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Harry Potter and the Drill of Rationality

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"Hermione and every member of Team Gurren believes in me. The me that my Bro believed in, the me that I believe in, isn't possibly gonna lose to the likes of you!"

Lagann's wand continued to fire Piercing Drill Hex after Piercing Drill Hex at Lazengann's head and torso, trying to break anything that would free the smaller mech from the larger armor's talons.

The drills of white light from Lagann's wand - no, Harry's wand - flashed towards the Headmaster, spinning with an urgent purpose, only to be intercepted again and again by the phoenix. The anti-magical bird protected its puppet, blocking shot after spinning shot. But Harry could see it faltering, and the Magical Meter in Lagann's cockpit twisted even higher; Lagann's shots brew brighter and brighter. Each one now lit half the sky, casting a cone of shadow where Fawkes intercepted.

But this time the bird was blasted out of the sky, falling sans life or control. In the cockpit of Lazengann, Dumbledore's beard curled around his dissatisfied grimace.


Lazengann stayed as it had, clutching the tiny mech in one gigantic hand. Dumbledore climbed out of the magical mechanical monster and walked down its torso, defying gravity, his robes and beard whipping in a wind only they felt. "I should've known I couldn't trust a Gunmen to do the job!"

His ancient hands pulsed with new power as they latched onto Lagann and threw it from the air. It crashed onto the flat roof of a tower, and with a terrible roar the Mugwump leapt after it, punching, kicking, smashing it against the weathered flagstones of the tower top.

"Enervate," whispered Hermione, and Harry realized that he had been unconscious, half in Lagann's cockpit, his cheek and arm resting on the roof of the tower. Dumbledore towered over him.

"I haven't had this much fun in a long time, dear boy. Now, back to the Muggles with you." Dumbledore lifted Harry by the hair, pulling the boy up so the teacher could look his pupil in the face one last time.

"Harry!" screamed Hermione, seeing one opportunity, and Harry, by coincidence or telepathy or sheer chance, grabbed his wand from the mech's Magical Meter as Dumbledore dragged him from the cockpit.

Dumbledore held aloft the thinnest boy in Gryffindor, a mess of cuts and bruises and skinned abrasions, his eyes burning with a fire that would never go out.

Harry pulled his arm back and thrust, his wand jumping across the space between them, through the screaming phoenix that appeared in a flash of flame to save its minion, through all of Dumbledore's purple silk and gilded embroidery and into the wizened chest. "The Elder Wand!?" gasped Dumbledore in surprise, and then Harry twisted, and the world went white like the surface of the sun.

Dumbledore still stood. The stars twinkling through his chest cavity declared the fight over.

"I see," began the old man. Bits of ash drifted away from the hole in his chest. "Your magical power has oustripped my own."

He laughed, and another flurry of flakes fell. The features of his face arranged themselves into a sadistic grin.

"I will leave you with this warning.

"When the land comes to be overrun with ignorant wizards that reach for the sky, the moon shall become Hell's messenger and destroy the world of Magic." It was not the voice of prophecy. It was the voice of cold, dead, personal experience, and its weight caused all who heard to stop in their boots, except Hermione.

"Father!" She ran to the ancient wizard, reaching for the man she could think of only as her father, her hands outstretched to grab his beard, his robes, anything that would prevent his backwards slide. But Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore tilted backwards, and backwards, and slid off the roof of the turret, falling down until his shadow passed through that of another tower, and did not reappear.

"Father!" she wept into the midnight air. Did he fall into this tower, or that? There were too many towers, this high up, more than could be seen from the school's lawns. Harry stepped up behind her, not sure if he should -

"Farewell, Father," she said at last. She stood, and on her face she wore determination itself. "I will head on towards tomorrow."

Harry looked at her with his one good eye, trying to figure out what his friend would do next. In answer, the tower shook underneath them, and began to fall. They scrambled across the roof, and then the outer wall of the tower, trying to get closer to any part of Hogwarts that would stand still, when Harry gave up and called out to Lagann, and they flew to a safe distance to watch the uppermost towers of Hogwarts fall from the clouds and into the lake.

Zabini, in the suit of magical armor called Gurren, finally dropped the control wands and fell back into the seat. From his vantage point atop Hagrid's hut, he watched as a roaring crowd of students and teachers, and more than a few Ministry personnel, cheered. Harry and Hermione glided to a landing at the front step, of the school, where the Headmistress was waiting with open arms.

Zabini looked out across the new face of Hogwarts. Its lawns were charred, and the Ravenclaw tower didn't look quite right, hanging upside-down from the castle wall, but he supposed it could be fixed. The black of night was turning to the pale pre-dawn light, and suddenly he could see the fallen towers, rising from the lake like a new aquatic fortress, with the Squid already claiming one.

Dawn broke, and the fete was launched in earnest, with kooky banners flying above conjured trestles, where the elves were already beginning to lay out a feast of food and potions. Ron was waving a giant banner with Harry's face on it, and above it all stood Harry, his arm wrapped around Hermione, next to a Susan who still flickered with shields.

Harry loked, and saw Zabini climbing up and out of Gurren, onto its pauldron. He waved, and Zabini waved back. So, too, did half the crowd, and every time Harry tried to count, the crowd got bigger. Fireworks had appeared from somewhere, and were lazily drifting through the dawn sky.

"Hermione," began Harry, and he found that he didn't know where to go from there.

"It's okay," she said, and squeezed him a little tighter with the arm she wrapped around him. "You don't need to apologize." A dark look took her, and for a moment her brown hair closed over her face.

She straightened then, and wiped her hand across her face, putting her hair back where it belonged. If he noticed that her sleeve was wet with tears, Harry didn't mention it. Her face brightened to reflect the new sun, and Hermione Granger, Dumbledore's abandoned daughter, took Harry's hand and said, "Harry, let's go see what the elves have made!" They ran off into the throng, once again two children in a world where there were no problems.

But that was not the end of this story.