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A/N: And the next chapter! Thanks again to all those who are still following this story and leaving your thoughts. You guys are so inspirational!

Like the last few chapters, this one also has music paired with it. If you’d like to listen while you read along, the song for this chapter is “Rebels Attack” by James Newton Howard from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). Again, if you feel like listening, the moment to start playing the song is cued in the chapter.

*WARNING: SENSITIVE TOPIC CHAPTER*
This chapter contains sensitive topics and may contain emotional triggers, particularly regarding pregnancy, violence, and death. Read at your own discretion.




Previously:


As James’ body hit the ground, Harry and Norah let out pained screams of defeat. And Parker fell to his knees, seemingly overwhelmed by something he couldn’t explain.

Norah cried out in agony and bolted through the towering flames to James, but when Harry heard the thud of Parker’s knees hitting the ground, he opened his eyes through his sobs to appraise him.

Parker was in apparent pain. He latched onto his chest with one hand as the other sprawled out against the grass to keep himself somewhat upright. “What the hell…?” groaned Parker in pain.

Norah reached James’ body then and collapsed to her knees by his side. Sobbing, she gathered his body into her embrace. She ran her hands through his hair, pushing it out of the way so she could look at his closed eyes and surprisingly peaceful expression.

Frantically, she began to feel for a pulse. She pressed two fingers to his neck, hoping for a pulse. When she felt none, she trembled and let out a gut-wrenching sob.

She didn’t know if he would come back to her. All she knew for now, though, was that he was truly dead.




“Arise with a brave heart and destroy the enemy.”
The Bhagavad Gita, 2:3



On his knees with his hands splayed across the grass, Parker continued to contort in pain, sucking in desperate breaths as he tried to fathom what he was experiencing. He groaned as he tried to ignore the pain; he didn’t want anyone to see that he was experiencing a clear moment of weakness.

But there was no stopping that now. Harry and Norah had already noticed.

They both knew why James had done what he did and why he had sacrificed himself when he did. He did it so Parker would destroy the horcrux inside him and so Harry and Norah would have an advantage over defeating Parker. They had to take the opportunity James had given them. They had to spring while Parker was weak. They couldn’t let James’ sacrifice be for naught.

Ceasing his cries to remember the matter at hand, Harry, still tightly bound by the ropes, whispered harshly to Norah, who was still cradling James’ limp form and crying into his hair. “Norah!” he breathed quickly. “Norah! Help me.”

Sniffling and wiping at her eyes, she looked up to Harry, seeing him still struggling to break free of the ropes as he lay on his side. As she looked to him, she remembered why they were in this situation, just as Harry had.

She gathered her composure and, still holding onto James with one arm, pulled her wand from her pocket and pointed it at Harry. In a soft whisper as to not catch Parker’s attention, she freed him. “Relashio.

The ropes sprang free of him, and Harry scrambled to his feet, snatching his wand from the ground.

Parker was still on his knees and rubbing his chest as if that would soothe his pain, unaware of Harry and Norah close to him. So with Parker still off-guard, Harry ran in with a mighty wrath he hadn’t expected.

Gritting his teeth in pure fury at the death of his son, he swiftly kicked Parker in his side. The force of the kick sent Parker from his knees and onto the ground, where he rolled onto his back and clutched at his side with a howl.

“I won’t let you hurt anyone else,” he hissed.

He raised his wand, prepared to strike, when he was unexpectedly tossed into the air and thrown back. He landed with a deep groan. He rubbed his hip as he sat up and looked to who had interfered.

He saw Pansy moving to stand next to her son. She had clearly awoken after being knocked out by Norah and was ready to defend her son. She looked fearful for Parker, having noticed how something had severely hurt him and weakened him, but shining greater than her fear was an unwavering look of achievement and determination.

Harry watched her eyes move to Norah cradling James’ body, and her lips tugged up into a smirk.

He shook his head as he watched her, and it ignited a new determination within him. He raised his wand and shouted, “Stupefy!

Before it could reach them, though, Parker managed to climb to his feet and shout in retaliation, “Protego!

Harry’s spell was deflected and crashed into the rubble beside them.

Then both Parker and Pansy began shouting strings of spells at him, moving forward and closing in on Harry. Harry deflected each blow or narrowly dodged the blasts. With each curse, he felt his muscles weaken as he continued to fight them.

Norah, seeing Harry’s struggle, released James’ body with a reluctant tremble but climbed to her feet and ran to Harry’s side to aid him. She joined him in fighting off Parker and Pansy.

The four of them cast blow after blow, sending spells flying in all directions, shattering stone and scattering the rubble. The Aurors some distance behind them continued to fight off the towering fire that dared to consume them all—Auror and Death Eater alike. With each passing second, the fighting four grew weaker as the Aurors extinguished more and more of the fire.

Reducto!” shouted Norah with her wand directed at Pansy.

She deflected the blow and instead retaliated. “”Diffindo!

Weakened and tired from the duel, Norah was unable to dodge Pansy’s spell. It struck her chest with full force, and she stumbled backward and let out a pained scream. A large gash had cut itself diagonally through her face, splitting part of her forehead, her nose, and across her left cheek. A second cut had gouged itself through the center of her chest, trying to split her in two. She clung to herself as she stifled her cries, one hand pressed against her bleeding cheek and the other to her chest as if she could hold herself together at the seams. Red filled her vision as blood rolled down her forehead and drenched her clothes.

“Norah!” Harry shouted wildly as he watched her retreat into herself in her pain.

She sank to her knees and curled into herself, putting pressure against the parts of the cuts she could manage in an attempt to slow her blood loss. Still though, she looked to Harry and managed in a stutter. “I–I’ll be okay.”

Harry turned back to Pansy and yelled with ferocity. “Impedimenta!

In her gloating, Pansy was ill prepared for Harry’s attack. So before she could react, the blast struck her in the chest and rendered her immobile for the time.

With Norah incapacitated and Pansy immobile, Harry turned back to Parker and breathed. “Let’s finish this.”

Then they were once more a fighting mess of relentless spells and jinxes, each desperate and determined to end the other.

In the midst of their fighting, abandoned beneath the rubble, Clancy gave a stir and blinked rapidly as she came to. She groaned and sat up, pushing off the chunks of rock that had come to rest upon her. There was a loud and incessant ringing in her head followed by a throbbing pain. She rubbed her temples to try to soothe the pain and was shocked when her hand came away bloodied. The rubble must have scraped her, but she paid it no mind. She quickly became aware of the chaotic scene around her—the demolished manor, the fire the Aurors were rapidly trying to extinguish, a woman—who Clancy could only assume was James’ girlfriend Norah she had heard so much about—drenched in blood and cradling herself in pain, Pansy standing nearby as if still as stone, and Harry and Parker dueling with great intensity.

And then…

Her eyes came to rest on James, lying limply off to the side, his body devoid of all life. His eyes were closed, as if only in sleep, but Clancy knew. With one look, she knew.

He was dead.

And she was overwhelmed with sorrow and torment at the sight of him. Sobs clenched in her throat as her heart sent aching pangs of anguish through her bones.

Why him? Why James? Why did he have to die? He had always been so good to her, so kind. He had given her solace and answers when her world had been turned upside down when she became what she was now. He was the only one who knew how to help her.

She bit her lip to stifle her cries and looked to Parker as she remembered the answers to her questions. He was why. He had yet to notice that she had awoken and was instead still fighting off Harry.

Turning back to James, she crawled over to his body and took him into her arms. With trembling hands, she pushed his hair out of his eyes and took in his empty expression. He was just a shell now—a shell of what he once was. His light and his goodness, which Clancy always believed seem to radiate from him even when he was troubled or angry, was suddenly gone, leaving behind only a hollow emptiness and the memory of him.

They sat together on a couch in her apartment. He had answered her house call after she had given a prophecy and had a particularly violent seizure. She was scared and confused, unsure of what all the changes that she was going through meant.

But James had soothed her fears and promised everything would be okay. Everything would fall into its place, and change could be good.

His voice had been soothing and forced all fears from her mind. They sat close, and perhaps all James had meant by the closeness was to be a support system for her, but his words and his closeness ignited a spark in her. They shared something only the two of them could share.

So, when they fell into a consoling silence, she turned into him and pressed her lips to his. He was surprised, caught off guard, and quickly pulled away. He pressed the back of his hand to his mouth as he looked to her in surprise.

“I–I’m sorry,” she stuttered out, looking to her lap in shame. “I know you’re going through a break up…”

“It’s okay,” he whispered, not necessarily validating her actions but instead concerned for her wellbeing.

She sat there in quiet shameful silence as James watched her carefully. Then something changed in his eyes, and he reached out, grasped her chin between two fingers, and pulled her in for a kiss.


She would savor that night for the rest of her life. She knew that he had only returned her kiss and that they had shared their intimate night because they were what the other needed at that time. She needed someone who understood her and who would care for her without thinking she was a great freak. She needed someone who understood her pain and confusion. And James had needed to feel as if he were irrevocably cared for after being so hurt and betrayed. And so they had been what the other needed and had made love and sought solace in the other in the unspoken understanding that it would never happen again.

But after that night, Clancy had never quite been able to shake him. Just as he had needed that irrevocable feeling, he had managed to find an irrevocable place in her heart.


*BEGIN “Rebels Attack” by James Newton Howard*
From The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)



As tears clouded her vision, she continued to hold onto him. She cradled him, running her hands along him, but she stopped when she felt something firm within his pocket. Perplexed, she reached in and felt her fingers wrap around something long and slender. She pulled it out and looked to in in surprise.

A basilisk fang.

Of course, basilisk venom could destroy a horcrux, and she remembered when James had been after when they had first arrived at the manor. He had tried to take the locket from her.

Now she put it together. He wanted to destroy it, and he had the means with him to do so.

That was when she was struck with a second epiphany. She took his hand into her own and turned it over in hers to see the scar on the inside of his wrist blazing and oozing fresh blood. She knew then what his death meant.

The horcrux he had told her about.

If James was dead, did that mean the horcrux was gone? Had that part of Parker been destroyed?

She had a deep sensation of clairvoyance that the answer was yes; that part of Parker had been destroyed.

She looked to him, still fighting off Harry with malice engrained in his expression and every move. Then she turned her gaze to Harry himself, evidently growing weaker and weaker as the duel commenced. She looked to the Aurors, who had nearly extinguished the flames but were still in mortal peril, and to Norah, still suffering and cradling herself.

All these people. What lay ahead for them if Parker were to defeat Harry? Parker surely wouldn’t allow survivors. If Parker won the day, then every innocent life among them would face their death. And Clancy would have to live with that guilt for the rest of her life. And would Parker even stop here? He had promised he would cease his cruel ways after the Potters were defeated, but a part of her didn’t believe him.

Could Parker be defeated, though? Could all these lives be spared?

It dawned on her as she realized Parker could indeed be defeated and all these lives could be spared.

The only thing standing in the way of Parker’s defeat…was herself.

Her breath catching in her throat, she looked down to Parker’s second horcrux about her neck, and with a trembling hand, she lifted the locket from her skin. She could feel it thumping within her palm.

She began to panic. Parker’s fate, along with everyone else’s, was quite literally in her hands.

She could make this right. She could correct her past mistakes and poor discretions in staying with Parker and enabling his malicious plan. She could fix this. She could help Harry and the others. And she did love Parker, in her own strange way, but she knew she was wrong to. And although she did love him, a part of her would always fear him and would feel as if she were being held back by him. But she could escape him. She could have the life she deserved. She could raise the baby safe from its father’s cruel ways.

She could do it.

She clutched the locket, feeling it thump wildly within her palm, and she closed her eyes.

“I can do this,” she whispered to herself.

Then her eyes shot open. And she had made up her mind.

She looked to Parker, who had just cast the Cruciatus Curse on Harry, and she trembled, whispering into the locket. “Forgive me…”

Then she yanked the locket from her neck and set it on the ground. She gripped the basilisk fang tightly and looked to Parker one last time. He still had Harry on the ground, torturing him cruelly, and such a sight only reaffirmed her decision.

She shook her head at him, grimacing and blinking back tears. Then with a newfound determination, she raised the fang high above her head and struck the locket with all her might.

Suddenly, several things happened at once and chaos ensued.

Parker released his curse on Harry, leaving Harry to pant on the ground in pain, as a burst of black material emerged from the locket, knocking Clancy back, and dissipated into nothing. Parker fell to his knees with a yelp. He dropped his wand with a clatter and clutched at his chest, and as the Impediment jinx Harry had placed on Pansy finally dissipated, she let out a wild scream at witnessing her son’s pain.

Parker cringed and trembled in pain, shock, and fear. He knew then what he was feeling, so he looked about desperately. And his eyes came to rest on Clancy.

He saw her there with the fang tight in her grasp and the locket destroyed before her. Tears streamed down her cheeks, but there was no sign of remorse. He choked at the sight of her, feeling pain and betrayal course through him. “Clancy…” he breathed. “H–How could you…?”

He choked on his sobs then, but they weren’t sobs of physical pain but of the treachery he had never expected of her.

Pansy continued to scream, and she bared her teeth in anger. Quaking with her fury, she began to scream. “NO! You bitch! He trusted you! He TRUSTED you!”

Parked scrambled to his feet to interfere, willing his strength to return so he could protect her.

Clancy looked to Parker’s mother, petrified by her rage. She scrambled back on her knees as Pansy raised her wand and let the words fly without a moment’s hesitation. “Avada Kedavra!” she screamed.

The blast of green light left her wand engulfed Clancy whole. She was tossed into the air and landed in a heap, gone.

Parker stopped in his tracks as he saw her body fall to the ground. At the sight of her limp form, he felt a stronger and deeper pain than he had felt upon the destruction of his horcrux, even deeper than the pain he had experienced when he realized Clancy had destroyed a piece of his soul.

That pain kindled something darker and deeper within him, something he didn’t think he would ever subdue, and he was convinced in that moment he would live in that pain and darkness forever. It was a deep, pure, and undying rage.

He turned on his mother and let out a wail of agony. “NO! Nooo!

And then he didn’t think. All he could see was his blinding rage.

He ran forward, snatched the dagger he had previously threatened Harry with and abandoned, and lunged at his mother. “She was pregnant!!” he screamed in desperation.

He only briefly saw his words register with his mother. An expression of regret suddenly came over her, but Parker didn’t care. It was too late for regret now. Regret wouldn’t bring his girlfriend or his child back to life.

He caught her about the shoulders, and his forearm went around her neck to grab her in a chokehold. He forced her back to his chest. She couldn’t speak; she only cried. She seemed to know what lay ahead of her as Parker menacingly clutched the knife with one hand and held her prisoner with the other.

And in one swift movement, he cut through his mother’s neck.

She released one quick gurgle before she went forever still, and Parker released his grip on her. She sank to the ground in a heap, and Parker dropped the knife in surprise at what he had done.

He stumbled back from his mother’s body, convulsing in pain and terror. He rang his hands together with anxiety, and he shook his head, beginning to moan over and over. “No…” he sobbed as his tears began to stream steadily down his cheeks. “No, no, no…”

“No…Mum…” he cried softly to himself, regret pulsing through him. He cowered and turned to look to Clancy, also dead and limp on the ground. “Clancy…No…W–Why…”

He let out a cry and spun around. The scene surrounding him had stilled somewhat as the onlookers grew appalled at Parker’s actions. The Aurors had successfully put out the fire and were standing in still shock. Even the Death Eaters, captured and on their knees, were bewildered into silence. Norah knelt on the ground, panting, and Harry shook his head at him, his expression going from one of disturbed bewilderment to one of belligerence.

“You are truly a monster…” Harry muttered.

Parker turned to Harry, his tears ceasing. His pain and self-loathing grew, and as it did, he found that he couldn’t even cry anymore, and he was shocked at himself when a chuckle emerged from his throat.

“I guess you win, Potter,” admitted Parker as he raised his arms in defeat. He shrugged, and a laugh burst from his throat, loud and deranged. “You win.”

“You killed your own mother!” seethed Harry to him. He couldn’t even begin to fathom why Parker was laughing in that moment. Pansy had been a ruthless and selfish woman, but she hadn’t deserved to die—least of all at the hands of her own son in such a cruel and violent way.

Parker only continued to cackle, and his tears ran down his cheeks once more. He slapped his knee as if life were truly hilarious.

Harry shook his head once more and ran at Parker. He grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and shook him, even as Parker continued to laugh. “Stop laughing! You could at least show the dead some goddamn respect!”

“Why?!” he howled in Harry’s grip. He looked Harry in the eye and shook his head, rolling his shoulders nonchalantly. “Nothing matters anymore. They’re dead! You win!”

Harry shook him again and then startled even himself when he swiftly punched Parker. He hadn’t expected to react in such a way to Parker, to strike him after seeing him so destroyed, but his laugh and his words had triggered something within Harry.

“I win?!” retorted Harry, his voice somewhere between a choked sob and a shout of fury. “You killed both my sons! I lost my boys because of you! This was never a game!”

He let his fists fly again, and this time the strength of the punch knocked Parker to the ground. He landed with a thud on his back and didn’t even try to stand up. Instead, he just rolled on the ground with deranged laughter escaping his throat and tears rolling down his cheeks.

With him on the ground, Harry jumped on top of him and began throwing punch after punch until he no longer knew if the blood on his fist was from Parker’s nose or his own bloodied knuckles. But beneath it all, Parker never stopped laughing. It turned into a strange mix of desperate sobs and wild laughter.

“Harry!” he heard Norah cry out somewhere in the distance. “Harry, stop!”

“Just kill me,” chuckled Parker beneath Harry’s fists. “You’ve had your fun. Kill me already.”

Harry ceased his punches and pulled out his wand, pressing it against Parker’s throat. He shook his head and stood up from Parker and backed away, never lowering his wand.

“Kill me!” Parker demanded.

“No,” hissed Harry. “You don’t get to die. Not after what you’ve done.”

Kill me, please!” shouted Parker, and this time, his laughs ceased and were replaced with true cries. “I have nothing left…Please.”

Harry was prepared to deny his request once more. He opened his mouth to speak, but from behind him, another voice emerged. “Avada Kedavra!

The jet of green light washed over Parker, but not before Harry saw his eyes close in relief. When the blast dissipated and left behind Parker’s dead body, Harry looked to see who had intervened. And he was met with a strange sense of joy and shock.

It was James.

He stood with his wand raised and a saddened expression etched across his face. He looked to his father and spoke calmly. “He has suffered enough.”




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