Minerva McGonagall lay recovering in the infirmary. The battle for Hogwarts had not really been a battle at all. Once a hundred or so Death Eaters suddenly appeared in the middle of the school, even the most stubborn fighters gave in fairly peacefully. Voldemort gave a reassuring speech that he would continue to utilize the school as a educational facility for young wizards, and, to demonstrate how forgiving he was, allowed them time to mourn their losses and treat their injuries. Harry didn’t believe a word he said, and probably neither did anyone else, but since the only resistance anyone was offering was a bit of muttering here and there, his sincerity hardly mattered.
“Nevertheless,” Harry mused to himself. “We’ll have to get the school in at least some resemblance of its former self. If we don’t pacify them even a bit, they’ll rebel eventually. And that’ll be annoying.”
Once he’d left McGonagall unconscious, Harry relied on the invisibility cloak to get around. There was so much satisfaction to be had by revealing himself as the betrayer, but too much to gain by keeping himself a secret. He wasn’t quite sure where Voldemort was at the moment. His speech and come out as a disembodied voice reverberating through the walls of the school. However, Harry had at least a good guess where he might be.
The door to the headmaster’s chamber was completely clear, there were a few Death Eaters on guard here and there in the hallway, but of course, none of them saw Harry pass.
It was most unusual to enter without a password. The paintings were down and facing the wall, and the ghosts within them were probably surveying the damage downstairs anyway. Voldemort was standing with his back to the door, admiring his new territory. Seeing that no one else was in the room, Harry removed the cloak.
“Nice view,” he commented. Voldemort was not at all surprised to see him suddenly appear; he didn’t even turn around.
“Did anyone else see you?” he inquired. Harry shook his head.
“She will not be a problem,” Voldemort said coolly. Harry raised an eyebrow.
“You invaded her mind?” he asked with curiosity.
“I invaded it, yes, but there was no need to change any memories.” He paused, looking quite pleased with himself. “Poor thing. She’s completely convinced that I must have somehow possessed you, or else created an illusion of you. She’s holding onto the hope that you’re still alive somewhere.” This news was both a comfort and an annoyance to Harry.
“So I have to stay hidden?” he asked, a bit glumly.
“Is that a problem?”
“No, I suppose not,” he replied, folding the cloak in his arms and placing it in a nearby velvet chair.
“Tell me,” he said quietly. “Does the elder wand work for you?”
Voldemort was clearly taken back by the question, and clearly irritated at Harry for asking it. Harry might have been the only Death Eater he would actually protect rather than kill, but it didn’t mean he tolerated being questioned. Harry would have to try and remember his place a bit better.
“Sorry, of course it does,” he said, lowering his eyes. Voldemort said nothing but took out the so-called death stick and played with it delicately in his fingers. Just the way he had toyed with it moments before Snape’s death.
“No,” he finally said with hushed anger. “No, it does not.” Harry soon realized that Voldemort was not merely turning the wand around in fingers. He was pressing into it with all his strength, attempting to calm his fury with its repetitive turns. “I do not understand… why? I took it from Dumbledore. I murdered Severus for it. Why will it still not obey me?”
Harry sympathized with the frustration in his voice, wondered the same thing. He tried to think back over Snape’s memories – the very ones which had awakened him. The moment he pulled his head form that Pensive, his entire perspective had changed. What was it Dumbledore had said about the wand? He wanted Snape to kill him personally, not Draco. He had meant for Snape to be the owner of the wand, then? Harry still wasn’t sure if the wand needed to pass by death. Wouldn’t it simply change alliance because the previous owner was disarmed… And if that was the case…
“Snape wasn’t the owner,” he said, so quietly that he was surprised Voldemort heard him.
“What did you say?”
“I said Snape wasn’t the owner…” Harry was pacing now. “I can’t believe I didn’t realize it. Draco… Draco disarmed Dumbledore before Snape killed him. And I disarmed Draco back at Malfoy Manor…” He stared into the serpent like face, barely believing his own conclusion.
“I can’t be…”
“You?!” Voldemort hissed. He turned and gripped his hands on the desk that once belonged to Albus Dumbledore. With one clean motion and a yell of frustration, he turned it over. Papers went flying everywhere and the phoenix in the nearby cage trembled and cawed. Voldemort breathed heavily looking at the mess on the floor.
“You… you…” he was muttering over and over again. Even as his ally, Harry Potter was still getting in his way.
“You don’t have to kill me to take the wand,” Harry reminded him. “You just have to disarm me.”
This seemed like good advice apparently. Voldemort quickly reached into his robes and drew his wand. But Harry was just a moment too soon. He dodged as the Expelliamus spell bounded past him.
“Stay still!” Voldemort hissed.
“It doesn’t work like that!” Harry reminded him. “It can’t be arranged! Unless you take my wand despite my will to keep it, it won’t change its alliance!” Voldemort seemed to be looking around the room to find out if there was another table he could turn over.
“Come on,” said Harry, hoping to calm him down. The room probably could only take so many fits of his rage. “You’re the strongest wizard in history. A few duels and even though I want the wand, I won’t be able to keep it from you.”