It began as another ordinary day. The students rose from their beds and prepared for the day, brushing teeth and combing hair and donning robes and preparing for the bi…bil...bilge rat… that was Umbridge. They trudged downstairs and sat down at the House tables in the Great Hall, chatting about the horrible DADA teacher and the lovely weather outside.
Then the front doors exploded.
As students cowered under the tables, Voldemort strode into the castle through the smoke and sawdust, still as snake-like as ever. His Death Eaters followed behind him, terrifying the living daylights out of those who believed he was back and giving near-heart-attacks to those who didn't.
Three people, however weren't affected. Harry Potter was one, of course, and the second was, predictably, Albus Dumbledore.
The third, though, was Dolores Umbridge.
"Very quaint, Mr. Potter," she said in that sickly-sweet voice of hers, "However, totally irresponsible and tasteless. This little illusion of yours isn't fooling anybody. Detention for two months."
"One! Not an illusion. Two! Pretty sure, if it was, it would have fooled everybody," Harry listed angrily, then finished, "Three! Dragon."
"What?" Umbridge asked in confusion, but then a dragon crashed through the stained-glass window behind her and swallowed her whole.
"Ukranian Ironbelly. Nice," Harry said approvingly to Voldemort, and the Dark Lord smirked at the compliment as the entire school paused in their panic to cheer at Umbridge's demise. Sadly, she was coughed up a second later by the now-sickly-looking dragon.
"What?! Why did it spit her out?!" Voldemort yelled angrily, but Harry placed a placating hand on his shoulder before anything could get out of hand.
"Don't worry, it's not the dragon's fault. That's Dolores Jane Umbridge it tried to swallow," he explained grimly, and the Dark Lord looked at Harry in astonishment. He flicked his gaze back to the pink-clad woman, then finally looked up to the dragon.
"A month's vacation with extra food for the dragon!" he snapped to Bellatrix, who was standing at his left, and she nodded vigorously before stepping away to mutter to an underling.
Voldemort returned his attention to the students, gazing around at the general panic in the Great Hall, then remarked to Harry, "Amazing how utterly useless most of them are."
The DA were valiantly battling some of the more spell-happy Death Eaters, but mostly everyone just cowered under tables or pushed other students in front of them.
"Indeed," Harry remarked dryly, then smiled a small, pleased smile as Rabastan was sent flying backwards by a spell from Parvati Patil. Voldemort glanced at him, then over at the witch.
"Your handiwork, I take it?" he asked curiously, and Harry nodded proudly.
"Definitely. The toad wasn't teaching us anything, so my friends organized a little…study group. We called it Dumbledore's Army, partly to pin the blame on him if anyone found us out and partly because nobody else could come up with a decent name," Harry admitted, smiling sheepishly.
"What were the other names?" Voldemort asked, and Harry snorted in amusement.
"The best one they submitted out of the lot was the League of Valiant Exemplars Magnificently Undermining Fudge's Fiscally Indoctrinated Neanderthal."
Voldemort blinked, then said carefully, "A bit wordy, isn't it?"
"It is. Plus, I don't think anyone would take us seriously if our name was L.o.v.e.m.u.f.f.i.n," Harry said in a tone that was usually reserved for talking about the weather.
Voldemort grinned hollowly and admitted, "I was trying not to say anything."
Harry laughed quietly, then said, "Well, I think this has gone on long enough."
A dozen small fires had started throughout the Hall, more because of the panicking students than the Death Eaters, and indeed, the DA and Death Eaters were helping each other put out the fires trapping some of their colleagues.
"I agree, though these instances of two opposite sides working together are…heartening," Voldemort said with a smirk.
"Indeed," Harry replied, then yelped as Greyback picked him up from behind. He flailed a bit as the werewolf casually meandered over to the wall, finally settling down to a silent fume as the man hung him from a hook. "Classy," Harry snarked down at him with a sneer, though he was trying not to smirk in amusement.
"I try," Fenrir replied simply.
Then the werewolf stiffened as a spell impacted with the back of his head.
He turned around, ever so menacingly, to glare at a distressed Hermione Granger. "You leave him alone!" she cried desperately, pointing her wand at him, and though his friend was in danger, Harry merely anticipated what was going to happen and groaned out pitifully.
"Oh no," the boy whimpered.
The werewolf advanced slowly on the witch, forcing her to take three steps back for every one step he took, and then he was towering over her with a murderous air. He paused long enough to let Harry groan out an, "Oh please no," turned to grin at him, then took a breath and started to sing.
"I'm malicious, mean, and scary," he sang, "My sneer could curdle dairy. And violence-wise my hands are not the cleanest!"
He reached out to casually push a sixth year to the ground, then continued, "But despite my evil look, and my temper, and my hook!" with a coat hanger held up his left hand, then finished, "I've always yearned to be a concert pianist!"
He waved his wand to conjure a piano, then sat down and started a jaunty tune.
"Can't you see me on the stage performin' Mozart?" he asked rhythmically, "Ticklin' the ivories til' they gleam?"
He ran his hand up the keys, showering a flummoxed Hermione with bits of ivory, then continued, "Yes I'd rather be called deadly, for my killer show-tune medley!"
He ran his hand up the keyboard again with a loud, "Thank you!" then finished, "Like everybody else, I've got a dream!"
The rest of the Death Eaters turned from the various duels they were engaged in to chime in, "He's got a dream, he's got a dream!" then fell silent as Fenrir piped up, "See, I ain't as cruel and vicious as I seem!"
He ran his hand up the keyboard a third time, slapping a passing Peter Pettigrew with the back of his hand, then continued, "Though I do like breaking femurs, you can count me with the dreamer. Like everybody else I've got a dream!"
The citizens of Hogsmeade were extremely confused to hear a faint, "Laaaa la la la la la la la la la la la laaaa!" coming from the direction of Hogwarts.
Peter Pettigrew finally sat up, dazed and confused from the almost-punch to the face, then decided to follow Fenrir's lead as the werewolf growled menacingly at him. "I've got scars and lumps and bruises…well something here that oozes…and let's not even mention my complexion!"
He tugged his shoe off and, counting off on his fingers, continued, "And despite my extra toes, and my goiter, and my nose, I really wanna make a love connection."
Most of the girls, and a few of the boys, 'awwww'd at the confession.
"Can't you see me with a special little lady?" he asked hopefully as he conjured a rowboat, Dobby sitting across from him with a pink umbrella, "Rowing in a rowboat down the stream?"
He started rowing the boat down the aisle with a spell, then continued, "Though I'm one disgusting blighter, I'm a lover, not a fighter! Cause way down deep inside, I've got a dream!"
Voldemort, if you were wondering, had assumed a flat expression in an effort to escape the idiocy surrounding him.
"I've got a dream (he's got a dream), I've got a dream (he's got a dream), and I know one day romance will reign supreme!" Pettigrew sang heartily, sending Dobby flying around the Hall with the spell used to enchant Bludgers. The poor House Elf careened around for a few moments, then flew full-tilt into a deadpan Harry Potter.
"Though my face leaves people screaming, there's a child behind it dreaming!" Pettigrew expressed, ignoring the irate fifth-year on the hook, "Like everybody else I've got a dream."
Random Death Eaters from around the Hall began chiming in now. "Crabbe would like to quit and be a florist!"; "Goyle does interior design!"; "Snape is into mime!"; "Lucius' cupcakes are sublime!"
"Alecto knits, Amycus sews, Dolohov does little puppet shows!" they finished together, and then Pettigrew stood on a table and sang flowingly, "And Bellatrix collects ceramic unicorns!"
The witch in question gave a lazy flick of her wand, sending Pettigrew flying through the air and out the shattered window.
Greyback turned to Harry exclaimed, "And what about you?" and Harry raised a skeptical eyebrow.
"I'm sorry, me?" he asked.
"What's your dream?" Rodolphus asked curiously, but Harry waved his hands in front of him in protest.
"No no no, sorry fellas. I don't sing," he said with a dubious expression.
Then he found around fourteen wands pointed directly at his face.
"I have dreams like you, no really!" he shouted hurriedly, then improvised, "Just much less…touchy-feely. They mainly happen somewhere away from you barmies!"
Waving his arms around in a pitiful excuse for dancing, he continued, "In a quiet house I own, tandem, rested, and alone…" pausing here at the Death Eaters' expressions, then finished with a smile, "Except, of course, for my large and loving family."
"I've got a dream!" Voldemort suddenly sang out, Harry turning to regard him in surprise as wild cheers broke out from the Death Eaters, "I've got a dream! To let you all know that I'm not really what I seem! And with every passing hour, I'm so glad I returned to power. Like all you simpering fools, I've got a dream!"
"He's got a dream!" the Death Eaters chorused triumphantly, "He's got a dream! And so our differences aren't really that extreme! We're one big team!"
With a whispered spell, Greyback sent Harry flying through the air in a graceful arc, the raven-haired boy flailing for a moment before landing in the arms of one Tom Marvolo Riddle. During the raven's flight, Voldemort had removed the glamour that had been erected shortly before entering the castle, and so it was a very handsome face and grinned down at Harry with amusement and…something else, something that made the young boy blush heavily.
Without another word Voldemort turned and began walking out between the destroyed front doors, while his Death Eaters continued singing behind him. Strange though…
While his grip was loose, Harry didn't try to escape.
"Call us brutal!" Rookwood shouted, followed a moment later by Rowle with, "Sick!"
"Sadistic!" Macnair suggested, and Peter followed up with, "And grotesquely optimistic!" then they all chimed in with, "'Cause way down deep inside I've got a dream!"
They began backing slowly out of the Hall as they chimed in one by one, "I've got a dream!" "I've got a dream!" "I've got a dream!" "I've got a dream!" "I've got a dream!" "I've got a dream!" "I've got a dream!" punctuated with an insane laugh from Bellatrix. Then, with a wave of someone's wand, the shattered pieces of the front doors began rising into the air, spinning slowly.
"Yes, way down deep inside we've got a dreaaaaaaaaaaam!" they chorused loudly for the big finish, the piano accompanying them all by itself, and with a loud bang the front doors repaired themselves.
Nobody moved for quite some time.