvis vanishing? That's a bit harsh. The guy won't be able to spend any time with his girlfriend for a month. Why not just give him the day off if he didn't want him on this Operation, it would have been effectively the same.

Still, from what I've seen of him he clearly knows the job, even if he sometimes acts like the sixteen year old he actually is. Clear unambiguous instructions, delegation, doesn't take any of the usual crap people throw about at briefings, and I saw him in action at the Rowle Ranch, he didn't actually do much, but I got the impression that he could have been anywhere in that battle at a moment's notice.

The first time I saw the Director's friend I was surprised, 'I am supposed to take orders from this chubby young schoolboy?' But No I think, the Director clearly knows his business, so I do not comment on it and simply relay the information he asked for.

That was when it became obvious, this individual, like the Director himself, is clearly an adult, albeit one who happens to be sixteen years old if he's a day. You could see it in the sureness of his gaze, and the effortless way he expects his orders to be obeyed. A man in short, who is clearly comfortable in his own power.

So now I'm standing here, leading a team, even though I'm barely out of the Academy, and I'm responsible for a whole team ensuring a secure swing between the West and North boarder of the escape wards.

And there is this enormous conclave of magical energy coming from miles away which, though I will not admit it out loud, is scaring the shit out of me.

It surges and I'm lifted fully off my feet.

','

"Despite all my lives, all my collective knowledge, Voldemort simply understood, and would always understand, magic better than I could" – Joe

June 22nd 1996: Forest, Behind Greater Hangleton
Mission Clock 05:38, 12:26 Off-Sidereal Time

Out of the frying pan and into, oh shit look, an identical frying pan. I mean honestly, the fire would have been better, at least then there would have been some variation.

Although this situation is very not good.

I'm flying flat out, maximum speed, any change in my direction, or alteration of my momentum is buffeting tremendous g-forces on my body, yet I cannot let up, I cannot slow down, or ease off even slightly. No, if I could I'd be going faster; faster, always faster, faster whatever the cost.

My enemy is wielding a magic whose danger is matched only by Fiendfyre, the unadulterated threat this stuff poses is staggering. Demon's Light is hell unleashed, dark magic at its finest, one spark and flesh is reduced to ash, to dust, to nothing.

A roiling column of fire, the kind of fire which absorbs light, thin as my wrist it chases me. I duck and dive, roll and spin, down, down through the trees, that's the idea. I slalom for a while, until Voldemort realises there is no need, mere wood is not going to stop this weapon, and so I once more take to the clear air.

All blue skies.

There is a reason our society uses the Interdict of Merlin, and things like this are it. Honest to gods magic is dangerous, all magic is dangerous, but Class Eleven Dark Magic, class eleven, on a logarithmic scale.

Simply put that's what the Interdict of Merlin basically states; that magic is dangerous. If you can't figure something out for yourself, or you are not ready to learn a thing, then you are not ready to be taught it.

This is the one sensible thing I've ever heard come out the mouths of the magical community.

Because magic really is dangerous. If the Normals had a cultural maxim which was similar, they would have kept fission devices out the hands of politicians. But as it stands they have incompetent elected officials with the power to destroy the world. It's not like this kind of thing hasn't happened before. But hey, the Elder Mages of old Atlantis had some pretty dangerous stuff too. And that worked out pretty well for everyone didn't it.

Except for the whole Cataclysm thing anyway.

That is neither here nor there, but I'd much rather be there than here, where I'm outrunning fucking Demon's Light. I'm so bloody glad I never wear armour, the stuff is too bulky and I find it slows me down, and makes dodging harder. Some of the expensive armour was tempting for a while, thick enough to take a free Killing Curse if it's Ironbelly, but if I was wearing any today that little extra weight would have killed me long ago.

I sense oncoming magic at the same instant the Hazard Assessment does, but I'm forced to take whatever it is or have my body burned to dust.

Agonising pain grips me as my left is sheared completely away, and with it still gripping the Elder Wand too. I spy a pink filament, tangling now that it has successfully achieved its purpose. Ribbon Severing Charm then, good aim Tom my boy, I might not have been able to pull that one off given the speeds and the erratic flight path.

Another momentous explosion rockets through the air, thaumic pressure wave slapping me across the back, and the threat posed by the horrendous magic drops away.

','

Concealing myself from detection I grumpily retrieve my separated arm, once the bleeding is staunched at least. 'That's it, I'm sick of this shit.' Voldemort is invincible, I humbly cede this world to him as unquestioned overlord, and ruler of all he surveys.

He's not that bad of a guy when you get to know him I'm sure, maybe if I kill Rodolphus I can get a Marriage Contract with Bella. She's a bit of a mess right now but thanks to the awesome plan I had, I know a bunch of purging rituals which will do her wonders, and I've seen a photograph of her when she was younger.

Two words; Smokin' Hotbody.

And Mrs. Bellatrix Aspheart, man that has an awesome ring to it.

Don't get me wrong, I've hit my new lord and master loads of times, military grade curses just wash over him like they were mildly annoying. Maybe, maybe he finds them mildly amusing. I sure as fuck would if I was the current overlord, and one of my minions was showing me a cool new trick.

I make sure to take no more air with me than necessary, and so my Disapparating crack is about as audible as my heartbeat.

I've visited many fun tourist destinations today, starting with the House of Black, then the war memorial at Godric's Hollow, for a bit of nostalgia I trudged through the Forest of Dean for a while, and then I went and swam around in the fountain in front of Potter Place for some reason, I honestly couldn't tell you why.

I took a stroll to visit my new friend Healer Stanhope, I didn't know him in the old timeline, and he yelled at me while he was restocking my potion supplies, apparently the budget for the next two months Skele-Gro has been used up and he thinks I have something to do with it.

Glad he doesn't know about Roberts yet, but the man used to be my boss, I couldn't help it.

So now I've appeared here, right in the middle of Tottenham Court Road, in plain view of all the Normals. I ignore the two people who find a person appearing out of nowhere odd, and then the few more people who seem to think a man carrying his own severed arm is strange.

No, I don't care about the Statute of Secrecy, these fools are going to be wiped out by my master any day now. I'm sure of it.

I stride authoritarily into a building with a sign on a black background with red boarder, and written in bold golden letters proclaiming the establishment 'THE TOTTENHAM.'

"Pint of Carling please." I smile cheerfully at the attractive barmaid as I set down my arm on the bar.

It's not all that long past noon, but this is a Saturday so there are a few people here, and they all seem to find me fascinating for some reason. Oh, that's right, I'm wearing robes, and I have a declaration patch on my arm which is in the form of a Griffon and Serpent, and the thing is Animated, and maybe the bloodstains and cuts and things are unusual, and maybe carrying what is clearly my own severed limb around with me is something of note.

When she asks for the money I realise I don't have any on me, not a problem, I whip out my wand, not that one, although she is quite attractive, and conjure a neat stack of crisp twenty pound notes. Those of you using pieces of paper printed by a privately owned company as currency, should perhaps rethink the wisdom of your actions.

Taking a deep drink I let out a satisfied sigh, "You guys all know that magic is real, and that there is a whole society of witches and wizards living amongst you in secret right?"

Ordering a second drink I get on with reattaching my arm. "Magic?" one of them eventually asks.

"Yep. Magic wands, cauldrons, curses, I even own a broomstick called a Cloud Pine on which I fly around the countryside. Magic is great, did you know we have a potion that can cure AIDS for the equivalent of twenty or thirty pounds?"

Arm back on I down a small potion, which tastes horrible, so I'm forced to chase it by downing my second pint. I order a third but take my time with it because stomach is feeling a bit bloated.

"So are witches all ugly hags with warts on their noses too?"

"Not at all my good man, the love of my life is a witch, and the most beautiful creature in creation, her parents are arseholes though. She always tells people they are dentists, because everyone always just goes, 'oh, that's nice' before moving on to the next question."

I kick back after casting a cushioning charm on the barstool, I'm actually having a great time. I outline how I'm a boy hero, and I'm fighting an evil wizard, and telling all about the war, and about magic. Honestly, why don't people do this more often, it's great fun.

Eventually it's time to leave. I thank the attractive barmaid, and leave the stack of twenties on the bar. Then I speak in a loud, carrying voice "Right Ladies and Gentlemen, this has been a publicity stunt for a new movie 'Harry Potter and the School of Magic,' remember to look out for it in the upcoming months." I vanish from sight with the Cloak, and then across the sands of time.

One last time.

','

"There will be seven Harry Potters moving through the skies tonight..." – JKR

June 22nd 1996: Forest, Behind Greater Hangleton
Mission Clock 06:52, 12:40 Off-Sidereal Time

I think I'm starting to get into it. It's fine, this is just like all the other times you've gone toe to toe with some powerful wanker. It's just the same, only faster, and harder. All you've got to do Harry is up your game a bit.

I went with Dual Wand Duelling again, though I heavily dislike doing it with the Deathstick because it makes me feel like a fiddler crab, all weighted down on one side, there is no balance there.

I gave up all pretence at defence for a while, just to mix things up, both trading huge numbers of curses as we clash and swoop around one another. I was using Priori Incantatem to good effect for a while there. I even landed a Gravity Banner which was awesome, ten times gravity and hitting the deck with an acceleration of 98 meters per second squared; caused quite the dint I can tell you.

This is my last shot, toss the dice and watch them fall, no more second chances. Hell, this is my seventh chance, and only now do I feel like I'm getting any traction at all. Not much of an improvement, but it's something.

Oh, no. I'd groan if I could spare the energy, or my mouth didn't taste so worryingly like copper.

Fiendfyre.

I hate Fiendfyre. Why did he have to use Fiendfyre? Can't we go back to playing with Demon's Light, that was fun, I remember it distinctly, I was having a blast.

And wouldn't you know it but I'm trapped too, lying in a nicely placed crevice far from the 'Null Point,' and positioned just right so I can't attempt to escape, or outrun it. Even if I thought I could outrun it. This is just perfect, I'm going to get consumed by fucking Fiendfyre, and there is sod all I can do about it.

Well, I had a good run, had two amazing girlfriends, before they both died, had a bunch of kids, before I killed them all. Things could have gone better, but then again they could have been a lot worse too.

'Potter, shut the fuck up.'

'What? I'm meeting my death with grace and poise, it's the civilised thing to do.'

'I said shut the fuck up. You're Harry fucking Potter for crying out loud, are you really going to go down this easily?'

'Easily? You're mental, nobody I've ever heard of even comes close to this guy. Merlin and Janus himself would get boot stomped even if they were working together.'

'Harry, do it.'

'What?'

'You know what.'

'No.'

'Do it you insignificant fuck, do it.'

'Fuck you, No!'

'...'

'I'll set up a ménage à trois with a French Veela and a classically beautiful English girl.'

'That is a pretty good motivator Harry.'

'Do it.'

'...'

'Fuck it, why the hell not.'

I take the Hallow of Antioch Peverell in my right hand, I have a few moments as the flames race toward me. This is called the Deathstick for a good reason, it's escorted more people through the Veil than any other wand in history, and it is no stranger to what I'm about to do.

Exhaling I begin to carve. I've said it before, wands are just portable ways to carve runes, and wandwork for the most part is about getting the runes out there, fast and accurate.

I'm carving into the very fabric of the world, creation itself, digging furrows into the universe and forcing it to my ends. This is a particularly vicious looking rune too, signifying destruction and chaos. Blasts of fire hotter and stronger than any seen on this side of death, all jagged edges and pain filled malevolence.

Sub-audibly I verbalise one word, a word in no language the human race knows, but is widely speculated to be one of the few remnants of long dead Atlantis:

"Az-Reth"

I unleash Fiendfyre.

','

What they don't tell you in stories, is that when the sexy young hero is doing some sexy young hero stuff, he's scared out of his fucking mind. And holy gods in heaven but I'm only about one second away from literally shitting my pants.

The first instant was the hardest, we were each smacking the other down, a fight for control on a knife edge, while deep in the throes of a hurricane of mountainous proportions. But that makes it seem easy.

It wasn't, I assure you.

Fiendfyre is sapient magic, sapient as in, alive. Not just intelligent but a real living thing fashioned from the chaos and destruction of magic and the universe, let loose by none save fools. It's coved by the Interdict of Merlin, and the first time I saw it, unrestrained and lethal, was from a seventeen year old named Vincent Crabbe, and why in the name of all that is evil someone would teach it to him, I will never understand.

The first instant was the hardest, but the second was not much better.

Eventually I find myself on top, foot on its neck and a bolt through the head. Complete and total domination, no quarter; you're mine now bitch. The fight is not over of course, it's never over, one instant of weakness, a bare fraction of a moment and it'll be on me, the temporary equilibrium will be gone and the battle will begin anew.

The indistinct magical flaring coalesces into familiar forms and they charge toward my enemy. Funny to think only seconds have passed since I decided to die, feels more like centuries.

Black forms deep as pitch, all with wild insane eyes wreathed in poisonous green, a Ridgeback, a triad of Phoenixes, and a swarm of tiny Fae. Commanding the liquid destruction I once more take to the air, spying a stygian Nundu wrestling with a red and gold Graphorn, until the latter's head bursts in a wash of dissipating heat.

Intent focused solely on the consuming destruction of my adversaries living magic, I feel an incredible pull on my magic, and a rippling in my core. I know a trick, not something many people learn for obvious reasons, but I know how to overload my core. The Big Finish it's called, going out in a pyre of apocalyptic fury, the name is apt.

An instability in my core is not a good sign, it's what you aim for when you're playing your last card, but I only want to keep the Fiendfyre flowing, so I focus internally, stabilising the runaway magic.

A golden Chimera is ripped from existence by a midnight Phoenix and a team of Fae, as the sapient blackness coalesces to overwhelm Voldemort's puny fire. 'You wanted Fiendfyre Tom, don't be a pussy when someone else is playing in the big leagues.'

All my fyres burst and reform into thousands upon thousands of Pixies, Thestrals, Imps, and Abraxan. Thousands more all splash themselves like the waves of the North Sea onto the cold hard shoreline of Scotland, winning, defeating him utterly.

I demand the fyres dissipate, and they do so at my command. Immediately.

Okay Lord Voldemort, meet Harry James Potter.

','

Mad-Eye, Luna and I have been working together pretty well. We've been here for about forty minutes, ever since the battle in that graveyard. I had split the team so it's only us three, then sent the rest to patrol between me and the leader of those Auror's on the North-West corner.

Not much has happened, no attacks, nobody going berserk because they are under the Imperius Curse. It should be boring.

It's not.

There is this huge magical presence two or so miles from here, and there are intermittent explosions which, if we can hear that loudly from here, must be immense. The exact location of these blasts, I have concluded, keeps changing. They are never in the same place twice. Apparently this has been going on for around a full hour, though we missed the start because we were distracting the Death Eaters and killing a snake.

Suddenly it's like the amount of magic in the air cascades in both power and intensity.

The colossal surge lifts me fully from my feet.

','

That's it isn't it. It's so obvious, I can't believe it took me this long to work it out. It's like I've known it the whole time, only never acknowledged it.

All the magic I have mastered, all those Spell-Chains, Dual-Wand-Duelling, Wandless Magic, and Precision Casting. All the destructive spells covered by the Interdict of Merlin. The years of experience gained working with the ICW and as Director of the MLE. My mastery of powerful magical items.

They all come together and match this person, this threat. Ritual enhanced body, colossal magical core, and total lack of morality. I equal it, that's what the Oracle meant. Sweat Merlin's ghost, I'm equal to an Immortal in the finest traditions of old.

It's something I heard once long ago, a saying of sorts; 'what do you want from life; a shot at the title, or a seat by the band.' After I finished school I quit, I didn't want to play anymore, too much fighting, too much struggle. So I did, I kicked back and just let everything slide, all I'd ever wanted was to have the quiet life really, fun and relaxation; in short a seat by the band. But my negligence let the wars start, and I lost so very much.

Screw it, I can't let what Dumbledore did to me fuck up the world. You want a fight Lord Voldemort, fine. I'm taking you out, because the Title, the Belt, its mine.

Although I don't notice it my magic flares to never before seen levels, I don't come up with a plan, I don't need a fucking plan. This Dark Lord is going down hard, and he's going down now.

Both wands in hand Phoenix and Thestral start unleashing spells, I don't even bother thinking about which ones, everything just drops away. It's just me, and the magic. And boy, is the magic eager. It leaps across the gulf and smashes into whatever the threat puts in its way. Harrowing speed, hammer strokes of power behind it.

Intent and magic focused to a single objective; stop this person.

It is not malicious, or nasty, any dark magic used has the intent to save fuelling it, and the thunderous hellstorm of force crashing toward him is all-consuming, enough to engulf even this mighty foe.

Voldemort does not last long.

','

"He's still alive!" I explode a disbelieving laugh.

How in the name of-, how, just how?

He's not very alive, I suppose that's something. Only has one stump, not even a full arm, both legs are gone, the eyes have popped, and the neck is broken. But it's lying there on the soft mossy floor still somehow alive.

My Display gives me some advice, and with a shake of my head I grab what's left of the self styled Dark Lord, and fly at breakneck speed to the Null point. Loudly cracking to my office, give me a break I'm tired, and this is the closest Apparition point to my destination. I race toward the lift and hit the button for Level 9.

Muzak is playing.

There are two kindly, almost elderly women sharing a conversation.

"Afternoon." I nod with exhausted politeness. What else could I do? My entrance didn't even slow their conversation.

Muzak is playing, in all its muffled, one-speakered glory.

A fucking agonisingly long two minutes passes, and I think Voldemort is beginning to recover. I sprint down the corridor, toward the room with the rotating doors. "Death Chamber!" I roar in desperation, and they rotate at my command.

Yep, definitely beginning to recover.

I can feel wiggling, as I pitch him with the last of my strength through the Execution Veil. The instant he crosses the border between this world and the next I think it's finally over, and a concussive wave of force takes my legs from under me.

I'm heading for the arch.

Everything goes dark.

','

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord..." – JKR

June 22nd 1996: Ministry of Magic, Level 2, Magical Law Enforcement, Medical
13:33 Sidereal Time

"Harry is dead"

"What? No!" Hermione sounds devastated. I'm quite glad I made such an impression in only a few days.

At least I'm not at Kings Cross again, that would be embarrassing, the universe implying I have like no imagination.

"Yes, he is dead and there is nothing you can do to stop it little girl."

Although knowing my luck I'd have guessed I'd end up in at Heathrow or a Portkey Terminal or something.

There is a scuffling "Get the hell out of my way, I am going to kill him." I feel a weight across my face, and I find it difficult to breath. My eyes crack open and in a horrified burst of realisation I figure out that someone is trying to smother me with a pillow. I struggle weakly but I've had a very hard day and I don't have all that much strength left in my body.

Eventually I have someone come to my rescue and remove the assailant, one who turns out to be an incensed Astoria Malfoy.

"Where exactly in the plan did it say 'challenge Albus Dumbledore to a Duel in front of the Wizengamot' can you answer me that Harry, where did it say to do that?"

"I needed to capture my wand." I answer perfectly reasonably.

She is not in the least bit happy with this statement. "And why exactly could you not have done one of the five easier methods of claiming the wand? 'Expelliarmus' in the back for example."

I just roll my eyes "Never one to study much wandlore were you Astoria. The method of the taking is very important." She's being all ridiculous and stuff. See she even looks like she's about to have an aneurysm, mental.

"Okay Harry, fine. Let us say I buy that, which I do not for one minute by the way, but let us say that I do..." I'm just nodding along in a benign and grandfatherly kind of way "...Did you not promise, multiple times in fact, that unless you have a very good reason to do otherwise, your first choice when fighting Voldemort would be to set up an ambush at 'The Ossuary.' You would have fifty people slinging spells at him, remember?"

"I may have, but who's to say Amelia would even let us use her Ancestral Home."

"YOU DID NOT EVEN ASK!" she screeches at like five million decibels.

I judiciously refrain from commenting on her lack of decorum "And in point of fact I did actually have a good reason to fight him on my own, and not use an ambush."

"If you say what I think you are going to, I swear I will not be held accountable for my actions..."

"People would die in an ambush, doing it on my own would prevent extra loss of life."

She takes three, long, slow, deliberate, breaths. Then takes a final deep inhalation, filling her lungs to maximum capacity.

"XXX-XXXXX-X-XXXXXX!"

There is a bit of a silence before I make a sound.

"You kiss your husband with that mouth Astoria?"

"I am going to kill you Harry."

"You're just like my annoying Phoenix, he never lets me do fun things either."

','

Eventually she calms down enough to start acting reasonable and I ask "Okay I'm alive, fine. I never seem to die anyway, but how in the hell are you all alive, and furthermore, how are you all here?" I notice she takes a bit of time deciding if she's going to answer me or not, before she seems to come to the right decision.

"You know how true prophecies create a fixed point in the timeline, one which will always happen even if, because of the wording, we do not understand exactly what happened..." Yeah, she's gone over this enough times "...And I found that knowing, or not knowing, your own prophesy creates kind of a firm point which is similar. And I used that to get you back earlier."

"Yes. I woke up in the Department of Mysteries four days ago when the true wording was denied me."

"Only four days? ...Not too shabby." She says it grudgingly, but any praise is rare from the woman.

"Well after I sent you back your body looked like it had been kissed by a Dementor, it kind of lay there and did not move. And saying as we were all still alive, I surmised that it had worked and I had separated the trousers of time so that history where we were would stay on course down our leg, and history where you went would go down the other leg, and hopefully change for the better."

I kind of wince, this isn't going to be good.

"Trousers of time?" the people in the room ask as I refuse to make eye contact and start rubbing my temples.

"You did not tell them that did you..." it isn't really a question.

"Shut up Astoria" I uselessly plead.

"...trousers of time was the only explanation our big damn hero over there could understand. Out of curiosity how did he explain it?"

They look to one another before replying "He, he talked about node branching points, parallel timelines, and alternative causality."

Astoria just laughs "None of which he understands at all. He was probably saying it that way because using such a silly metaphor ruins his credibility."

I attempt to move onto more productive line of conversation "None of this is explaining how you're here though is it?"

"It was pretty easy if you are as attractive and talented as I am..." Humble, that's the way to describe Astoria. Though she does talk about Arithmancy concepts that even other Masters don't fully understand "...I used a faint connection between your body in the old universe, and the sixteen year old thing you are wearing now. You know, I believe you are taller."

"I am, three inches. Keep explaining."

"Oh, certainly. I used the connection and created what is best described as a portkey, though it is nothing of the kind, and squeezed us through a very small space between one universe and the next. Incidentally the overpressure wave threw you into the walls of the stone archway, knocking you unconscious, and we were forced to bring you up here for treatment."

Hmm, okay that makes a kind of sense. I do have one question though "So why did you come through now, no part of the prophesy said anything about my killing this Dark Lord, it only mentioned my needing to remove the Scar Horcrux."

She ponders for a while "Yes, that is strange, I was expecting to come through the instant you removed it. Perhaps ensure you followed the plan I outlined for you a little closer than you actually did." That last came out a bit hard.

Frowning young Sirius chimes in "Maybe it was the line 'marked as an equal,' not only was that designating you a Horcrux, but by killing Voldemort you proved a second meaning?"

Prophesy is always like this, all speculation and no goddamned facts.

"Fuck it, let's go with that. Anything else?"

"At least we do not have to experience the Balescream."

','

The way I see it there are two types of friends you get in life, there's the 'Yeah whatever, so long as it doesn't inconvenience me' type, and there is the 'Oh my gods, you killed him. But don't worry, I'll hide the body and lie to the police' type. Unfortunately Astoria is one of the latter. I say unfortunately and you might get a bit confused, the latter is clearly better isn't it? No it friggin' well isn't! Because the latter type can do all kinds of shit that most of your friends can't, and you'll forgive them anyway.

Astoria and I basically hang about in the same social circle, she was always screwing with my plans for the Wizengamot, we went to the same highbrow functions, she was on the Hogwarts Board of Governors, hell, her son married my daughter, so we'll soon have to fight over who gets to be the worst influence on our collective grandchild's life.

Back to the present, Astoria Malfoy has just said "At least we do not have to experience the Balescream."

And that isn't a good word. You can't just go around using words like Balescream. I can't stand idly by and have people going around using words like Balescream in my presence, it set a bad precedent.

"Balescream?" I say flatly, very, very flatly.

"Do not worry about it, it is not going to happen now that we are here."

The thing about words like Balescream, is that they just yell out, at the top of their lungs, badness. A whole world of badness, on top of malevolence, on top of someone having just kicked you in the groin.

Balescream is not going to be a happy word.

"Humour me."

"Well, when I was doing all the Arithmancy to get you back in time, I found that there was a really unlikely eventuality that I did not think you would wish to know about. It was incredibly unlikely, so it was nothing really to worry about, around one in fifty at worst."

I calmly accept this explanation, then calmly ask "Just out of interest, what is this incredibly unlikely eventuality?"

"Erm-," Oh, she said erm did she? Astoria, the woman who never stutters, or finds herself at a loss for words. "You see, there was this, really, really, low possibility if the old universe was destroyed, then when you got back up to the end of August 2038..."

I'm forcing more effort into my trademark glare than I ever have in my life, and I even get Astoria to blanch, which is quite the accomplishment as the woman is notoriously immune to The Gaze.

Rallying she continues "...You would get back up to the end of August, when you were throwing your little hissy fit and calling my brilliant plan 'such a stupid idea,' you get back there, and then creation itself would kind of scream out in agonised pain, and sort of unravel. Destroying absolutely everything, everywhere, ever. Maybe unmaking everything that has ever happened in all of history."

I now have a word which I dislike even more strongly than Doom; Balescream. I knew when she said it the first time, it was not going to be a happy word.

"I'm going to make you pay. Right after I revenge myself on Fawkes, I'm going to make you pay."

"Yeah, what you going to do? I was in Slytherin remember, and you were not. There is no way a 'Harry Potter guaranteed' plan is going to fly, not when stacked up to my planning abilities."

I don't care, I'm going to make her pay. This is now a very high priority.

"And you didn't tell me because..." I say leadingly, even though it's totally obvious.

"You would not have gone through with it if I had. Tricking you into doing the dangerous part was always the best way to further my plans. You make a very accomplished patsy Harry."

"I am so totally going to make you pay." She just rolls her eyes.

I hate my friends.

','

"He was constantly surprised, even after all these years how these little things made the two women so happy" – Clell

June 22nd 1996: Ministry of Magic, Level 2, Magical Law Enforcement, Medical
13:52 Sidereal Time

"Is there any good news?"

"Rose gave birth about a month ago." That gets my attention and I gracefully leap out of bed, crashing into a cart of medical supplies. I guess I'm more tired than I thought. Extricating myself I head for the auburn haired woman mentioned, and snag the thing in her arms, incidentally body-checking Rose into falling on her arse.

At her complaint I state "You poison my line with that of the Malfoys what do you expect. What's the little demonspawn's name by the way?"

"Circe" Astoria chimes in amused.

"Circe; hmm has a nice ring to it I suppose; The Dark Lady Circe Malfoy."

"My daughter is not going to be evil." Rose explodes indignantly.

"Not with that attitude." The woman is right.

"I wonder if it has any decent anagrams..." I muse as Rose just glares at me, Scorp is hiding his own amusement from his wife, clever lad "...Foamy Circle, The Dark Cleric Foamy... Nar that's silly. The Fay Cleric of Om, she'd have to name her evil base 'Om' though, I suppose that could be a problem. What the hell is a cleric anyhow?"

"That's it, give me back my daughter."

"Never in life, I must give aid on her inevitable path to evil."

She chases me around the room for a while with me sternly refusing to give her daughter up. I have, or at least had as many of them died, eight children. Many of them dying was less than good but the little dash between the two dates on their gravestones is what matters.

So I have eight children, and a massive swarm of nieces, nephews, grandchildren, godsons, goddaughters, and close family friends all with their own. You can probably guess I'm pretty good with kids. Anyway, the trick I worked out is to intentionally ruin their lives, rather than have it happen by accident.

It's also far more fun when you do it on purpose.

"Hermione save me from this irritating banshee, come hold your not quite granddaughter." Everyone finds this scene hilarious bar the near apoplectic redhead, who looks as though she'd be slinging hexes had I not been holding her precious bundle of evil.

','

"Have you seen Neville?" Astoria asks walking into the room.

It's been a little over a day and things are calming down.

"Yeah, I know! It's been bugging the crap out of me since I got back."

I've been thinking since the fight and I'm incredibly glad I didn't kill everyone, I would have missed them, maybe even Astoria.

"He's young, he's fat." she says incredulously.

Standing behind and out of her line of sight Neville hears this. His confidence plummets visibly, and a look of horrified self loathing crashes over him. I hastily reassure my friend. "Sorry mate, but you can't see it from our perspective. We're used to seeing Neville fucking Longbottom, world renowned Herbologist, and Greater Daemon slaying super badass. Who has two wives, and can walk into any room on earth confident in the knowledge he is the scariest person there. It's dead jarring to see you this young."

"What? Two?" clearly confused, probably still recovering from the unexpected, and needlessly harsh comment.

Astoria asks me "Did you tell anyone anything at all Harry?"

"I left a couple of hints but I was going to let them work stuff out for themselves." She just frowns at me.

"Yes Neville, Hannah Longbottom continues the Longbottom line, and Susan Bones the Bones line, simple. Do not get yourself twisted out of shape, you know full well your Grandmother had a sister wife before you were born."

Astoria may have a soft spot for me but the woman has a multitude of sharp, dangerous, and pointy spots aimed directly at the rest of the world. Was there really any need to tell him that, the guy has not even turned sixteen yet, I was going to try and get him a practice threeway with those two Slytherin girls he took down last time.

"Anyway, did you get any news?" I ask

"Other than a story about you on the front page of a Normal newspaper I believe is called the Sun, Yes. Your little duel caused a category four magical event."

Hermione perks up, and I respond "Really? That's badass."

"It was that event which, not only was it felt by Magicals in northern France, but caused a Lay Line shift. Consequently the line going through Somerset has been altered." She seems annoyed by something.

"What's category four?" The brunette enquires.

"Thaumic surge, the destruction of Stonehenge's magic was category four" I answer distractedly.

"The Lay Line going through Somerset is the same one which goes through Wiltshire."

"Oh that's too funny. Malfoy Manner?" at her nod I burst out laughing, even ending the war early I still annoy the Malfoys.

"Indeed." Oh she's not a happy bunny about this, but you gotta admit it's a classic.

"Lighten up woman, things are going great. You want to see the fight? I had the MLE Pensieve brought up just to watch it." Thirteen people, the maximum capacity, gather round and dive into my memory.

A little over an hour later we all stand around looking at each other

"Sixty-two minutes, damn."

"I can't believe you said that Harry." Hermione is just looking at me like I'm a nutter.

"What? If you'd looked closely you'd have noticed I did actually wince at the ridiculous quote right when I said it."

Neville doesn't get it but that's understandable, so Hermione repeats my words "He said; 'You can't win Dark(th) if you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine' ...which has to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life." I really am just as bad as those damned Independents sometimes, but in my defence I had just finished trying to drown myself in the fountain out front of Potter Place.

"What I wish to know is, what did you do at the end? I have never heard of anyone becoming so much more powerful in such a way."

"I did the Big Finish." She crosses her brows slightly as she knows what I'm talking about but doesn't understand "It just came to me when I was using the Fiendfyre, I cracked my core, although I didn't use it all at once, instead I drained my reserves gradually for those last three minutes."

"That is one of the most dangerous things I have ever heard."

"Yeah, I knew I could pull it off though, just knew y'know? I'm not going to do it again, I think it was mostly fluke and circumstance."

"You should have died in the attempt."

"Is that concern I hear in your voice Astoria?"

"Do not talk so outlandishly Harry."

','

"Did you get one?" I ask my once and again love.

It has been two weeks and I've finally recovered enough to get back out doing things, though the case of magical exhaustion I had is being written up as an article in Healing Monthly.

"I got two."

Things are going to be good from now on. All those Diviners blaming me for failing to bring about a thousand years of peace following Dumbledore's meddling in my life have given me enough motivation to see it doesn't all end in Doom again.

"Two, how?"

"I robbed a museum." Well that would work.

"Are you sure Harry, I mean I understand in a logical way but are you sure, sure?"

"Did you enjoy the library Hermione?" From the look on her face I don't need a verbal answer "...This is the Fleur version. We only have to do it the first time, but you have to trust me." She gets a bit of a dreamy look and I continue.

"Okay, make sure we've got everything. Shock Lance?" "Check"

"Length of chain" "Check"

"Dart gun" "Check"

"Running shoes" "Check"

"Two Traditional Veela Wedding Sacks" "Check"

"And what did I tell you to remember most." I demand with authority.

"A Veela is dangerous, and it is a flight risk. Just because its in the Sack doesn't mean I should neglect putting in the boots."

"Good girl."

Our crack is louder as it is an international Apparition. It marks the beginning of what I hope is going to be a better life.

','

"...he was finally home" – Deadwoodpecker

October 23rd 2133: City of New Mombasa, East Africa
18:34 Sidereal Time

Standing on the balcony of my apartment with two beautiful women I'm watching the sun set, backlighting the newly completed Orbital Elevator. It's quite the picturesque scene.

My life really has been incredible, but you don't want to hear about that, you want to know what happened to everyone else.

Well for the most part I don't really want to get into it. For instance I have no clue what happened to Snape, I have a secret fantasy that his bloated syphilitic remains were found having been drowned to death in a toilet by one of his Johns, but I really don't know.

I can hope though.

My Boggart changed, seems finally casting Fiendfyre had gotten me over that particular phobia. Unfortunately they now resemble Ginny. Not this Ginny, last timeline Ginny, this timeline's one is actually quite sweet, even though I'll probably never get over my gut level reaction on seeing her.

Anyway, Ginny lives with her lab assistant, and back in the thirties they decided they wanted kids. She tracked me down and shyly asked for a donation, apparently I'm the only guy she knows who she could bring herself to ask. Molly eventually convinced me to agree, although the first batch I gave her had far too much saliva in it to be useful.

Circe didn't go evil despite my best efforts, and she pretty much ignores everything I say. She didn't like her anagram, told me there wasn't enough demand for evil, and even learned how to turn into a snake. Silly girl, it never helps.

While we're on that I had some other super good news. In this timeline I'm an Animagus, kickass ritual side-effect, no more taunting from Hermione for years on end about how she is an awesome otter Animagus, whereas I can't so much as transform into a hamster. Fleur gave birth to her first nine months after I learned that, what can I say, I was wicked pleased.

Albus died of old age, and Perce stroked out in his seventies while making love to his wife. Feigning sadness at Perce's funeral was hard, not only was his demise so damn funny, but he'd somehow gotten Audrey pregnant again. Classic Perce.

No, the interesting one is Ron.

You'll never believe what happened to Ron. And I mean Ron, as in Ron Weasley, not one of the other Rons you might know.

Well he must have done some soul searching or something, because he decided to take me up on my offer. Somehow he just barely got the grades required to make it into the Academy. He must have been working with a group a lot when studying. This was one of his major flaws back in the old days, he couldn't work in groups because he always turned into a prat if he didn't get his own way. But he must have dealt with it enough to study with others and get high enough marks.

So I keep my promise, and even though he doesn't talk to me more than absolutely necessary, he does become one of my Aurors. And I put him on the fast track like I said I would. He then quits as soon as he achieves Senior Auror and moves to South America.

About ten years later, he does one of those classic princess rescues. Dragon guarded castle, high tower, the whole thing. And the woman he rescues, who is actually, honest to gods, a princess, marries him. She had a super normal sounding name too, like Mary, or Sue or something. And the only fact I know about her, is that she is a Magical Animagus taking the form of a Unicorn.

Go Ron!

I always, totally didn't suspect, he had it in him.

Basically the family just got stupidly huge, and we spent far too much time coming up with new and interesting ways to amuse ourselves. It's been great, I can't help making my once and again comment out loud.

"All is w–"

"I want to ride on the back of a Nundu." The beautiful brunette blurts in to interrupt my train of thought.

"You want to what?"

"Oui, a Nundu. We 'aven't done that before 'ave we?" The equally beautiful blonde agrees, ignoring my question.

"We could get a late night portkey to Egypt tonight." The brunette continues.

Mulling it over for a moment I add "I like it."

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