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Harry Potter and the Drill of Rationality

Chapter Text

“Traitor! Traitors! Collaborators and profaners!”

Harry and the Defence Professor were being chased through the upper levels of Hogwarts by a group of seventh-year Slytherins. And, Harry suspected, being chased in circles.

“Professor huff what did you puff do?” Harry panted, as they ran down a very long corridor.

Sunlight flashed across the Professor’s face as they ran. A series of high windows pierced the western wall of the corridor, and the slanting sunlight from them lit the Defence Professor as he ran. Harry, being shorter, was in shadow.

Harry, being shorter, was having trouble keeping up.

“Mr. Potter, sometimes when you tell people the truth about a lie that they are vested in believing,” how in the world was the Defence Professor not out of breath, “they become quite enraged when they realize that their worldview, system of government, and place in society is based upon a lie. Turning right at the next intersection.”

“But we’ve already puff been down that huff corridor!”

“One point to Gryffindor!” In the distance, a bell tolled. “You’re paying attention. It is a useful skill.”

“Won’t we run into them?”

“Precisely.” Harry was beginning to suspect that the Defence Professor’s professed aversion to using magic was not a matter of ethics, but of restraint.

And indeed, as they turned the next corner, at the very end of the very long corridor they could see the flapping robes of the still-pursuing upperclassmen's backsides.

“Professor, what are you doing!”

“Accelerating, Mr. Potter. Do keep up.” The Defence Professor’s hand was suddenly holding a wand, and to Harry’s surprise, amazement, and alarm he found his legs eating more ground per step than they had been before.

Still running, still not out of breath, the Defence Professor tapped his throat with his wand. “MR. CLARENDON.” The students at the far end of the hall stopped. “YOU HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO THAN RUN IN THAT DIRECTION.” The students at the end of the hall began to run towards Harry and the Defence Professor.

They were still very far away. Harry was not comforted by their distance.

“And now, Mr. Potter, it has come time for me to bid you adieu.”

“What!?”

The Defence Professor yanked open a door, shoved Harry through it, and closed the door behind him.

Harry stumbled, tumbled, fell onto a large and gently musty pile of cushions.

“I’m pretty sure that door wasn’t there before.” He looked about the room. As big as the Defence Professor’s office, floored in cushions, lit with small sconces. Opposite the door, in front of Harry, a desk with a faintly-glowing small cone. It looked interesting. He approached the desk.

At this point, dear reader, you will be screaming at Harry to not touch the Powerful Magical Artifact. And indeed, if this Harry were six years older and in a different story, he wouldn’t. But, as is usual for Harries Potter in their first year at Hogwarts, our Harry doesn’t yet fear magic. He touches the cone. It glows in response. He picks it up.

A thump from the hallway door reminded Harry of the Defence Professor’s presence. The glowing cone felt … alive. Not friendly, not unfriendly. Patient. Anxious. A feeling that he didn’t have a name for but that felt like what he imagined it must be like to have a dog, or a butler. It twisted in his hand a little, with his breathing.

Still staring at this thing, he opened the door back into the very long hallway. “Professor, what’s this?”

The Defence Professor was currently standing on the ceiling, dodging jinxes that the upperclassmen were sending at him.

“Mr. Potter, that is obviously a powerful magical artifact that was meant to fall into your hands.” The Defnse Professor dodged another jinx. “I recommend that you use it to resolve the current situation. And quickly.”

“But how?” The bullies were looking at Harry now, and Harry knew what they were thinking. Dudley thought it often. “Um.”

The bullies, relishing in their newest victim’s burgeoning panic, slowly turned towards Harry.

Harry, not knowing how one activates powerful magical artifacts, held the cone out in front of him.

The green light within its metallic surface pulsed once, twice, four times, expanding and acceelerating, coursing in a moment from Harry’s hand along a spiral of grooves in the cone that appeared as the light ran through them, gathered at the point–

The bullies flinched from the green light, fearing something that Harry didn’t yet know, a primal terror deep within their magical hearts of family members falling in the night, of burning houses and writhing snakes scattered in the sky–

And suddenly Harry found himself encased in a cockpit, holding two handles, staring out through a glass-like canopy along a shining metal arm, a gauntleted hand pointing at the bullies, a finger outstretched and quivering as Harry’s hands quivered on the handles.

TUMP! The Defence professor landed on top of Harry’s artifact. Standing on the dome, he declared to the bullies, like some superhero from the Dursley’s television: “Gentlemen, put away your wands and go back to your dorms, and you will not be hurt.”

They fired curses at him.

“Mr. Potter, if there is room–” Harry jolted into a new level of panic.

“How–?” The canopy retracted, the Defence Professor fell in and onto a jump seat beside Harry, the canopy reappeared. “– do I let you in?”

“It seems you have succeeded. Their curses are splashing off of your armour, have you noticed?” Harry had not. “You have two options, Mr. Potter. Offence or defence, and standing here doing nothing is neither.”

“Bu-but-”

“I suggest you attack.”

Chapter Text

"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.

"Hmph."

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.