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September 1, 1997 

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry 

Scotland, U.K.

 

Harry Potter stood in the almost deserted Great Hall.  Albus Dumbledore’s death at the hands of a member of staff had been the final nail in Hogwart’s coffin, as it were, and the school was now closed.  Harry, Neville, and Luna, being heirs to Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw had defeated Voldemort’s claim on the school as heir of Slytherin and it now stood as the last place of absolute safety from the dark lord.  Over the summer holiday, Harry and Hermione, after convincing not only her parents, but Molly and Arthur as well, to take an extended holiday abroad, had worked to identify all muggleborn witches and wizards not enrolled at the end of their sixth year, and the school now housed what they hoped was every under-age magic user in the U.K. as well as many others who had pledged to fight on their team.  Everyone over the age of fifteen had trained hard since August first, knowing that their unwillingness to use the unforgivables and other dark magic left them at a disadvantage, but numbers, training as a group, and their desire to not see the dark win, evened the scales.  And so it was, on this foggy September morning, that Harry Potter stood to address his army.

 

“Many people have given speeches on memorable days.  The U.S. General Patton, former P.M. Churchill, and even those we are glad lost, such as Hitler.  Riddle is no doubt making a speech to his forces as well, and as evil and inhuman as he is, he is charismatic.”  Harry paused, gathering his resolve and thoughts.  “For the past month you have all trained hard, often loosing sleep and skipping meals, and for that, I can never truly thank you.”

 

“We’re ready!  Bring’em on!”  Someone shouted, bringing a smile to Harry’s face.

 

“Well, even thought I’ve not been with you, I’ve trained as well.  Someone,” he glanced at Hermione, who blushed, “arranged for me to study under some of the greatest leaders alive today.  R.A.F., S.A.S, U.S. Navy S.E.A.L’s, U.S. Marines, Aussie Special Forces, and more.  Each of them impressed the same thing on me,” he paused, standing just a bit taller, “a true leader doesn’t just send those under his command into battle, he goes into battle with them!”  The crowd roared their agreement.  “I could never sit back and wait for you guys to finish fighting.  Yes, I have to face Riddle, but it’s all of you who will help me do that, by keeping the other death eaters occupied.  Now,” he picked up a worn book, again smiling at Hermione, “I’ve also been reading off topic shall we say, this summer, and found something that I wanted to share with you.”

 

Do not go gentle into that good night, 

Old age should burn and rave at close of day; 

 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

 

Because their words had forked no lightning they

 

Do not go gentle into that good night.

 Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright 

 

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

 

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, 

 

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

 

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, 

 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height, 

Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray. 

Do not go gentle into that good night. 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light!

Harry paused after reading the poem, smiling as he saw his friends and family standing taller, ready to face their next challenge.

“I would love to say that no one will be hurt, that no one will,” here, his voice broke, but as Hermione took his hand, he took a breath and continued, “die.  I wish with all I have for everyone to come back after this battle safe, uninjured and alive, but that is a fool’s hope.  You all know that solid objects block the killing and cruciatus curses, and most of you can throw off the imperious.  If you see someone under the control curse, remember, stun only.  The death eaters don’t know our stunner, so they can’t wake us up, but they might kill their pawn, so be ready to block that too.  Now, before we go out to meet our foe, I have one final thing to say, though I cannot take credit, it is at least a fellow Brit who said it first.

Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war!

“Well, are we going to just sit here, with the enemy at the gates?!?!?”  He roared.

“No!!”  The crowd answered.

“Are we going to let them win?!?!”  He challenged.

“Never!!!”  The crowd roared in response.

“Who’s world is this?”  He challenged.

“Everyone’s!”  They answered.

“Then let’s go!”  Harry thundered, leading the charge from the castle, and into the battle that waited.

 

When the dust cleared, not a single fighter for the dark remained.  Unknown to them, the dark mark they gladly and gleefully wore tied them to Riddle’s fate, ensuring their death with him.  The light, though every loss stung like a poison dagger through the heart, had fared well, losing only ten fighters, with less than a fifth of the survivors requiring more than a quick visit to a healer.  Harry paused as he looked at Percy, Remus, Hagrid, Snape, Ernie, Dean, Blaise, Roger, and two people he barely knew, tears streaming down his face.  The battle had raged for almost sixteen hours, with the death eaters trying to flee more than once, but finding themselves first trapped by their own wards, then by the wards erected by the light side.  It was a week later, with Harry and his army having finally accepted they couldn’t escape the political arena, that the Wizarding World gathered to honor the fighters, with all of the dead, and most of the living, receiving the Order of Merlin first class, the rest second class, before Harry stood to speak.

“When I spoke on the morning of the battle, I urged my friends to rage against the dying of the light, before I cried havoc!  and let slip the dogs of war!”  He smirked internally at the confusion evident on many faces.  “We fought not for fame, not for money, nor for awards.  No!  We fought for the freedom we deserve!  I promised my fiance’ that this would be short,” some chuckling was heard at this, “and as I plan to take a holiday, and will refuse any attempt to get me into the Minister’s office before I’m forty, I want to publicly endorse Arthur Septimus Weasley, the most honest, caring, noble, and incorruptible man I know for the job.  Although, he knows I wish for all sentient magical beings to be equal, and I hold the Ministry and the Wizengamot accountable for doing this.  We need to not snub, but embrace the different parts of our world, or it will only be a few years before we see another person like Riddle rise.  All of this said,” here, Hermione approached, smiling as she hugged him, “I’m going away for a while, but I will be back, and I can only hope and pray it’s to a world I can be proud to hand to the next generation.”


Chapter End Notes:

As much as I'd like to say this is "up for adoption", so many people have written this that I cannot even say the "base idea" was mine, just wanted to write my own "Harry gives a speech reminiscent of Patton/Churchill/whoever" story.

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