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Chapter 26 Snake Eyes Once again you all have the lovely Funkyturtle13 to thank for this chapter which you were all going to have to wait until the 20th to read. Remember keep reviewing, both chapters I just submitted if you want a double update on the 20th, muchos gracias, oh crap that reminds me I have to do my Spanish II homework, better go…ENJOY! By the way I didn’t edit this chapter, so sorry for any typos. * ** *** ** * “Lily dear I don’t know if I exactly like the idea of you running around the forest by yourself, I’ve been in there loads of times and trust me not everything you meet is pleasant.” Said James the next morning. Sirius was busy sitting on a log cooking some ages in a small pan over an open fire. They had transformed a very small clearing into a make shift camp ground, wanting to be close to Harry in case anything happened. “James is right you know.” Interjected Sirius as he flipped an egg over in the pan. “Oh I’m fine, I’m a fully grown witch, I can protect myself.” Lily demanded. “Yes and your also my wife and I don’t want you out there in danger.” James continued. “Alright fine, I promise I’ll come back if I get suspicious of everything and if I’m not back in a few hours you can come barging after me in some heroic rescue, but I really just need to stretch my legs for a titch and relax, it isn’t exactly calming to be stuck in a clearing with you and Sirius for two weeks, especially while you’re constantly worrying about your son who you haven’t seen in seventeen years.” She assured them. “I know,” said James sympathetically, finally relenting. He was aware how stressed out and emotional she had been feeling since they got back, and though she could deserve the break. “Just be careful and I want you back here as soon as you start to feel like something’s watching you or chasing you or anything like that.” James said. “Alright.” Said Lily letting out an exasperated sigh. “Promise me Lils,” Demanded James. “I promise, scouts honor.” Said Lily raising her hand in salute. “Ha ha, very funny, just go before you give Prongsie over here a heart attack from worry.” Sirius teased through a mouthful of egg. “Thanks Sirius,” Said Lily, “I promise I’ll be careful James,” She said one last time seeing the worried look on her husbands face, she couldn’t help but think that it was sweet. “Bye” She whispered to him as she gave him a kiss on the cheek. *** Lily had been having a very enjoyable walk around the forest and had found nothing waiting to attack her as James had suggested she would. She was starting to come to terms that she was going to have to wait to see her son, but that didn’t make it any harder as she desperately wanted to go find him and give him a hug, and never letting go at every second at every day, but she was beginning to deal with it a little better. She smiled inwardly at what she had seen in the common room when she had risked taking on her animagus form to go see Harry. She was glad to see that Harry had someone to love and that someone to love him. The whole situation reminded her of a time she had shared with James in the common room during their own seventh year, of course Sirius dousing them with water had ruined it, but nonetheless it had been a wonderful memory. She wished she could go watch Harry in her animagus form all the time, but after a few weeks ago when he had very nearly caught Sirius they had all grudgingly agreed that it wasn’t the best idea to chance glances at Harry anymore, due to the fact that they couldn’t risk being caught. Lily was about to turn back to the campsite when she thought she heard a voice from a little ways away. Feeling curious she quietly sneaked her way towards the source of the noise. Once she had almost neared her destination, she decided at the last minute that it would be safer to change into her animagus form to avoid being caught. So Lily the phoenix silently flew until she reached the clearing, if she could have let out a gasp of surprise she would have. From her perch on a near by tree she could see it all, the death eaters, the tents, the instructions. Someone mentioned a Weasley girl and Lily was shocked to see a death eater leading the red head she had seen Harry with in the common room towards the larger tent. As Ginny entered the tent, she heard a few muffled sobs and a slightly panicked sounding Ginny shrieked, ‘Harry will beat you, you won’t be able to just like you weren’t able to for seventeen years.’ Lily’s heartbeat quickened at the mention of her sons name. It made perfect sense though, why else would Voldemort’s entire dark army be comprised all at the same spot. After watching a little while longer Lily flew off away to tell Sirius and James what she had seen, as she flew she realized that it may not be that long after all until she saw Harry again. * ** *** ** * Meanwhile up in the castle Ron literally had to pry Harry out of bed. Once the latter had regained a coherent state of consciousness he was immediately met with a wave of questions from Ron. “Is something up again, are you drinking again Harry, because to be honest I’m worried I haven’t had to pry you out of bed since then.” Ron stated nervously, watching for Harry’s reaction. “No Ron, I’m just really tired, it was really hard getting out of bed this morning because I was tired, nothing more.” Harry replied truthfully as he followed Ron down to the common room. “You sure?” Ron asked again, turning to face Harry before letting him reach the final stair. “Promise,” Harry reassured Ron, “Where’s Ginny?” He asked peering around the common room looking for his girlfriend who normally met him in the common room and walked him down to breakfast in the mornings. “She’s probably already down.” Said Ron, “Come on I’m starved, I haven’t eaten since dinner,” Sighed Ron dramatically, as he pulled Harry behind him. However, when they arrived in the Great Hall Ginny still wasn’t there. Harry assumed she was still sleeping due to the long talk they had, had the night before, and the hours it had taken place at. Harry began to grow slightly more worried as Ginny didn’t show up for all of her morning classes, but pushed aside his fears consoling himself at the thought that she was just having a lay in, as they had been up talking at ungodly hours of the morning. Heck, he’s probably be doing that too if Ron hadn’t dragged him out of bed. But Ginny wasn’t at lunch either, and after employing Hermione to go check her dorm, they found Ginny wasn’t there either. Harry had immediately gone into a panic insisting that they go looking for her, where the other two reassured him telling him that she was probably talking to her morning Professors about her missed classes. Harry agreed with this idea, thinking it plausible that, that’s what Ginny was doing. But she wasn’t in afternoon classes either Harry soon found out as he questioned Colin Creevey at dinner who claimed that he hadn’t seen Ginny once since last night. “I have to go look for her now!” He exclaimed jumping to his feet and hastily pushing his way from the table. “Where are you going to look Harry,” Asked Brooke, who suppressed a smile at the thought of Harry tearing the castle apart in order to find Ginny, oh yes their plan would definitely work. “I dunno everywhere, I’m really worried no one has seen her since last night, and when I sent her back up to bed she was kind of shaky after our talk, what if she went out for a walk or something and got hurt and has no way to get back?” Asked Harry once again slowly working himself into a panic. “What were you talking about Harry?” Asked Hermione. “Well we were talking about my nightmares when all of a sudden she said she had a bad feeling about them and that she didn’t want me to die, of course I told her she was being silly and that I wasn’t going to die, but I made her promise that if I did she wouldn’t be afraid to keep living, and well it was emotional. So when she went to bed she was probably feeling the same way I was, raw of emotions.” He explained. “Harry I’m sure she just went off somewhere where she could think alone, I mean you discussed what would happen if you died last night, it doesn’t surprise me that she would be so shooken up, she loves you Harry, and I mean she really loves you.” Soothed Hermione. “And I do too, so that’s why I have to go looking for her.” He protested. “I know you love her Harry, but why don’t we just finish dinner and then we can all go look for her, we’ll get more ground covered faster that way, besides you need energy if your going to be out prowling the countryside searching for her.” Hermione reasoned. “Fine.” Harry finally relented and allowed himself to be pulled over to the Gryffindor table where Hermione tried to take on Ginny’s role as ‘Harry feeder’ only she wasn’t as gentle as Ginny was by a long shot. * ** *** ** * “I can’t believe this is actually happening.” Whispered Lily from underneath the hood of her robes. “Well we have to notify Dumbledore of what’s out there, and busting into the Great Hall, without some sort of disguise would probably give Harry a heart attack, and that would be bad considering the fact that all our efforts of coming back would be in vain, and Harry has some dark lord to defeat and all.” Said Sirius reasoning with himself, while Lily and James both chuckled nervously under their hoods. After Lily had come back that morning informing them of all she had seen including that the death eaters had Ginny the three had decided that something needed to be done. But what? They had debated over possible solutions the entire day before all deciding that it was time to make their presence known so that their warning could be spread, and the fact that the war was starting also meant that they wanted to be close to Harry and let him know they were there for him. The fact of the matter was that mustering up the courage to come up to the castle had been harder than they had originally thought they still weren’t very sure about Harry’s reaction, and were all very nervous to see the raven haired boy again, Lily and James especially having not properly seen their son since he was one years old. Finally James shook them all out of their reveries by taking in a deep breath and speaking. “It’s time to end it all, it’s time to tell the truth.” He said quietly, he looked up to see the other two nod at him before pushing the doors of the Great Hall open and took a tentative step inside. James choked down a sob as he gazed at all the life in the Great Hall, careful the entire time to clearly hide his face, he looked behind him once more and found that the other two were still behind him before turning his head back to face the hall again, where every gaze was trained on him, Lily, and Sirius. He took one small step forward as he felt a million memories held in this hall wash over him, momentarily forgetting the severity of the situation, and that there would be time for reminiscing later. He jerked himself out of his daze and took another small step forward, but froze once again when he saw Harry, his son, sitting at the table before him, a puzzled expression on his face. James had been the only one not to see Harry since they had arrived from behind the veil, after deciding with Lily and Sirius that it wouldn’t be great it Harry saw a stag running round after seeing his godfather’s dog form, it would certainly raise suspicion, so James had stopped protesting and agreed on waiting to see Harry again. He could feel his eyes brimming with tears as he didn’t turn his head away from his son, stood frozen to the spot, not knowing what to do next as Harry kept staring at him even more perplexed as Harry’s friends shot him threatening glances as if to dare him to even try to go after Harry. He felt Lily walk up to his side, and freeze too as she noticed what had made her husband stop. She gripped his arm to help support her as she took in the scene of her seventeen year old son before her. Dumbledore had noticed that these strange visitors seemed to be concentrating on Harry and stood up to face the one of the three who was still walking forwards, fearing that the young Gryffindor might be in some sort of trouble. “Who are you?” Dumbledore Inquired to Sirius in somewhat of a bellow, his voice emitting pure power. “I can’t tell you, not here.” Sirius said back trying to change his voice so he wasn’t recognized. He didn’t think it would be a very good idea if Harry found out that his dead parents and godfather were alive with the whole school watching. “You will tell me here and now who you are and what your apparent interest in Harry Potter is.” Demanded Dumbledore. “Albus I can not tell you not here and not now out of respect for Harry and my counterparts.” Said Sirius motioning over to Lily and James who he was sure were blubbering under their cloaks, he had figured he’d be the one to do the talking from the beginning once Lily and James had seen Harry, and it appeared he had been right.” “You will tell me now or I will have no choice but to curse you.” Bellowed Dumbledore. “No Albus.” Replied Sirius, “Not right now,” He stated again as he switched his attention over to the table where Harry was tentatively standing up. “Harry sit down.” Ordered Dumbledore. “No,” Said Harry back, trying to bite down the disdain in his voice. Harry didn’t know what was going on, but he felt weird not knowing who these people were and he was determined to find out. He walked slowly up to the figure that was Lily, who had silent tears running down her cheeks, hidden by her hood. “Who are you?” Harry asked quietly trying to see under the hood. As soon as Harry addressed her she completely lost it, this was her son who she hadn’t seen for seventeen whole years, and now here he was again. Before anyone could stop her she launched herself onto Harry hugging him as though if she let go she might cry. Slightly taken aback by her actions he tried to push her away, but the harder he pushed the tighter she hugged. He finally resigned to awkwardly patting her on the shoulder. Harry watched as the figure that had been standing next to the one currently holding him slowly and shakily lowered himself onto the Gryffindor bench, not caring that the entire student body had their eyes glued to the scene taking place before them. Then the figure that had been talking to Dumbledore hesitantly made his way over to the table and helped James up from the table and pried Lily off of Harry motioning for Dumbledore and Harry to follow him out of the Great Hall. “Now will you please all reveal your identities.” Demanded Dumbledore. “No, not until we’re in your office Dumbledore.” Sirius countered. Dumbledeore shot him a look of great distrust before finally relenting and leading the group to his office. Once safely inside, Dumbledore turned quickly to Sirius, “Explain,” He ordered. “It will be hard,” Said Sirius returning his voice to normal, “but it’s a long story that starts about twenty two years ago.” Harry’s head perked up as he began to recognize the voice, and Dumbledore too started to gain a knowing look. Harry suddenly stood up running in front of the figure. “Sirius,” Said Harry tentatively praying to anyone who would listen that his mind wasn’t playing cruel tricks on him again. He had dreamed about Sirius coming back before, but he had always woken up sad and disappointed. The figure nodded before it pulled down it’s hood to reveal a very nervous Sirius Black. No one spoke as the scene unfolded, Harry burst into tears and clutched Sirius in a bone crushing hug and began whispering fiercely, “Is it really you, oh Merlin I’m so sorry, it should have been me who went through that stupid veil not you, it was all my fault, I’m a stupid idiot and I’m sorry I put you through so much, I’d understand if you never wanted to see me again, hell I wouldn’t even blame you, but Merlin am I glad you’re back, I should have been the one to go through, not you, me.” Sirius hugged Harry back and let him talk himself into silence before speaking himself. “Well yes, it is me, and Harry you know if you had gone through the veil this whole plan would never have been able to work and well, you’d be in ‘limbo’ and I’d have to mope around mentally kicking myself for not tripping into that veil.” “What,” Harry asked incredulously. “Take a seat,” said Sirius. Harry did as was told, focusing all his attention on Sirius temporarily forgetting the other two unidentified figures and Dumbledore were still in the room. “You see when your father, Remus, and I traveled into the future twenty two years ago it was quite a shock. I had been playing with Remus’ time turner when I wasn’t supposed to be and broke it, and somehow we all ended up in the future. We arrived in the main hall, and we decided that somebody needed to find out what time it was. James volunteered. It turned out that we found McGonnogal and Flitwick who of course called him Harry seeing your similarities and all. Well James flipped when McGonnogal told him that your father had been James Potter and your mother had been Lily Potter. So to make a long story short we found out James died in the future. Then we decided to trail you and see what we could find out in the future.” Sirius paused for breath. “Anyways you know when Remus pulled you aside and asked you if you had heard a platter fall, your father knocked that over when he saw you exit the portrait hole, because he was shocked at how much you really did look like him. We saw you talk to those Hufflepuff girls, we saw you talk to Malfoy and speak Parseltoungue, and then we watched you play quidditch, after talking to Moony of couse who informed his seventeen year old self that he was the only Marauder truly left. Anyways, so we went towatch you play Quidditch and when you fell off your broom, James nearly died of worry. That’s when he was discovered sitting next t o your unconscious body after the disillusionment charm wore off. He was right shaken up so he went with Dumbledore while Remus and I who still hadn’t been discovered went into your dorm to try and find something that could help us.” “So that’s why all my stuff was messed up when I got back?” Mused Harry to himself. “Most likely, where was I, ah yes so Remus and I went up to your dorm, but before we could really find anything the older version of Remus stopped us. That’s when I realized that Moony couldn’t be a part of the plans, because his older version would just pop up, and ruin the whole thing, so James and I decided we’d have to do it alone.” “So Remus never knew?” Asked Harry, wiping the salty tears from his face. “Remus never knew.” Confirmed Sirius, “We ended up getting discovered as well, and taken up to the hospital wing, and when we got up there everyone fell asleep except for James and myself. That’s when James told me that Ron had spilled, given him your whole life’s history, including how and when your parents died, how I was sent to Azkaban, and most importantly how I fell behind the veil.” “How is that most important?” Asked Harry. “Earlier that day Remus told us that ever since I had fallen through the veil in your fifth year that they had been researching it, and that they had found that it was not meant to hold animal souls. Also, that it was a sort of limbo, you aged inside it, but you weren’t dead, it was like living in a little sub world. Do you understand what I’m saying?” “Snuffles.” Said Harry. “Yup, by turning into snuffles I could remove myself from the veil, but I still wasn’t going to let Lily and James die without a fight either, so your father and I developed a plan. We were sent back to the future, only the two of us knowing that we knew what we knew. Your father and mother of course fell in love, it was impossible to keep them apart, and eventually after your father and mother were married James told her everything including our plan.” “What was your plan?” Asked Harry shakily. “We realized after talking to people in the future that the events of your life were very important, and that they shouldn’t be altered, so we decided to stage our lives up until this year, the year we didn’t know the events of.” “What does that mean?” “We decided that your mother and father would stage their deaths, and then go to the department of mysteries and go inside the veil. Your mother knew how to get in, because she worked there and all. Your father and I taught your mother how to become an animagus so that when the time came we would be able to all leave the veil together.” “What…” Said Harry his mouth gaping open, “My, no, it can’t my mother died to save me, she sacrificed herself, that’s why I had to love with Aunt Petunia.” He mumbled. “Yes and no Harry. Your mother sacrificed herself for you, but she didn’t sacrifice her life. She sacrificed her heart and freedom for the next seventeen years, and the fact that she was willing to do all that for you, proved to be all the power needed to cast a spell over the two of you, that left you connected, but not in the way of death. There’s an old book in the vault of Godric Gryffindor that contains the art of sacrificial spells, one being the Desmiuns Rexus. Well your mother, father, and I researched the heck out of it, and learned that the Desmiuns Rexus is a sacrificial spell that can be used to save the life of a person, yet you have to be sacrificing something big to save them. Lily didn’t sacrifice her life, but she sacrificed seventeen years inside the veil. We hoped it would be enough to work, and it was. Right when Voldemort said the killing curse your mother was able to invoke the charm, and apparate to the department of mysteries with James, who had also faked his death, by pretending that he had been hit by the killing curse, when really it narrowly missed his shoulder.” “All the love that your mother showed by sacrificing her world for seventeen years, and if worse came to worse dying just to save you, was enough to counter the attack onto Voldemort, who doesn’t understand love, so he wasn’t prepared to deal with it.” “What…” Harry began. Sirius held a hand up to silence him, and continued talking. “So your parents went behind the veil, leaving me behind. I had been watching from across the street making sure it all went to plan. I saw Hagrid arrive and I got on my bike circled around a few times before going and acting out the whole scene with Wormtail, of course I went to Azkaban for thirteen years, but it was worth it. I already knew what would happen in your fifth year, that was why I was so mopey, I really didn’t want to leave you behind, especially after getting to know you better and finding out how much you really needed someone, but it was the only way, so I purposefully flung myself into the veil, where your parents had been waiting for fifteen years.” “We watched you through this looking glass on the wall, and I must say Harry you’ve grown up, and I couldn’t be prouder. It killed me and your parents to know that you were down here without anyone, so a few weeks ago, the day the Daily Prophet article surfaced about Voldemort’s attacks we witnessed you having a nightmare. Your father snapped, and said he couldn’t take it anymore, so we just left, it was time. We’ve been in the forest for two weeks trying to bide our perfect time to come back, when it wouldn’t cause too many problems.” “You really were that dog I saw out by Hagrid’s hut?” Asked Harry, his mouth gaping like fish out of water. “Yes Harry that really was me.” “Why did you come back now?” “Well your mother went for a walk this morning where she stumbled upon a large gathering of death eaters, and we decided that we had to alert everyone, and well it all just kind of fell into place.” “So my parents are alive?” Asked Harry weakly barely believing his own ears. “Very much so, and if you don’t mind I think they want to say hello.” Confirmed Sirius. “Wait. What does that mean?” Harry asked Sirius and shook as realization crept over his features as the two forgotten hooded figures slowly took a few steps forward. James was the first to lower his hood, his eyes brimming with unshed tears. “Dad?” Harry croaked. “It’s me Harry,” Said James as he let out a small sob and knelt before his teenage son, “it’s me,” he whispered again. He let out another sob before he wrapped his arms around Harry’s frail body, “I love you.” James whispered into Harry’s hair. At first he thought his son hadn’t heard him, but realized soon that he had heard as Harry collapsed into wracking sobs, as he hugged his father back tightly, afraid to let go. Lily sobbed quietly as she watched James and harry, and froze as Harry slowly turned his head toward her. “Mum.” He whispered over to her. “Mum.” Lily slowly lowered her hood and nodded, crying profusely she moved over to him and took him in her arms kissing his face all over. “I love you Harry,” she murmured as she rubbed his back, trying desperately to ease his sobs, she couldn’t bear to see him in any type of pain. “You were dead, “ He croaked. “You were dead but now you’re here.” “We were never dead Harry, just behind the veil. We watched you the entire time, we’re so proud of you, you’re the best son anyone could have asked for.” James told him, but paled as Harry’s face contorted and turned back into a blubbering heap. “It’s okay we’re here now Harry and everything is going to be like it was supposed to be.” Lily reassured him. Sirius and Dumbledore quietly watched the display before them. When suddenly Sirius remembered what had prompted them to reveal themselves in the first place, and motioned for Dumbledore to follow him to the upper level of the study. “And you believe them to be attacking tonight?” Dumbledore asked Sirius, who had just recounted all the information that he, Lily, and James had found out after watching the death eater camp closely that afternoon. “Yes and they have Ginny Weasley, most likely to lure Harry towards them.” “I was afraid something like this would happen, Harry would do anything to save that girl.” Stated Dumbledore. “I don’t know professor sure they’re friends and all, but do you think he would really do anything?” Questioned Sirius. “First of all this is Harry, he would do anything to save anyone, and secondly Ginny and Harry’s relationship has changed since you last saw them.” “You mean they’re dating?” Asked Sirius. “Let me just say, the happiest moments of Harry’s life seem to be when he is with young Ms. Weasley, and the same can be said for her.” Dumbledore answered. “Are you telling me Harry is in love?” Asked Sirius incredulously. “As in love as a person can be.” Replied Dumbledore, “And if anything happened to Ginny I fear it would send Harry over the edge. I’m sure you were aware of Harry’s health problems if you were watching, well he was getting better, but as soon as Ms. Weasley entered his life, she saved him Sirius, she gave him something to keep going for.” “But he has me and his parents now, do you think he would stop living, I mean I do not want to send him out there, but if something happened he would be able to recover with us here.” “I’m not so certain of that Sirius, Harry has just had to accept the fact that three very important people in his life who he believed to be dead are in fact alive and standing in front of him, he’ll need to adjust, with the help of others, the fact of the matter is that we have to get Ginny Weasley, and remove the death eaters from Hogwarts before they can attack.” “Well then you better get started, they were all fired up to go last time we listened in on them, and it’s going to happen soon.” “I’ve already alerted the order members, who should currently be in Minerva’s office, and all the heads of houses have moved all of the students to the Great Hall which is currently being sealed.” “We have to go put Harry down there, we can’t seal it when he’s not in there.” Said Sirius. “Not this time Sirius. You are well aware of the prophecy concerning Harry, and if he is ready I believe he should be able to yield his powers against Tom, and I can assure you that he will not stay behind when he finds out who they have.” “No, you are insane, after all of this, I will not let Harry risk his life again, let someone else go out there this time.” Sirius demanded. “Harry is the only one who stands a chance anymore, it’s his destiny.” Sighed Dumbledore, as he turned to watch Harry clutching onto his parents for dear life. “We need to take action immediately, I’m afraid Harry will have to finish this reunion later.” “Are you insane he’s just seeing his parents for the first time in seventeen years, and now YOUR GOING TO SEND HIM OUT THERE!” Screamed Sirius catching Harry, Lily, and James attention. James mumbled something to Lily before heading up to where Sirius and Dumbledore were gathered, wiping his tears away with his sleeve. “What was that Padfooft?” Asked James. “This madman,” Said Sirius pointing a finger at Dumbledore, “Is going to send out Harry to face Voldemort.” Sirius and Dumbledore watched as James slowly absorbed the information his face contorting into fury, “YOU WILL NOT SEND MY SON OUT THERE!” He shrieked, “Not when I just got him back, not after everything, I don’t care about some damn prophesy, I don’t give a shit anymore, he’s done enough, you are not sending him out there. I won’t allow it.” Said James in a dead whisper, trying to contain his anger. “Send me where?” Asked Harry from behind the three men. It seemed like he had heard there screams and had come to investigate, Lily right behind him. “Harry, you are aware that Voldemort and his death eaters are currently planning to attack the castle, and that the entire Order of the Phoenix is preparing to go into battle.” Stated Dumbledore. “Yes.” Replied Harry. “What I am about to ask you to do is up to you, it is up to you to decide if you’re ready, however I have the highest amount of faith in you a person could have. What I am asking you to do Harry is to face Voldemort, and fulfill the prophecy.” Said Dumbledore, voice full of calm. “So you want me to go out and face him, challenge him?” Asked Harry. “Precisely.” “I’ll do it,” Said Harry instantly ignoring the protests from his parents and godfather, holding a hand up in the air to silence them and continued speaking, “You guys know what happened, but you have no clue what it was like to live through it all, and to know that any moment something might happen again, I want this all to be over, I want to just live a life with the people I love without having to worry if Voldemort is going to pop up at any second and kill us all. I’m ready for him this time, I can do it.” Said Harry, a determined glint in his eyes. “About that Harry. There is one more thing you must know, somehow, we don’t know how Voldemort has taken Ginny Weasley, we assume under the pretenses to get you to come to him.” Said Dumbledore. “I’m sorry.” He added. “They have Ginny,” Harry whispered disbelievingly, as he took a few staggering steps backwards before he ran into Sirius who wrapped an arm around him to stop him from going any further. “Yes Harry, that is another thing, we need to find Ginny and deliver her to safety.” Said Dumbledore. “She wasn’t in lessons all day, I was going to go look for her, but I never did, this is all my fault, she didn’t want to go to bed last night, she said she had a bad feeling, but I made her.” He mumbled, shaking his head back and forth. “This isn’t your fault Harry.” Said Lily soothingly. “Yes it is.” He retorted, “Let me go to my dorms and get my things ready, I’m going to end this tonight.” He looked up at Dumbledore a pleading look spread across his face. “Very well Harry, but I must warn you I have been in contact with Minerva. They hadve locked all the students in the Great Hall, but somehow we don’t know how, the word got out to the reporters about what is going on, there are a large amount of reporters roaming the halls. Most have bodyguards with them, and refuse to leave, saying this is the story that will send their careers to the top, ignore them to the best of your ability, and then meet us in front of the main doors, that’s where the rest of the order will be.” Dumbledore ordered. “Your parents and Sirius will be there with me as well.” He added as an afterthought. “Thank you.” He said calmly as he turned on his heels and sped towards the entrance of the office. “I can’t believe that’s my son.” Murmured James after Harry’s retreating back. “I can.” Said Dumbledore, with a proud smile. * ** *** ** * As soon as Harry stepped out from the gargoyle entrance that led to Dumbledore’s office he was swarmed by about five reporters. “Mr. Potter what is going on?” “Harry is it true you are going into battle?” “Is Voldemort really attacking the school?” Harry ignored them completely and pushed past them, ignoring their shouts and protests. He quickly turned the corner that led towards the Gryffindor common room, only to be met by another swarm of reporters. He brushed them off as well, but now had a small entourage following him. “Mr. Potter where are you headed?” “All the other students have been put in the hall, why are you not with them?” Ignoring them still, Harry shoved his way through another crowd of reporters that had gathered themselves around the entrance to the Gryffindor common room. “Chocolate Frogs.” He spoke the password, and heaved himself into the common room, still being trailed by the reporters. He still couldn’t shake them off when he made his way up to his dorm, trying to avoid all the flashes of light going off around him, and the questions still being shouted at him by the various reporters. He struggled to get his trunk open, due to his trembling fingers and the fact that he kept getting jostled around. Finally he pried the top open, and quickly climbed the steps down to the small room. He could hear banging on top of the trunk, as the reporters tried to get in, but the locking charm on the trunk prevented them. He quickly scanned the room, before he stripped down to his boxers, and pulled on a black long sleeve t-shirt, black cotton pants, and pulling on a black traveling cloak on for good measure. He checked his pocket, which had his wand, stuffed in it, thinking about what else to bring. He grabbed a small vial of energizing potion from one of the shelves, the result of his last class with Snape, thinking it might come in handy, before he took one last deep breath and shoved the top of the trunk open, ignoring the white spots in front of his eyes from all of the picture taking. He pushed his way through the crowd and set off at a jog down to the Great Hall. “Why are you wearing all black Harry?” “Does this mean you’re going into combat?” The reporters continued shouting after him. After jogging for about five minutes he finally made it to the front hall, where the Order of the Phoenix was assembled. One look at Harry and the mob of photographers, and the Order had pushed him to the center of the group blocking him from reporters. Harry panted his thanks to the crowd. He recognized many faces there was Kingsley Shacklebolt, Tonks, Mad Eye, The Weasley Parents along with Bill and Charlie, Flitwick, Snape, McGonogall, and many other familiar faces. He felt someone give him a hug and looked up to see his mother; he smiled inwardly and just let himself be held, as he observed the rest of the room. In one corner a crying remus was clutching onto Sirius, as James who looked like he too had just been crying was talking animatedly with Professor Stallworth, along with Dumbledore. Harry watched as Professor Stallworth looked up and noticing his prescence called him over. Harry reluctantly released himself from his mothers grasp as he made his way over to Stallworth, his mother following him, not taking her eyes off of him. “Harry, come here quickly.” Stallworth said again, urging Harry forward. “What is it?” Asked Harry as he approached the small group. “How are you feeling about all of this?” Asked Stallworth. “I’m ready to go out there and end this, and get Ginny back.” Harry said with conviction. “Good, now you remember everything I told you about the unforgivables and how to yield them, and fight them.” Stallworth questioned. “Yes.” Harry replied. “And you remember how to control your emotions?” “Yes.” “And you remember…” But Stallworth didn’t have a chance to finish as Harry cut him off. “Yes Professor I remember it all, I’ll be fine.” “Okay good, just remember everything, and Harry call me Jonathon.” Said Stallworth with a smile. “Okay Jonathon,” Replied Harry smiling back, but gave a quick jump as he felt a hand on his shoulder. “Harry I need to speak with you for a moment.” Harry looked up to see Dumbledore looking down on him with a small smile. His first instinct was to tell Dumbledore to go away, but decided after a few seconds of thought maybe he should speak to his old Professor. “Sure.” He said blankly, as he allowed himself to be pulled over to a corner by Dumbledore away from the media eye. “Harry, I know this year I have done many stupid things, and I know that I do not deserve your forgiveness for keeping you in the dark, I do not blame you for your feelings, but I do want you to know how sorry I am that this all transpired into such a feeling of animosity. No matter what your feelings towards me Harry, I feel obliged to tell you that I have seen hundreds if not thousands of students pass through these doors, and none of them hold a candle to you.” “You have dealt with so much in such a short amount of time, more than anyone should have to face in a life time, and now you’re facing it head on. You are a true Gryffindor Harry, never doubt where you come from. I am proud to call you my student as well as my friend, and I will be beside you out there if you ever need me just call.” “Professor, I don’t hate you,” Harry said quietly, “I just didn’t like not being told about my life, and what was going on with it. And then after I found out my parents might be alive it opened up all these feelings I didn’t know I had, and I just didn’t know what to do with them. I’m sorry too for taking it out on you, I guess I know now that you were trying to protect me.” Said Harry, looking up into the old professors eyes. “That was my only reason,” Said Dumbledore smiling, “I have faith in you Harry, I know you can accomplish the task set before you, it will end tonight.” “It better, I’m getting kind of tired of all of this.” Said Harry with a weak smile. Dumbledore chuckled lightly before removing something from his robes and handing it over to Harry. It was a sword, wrapped in a sheath. Harry slowly pulled out the handle and read the words emblazoned on the side Godric Gryffindor. “That Harry is the sword you used in your second year against the Basilisk, I think it’s time it was brought into your possession. Use it well tonight.” Said Dumbledore as he watched Harry finger the silver blade. “Thank you Professor.” He murmured. “No Harry, thank you.” Replied Dumbledore, giving him a wide smile, “Now I do believe I need to speak to the troops, you should come with me, after all you really are the leader in all of this.” Harry looked stricken at the idea, he really didn’t know if he could be a leader, but he followed dutifully after Dumbledore as he made his way to the front doors to speak. Harry watched as Dumbledore held up a hand, and everyone immediately silenced even the reporters who had been screaming questions at everyone within earshot stilled to hear the old mans words. “Tonight will be the end of a war that has been existing for two decades. Tonight will be the end of the death eaters. Tonight will be the end of fear. And most importantly tonight will be the end of Voldemort.” Harry paled slightly as everyone switched their attention onto him, when Dumbledore mentioned the end of Voldemort. Dumbledore didn’t seem to care or notice, however, as he continued on with his speech. “We have all felt the effects of this war, and know what it has destroyed. Now it is time to rebuild. If we all ban together we cannot be defeated, for no matter what tricks they may pull, love is always stronger than hate. Voldemort fights for destruction, we fight for growth. What Tom does not understand will be his downfall.” Again all eyes shifted over to Harry at the mention of Voldemort’s downfall. “We all know how much work and sacrifice it has taken to get here, but now that we are here it is time to show them what we are made of. We will march out and meet them, show them no mercy, for they will show you none. Fight for the light. Fight for everything that is good in this world; fight for the ones you love, the ones who have gone before us, and the ones who will come after us. “You have all been given your instructions, and I warn any media member here that once you leave the safety of this castle you may not return, neither I or my men will be able to protect you once we are out, and you will fend for yourselves. I warn you. Make your decision well. Now we wait, but just for a little while.” Dumbledore finished his oration to smattered cheers and applause, although there wasn’t much as the tension that filled the room was so intense. After a few more minutes of waiting around, a shout was heard from the lookout. “Someone’s walking forwards,” The lookout, which proved to be Mundungus Fletcher, yelled over to Dumbledore. As soon as he spoke the words a burst of flame appeared in front of Harry’s face, revealing a small piece of parchment. Harry using his Quidditch reflexes snapped the note into his outstretched palm and read silently. ‘Come get your girlfriend Potter. You come out she goes in.’ Harry read the lines a few times as the situation sank it. “That’s Ginny out there, they want me to go out, and then they’ll let her come into the castle.” Harry announced to the crowd. No one asked any questions, surprisingly not even the reporters who were just mumbling into tape recorders and jotting notes down furiously, but waiting for Harry’s reaction. “I’m going out there.” He called. “No you are not.” Ordered Sirius. “Listen to me Sirius, it’s now or never, and I prefer now, I love you, but I have to go out there.” Sirius shrank back slightly at Harry’s words, as if relenting. “Mum, Dad, Remus, all you guys I love you too, but right now this is what I have to do.” He said to the crowd. “Professor open the doors.” Said Harry to Dumbledore. “Don’t send anyone out until I sent red sparks into the air.” He commanded. Dumbledore only nodded as a sign of assent, and began slowly cranking the pull that opened the doors. It was a scene right out of a movie, and anyone would of gasped at the magnitude of what they were seeing. The death eaters chuckled viciously as they led Ginny towards the front, as the doors opened to reveal a bright light, and one Harry Potter walking forward. Ginny stilled as she noticed Harry walking towards her, and tried to call out to him to go back, she would be fine, she just didn’t want them to get Harry. As he moved forward, Harry glanced across the crowd until his eyes fell on Ginny’s red hair, standing out against the darkness outside. He locked eyes with her, and gave her a reassuring nod. Pulling his wand out as he went, pointing it at the death eater who held Ginny. Finally he reached the front of the crowd, and watched as Ginny was pushed forward into his arms. He enveloped her in a huge embrace, kissing the top of her head over and over again, as she cried desperately into the front of his cloak. “You remember the deal Potter, now send her back so we can get started.” Growled a death eater from the center of the crowd, who was greeted with a few murmurs or agreement. “Listen to me Gin, remember everything I told you last night in front of the fire, remember it forever, I love you, okay, but now you have to go, I’ll come back I promise.” He whispered hurriedly to her. “No, Harry they’re going to kill you, I’m not leaving.” She cried. “Ginny, if you don’t go they’ll kill us both on the spot, if you go I can concentrate on fighting, please Gin.” He pleaded with her. “No,” She cried against his chest, holding on even tighter to him. “We don’t got all day.” Shrieked another impatient death eater. “I love you,” whispered Harry. “I love you too,” Ginny choked out as she continued to sob. “Go, please go Ginny before it’s too late.” Said Harry, trying fruitlessly to pry Ginny off of him. “No.” She mumbled again, “I’m not leaving.” Harry was about to open his mouth to argue with him again when he felt a blinding pain in his forehead, he let out a yell as he collapsed to his knees, clutching his scar trying to block out some of the pain. He felt Ginny go down next to him, crying desperately and trying to get him to stand up again. “Listen to your boyfriend Weasel he knows what he’s talking about,” Came a voice that Harry knew only too well. Voldemort. “Leave her alone Tom.” Harry ordered, using the name that he knew he hated. Voldemort gave a shriek of rage before speaking again. “Listen to me girl, you better go back right now or I’ll kill your boyfriend on the spot.” He sneered. “Ginny go, stay safe.” Harry pleaded with her. “I can’t leave you.” She choked. “Very well then, Nott, come forward.” Said Voldemort, in a somewhat bored manner. “Yes Master,” Said Nott crawling forward. “Perform the curse on the boy, maybe then that will convince his girlfriend to go away.” Voldemort ordered. “Yes Master,” Replied Nott, as he raised his wand bellowed, “CRUCIO.” Harry dodged to the right just in time, as the spell narrowly missed his side. “Lucky move Potter, now get your girlfriend out of here or I’ll try again.” Voldemort whispered. “Ginny, GO,” Harry ordered. He watched her, his heart breaking as she took in the scene before her, and realized that she had no other option than to leave him behind. She tried to make her way over to him one last time, but was stopped by a death eater standing in her way, she choked back tears and looked at Harry one last time, before running up to the castle. Harry managed to tear his eyes away, as he stood up and moved back to the middle in front of the crowd. “Face me out here Tom, no death eaters surrounding you, no one to back you up, one against one.” Harry called out to the mass of black-cloaked figures. “Feeling brave today Potter.” Said Voldemort as he once again appeared before Harry. “Too bad you’re going to die, you would have made a fabulous death eater. “Never.” Spat Harry. “I figured that would be your reaction, all the same I’ll settle for just killing you.” “Good luck.” Spat Harry. “Oh, I won’t be needing it, it is you who will need it. You haven’t beaten me for seventeen years.” “Yeah well look what happens to you every time you run into me, you’re a joke. You know that’s all you are a sick, pathetic joke. You even lie to your followers, telling them you’re a pure blood, you should be ashamed, didn’t you tell them that your father was a muggle Tom. Did they ever bother to ask you why his grave was in a muggle cemetery, or are wizards always buried amongst muggles. You’re a half-blood just like me.” Said Harry voice full of venom. “YOU LIE,” Bellowed Voldemort, “You foolish boy, you think you can slander the name of Lord Voldemort, the only reason people care about you is because they think you’re the one who can stop me. How foolish of them. All you are to them is a name and a scar. They turn on you the second they get the chance, but then come running back begging for forgiveness begging you to save them. I believe Harry, that you’re the joke.” There was a snigger of approval from the death eaters behind Voldemort. “You’re the liar Tom.” “Well then let me prove it, Vener and Longbottom, should be able to prove my point.” Harry tensed at the name of his two friends, and then watched in horror as they stepped forward from the crowd revealing their faces from behind death eater masks. “Hi Harry.” Said Brooke, smiling sweetly at him. “You bitch.” He whispered. “You see Harry Ms. Vener has been working for me the whole time. She came to me after I killed her uncle, I convinced her that what her family was trying to fight against was unstoppable, I convinced her that there was only power, and two types of people. The ones who embrace it, and the ones who are foolish enough to try and stop it.” Voldemort explained. “It was my job to get close to you, get you to fall in love with me, have you tell me all your problems, then I would report back to the dark lord to plot against you, but then you ruined it all and fell for that stupid Weasley girl, but you didn’t ruin everything, because your love for her turned out to be quite useful. It got you here didn’t it.” Brooke looked at him, and flipping her hair behind her said sweetly, “You want to talk Harry.” “I can’t believe I trusted you.” Whispered Harry, “And you Neville?” Harry looked at him disbelievingly, how could this be Neville Longbottom? “Yes, young Mr. Longbottom was another one I recruited. He was a bit more difficult, kept wanting to try and protect you. He’s such a bumbling idiot, however, that all it took was a few bouts of Crucio and I had him spilling his inner most knowledge of you, and the Order of the Phoenix, or whatever that stupid bird of Dumbledore’s is. It wasn’t long before he pledged full allegiance to me. So you see Harry, even your friends turn on you, your rocks, the ones to hold you down through hard times. I’d say you’re pathetic.” Voldemort sneered. “Sorry to disappoint you Tom, but I highly disagree.” Said Harry calmly, despite the rage that was building inside him as he thought of his friends who had betrayed him to Voldemort. “Expelliarmus,” Shouted Voldemort, catching Harry by surprise, his wand went whipping out of his hands, as Voldemort caught it in mid-air snapping it between his fingers. “Oh bad luck Harry.” He laughed. Harry cautiously stepped to the side, Voldemort following, walking in a small circle facing each other the entire time, Voldemort wand raised, Harry trying to concentrate on the Acer Motar. “CRUCIO,” Screamed Voldemort, not expecting the attack, it hit Harry full on in the stomach. He soon crashed down onto his knees, biting down hard on his lower lip, trying desperately not to scream out in pain, giving Voldemort the satisfaction. But the pain intensified as a few death eaters joined Voldemort in putting the curse on Harry. Soon his knees had buckled under him as well and he was screaming and writhing in pain on the ground. Finally, after what seemed like forever the curse was lifted, and Harry shakily got to his feet, falling back over a few times, but finally making it up, blocking out the grating laughing of the death eaters. “Poor baby Harry,” One called out to him, he stiffened as he recognized the voice to be Bellatrix Black’s voice. “All alone, do you still miss my dear little cousin,” She taunted. He whipped around fiercely and found himself face to face with a woman he hated with a pure loathing that ran so deep it was a part of him. Even if Sirius was still alive, this woman didn’t deserve to be, she had ruined so many people’s lives, destroyed so many families, and she found it funny? “Ohh, going to fight me little Harry,” She cooed in her sickening baby voice. “You won’t live to see tomorrow,” He whispered glaring daggers at her. “We’ll see about that.” She whispered back. She waved her wand and a blinding yellow light shot out, which Harry quickly dodged. She gave a roar of fury and shot another yellow light at him, which he again effectively dodged. She was growing extremely frustrated now and kept sending a slew of different curses after him, which he in turn dodged or countered back at her, using his dueling skills that he had learned during lessons with Professor Stallworth. Finally he had, had enough, so concentrating hard on what Professor Stallworth had taught him, focused hard on the memory of watching Sirius through the veil and hearing Bellatrix’s raucous cackles of glee. “AVADA KEDAVRA,” He shouted as a brilliant green light surrounded him, and burst out towards her, hitting her square in the chest. The look on her face, was one that Harry would never forget, her eyes shot open in surprise, the laughter still not gone from her face, as she crumpled down into a heap. Dead. “Impossible,” Whispered Voldemort from behind him, “It cannot be.” “Believe it,” Harry spat, turning around to face Voldemort once again, although he was still having a hard time believing himself that he had just taken another human life, even if Bellatrix did deserve it more than anyone else. “Apparently you possess some power that I was not informed of,” Sneered Voldemort turning his head to the vicinity of Brooke and Neville, the latter giving a nervous squeak. “Nonetheless it cannot protect you from me.” “Is that a threat?” Harry challenged. “I believe it is. You foolish boy. CRUCIO.” Roared Voldemort. Harry’s Quidditch training proved very helpful as he quickly dodged to the left, avoiding the curse. Voldemort let out a roar of frustration, “SERPENSORTIA.” Harry watched amused as a black asp appeared from Voldemort’s wand, making it’s way over to Harry, Voldemort whispering directions at it. ’Nagini take the boy, strike him down, weaken him.’ Voldemort hissed, only it didn’t sound so much like a hiss to Harry. Voldemort shot him a triumphant glare, his red eyes flashing madly against his powder skin. “Good luck Harry.” “Thanks.” Said Harry smiling at him, before looking back down at the snake who was raising it’s head to strike at his heel. ‘Nagini, is it, why do you want to attack me? What’s in it for you? You’re a strong snake, you don’t need to listen to him, he just wants to use you for his bidding, and when he tires of you he’ll dispose of you. Have you not seen him and how he treats the humans who he calls his followers?’ Harry chanced a glance up at Voldemort who was looking at him like he had just sprouted an extra head, as the snake stopped, watching Harry intently. Don’t listen Nagini, strike him down he is your enemy, he will kill you the first chance he gets, he is scum. Voldemort hissed. Don’t listen to him, listen to me, I’m your friend, go to the forbidden forest you can be free there. You can live a life on your own, and if you want you can come find me later and I’ll take you back to Africa where you belong. You know I once met a snake in a muggle zoo who had never been to his home, I set him free as well. Harry hissed back to the snake, who after a few minutes of consideration began slithering towards the forbidden forest. No Nagini Voldemort hissed at the form of the retreating snake. “YOU IDIOTIC BOY, I have had enough of you, this will end now, no more games.” Voldemort shrieked. “AVADA KEDAVRA,” He roared. Harry’s eyes widened momentarily as the green light came rushing towards him, he finally regained his senses and shot to the ground, the green beam of light narrowly reaching the top of his head, the hairs on the back of his neck standing on end. He quickly righted himself and realized it was now or never, now or never, it was either Voldemort or him. He summoned the happiest memory he could think of…his parents and Sirius returning, and remembering what Professor Stallworth cried “AVADA KEDAVRA,” at the same time as Voldemort. The two cries were mixed together as the green light around Harry grew, and the ball of light around Voldemort expanded both shooting out at the same time and hitting each other midway, very much like when their wands performed priori incantem in Harry’s fourth year. Slowly Harry felt his feet being raised in the air, and looked around quickly to see that Voldemort was too being raised into the air, still connected through the green light. He was yelling at his death eaters to come and help him, to take the shot for him, but they all stepped back out of fear, unwilling to help your master. Harry felt the urge to say something, he had to say something, especially if this was the last time he would be talking. “THEY SERVE YOU OUT OF FEAR, THEY DO NOT RESPECT YOU, THEY DO NOT CARE FOR YOU, THEY WILL NOT MOURN FOR YOU. YOU HAVE ACHIEVED THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU SAUGHT OUT TO BECOME, YOU ARE NOBODY TO THEM. YOU ARE NOBODY TO EVERYONE!” Harry screamed over the loud rushing of wind. “YOU STUPID BOY,” Voldemort called back. Harry stopped paying attention to the rest of Voldemorts words and instead focused all his energy into his power. He shut his eye, letting the voice of his father telling him he loved him envelop him, recalling the feeling of his mother hugging him tightly, the memory of seeing Sirius lower the hood. He focused on the betrayal he felt when he found that Neville and Brooke had been the traitors. He thought of how good it felt to finally be able to forgive Dumbledore, how much he hated Voldemort, and everything he had ever done, all the families he had destroyed, all the lives ruined due to his unquenchable greed. He thought of Ginny, and how happy he had been to know they hadn’t hurt her, that she was alive and well, and that she knew at least how he felt. At the moment that last thought entered his mind he felt an indescribable firey feeling grow in the pit of his stomach, he looked around to see that the green light surrounding him, was beginning to turn silver, and that his fingers had red sparks shooting out of them. He looked up to see Voldemort looking upon him in horror, as if he was realizing for the first time what was going on. All of the sudden a gold light burst in the middle of the chain, Harry felt himself being pushed into the ground as a wave of wind swept across the area like a sonic boom, he raised his head slightly to see the gold light continue to spread as the death eaters dropped to the ground clutching their heads for protection. Raising his hand in the air, he shot up red sparks into the sky, before shutting his eyes, letting the dark envelop him. * ** *** ** * The ultimate aim of the hero’s quest must be neither release noir ecstasy for oneself, but the wisdom and power to serve others.” --Joseph Campbell ** ** ** I thought the quote was appropriate for this chapter…LEAVE A REVIEW, AND WHO KNOWS YOU COULD FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS TO HARRY SOONER.

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