A/N: Don't own a thing, especially not HP. This takes place in a world where Harry and Co. never found all the Horcruxes. I hope you enjoy chapter thirty-two. Italics denote thoughts. Bold is for spells. The song is Queen of Argylle by the band Silly Wizard. I thought, given that this is a fairly silly chapter that band was appropriate.
Chapter Thirty-Two: Dueling Dumbledore
The duel was arranged for Friday afternoon. What was meant to be just an exhibition for the seventh-year students quickly turned into more. After all, Professor Fawkes was going to have a mock duel with Professor Dumbledore, and once news of that spread every student wanted to watch.
"It's almost like you arranged for the rumors to go around so that the largest possible crowd would come and watch..." Harry said as he left the Headmasters office with Albus.
"Perish the thought Professor," Said Albus innocently, "in an unrelated note, would you mind terribly wearing your formal professor's robes? The Daily Prophet may be coming to watch..."
"And the Daily Prophet is going to be here because?" No response, so Harry asked, "You are going to charge admission for this aren't you?" When Albus merely began to whistle nonchalantly Harry found himself wishing for a moment that this wouldn't be a mock duel.
"Come, come, Harry, we must get down to the Quidditch Pitch as soon as possible. Change and meet me at the entrance to the Great Hall." Albus said before speeding up and going past Harry.
Harry watched as he was left behind, I swear to magic itself if I get down there and there's even one souvenir table I am tieing a new knot in his beard with his saggy undercarriage. He thought as he opened the door to his quarters.
Inside, Harry found Bellatrix wearing fine black robes with the emblem of Slytherin on an embossed patch, "Hurry up and get changed!" She said, tossing him a package, "Those are your formal robes, I had Madam Malkin make a few alterations to yours."
Harry opened the package to find his black robes, with a matching Slytherin patch and the insignia of the Peverell family on the other side. "How did you even know to do- Dumbledore came to you and told you to prepare my robes didn't he?" When she nodded he groaned in annoyance and began to strip.
He was bare-chested when his door opened revealing Minerva, "Harry, I-" she stopped in the middle of her sentence as she stared at his chest for a moment before collecting herself, "I came to tell you that Lady Dorea Potter is here to see you, she said it had to with a letter you were supposed to receive...she's in the Great Hall speaking with the Headmaster." With that, Minerva turned and left the room.
"Aunt Dorea? What does she want?" Bellatrix asked him as he pulled the robes over his head. Task complete, she went to his side and began to smooth them down.
"Remember the will? I met her there and asked if the Potters would join the alliance between the Blacks and the Peverell family. She said to expect a letter from her husband Charlus, but I never heard anything." Harry replied as she straightened his seams.
"Apparently you getting ready to duel Dumbledore is a big enough deal that she wants to chat now." Bellatrix said looking him over, "So, you look ready...how do you feel?"
"I know I'm going to win. That's the whole point of this charade. I show up, we cast some spells at each other and at some point I'll disarm him." Harry began as he and Bellatrix made their way out of the room and into the hallway.
Bellatrix frowned, "It's not going to be that easy. To win the wand's allegiance, you've got to win it honestly." She took his hand, "Dumbledore knows it, so he'll make you work for that wand."
"I'm sure he will..." Harry said as the pair went down the staircase that led from his floor to the Great Hall. "I think it won't be that bad-" He stopped as he heard the murmuring from the Hall. "Sweet fancy Merlin, how many people are in there?" He asked Bellatrix who shrugged, "Wonderful, well, let's greet the fans..."
The noise, as Harry had called it, was nearly deafening when they stepped inside, it was the entire school sitting at their tables. The noise died when he and Bellatrix entered the Hall and made their way towards Albus and Dorea Potter. "Ah, Lord Peverell, we meet again..." Dorea said, offering her hand to Harry, "I am terribly sorry about the delay, unfortunately, Charlus was indisposed due to illness. He's feeling better now, once this business is concluded, perhaps we could host you and your wife for dinner?"
"That would be excellent Lady Potter," Bellatrix said to Dorea, "Uncle Charlus wasn't seriously ill I trust?"
"No," Dorea said, "Just a touch of his old gastric troubles. The potions always upset him so he prefers to let it run its course." She turned to look at Harry, "So, the story is true, you really are the new Lord and Lady Slytherin?"
Harry nodded, "Salazar Slytherin chose me himself."
That caused a dark gray eyebrow to make its way towards her hairline, "Did he? That will earn you a fair bit of favor among my cousins, nearly every Black went to Slytherin you know."
"Sirius is the only Gryffindor that I know of." Harry said, as if summoned, Sirius and Lily came over to them, "Speak of the devil..." He said to the second year, "Hello Sirius, Lily..."
"Professor, why are you and the Headmaster having this duel?" Lily asked him, she then looked at Sirius, "This one thinks you're after the Headmaster position, which I said was silly because Professor McGonagall is his deputy and-"
"It's just an exhibition. I was on the American circuit after all...the Headmaster feels that this will be an excellent opportunity to show Magical Britain just how rigorous our Dueling classes are." Harry explained, "He wants to make Dueling a full-time course after I take the Defense position next year."
"Wait, you're replacing Professor Trevyan?" Sirius asked him, "That's awesome! Trevyan is terrible."
"He is rather...exact with what he considers a proper essay." Lily amended, "If you become our new Defense instructor I see that class becoming much more enjoyable."
"Ah, Professor Fawkes, come along! We've got to get to the Pitch!" Albus said as he walked over, he'd changed into less ornate robes for the occasion; they were perfectly ordinary blue robes, at least Harry thought so until he turned around, then he noticed 'Shoot to Thrill' stitched on the back in golden thread.
Okay, so that wasn't what I expected to see...Harry thought as he was led out of the Castle.
"Hello to all of our esteemed guests!" Sounded the voice of their chosen announcer, Filius Flitwick, "Welcome to our first Hogwarts Dueling Exhibition. Today we have our very own Headmaster Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore versus our Dueling instructor, the Lord of Slytherin himself, Professor Harry Fawkes!"
The crowd roared and Harry and Albus each waved at the assembly. "At their sides, we have Professor Minerva McGonagall as the Second for the Headmaster and as the Second for Professor Fawkes we have Bellatrix Fawkes the Lady Slytherin!"
Minerva and Bellatrix each stepped out beside their respective partner. Bellatrix, Harry noticed, was eating the attention from the crowd up. She leaned in and kissed his cheek, causing even louder cheers from their audience.
"Duelists are you ready?" Filius asked them, after each man gave their assent, Filius flicked his wand and a great white circle appeared, "Duelists, please stand in the circle!"
Harry and Albus did so, as they did Harry noticed how quiet it had become, Bellatrix and Minerva moved to stand behind them. "It's a duel to a draw, so when you hear the explosion, bow and beg-" KABOOM! The sound echoed through the now still air, Filius looked over where the Caretaker was standing beside an antique looking cannon wearing a ratty tailcoat. Pringle shrugged at the look on the Charms professors face then walked away from the cannon. Filius sighed and brought his wand to his throat a final time, "Begin!"
Albus and Harry bowed quickly and then it was on. Albus struck first, "Operetta!" He shouted as a blue light hit Harry. Harry found himself with an uncontrollable urge to sing to the first person he saw, that person being Minerva.
"And if you could have seen her there. Boys if you'd have just been there. The swan was in her movements and the morning in her eyes. All the roses of the garden, must bow and ask her pardon. For not one can hold a candle to the Queen of all Argyle!"
Harry saw the reddened cheeks of Minerva and silently cast a 'Finite' on himself before sending a dancing jinx at Albus. The rosy light caught him in the knee, causing Albus to do a spirited jig before canceling the spell.
"Lovely singing voice you have Professor, perhaps you should ask Filius if you can join the Frog Choir!" Albus teased as he sent out another jinx, this one Harry dodge and sent one of his own.
As the yellow light sped past Albus, Minerva couldn't get Harry singing to her out of her mind. Operetta is a spell that causes a person to sing based on what they think of when they look at the first person they see. Does he really see me as beautiful? As much as she wanted him to see her that way, she knew that it wouldn't serve any purpose. Still, the thought of the kiss she'd given him that day playing with her mind.
Most interesting...Dorea Potter thought as she watched the duel, at her side was James, Regina and Peter Pettigrew. James pumped his fist in excitement as a spell struck the ground, turning the grass purple.
He tore away from the duel and looked over through the crowd, he saw Remus with Jane and Alexandra sitting with the Hufflepuffs. Over at the Slytherin stand, he saw Sirius and Lily beside Narcissa. Fitting that he's with the snakes...James thought, anger touching his face, an anger noticed by his aunt.
"James, I want to talk to you before I leave. I've heard from your father that you've been getting better marks in some of your classes, could it be that we have Miss Parkinson here to thank?" Dorea asked, watching a slight blush come to the quiet auburn haired girl.
James looked at Regina and smiled then to his aunt, "Regina is a whiz..."
Regina nudged him lightly, "A whiz eh Potter? Don't go sweet talking me too hard.." She said dryly before allowing a small smile to touch her lips.
Harry spun as a leg-locker curse went past him. Bellatrix was right. He's going to make me work for this...Harry decided to try something he'd learned in his old life. First came a spell to turn a patch of ground icy, then a burning charm turned the ice to steam. He pushed the burning cloud towards the Headmaster who brought up a shield before turning the steam into pebbles and shooting them back rapidly.
From their vantage point beside Narcissa, Sirius and Lily watched on. Sirius had been to exhibition duels before, but not like this. The Headmaster is treating this like it's a party game on his birthday...Lily jumped as a spell went awry and struck the barrier that the white circle had made. "Alright, Lily?" He asked her, giving her hand a gentle squeeze.
"It's very nerve-wracking, isn't it?" Lily asked Sirius grabbing his arm as another spell hit home and Dumbledore was sprouting a fine set of antlers, "That's really dangerous to perform partial hu-"
"It's a transfiguration on the Headmasters hat, not his skin." Narcissa opined from beside her, "My fiancee is a smart wizard, he knows what he's doing." She smiled as Harry conjured a red cloth and pretended to bullfight for a moment, before throwing the cloth back towards Albus and letting it catch on his temporary antlers.
Harry banished the pebbles and tried another tactic, he sent a flock of birds from his wand up into the air. As Albus was busily vanishing them, Harry sent a disarming spell at him.
Albus noticed just in time and conjured a marble slab which took the spell. He made a stabbing motion with his wand into the ground. Harry felt the ground tremble and stepped back just as a column of earth shot upwards.
Harry got lucky then, he sent another jinx at Albus. This one clipped his elbow and caused it to reverse. Now Albus' wand arm was sticking the wrong way. Harry cast his disarming spell again and this time he saw the wand fly. "Accio Dumbledore's wand!" He gave the summoning charm and watched as the wand flew towards him. Harry caught it in his hand and with that, the match was over.
"I yield!" Dumbledore shouted, a twinkle in his eye hidden from the crowds. This had gone the way he'd wanted it. "Now, if you wouldn't mind righting my arm Professor...actually wait for a tic-" Dumbledore used his arms new rotation to scratch his back, "there we are, now if you would please."
Harry used the Elder Wand to cancel the spell. With a pop, Albus had both arms facing the right way. He drew a second wand from his robes and brought it to his throat, "Professor Fawkes is the winner of the duel. He had won the loyalty of the wand of Gellert Grindelwald from me. Luckily, my mulberry wand seems to remember me..."
Bellatrix raced into the circle and threw her arms around Harry kissing him soundly, "I told you he'd make you work for it, didn't I?" They were quickly joined by Narcissa who kissed him as well.
"You did very well for yourself," Narcissa said quietly, though with the noise the crowd was making, Harry would be very surprised if someone would have heard them if they had been shouting. "Everyone watched you best the Headmaster,"
Everyone. That was the important part of this little charade. As far as the idiots that supported Voldemort was concerned, Harry Fawkes had just won the most sought-after wand in existence. They would tell him and he would make an attempt to claim the wand.
I just hope we're ready for his scrutiny...Harry thought to himself as he and Albus were led towards the cameras of the Daily Prophet.