(Disclaimer: I do not nor have I ever owned Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess or Harry Potter.)
Chapter 1: Rituals
He silently cursed as he tripped over yet another root. Harry and his small team had been traversing those forests and the like for the last couple of days searching for their query with nothing to show for it. Those days of failure were starting to pile up on Harry's conscious, which was why Harry and his team was trudging through the forest when it was almost midnight. If he did not find his targets soon, who knew what horrors they would do. With that thought in mind, he forced the two with him to push forward even faster.
The sunlight had fled the forest for the day and only the dull beams of light from their wands allowed them to see where they were heading. Sure, it would make them easier to spot, but crashing through the forest like a blind drunken hippogriff wouldn't be much better either. It did not help that his team was not used to how he worked yet. Harry had only recently gotten the help that he had been asking for from the ministry after three years into his hunt.
Harry could not even blame them all that much for that though, no matter how much he wanted to for delaying his request like they had. He understood that it took a while for them to get back on their feet after the war followed by several more years to get everything back into working order. It didn't help that the ICW had basically ignored them in their time of need. Sure, they sent a couple wizards to aid in the recovery, but that did not help. What could four or five wizards do to help rebuild a war torn nation? The ministry needed all the wizards and witches that they could get to help put everything back into working order, so they did not have any to spare for Harry's hunt.
After all, tracking down the death eaters that escaped that day at Hogwarts, while important, could wait for a while. They weren't going anywhere or doing anything that could threaten them, or so that was what the ministry thought. Harry knew otherwise though.
His current target, Bellatrix Lestrange, had proven that she was still as dangerous masterless as she was under Voldemort's rule, maybe even more so. Voldemort, as evil as he was, reined in most of her more chaotic tendencies. Now that he was gone, she was left with nothing holding her back.
In the three years since the end of Hogwarts, she had begun to amass an army that was starting to touch the size that Tom had. Bellatrix was not much like Tom though. Voldemort was very manipulative, impressively so and Harry could not deny it. He knew the man better than even his closest followers. After all, Harry had occupied his mind for a good part of his fifth and sixth year. He saw how the man thought and planned things out and Harry could honestly say that he could barely comprehend half the things that went on in his mind. He did not plan three steps ahead, he planned twenty and accounted for almost every conceivable outcomes. He was able to turn almost any situation in his favor, no matter what and he used that cunning mind to further his goals of power.
The madman had amass his followers by softening them with sweet nothings, guided them with their delusions, and gave them the illusion that he was on their side and what he wanted was what they wanted. Tom had convinced them that everything could have been theirs and all they needed to do was bow to him and take his mark. What they did not realize was that once they took the mark. That was the end.
Once the dark mark was branded onto their arms, they stopped being humans and became merely puppets for his amusement and tools for his goal. The sad thing was that none of them realized that, they were too busy wallowing in their own hate and reveling in their supposed victories over non-purebloods to even think that they no longer had control of their lives. He had them so enthralled that they turned a blind eye towards the torture he put them through until it was too late. After all, what was a little torture if the filthy mudbloods and blood traitors were disappearing and their way of life remained unthreatened?
However, Bellatrix did not have that feature of her lord. She had all his insanity and none of his intelligence. She did not trick and lure people into her service then keep them loyal through meaningless platitudes, no, she did not have the mind or patience for it. She could plan out simple things, but she did not have the emotional range or ability to comprehend that she needed more than power and cruelty to keep her new death eaters in line. She could enforced her will through torture and killing and understood nothing else. If someone refused her, instead of being blackmailed into service like Tom would have done, they would just be found dead a week later… in eight different places. Word quickly got around the underground about what she was doing and had done. People grew to fear her and would join so that they would not die, some even flocked to her so they could be a part of her 'righteous' quest in cleansing the world. This meant that slowly, but surely, her army was growing and all the while the world ignored it.
Harry, unlike everyone else, didn't. He prepared for it with everything he had. He cut off her resource lines when he could, got rid of her servants when he could, and did everything that a single person could do to slow her down. After all, he had made it a personal goal in his life to see every single death eater pay for what they had done at the battle of Hogwarts and he was not going to let Bellatrix go no matter what.
Not once was he swayed from his self-imposed mission. To prepare for what he wanted to do, he had delved into the black library, learning things that most people thought were mere myths or spells that were too dark to see the light of day.
Previously, the only reason that he had been learning about the dark to combat it and recognize it in combat, not use it, but as he went along after the monsters wearing the guise of men. He started moving away from that ideal. He had always thought of dark magic as meaning irrevocably evil. However what he learned in the library dulled those thoughts and seeing where the 'dark' magic would aid in his mission and saving people had gotten rid of a good bit of his hesitance.
Some of the spells that he found that were labelled dark had a lot of application for helping people as well. One such spell called the blood stopping curse, while at first glance was a horrible spell could be put to a much more noble purpose than causing people's deaths. The spell could save lives by stopping someone from bleeding out. The only reason that it was dark was because the ministry just looked at it and said that it was.
Upon the realization that dark magic did not mean evil, he resolved to learn as much so called dark magic as he could. While he would never use the truly dark spells he found, he felt that everything else was fair game. Learning these spells did not mean that he was going to go insane and kill every last one of them, no matter how much he wished to, but that did not mean that he would be aiming to take them all alive so they could repent either. He was not Dumbledore after all.
At first, in the beginning of his hunt he was hesitant to try anything that would kill the death eaters. He was a firm believer in the light and that everyone had some good in them and deserved a second chance at life. Just as Dumbledore had taught him, but that ideal had taken a hit when he witnessed some of the things done by death eaters and Tom himself while he was in Tom's mind. Seeing little girls be tortured and killed by their parents under the imperius curse made it hard to think that those animals that called themselves humans, deserved anything more than a quick trip to the headsman's axe.
The straw that broke the camel's back was when he was on his hunt and found his third target, one Ignatius Wilkes. He had found Wilkes in the home of a muggle family of four. The two children had been tortured and killed in front of their parents by the sick man. The next to go was the husband using an entrail-expelling curse. Harry was did not get there in time to save the wife either. He had found Wilkes donning his robes after his depraved actions on the wife's dead body. Needless to say, Wilkes did not leave that house alive or quickly and that was all that Harry was going to remember about that matter.
For the last year, Harry had been following behind Bellatrix, vague leads from dingy bars and a path of mutilated bodies were the only leads that he had. The first signs that removing her from the world was not going to be easy as walking up to her and killing her was when he stumbled upon a ritual circle in France. Normally this would not be a bad sign, rituals were used for many things and relatively harmless. From stabilizing wards so that they could last longer and better, to some forms of divination. Except this ritual was definitely not harmless as the pile of dead bodies that were ritualistically laid out and murdered indicated. The green eyed wizard even recognized what ritual she had gone about doing. It was a ritual found in the Black library that enhanced the size of her core and made it easier for her to cast death magic. The downside was that it damaged the mind, which was definitely not a good thing for the already mad witch. After the first one, the sight of dark ritual sites became less rare as she started to delve into blacker magic than she already was in.
Another high root tripped him up and brought him out of his thoughts. He silently swore to himself as he trudged on through the dark woods. His team chuckled to themselves, but were quickly silenced by a glare and a hissed order to be quiet.
Then came the more annoying parts of the week so far. When the ministry had finally deigned to send him the backup that he had been requesting for years, the two they sent were greener than a grasshopper's ass and were about as helpful. They barely had enough training to be considered aurors, much less hit wizards like he wanted. They were more suited to patrolling the nice and clean Diagon Alley than hiking through the woods and if that was not bad enough, they were also light-sided pureblood bigots which just caused the rift between them to grow. He could not help, but think that he was better off without them.
A couple minutes more of walking and they finally made it to the clearing that they had been looking for the last couple days. The only reason that they had been able to spot it was because of the torches set up in each cardinal direction and the sounds of their voices echoing through the forest. Upon seeing what was in the clearing, Harry had to hiss an order to stay silent and not give away their position to the other two. He was not going to have his best shot at killing Bellatrix ruined by a couple of rookies not being able to hold their tongues. Even though he ordered them into silence, they ignored his order and began to gag and heave behind him.
Only the use of a quick silencing charm kept them from being noticed. While his teammates were busy ejecting all the food from the last couple days from their stomachs, the young man observed what was taking place. It was sad to say, but this was not the first time that he had witnessed such things, just never on this scale.
The ritual seemed to have already begun from the looks of it. In the circle were thirteen wizards chanting in an unknown guttural language. Even though he could not understand the chant, he already knew that the ritual was the worst one that she had performed to date. Bodies drained of all of their blood through terrible means, laid scattered strategically around the circle while their life giving liquid was used to draw the markings on the ground that covered a good portion of the large clearing. Harry counted two dozen sacrifices before he had to stop so that he could focus on the task ahead. It would not do to get held up on the victims when their murderers were still alive. The green eyed wizard was worried that he had missed Bellatrix after not being able to spot her, but that worry was laid to rest when he saw her in all her glory. She looked even worse than the last time that he had seen her. Before she had been pale and emaciated from her stay in Azkaban, this time however it was much worse. Her skin had taken a deathly pallor and her body was so gaunt that he could count each individual rib easily beneath her robes. The worst part was her eyes though. Surrounding the brown orbs were bags so dark that it was like she had not slept in the years that Harry had been hunting her. Her eyes themselves had changed drastically as well, before she had a semblance of reason in them amidst the sea of insanity, however that was now gone. There was nothing left of her mind anymore, the dark rituals and loss of her lord seemed to have taken a devastating toll on her mind as well as her body and it had completely broken her.
She was standing in the middle of the circle, the dark magic spiraled around her erratically, sometime shooting off in random directions and struck whatever was in its way. The chanting death eaters were only safe from the black magic because they were keeping it powered and alive.
As much as it pained him, Harry held his ground as he observed the ritual taking place. There was nothing that he could do at the moment. He could possibly get a shot off at Bellatrix or any of the other wizards in the circle, but he would be a fool to try and do that. He had read gruesome stories about interrupted rituals and the results. Most of them involved many people dead or mutilated, but those were for minor rituals. He had no intention of seeing a ritual of such caliber collapse while he was up close and personal. So instead of trying to stop the ritual, he held up his hand to stop his team from advancing.
"Do not disturb the ritual," Harry ordered them harshly, he could not have them ignore this order or he would be picking up what remained of them off the ground. "It is dangerous to stop a ritual once it starts," He looked at his team with hard eyes to assess their responses. The two seemed to have a problem with staying still while such dark magic was being used, but a glare kept them silent and in place. Harry turned his back on them and began to gather his energy and spread it through the shadows around him. It was not required to do so, but it would greatly aid in the control of the shadows.
Shadow magic was something that he had stumbled across completely by accident. There was a single note that it existed in the middle of a journal that he was reading in his spare time. It was such a small note that he easily could have missed it, but he had fortunately found it. After the brief mention of it, Harry went hunting through the Black library for a book about it, if nothing, but to sate his curiosity of what it was. A problem instantly arose in his search though. The library did not have a single book dedicated to the obscure art of manipulating the shadows. The curious wizard had left his abode for the first time in what had to be a month to look for the book. His search eventually led him to a used book seller and in the back, buried under stories of myths and legends was what he was searching for.
Much to his dismay, the book was not that informational. It gave a brief overview of the magic and what it could accomplish. At first it seemed that there was nothing special about the branch of magic. It had certain spells that were tailored to the shadows and little cantrips that could be done with them. There was not much there because the author had, for some reason, stopped writing about using the shadows rather abruptly and his family published what was there in his name. One of the issues he had learning shadow magic was that he already had spells that did the exact same thing that it could do except they were quicker and more powerful. The only difference was that it had the potential to be wandless and it was untraceable by normal means. The potential of being able to cast untraceable wandless spells got him hooked so Harry forged on through the book until it gave a simple practice for the user to do so they could begin their journey in manipulating the shadows. There were several warnings about the amount of magic needed to move the shadows, but Harry ignored it. He had plenty of magic so it should not be a problem.
His first foray into shadow magic was an utter disappointment. That is not to say that he didn't get it to work, it did. It was just that he should have listened to the book and been more careful. The power requirement for even moving a single shadow was immense and the book had vastly understated just how much magic it took to create even a ripple in the shadows. It was so much, that for over two weeks, he had only been able to move a single shadow a couple seconds before his core was almost depleted. He would have given up right there and then if not for one thing. Harry was a tenacious man and nothing would stop him once he set his mind to it. He reasoned that even if the magic never panned out anywhere, it was a good magical workout and would help boost his core and it did. In the year that he tried to learn shadow magic, he almost doubled his core strength. The practical aspect did not work out that well though, Harry was only able to accomplish the bare minimum with the shadow magic because if he tried anymore, he feared that he would damage his core irreparable so most of his experimentation was severely limited and the book only gave one exercise before the writer had stopped writing.
The most that he could do was dredge the shadows up and capture someone in something similar to the incarcerous spell, fortunately the shadows sapped the energy from the victim to help sustain the spell. Harry had tried to find out why the spells would not work without supplying even the most basic with more power than an average wizard had in their bodies, but no matter where he looked, he could not find it out.
Harry was brought out of memory lane when he felt that the shadows getting restless beneath his feet. Shadow magic was not like any other magic that Harry had come across. The closest actually being transfiguration rather than battle magic like he initially thought. To one that did not practice both arts, shadow magic and transfiguration did not seem to have anything in common. That was false though, for transfiguration, at least for animated and living transfiguration, one needed to visualize and morph the subject of their spells. For transfiguration, it was the object being changed while for shadow magic, it was the shadows themselves. Shadows were somewhat self-aware, even if it was a little bit. They preferred to stay out of the light and disliked being called on for no reason. A skilled practitioner from what Harry had been able to sleuth out would be able to have all shadows bend to their will, but for one such as Harry, who had a difficult time pulling on the shadows, needed constant reinforcement to keep control.
He looked back to check on his team and noticed that they were starting to get antsy as they watched the ritual continue, but so far they had not disobeyed his orders to not interfere. Now that his team was accounted for, he began to move the shadows into position behind each of the death eaters.
"What is that?" one of them whispered in fear. Harry looked over to see what he was looking at, fearing that they had been spotted by a couple death eaters. Instead, the man was staring at the ground around them that was swarming with inky black shadows swarming towards the death eaters.
"Shadows," Harry answered shortly, he was getting tired from moving so many shadows and was too busy concentrating on setting up his shadows to immediately take out the ritualistic men and Bellatrix to explain further.
"That's… That's black magic!" he shouted heedless of where he was, the other member of the team snarled along with him. "You in league with Bellatrix!"
"Don't be stupid!" Harry snapped back at him, his control over the shadows wavered, but a burst of will had them settling down. "Shadow magic is not dark, just obscure. Also I have been trying to kill her for years, why would I be working for her? So be quiet and stay still."
"Because you have gone dark. Should have known that there was no way someone like you could be good," The other one sneered, noticing that Harry was too preoccupied to retaliate against him. "You don't want to stop the ritual so that she can get more powerful!"
"Idiot," Harry hissed at him, watching the death eaters to see if they were spotted, but they were too wrapped up in the ritual to notice anything more. "Stopping a small ritual is dangerous, stopping one like this would be catastrophic," Didn't they learn anything in the auror academy. Harry knew for a fact that they went over that in one of the lessons through his few talks with Moody in his downtime. It seemed that the ministry had really scraped the bottom of the barrel with his backup.
"You can't fool us!" He said, ignoring him. "Well let's see how you like not having a dark mistress anymore,"
Harry moved to tackle him as the man jumped out of his hiding spot. His control over the shadows broke and most of it sunk into the ground and disappeared. Only a few tendrils remained in his control as he tried to stop the foolish man. He was too late as the fool shot a spell off towards the circle of thirteen. Harry watched in horror as the cutting curse flew through the air towards the ritual circle.
'Couldn't the man feel the magic in the air around them? That kind of magic was a disaster waiting to happen and he just let it loose,' Harry thought as he tried to create a shield of shadows using the magic charged shadows already there, to stop the spell before it could reach the death eaters. As much as it pained him to protect them, he wanted to stay alive more. His wall of shadows was erected just in time to get in front of the curse. Alas he made the wall with absolutely no practice beforehand so it was weak and thin, allowing the cutting curse to punch straight through the shadow after a second of trying. Had he been using the elder wand that he kept strapped to his off-hand's wrist to reinforce the shield, maybe he would have been able to boost the shadow's ability enough to stop the curse, but it was too late and there was nothing to stop it now. Wisps of shadows followed behind the spell as it missed Bellatrix and cut into one of the people chanting, not even killing him, but distracting him enough to stop chanting. The rookie couldn't even get that right.
Everyone briefly paused, but Harry was not tricked. It was like the calm before the storm and Harry wanted no part of the storm coming. He got to his feet, leaving the greenhorn to what he had brought down upon them and flung himself back into the forest. He managed to huddle behind a tree, just as the screaming started.
All of the wizards and witches in the circle cried out in agony as their magic went haywire and began tearing them apart bit by bit from the inside. Not that Harry minded what was happening to them, he fully believed they were getting what was coming to him. What worried him was that the dark magic had changed when it came in contact with the magic ladened shadows he had been wielding.
Balls of erratic magic drifted towards the sky and stayed there as it lashed out at the surrounding area before they began to converge. He had no idea what it was about to do, all he knew was that it was going to be bad. The-Boy-Who-Won looked towards the two that started this whole mess just in time to see them get disintegrated into mist of blood and gore by a stray bolt of magic. Harry felt horrible about himself when the first thing he thought was 'good riddance' when they disappeared, but he pushed that to the back of his mind. He had more important things to do, like surviving the mess that they made in their ignorance.
Harry was about to flee when he heard it. Bellatrix's insane laughter echoed around the clearing. Harry risked a look and what greeted him was a sight that he would never forget. All thirteen of the wizards were gone, they were in pieces and those pieces were scattered everywhere. What drew his attention was the only one of the death eaters that was currently alive. A blood soaked Bellatrix stood in the center of all of the chaos with her arms raised towards the sky. The blood of her fallen minions was studiously ignored as she gazed in what could only be called rapture, at the ever changing ball of black magic. The previously shapeless blob was starting to take shape of something that Harry had never seen before. The edges morphed into various geometric shapes while the middle seemed to spiral into the distance while not doing so physically. Red and Blue light shot out of the center of the vortex in beams of light and arched out into waving lines and squares that crisscrossed the vortex. Bellatrix's insane laughter increased as she felt herself be lifted up and towards her prize.
She was so happy that the potter brat had interfered with her ritual. That did not mean that she would spare him. She just might put him under a little cruciatus curse… for several days and then kill him. The original ritual was meant to cause a rift in space to summon a creature that would help them combat the light and taint in their society, but with Potter and his gang of idiots help, it opened up a rift that would lead her to her new army.
Harry watched as she started to ascend and made his decision right there. It was not that hard either. It was the world or Bellatrix and it was one that he made in a heartbeat. He drew his elder wand and lifted it up until it was lined up with the cackling Lestrange. For the second time in his life the words "Avada Kedavra," passed his lips with the intent to kill. He always kept away from the killing curse, not because he feared it or anything like that. What bothered him was that he did not want to become what Voldemort had become.
From the stories he had been told, Voldemort was a wizard that rivalled Dumbledore in power and intelligence, however, because of his over reliance on unforgivables, he had devolved from the horror that he had been into just another killing curse throwing wizard. Harry rarely saw any spells cast by the man that were not either green of death or the red of the torture curse. That was what unforgivable did to a person who used them too much. They twisted their minds and made them lose who they were, they became drunk on the power that the spells could give them and neglect everything else.
However, even with that in mind. Harry knew that he needed to kill her before she reached the vortex and the only spell that was a surefire way to do that was the worst of the unforgivables. Even with his hesitance to use it, the sickly green curse flew straight and true and splashed across the mad woman's back, silencing her laughter forever. The vortex did not seem to care for dead bodies and dropped her onto the ground. Harry cautiously waited for the other shoe to drop and have something bad happen, but when nothing did, he was able to relax somewhat. The vortex calmed down and maintained its position, but did nothing else.
Harry was surprised at how he felt at her death. She was the one that killed his only remaining family and many of his friends. He thought that he would feel happy, ecstatic even, now that she laid dead in front of him, instead he felt nothing. He felt that he had accomplished his mission and it was time to move on, killing her did not bring his loved ones back, it did settle the issue he had with their deaths though. Beyond that, there was no guilt, no joy, no sadness, nothing. The only thing that was different now was that something had begun to nag him, but he had no clue what it was so he pushed it away for the time being.
Now that it was over and his hunt for all the escaped death eaters was finished, the time for cleanup began. The twenty year old wizard knew that he could not leave the piles of dead bodies and he definitely could not leave an active portal leading to God knows where open. That would just be inviting trouble.
The first thing that he did was set up wards around the surrounding area. It would not be good if someone was able to sneak up on him while he was taking down the vertex. The first step in cleaning up, was opening up a small hole in the ground then do a mass summoning charm with his holly wand and directed all the flesh and blood into it. He had sheathed the death stick into his wrist holster so he was not tempted to use it frivolously.
The blood, flesh, and grey matter all flew into the hole in a macabre line. While he felt bad about not being able to return the bodies of his late team to Britain, he knew that he could not let any evidence of whatever ritual that they were used for to reach the light of day, so he forced those feelings to the side and continued. He did not have the time to sort out which chunk of flesh was whose and which piece of bone was one of his teammates or a death eater so they all went into the pile. A quick incendiary charm lit the remains of all the people in the clearing. A greasy smoke and smell of burning flesh filled the air, making his stomach protest against the revolting scent, as they burned away into nothing.
The next thing he did was summon all the valuables and whatever bags that had remained untouched. There was not a lot left, but two bags flew towards him and three wands came with it. The wands were quickly stuck in his back pocket where they would remain until he got around to disposing of them or giving them to Ollivander to find a new user for them. He checked the bags for dark objects and when none appeared, he tossed them to the side. He had no need for them, the moleskin pouch that Hermione had given him, before she died was stocked with all that he needed and much more.
The next item of business was to deal with the corpse of Bellatrix. He would not put it past the death eaters to try and resurrect their fallen master, no matter how insane she was. He began walking towards it when he felt a pull. It was not a pull on his physical being though, instead it was magical. Something was calling for him and whatever it was, was housed on Bellatrix's body.
When he realized that, he stopped dead in his tracks and drew his occlumency barriers tight around his mind. A booby trap fuelled by a compulsion charm on her dead body seemed like just the thing that the mad woman would do. The compulsion to go to her body lessened considerable which allowed him to find the source of the magic. Instead of the compulsion charm that he was expecting, there was a couple faint links to his magic coming from three different directions that he had never noticed before. One led to his back pocket, one led to his left wrist, and the last one led towards Bellatrix's body. He checked his wrist for anything that might had tagged him, but there were nothing there. The only thing he had on his wrist was the elder wand. Harry pondered on what that could mean, then broke out into a cold sweat when a thought crossed his mind and he quickly reached for his back pocket where the second link to his magic lied. His hand brushed against the velvet of his invisibility cloak that he had kept on his person since the end of his sixth year. Harry quickly made his way to Bellatrix's body, hoping that what he was thinking was not true.
Following the string of magic, he reached into Bellatrix's neckline and grasped a chain. A quick tug had the necklace in Harry's hand and his fears were confirmed. In his hand was a black gem with a white symbol etched into the top. The green eyed wizard would recognize the stone anywhere, it was the last of the deathly hallows, the resurrection stone. He thought that he had lost it years ago in the battle of Hogwarts.
He had found it in the snitch that Dumbledore had given him. He supposed that Dumbledore thought that he would figure out the password or something to open it. The problem was that he did not know it and was too busy looking for horcruxes to play the old man's game. Dumbledore had apparently neglected to put an unbreakable ward on it though because it had caught a stray curse and broken open a month before the battle of Hogwarts. The metal was blasted to pieces, but the stone remained in one piece. Bellatrix must have found it and recognized it for what it was. That or she thought that it belonged to Voldemort and planned to return it to her master.
Whatever the case may be, the stone had made its way back into Harry's possession once again. Harry sighed as he slipped the necklace on. As much as he hated dealing with the deathly hallows almost as much as he hated Tom's horcruxes, he knew that leaving it would bring about more death and misery than it already had before. At least if it was in his possession he would not have to worry about it falling into someone else's clutches to be used to commit atrocities.
Harry decided that he could think all he wanted about the deathly hallows later, now he had to deal with what was left of the ritual and the remaining bodies before something happened. A quick fire charm and Bellatrix was nothing, but ash in the breeze. However, what Harry did not notice while he was removing all traces of her from the world, was the arms slinking out of the vortex. He did hear the sound of bodies dropping behind him though and prepared for battle.
He spun around and raised his holly wand to curse the person behind him, only to be struck in the face by a large hand. It felt like he was hit by a truck as he was flung across the clearing, the only reason that he stopped was because a tree got in the way of his flight path. His holly wand flew out of his hand into the forest behind him.
With the wind knocked out of him, there was not much he could do besides hope he could regain his bearings in time to dodge whatever was attacking him. When he heard the thuds of something large and heavy moving towards him at a good clip, he rolled to the side as fast as he could and prayed he did so in time. Unfortunately he was not fast enough to get away completely unscathed. Most of the strike missed him and hit the tree he was up against, shattering it and making it collapse, he was tagged by the rest of it and sent rolling deeper into the forest. His head bounced off of a rock as he rolled through the trees, dazing him and leaving him at the mercy of whatever was attacking him.
The very large hand picked him up from where he laid, and held him in a crushing grip. Now that Harry recovered from the hard hit to get his wits about him, he got a good look at who or what his attacker was. Then he had to shake his head to determine whether or not he was seeing things because of his concussion or he was imagining what was in front of him. The monster in front of him was very strange to say the least. He had never seen or heard of anything that was even close to what he was faced with. While Harry wasn't a zoologist or the magical variant, magizoologist like Luna, he knew enough about the deadly creatures of the world, that if it could kill someone, he could recognize it, but he had no idea what it was.
The beast held him up above its head. It had its head cocked to the side much like a curious dog would and seemed to be looking at him. The captive wizard could not tell because the thing did not have a face. Rather the face, if it could be called that, looked more like a shield than anything. Harry guessed that it was a mask of some kind, but if that was true, he wondered where the holes for its eyes and mouth. The body was made up of long gangly limbs that belied its strength. The creature's entire body was covered in the black markings that were similar to the ones found on the vortex and on its chest was a red glowing crest of some kind. Its hair came from both the top and the bottom of the mask in thick black spikes that waved in the wind. Even for someone like Harry, it made a terrifying sight.
The thing obviously thought that he was unarmed because it just stood there observing him. Harry was not going to let such an opportunity to pass and hit the quick release on his elder wand. The wand dropped into his hand and with a practiced motion, he grabbed it and pressed it flush against the beast's head as he shot a gouging curse. He knew better than to use a reductor curse because that had the likelihood of bouncing right off of the metal mask and straight into his body. The spell seemed to have trouble going through the metal even with the power of the death stick, but ultimately it made it through. Black blood flew out of the back of its head and some of the ichor splashed onto his face. The blood did not feel like any that he had felt before, rather than being a viscous liquid like normal sanguine fluid, the blood was more like ink and quickly slid off his face, leaving black streaks behind. The blood as not warm either, instead it was ice cold.
The lifeless body dropped to the ground and released Harry, who dropped to the ground in a crouch looking for the others like the beast. It did not take long to spot them as they were charging at him with their arms raised to strike him down. A grey spell shot out of the end of his wand and struck the closest one in the chest.
It was a rather unique spell that he learned from the black library. A member of the black family enjoyed mixing together spells of all kinds to see what would happen, one such spell was the one he just subjected the creature to. It was a mix of the blood boiling and bone shattering curses. Did he forget to mention that the spell creator was also quite sadistic and enjoyed creating horrid spells?
Harry watched as the creatures limbs became deformed and perforated from all the bone fragments. That was not the most interesting part, since the creature's blood was cold and then suddenly began to boil, it had an explosive reaction. Rather than steaming like the spell was intended to do to warm blooded creatures. The blood shot out of holes made by the bones and sprayed the surrounding area in the black gore. The other creature had a much different reaction than he thought that it would have. Rather than trying to help its comrade or attack him in vengeance. It stopped where it stood and uttered an unearthly roar that shook the skies. Harry clapped his hands over his ears in pain and blindly shot a cutting curse towards the demonic creature. When the roaring stopped suddenly, Harry looked up and noticed that the creature was still standing, but obviously dead. Half of its head landed on the ground next to it and the only reason it still stood was because its arms were wrist deep in the ground from where it planted them to roar.
Seeing no more left, Harry remembered that he lost his holly wand and summoned it back to him. His ever faithful wand slapped into his hand and put the elder wand away. Seeing that the portal was still open and he did not wish for more of those creatures to come out, he started hastily taking the portal done. If those three were the first things through, then he did not wish to see what manner of horrors followed behind them. He knew that if it was not for the elder wand's increase in power, none of his curses would have even come close to penetrating the steel like masks and he would be dead or captured.
Suddenly a sound came from behind him and he turned around just in time to see the beast that he just put down by venting its head, grab him around the throat. Behind the creature was another one. This was the one that had all its bones shattered and blood removed, yet it stood there as lively as it had when it first arrived. While he was pinned by the large hand, the beast released a roar similar to what the dead one that laid by Harry's feet had done. The green eyed wizard watched in shock as the piece of its head slid across the ground and melded into the creature where it regenerated the missing pieces and got back up to its feet as if it hadn't been lying dead a second ago.
The one that was holding him in the air had learned from its comrade's mistake and was pinning his arms to his torso so that he could not raise his wand enough to end him. The beast growled at him and cocked its arm back with Harry in it and threw him into the sky. A pulling sensation gripped him as he shot through the air and flew through the portal.
Passing through the portal was like falling into freezing water. All the heat was pulled from him, leaving him shivering as he continued to fall. There was no light inside the vortex, so all that Harry could see was darkness and the only sound was air rushing past as he fell. The only thing that he could feel beyond the cold was the crushing pressure he was subjected to and the twisting. It was like mixing the squeezing feeling of apparition with the nausea inducing spins from portkeys. It was by far the worst magical transportation that he had ever taken.
He continued to fall and fall and fall, and there was no sign that it was going to stop soon. Being trapped in the portal gave him time to think about just how things had gotten so bad.
The war had not ended like they had hoped. The second to last horcrux was finally destroyed and the only one left was Nagini, Voldemort's beloved familiar. The diadem was found ahead of schedule because of a stroke of brilliance on Neville's part. While they were planning out taking the school back from the likes of Carrow, they got onto the topic of horcruxes and the location of the last couple. Hermione had asked Neville where the diadem might be. Several fruitless minutes of thinking had them frustrated at the lack of clues. Neville, who was stressed from months of classes taught by death eaters and managing the resistance grew angry at not knowing what to do, said that he wished that it would appear right in front of them so everything would be over and done with.
Suddenly Ravenclaw's diadem was on the table in all its splendor, surprising them all so much that the golden trio just had to laugh at the irony of it all. Every other horcrux was a pain and a half to get, while this one only took a little wishing and luck.
Then came the next problem, Harry did not know how to destroy it. He did not have the sword of Gryffindor or basilisk venom and he did not want to risk some of the dark magic that could do anything without any practice with them. Harry sat staring at the diadem for several minutes while everyone brainstormed around him. It was like Voldemort was taunting him. He went through all the trouble to eradicate the others only to have the last spitting on all his efforts.
He thought about what a horcrux was. It was a soul anchor while being part of a soul at once. Created by killing someone in cold blood and tearing their soul in half. He ran through all the spells in his mind that would affect the soul and the list was shockingly short. There were only two that he knew of, fiendfyre and one other that he did not want to think about. However Harry could not exactly cast fiendfyre in the middle of a room full of teens. That was recipe for disaster. That left the second one as the only one that he could think of that would definitely work. The boy-who-lived knew what he had to do to destroy it, but he was hesitant about it. He was a light wizard and light wizards did not cast dark magic.
It took almost half an hour of justifying his choice and running through every other possibility before he ran out of excuses.
"What are you doing, mate?" Ron asked, looking up from the table were using to write out ideas. "We still haven't come up with a way to destroy it yet,"
"I have," Harry answered sadly, he felt that once he casted the curse, everything would change. He would be more like Voldemort afterwards even if it was just in his mind, but if it saved his friends than he was willing to do it. Before anyone could stop him, he had the room conjure up a table and he set the diadem on it. Drawing his wand, he dredged up all the feelings of anger and hate that he had encountered during his life and living with the Dursleys and their horrible child abuse gave him plenty to draw from.
"Avada Kedavra," Harry intoned to the shock of the room. The bright green curse flew from the tip of his wand straight into the horcrux. Black smoke with the faces of the damned poured out of the headwear and dissipated. Harry dropped heavily into a nearby chair as the silence in the room started to become unbearable. Harry could feel the eyes of everyone in the room staring at him, judging him for what he had done. He was supposed to be the next leader of the light, the destroyer of Voldemort, and their savior all in one and he had just casted one of the worst spells ever created.
"Why Harry?" Hermione asked, breaking the silence. "You didn't have to do that, we would have come up with something that would destroy it eventually,"
"Eventually," Harry said back to her, "We do not have eventually though. The longer we allow those abominations to exist, the longer Voldemort has to live. I came up with the quickest and safest solution I had. The only other spell that I know to kill horcruxes without the basilisk or the sword of Gryffindor, would be fiendfyre and you can see the problem there," He dropped his head back against the headrest and stared at the ceiling, what he had just done was registering, but he knew that he had done the best thing.
A hand dropped onto his shoulder. He looked up to see the serious visage of Neville. For a second, he was afraid that Neville would try and reprimand him for what he had done, but that was done away with as soon as he began to talk.
"I know that was hard for you," He said sincerely, "But you did what you had to and there is nothing to be ashamed of," He patted Harry's shoulder one last time before going back to the table and working out plans for taking back the school. Harry looked to Ron, who out of all of them would probably be taking the use of evil magic the worst. His fears were unfounded when Ron looked him in the eye and nodded his head in acceptance and turned back to the planning board. That one gesture said everything that needed to be said between the two of them. Hermione gave him one of her bone crushing hugs before she followed her boyfriend to the table.
For the next hour, Harry got as much rest that he was able to. Living in a tent while being on the move every day to keep from getting caught by Voldemort did not give the same comforts that Hogwarts could give. While he and everyone else was resting, a fourth year student burst into the room, only to stop when faced with over a dozen wands trained at him.
"Snape and McGonagall are fighting each other in the grand hall!" He said excitedly, "She is going to kick his ass!" He spun in place and charged down the hall to go watch the fireworks. Ever the one to see Snape get his just desserts, Harry threw on his invisibility cloak and followed behind the crowd of students.
He made it down to the grand hall in time to see the two of them arguing. Snape had the Carrows backing him up while the entire school for the most part was on McGonagall's side. The arrival of the members of DA was what set off the fight between the two of them. Snape sent a curse towards the more noticeable members, but McGonagall blocked it and sent waves of fire towards the greasy man. He blocked most of it, however, for each wave of her wand, more fire spewed forth and attacked him. The Carrows were hit by some fire and were knocked to the ground unconscious and severely burned. The loss of what little allies he had led to Severus fleeing out the window.
Soon after Snape had left, he was pulled into Tom's mind when he felt the man's white hot fury. He only got a quick glimpse before he was shut out, but that was enough to know. He saw the lake full of Inferi that his locket had been kept in. Tom knew that Harry had been destroying his soul anchors and he would be coming to Hogwarts for his vengeance.
Harry threw off his cloak and ran up to his old transfiguration professor, "Professor!" he said to get her attention, "Voldemort is coming!"
"Potter?" She sputtered, 'What are you doing here?"
'There is no time for that," Harry interrupted, "He found out that we have been destroying his horcruxes and he is coming here,"
'How could you possible know this?" She asked skeptically.
"Snape is not a good occlumency teacher," Harry cryptically said, still leery about letting people know about his connection to Tom. Like he predicted, McGonagall deciphered the message quickly and paled.
Instantly she began directing the students. It was slow going for a bit, but soon all of the students began working when it was mentioned that Voldemort was coming. While this was happening, she and the other teachers were activating the protections the schools had built in.
It did not seem that long until Voldemort was basically knocking on their door, but since he had been able to warn Hogwarts in time. Tom was not able to take them by surprise like he had hoped to do and would have to fight for every inch of the school.
It was then that Harry got to see the true extent of what the founders had done to the school to protect it. Hogwarts had by far one of the most elaborate and powerful wards that Harry had ever seen in his life. The sight of the dome of pure energy covering the entire castle and its massive grounds was an awe inspiring sight. The amount of magic needed to maintain it for even a second must have been enormous, but the school was so full of magic that it did not even waver. That did not stop the dark lord though, he was determined to reach Harry and fulfil the prophecy.
In the time that it took for Tom and his inner circle to begin to weaken the wards of the castle, his minions had massed at the gates. Dementors, werewolves, giants, Inferi, Vampire, and more. Harry could not even name some of the creatures that he had brought with him. They all milled around the outside of the wards, waiting for them to fall so that they could reach the children inside. All of them were quiet though, their lord said that he needed concentration for what he was about to do, and none of them wanted to anger him in his moment of glory. The day that their lord had been dreaming of for years was finally coming to pass and they knew he would not tolerate anyone defiling it.
Inside was a much different story than outside. Whereas Tom's men stood in silent confidence that they could take the school with relative ease. Hogwarts was filled with chaos and fear coupled with desperate hope that they were going to survive the battle. They had realized that there was no way out early on when they tried to send all the students home and away from what was to come. Voldemort or one of his men had been able to shut down the floo network in the school so that none of them could leave. They could not fly out on broomsticks because then they would just become target practice for the sadistic death eaters and if that did not get them, the soul sucking demons would. Apparition was out because the wards prevented it. All that lead to the situation that they found themselves in. Small children were huddled together in corners panicking and crying out for their loved ones, as if they would come and make everything better. A couple of seventh years from all the houses were sitting with the little children, trying to calm them down and reassure them. Then the ones, third year and up were ordered to help by the people in charge. Mostly they were charged with the job of pouring as much power as they could into locking certain doors around the castle. Most of the latent energy of Hogwarts was being used for the shielding so all of the redundant systems like locking doors were neglected. The locked doors would act like a funnel where, death eaters would be brought into a kill zone so to speak and they could be taken out easier than one on one combat. The idea was actually Ron's. He had been studying basic strategy in his spare time and drew inspiration on some muggle battles.
While this was going on, McGonagall was directing the animated suits of armor to the bridge where they would clash with the enemy.
As much as Harry hated exposing the children to the battle, he was glad for their help. Dumbledore's Army and the professors could only do so much and the extra hands made everything much easier and quicker. After the final door was locked and warded, was when the first signs that the wards could not hold out forever started. Harry rushed out to the courtyard with several other students and looked towards the edge of the dome. It seemed that Voldemort had determined the wards weakened enough that they could use force to open it the rest of the way. Waves of curses flew through the air as every death eater joined in on the barrage. The excitement got the giants going and they charged the barriers to try and batter them down. The death eaters ordered the dementors to spread out and hold their position so that no one could flee and if they would not survive.
The wards were fighting against the hundreds of curses valiantly, but it would not be able to hold out forever thanks to Voldemort's efforts in weakening it. All of a sudden the spells stopped.
"You have until midnight to give me Harry Potter!" Voldemort's magically amplified voice called out, "If you do, all of you shall live, but if you don't, then all of your lives are forfeit,"
The courtyard was silent as everyone turned and looked around them for Harry.
"There he is," A girl cried out, Pansy Parkinson, he believed it was. "Give him to You-Know-Who!'
The crowd cried out their agreement and began to press in towards him, only to be stopped by a loud bang. McGonagall stood at the edge of the courtyard, giving each one of them one of her patented glares. "You will not lay a hand on him," She threatened, "All of you inside now," Some students looked like they wanted to fight it, but another glare had their resolve wither away as they meekly went back to the castle.
"Flitwick, go make sure that all the students are safe," She ordered her co-worker, "And make sure that we don't have any of Voldemort's servants within our midst," The short professor nodded his head and took off after the retreating students.
"Mr. Longbottom," She said, snapping everyone from their daze. "I want you to go to the wooden bridge and destroy it. That should make it so that the death eaters will only have one place to attack,"
"Wait, you're actually giving me permission to do this?"
"That is correct, Mr. Longbottom," She said back at him in a hurry.
"To blow it up? Boom?" He said still in shock.
'Yes, boom!" She said back at him. If the situation wasn't so serious, Harry would be rolling on the floor laughing.
"How am I going to do that?" Neville asked dumbfounded.
McGonagall paused for just a second, before the thoughts of one student came to mind. "Why don't you confer with Mr. Finnigan, as I recall he has a particular inclination for pyrotechnics?" If that wasn't the understatement of the century, Harry did not know what was. The boy managed to turn the basic fire starting charm into a lethal weapon. He shuddered to think what would happen if the boy knew the blasting curse. The green eyed wizard was tempted just to teach it to the boy and set him loose on Voldemort's army.
"I can bring it down. No problem," The Irish boy everyone was talking about said, popping up from nowhere.
"Good, good," The professor said, "Get to it, we need all the time we can get,"
Neville and Seamus looked at each other and raced off to lace the bridge with explosives, as if the professor might say they couldn't anymore.
"Dear god, what have I done?" McGonagall muttered to herself, but Harry and his friends were able to catch it. "Mr. Potter, you and your friends need to get inside," She ordered. A surge of indignation flared in his chest, he was not some child that could not fight and needed to be shut away and protected.
Ron accurately summed up his thoughts, "Like hell we are," He said. 'We are going to be out here fighting,"
"Ronald!" A shrill voice called out, "You will listen to the professor and get inside where it is safe," Molly Weasley stepped out into the courtyard following her voice.
Ron was silent for a moment, "No," He said firmly, taking Molly aback. Ron had never denied her like that before. Disagreed, argued, sure, but never flat out said no. "I am going to be out here, helping end this once and for all. I would rather fight out here than sit inside like a bloody coward,"
"Ronald, you, Harry and Hermione will go inside this instant or so help me," She warned.
"Or so help you what? In case you haven't noticed, Voldemort is right there trying to get in so that he can kill everyone," He said, "What could you do that would stop me from protecting everyone?"
She went silent, no one had ever called her on her bluff before and she had no retort. "Mum, I love you, but I have to do this," Ron said as he gave her a hug. Molly looked like she was about to work herself into a rant until she saw just how resolved her son was.
"Alright," She sighed, "just make sure that you're safe, ok?"
"Ok," Ron said as he made his way over to the other two.
"Can I say anything that will sway you?" The transfiguration professor asked.
Their silence was her answer, "If that is the case, help me and Flitwick protect this gate," She sighed in defeat, "Just stay behind the gate and if giants come, run away," She turned and headed off to converse with the other professors on how to protect the bridge, trusting Harry and his friends to do the same.
While Harry and his group planned how to protect the bridge the school ran out of time as the witching hour struck. "I gave you a chance," Voldemort called out, "And you threw it away like the filth that you are. Now you must pay the price,"
The hundreds of spells began raining yet again, but this time Voldemort joined in with a powerful beam of magic. The extra edge given by Voldemort seemed to be enough to give them an edge over the wards. With a mighty crack, the wards were pierced and all of it started to fail. The dome around the school seemed to catch on fire and slowly burn as it fell to pieces. The bits of magical refuse drifted away in the breeze. With a roar the death eater's began to charge. The first ones through were the giants on the bridge. They tore through the suits of armor like they were not even there. As this was happening, Harry heard a series of large explosions. He looked to the side to see that the wooden bridge collapse in a ball of fire, dropping countless werewolves down into the gorge. The werewolves gave a cry of rage as they watched their brethren fall to their deaths and began looking for another avenue to reach the school.
The defenders of Hogwarts watched as the giants tear through the armor and when they noticed they were not going to be stopped by the school's defenses. They fled into the courtyard and sealed the doors behind them tightly. They knew that it would not last long, but it would delay them from getting it for a little bit longer and that was all that they needed them to do. The teachers began setting up fortifications for when the gate were breached and bunkered down to wait.
Harry was not content however, just waiting for them to come break down the door. He wanted to stop some of them before they could get close to the school and gestured towards the gatehouse at his friends. They got his meaning instantly and followed him up to the building. They reached the windows quickly and Harry carefully opened them so they did not get spotted. Looking from above, painted a much worse picture than they thought. Most of the giants were already through the lines of armor and the surviving werewolves were following close behind them. The first line of defense barely took any of them out either. At most, a couple giants had slipped on scraps and fell off the bridge.
Harry jutted his wand out of the window a bit and took aim at the first thing that he could get a good shot on. A werewolf was bounding over a pile of metal when a bludgeoning curse hit him in the chest, flinging him back and off the bridge.
Harry watched as he fell into the darkness below. The feeling of guilt surged through him, but he ruthlessly pushed the thoughts of actively killing a man for the first time down using his mediocre occlumency training and began casting more spells. Many were non-lethal, but even then, some were dying because they were falling off the bridge or being trampled by giants. A stoic Ron soon joined him at the window to try and whittle the army down before they got to the gate. Hermione did not join in on the spell casting because she was vomiting in a corner when she saw just what had happened to a werewolf that fell in front of an inattentive giant. They were able to knock out a couple more giants and stun even more werewolves before the wizards following behind the two wised up and started firing at the gate house. Using whatever flying spell that Snape had used before, they shot by the bridge as black cloud-like beings and hit the buildings with various curses and hexes to try and kill them. Harry cast one last spell before he and his friends abandoned the gatehouse. The blasting charm hit the bridge and took out a chunk of the side. A large piece of stone blew off the structure leading to the death of giants and werewolves alike. The scene they came upon when leaving the gatehouse was one of horror.
The wizards that flew over top of the buildings were not content in leaving anything undamaged. Fires raged around the destroyed halls and the court yard was littered with the debris of the buildings and the bodies of several death eaters sprawled on the ground. A large fireball lit up the night. It was located where Gryffindor tower was, or used to be considering that all that was left was burning rubble. The pang of loss was even greater when he noticed that the tower was not the only part of the building to be destroyed. His home was being destroyed and all that he could do was watch.
A series of loud bangs brought his attention back to the gates and he prepared for the long and grueling battle with Voldemort's men.
It was as promised, a long and cruel battle. Harry did not know where it all went wrong, one minute they were holding the gate from the onslaught of death eaters and the next Harry found himself in his current position. Carefully watching Tom as his friends were being held captive by Pansy and Draco's lackeys, Crabbe and Goyle. The rest of the school was silent save for the cries of agony coming from the injured and sobs from Molly and others who lost someone close to them. Mrs. Weasley wailed, heedless of what was going on around her as she held Fred and Ginny's dead bodies. Bellatrix had managed to catch Ginny with a killing curse. Molly tried to avenge her daughter, but Bellatrix was the second in command for a reason and Molly had not picked up her wand to fight for a long time. Through sheer rage and determination, the red headed mother was able to drive her back though.
So instead of killing students, Bellatrix was standing right behind Tom as Harry faced off with his enemy, cackling and calling out taunts and insults all the while.
"So Voldemort, or should I say Tom," Harry said, Voldemort twitched at the use of his old name, but otherwise said nothing. "Finally decided to show your face rather than send your little minions to do your dirty work,"
"How dare you speak to my lord like that!" Bellatrix screamed and raised her wand. "You do not even deserve to gaze upon his glory!"
"No," Voldemort ordered, holding out his hand. "I will be the only one to kill Potter," Bellatrix wilted immediately and stepped back.
They gaze at each other for several seconds before Harry took the initiative and shot a blasting curse at him. Voldemort laughed menacingly as he batted it away with his wand. "So little Potter knows some actual magic?"
Harry responded by sending a gouging curse followed by a cutting curse. Voldemort batted his first curse to the side where it stuck a death eater in the head and dodged the other one, leaving to cut into the ground harmlessly. Tom sent a couple killing curses in his direction, causing Harry to have to dive out of the way to avoid them. He did not want to test whether or not surviving a killing curse as a baby was a fluke. He rolled to his feet to dodge several red and green unforgivables and silently sent more curses at the snake faced man. Spells flew out of his wand as fast as he could cast them while the same was happening with Voldemort. Harry had completely given up on trying to block any spells that Voldemort sent. They were all much too powerful or unblockable.
A whip of fire gouged the ground at his feet as the ribbon curse connected to his wand. The whip of fire flew through the air again, forcing Harry to move to the side. A sectumsempra shot silently from his wand. The spell was fast enough to catch Voldemort's face and carved a patch of skin from his temple, revealing the white bone underneath. The ribbon curse was immediately ended as he sneered and shot even more killing curses if that was possible. There was so many that Harry could only try to dance around them to the best of his abilities. His seeker training was immensely useful as he could pick out which spells could potentially hit him and which he could ignore in favor of those that may hit him.
"Exolesco," Harry muttered quietly. The curse slipped past all of the killing curses and struck Voldemort's leg. The decaying curse was one that Harry had found in the restricted section of Hogwart's library. He had gone in search for what was ailing Dumbledore and the curse was the closest thing that he could find to it. The spell had no counter, but if treated fast enough the victim may survive.
Voldemort finally showed more emotion than anger and conveniences as his leg slowly began to rot. He stumbled forward and Harry launched a disarming spell at him. It would not make him harmless, but a wandless Voldemort was less dangerous than if he was armed with one. Tom saw this coming though and shot a killing curse. The two spells connected in a long stream of magic. Instead of being confused like last time, he knew what to do.
Harry focused all of his willpower into making his spell connect while the dark lord did the same thing. However, Voldemort's attention was split between Harry and having his leg fall to pieces under him. A loud cry and the familiar sounds of the damned screaming filled the air. Tom flung his wand up breaking the connection and they looked over to see Neville standing over the dead body of Nagini, Tom's familiar and last Horcrux, with Gryffindor's sword in hand.
Harry looked to Tom and saw that he was distracted by the fading body of his familiar. He capitalized on his enemy's state and shot another disarming spell at him. Voldemort was not one of the most feared men in the world for a reason, he noticed the charm heading at him and shot a killing curse right back at Harry. The two spells connected like before, but this time was different. The pain in Tom's leg was much more unbearable, coupled with the loss of his last horcrux and the difficulty he had casting with the elder wand all combined. The two spells slowly made their way towards him before they connected. Voldemort felt his wand tear from his grip and fly towards the teen.
Harry deftly caught the wand. The elder wand was much different than he thought it would be. The wand was very knobby with what looked to be elderberries carved all over the hilt, but appearance aside. Upon grasping the wand, he knew that there was no doubt that it was the elder wand. The amount of power that flowed through him as he held the magical artifact proved it, it felt as if he had taken several pepper up potions in a row. The connection between his new wand and his magic was comparable to the connection that he felt with his holly wand.
Harry looked up when he heard a gasp of horror. Voldemort was on the ground, kneeling because there was nothing left of his left leg from the knee down. That was not the reason for that though. He was gazing at his hands away it dissolved and floated away. It seemed that the rejection of the death stick was too much for his fake body and it was falling to pieces. However, the slow decay was not fast enough for Harry. In a bout of hate and need for it to be over, Harry shot a blasting curse at his body and it was consumed into a ball of flames. Harry absently noticed that the spell was much easier to cast with the elder wand than any other he had used before.
A loud keening filled the air as the forgotten Bellatrix ran over to her deceased master's ashes. She grabbed the ashes as if she could bring him back, but it was useless as a breeze grabbed them and whisked them off. The distraught on her face quickly morphed into a mad rage as she screamed a spell at Harry. He quickly dodged it, but he did not notice where it was heading until it was too late. He looked back to see that the cutting curse had struck his two best friends and their captors. Ron and Hermione gave him one last look before the light from their eyes faded as they collapsed to the ground with the three Slytherins.
The hate that he felt for Voldemort fell short of how much he felt for Bellatrix. At that moment, Harry hated Bellatrix more than he ever felt towards Tom. For Tom the hate was more out of duty than anything. He had killed his parents yes, but Harry did not remember them so the feeling was muted. There was also the fact that he had tried to kill him multiple times, but he was not the only one to occupy that list. However, between the dementors and the tournament, the ministry had almost beat him in that tally. The only thing that he had done that affected him that much was when he killed Cedric and even then, he did not really know Cedric all that well. Sure the nightmares were annoying and the visions painful, they were nothing new. The Dursleys had done more to him in a year than Voldemort ever accomplished on his own.
Bellatrix on the other hand had taken so much more from him than Voldemort ever had. She had started by taking his godfather away from him, then she managed to kill almost every one of his friends and adopted family. She killed Sirius, Remus, Dobby, Ginny, and now she had killed the closest thing he had to family. He rounded on the mad witch was glowing rage filled eyes. He did not know what he want to do so he did the first thing that came to mind.
Bellatrix's eyes along with everyone else's widened when he hissed "Crucio," and unlike last time where all he felt was a righteous fury. This time, he wanted to hurt her, needed to make her feel the pain that she caused him. Make her feel just how much he loathed her very existence.
He had learned over the years that imagination and desire helped fuel spells to new heights and used that knowledge to boost the unforgivable. He channeled every pain he had ever felt, both emotional and physical into the spell. The elder wand then took those feelings and enhanced them as the spell left the wand.
The courtyard fell silent as they heard Harry cast yet another unforgivable, this time, it was not just Dumbledore's army who saw him do it. The bright red curse struck Bellatrix and she collapsed to the ground screaming in agony. Twisting and writhing into grotesque shapes that no human body should ever make.
Bellatrix writhed in agony under his glowing green eyes. She thought that it would be like last time that Potter tried to put her under the curse. When his cruciatus curse felt like a stiff breeze compared to her lord's cruciatus. He lacked the hate needed for it before, but now was much different.
Rather than the pins and needles that she felt last time or the piercing stabs that Voldemort's torture felt like. It was as if something was tearing her apart bit by bit then stitching her back together, only to do it again over and over. Finally after an eternity it stopped, leaving her panting and twitching on the ground. She looked up to see burning green eyes stare at her. The tip of his wand glowed green as he spoke the words, "Avada Keda-"
He began, but was tackled to the ground by the most unlikely person to protect her, Neville Longbottom. He was holding Harry down and pointing the death stick away from his target.
"What are you doing Neville?" Harry yelled at his friend, enraged that he would get in the way of his vengeance. "How can you protect her?"
"I'm not going to let you kill her like this Harry," Neville said, "You are not thinking straight and would regret this for the rest of your life,"
"She killed Ron and Hermione!" Harry screamed angrily in his face, eyes wide with rage, "She deserves to die! Let me kill her!" He struggled to point his wand and finish what he started, but Neville stopped him.
"You think I don't know that!" Neville snapped, "She drove my parents mad. My mother and father do not even recognize me anymore! You think that I don't want her dead? There is nothing more I wish to see than the same thing happen to her, but we can't do that. We are better than them,"
Bellatrix started cackling as she was on the ground, "You hear that Potter, Longbottom thinks that he is better than me. His parents thought the same thing and look what happened,"
Harry watched as Neville closed his eyes for a moment to stop himself from doing what Harry was about to do. "Shut up, you bitch," He said as he launched a high powered banishing charm at her. Slamming her into a wall, where she gasped in pain. "We will let her rot in Azkaban where she deserves to be," Neville said coldly. The normally compassionate boy was momentarily gone when faced with the woman that took his parents from him. "She and everyone else will to tried and fairly punished,"
While this was going on, Bellatrix got to her feet, twitching all the while from the aftereffects of the curse. Harry noticed this and was about to put her back down, but her body was enshrouded in mist and the spell flew wild. She ran off with the black mist aiding in her escape from Hogwarts, her demented laughter trailing behind her.
"No!" Harry cried when he saw her escaping. He and Neville shot curse after curse towards the fleeing woman, but she was quickly out of range and gone from their sight. She was not the only one to flee after the demise of their leader. Dozens of death eaters fled for the edge of the wards so that they could apparate away. Some were caught and stopped, but many of them made it and escaped.
As he watched the death eaters flee, the rage he had been feeling slowly disappeared and grief took its place. He wasn't angry at Neville for Bellatrix getting away. He was only trying to keep him from doing something he would regret. Not that he would regret it, but he could see where he was coming from.
As he made his way to his friend's body he could no longer hold in his anguish. The remaining defenders could only watch as Harry dropped to his knees by Ron and Hermione and cradled their heads on his lap, heedless of the blood that was leaking from their bodies. His heart was torn in two as he looked on their pale lifeless faces. They had been with him through thick and thin, but now he was alone. Grief was not the only thing that he was feeling though.
He was furious at himself for letting their deaths happen. He should have been paying more attention to his surrounding and stopped her before she could do anything. If he had, then they would be standing with him, celebrating their victory rather than beginning their next great adventure without him. Neville knelt down beside him silently, tears cascading down his face. He may not have known them as well as Harry did, but they were still his friends.
A lump appeared in his throat as he tried to hold in his tears. He forced down the feelings as he picked up Ron. Neville doing the same for Hermione. They trudged in silence towards the great hall where the dead were all laid out. The bodies of death eaters were piled on one side of the hall while the defenders were laid out carefully on the other in neat rows. Harry made his way over to where Molly was with her children and laid out his friend next to his brother and sister's bodies. Hermione went right next to her boyfriend, where she belonged.
Molly began to wail even louder when she noticed that yet another one of her precious children had moved onto the great beyond. The rest of her family tried to comfort her as best they could, but nothing could make her feel better after the loss of her children. Harry looked on at what remained of his adopted family. He could not convince himself that he should go over to them. He was the one to get their children killed, if he had been better and trained harder, than none of them would be dead. If he had been stronger in the ministry, Bellatrix would never have gotten away. If he had been stronger, Bellatrix would never had casted the cutting curse that ended Ron and Hermione. If he was stronger, she would not have gotten away.
He was the reason that they were dead, which meant that it was his responsibility to make up for their losses. As he turned to leave the ruins of the only place he could call home, he resolved to make every single death eater pay for what they did. It could take a year or it could take the rest of his life, but he vowed to not stop until every death eater that had attacked Hogwarts paid for their crimes. Though he needed to prepare. If this battle showed him anything, it was that he needed to be better than what he already was.
Neville saw Harry's face harden suddenly and he started to get worried. He had never seen Harry like that, even when fighting. Even when fighting, he could see the compassion in his eyes, but now it was like that was gone or forced away. It was when Harry turned his back on the Weasley's did he truly begin to think something was very wrong. He should have been the first one to try and comfort the family for their losses. He was a weasley in all, but name and hair color, instead he had gave them Ron and left. The last scion of Longbottom raced after Harry to see what he was up to.
"Harry!" He called out, stopping him in his tracks. The courtyard was mostly empty, save for a couple stragglers that were removing some of the bodies. "Where are you going?"
Harry was silent as if he did not want to answer, "To get ready,"
"Ready for what?" Neville asked, "The war is over. We won,"
"No its not," He replied in a hollow voice, "Not until all of them have paid for what they have done,"
"Paid for what they have…" Neville repeated in confusion, "Are you going to try and get revenge? Harry, you said that revenge was never the solution. That is what you always told us,"
"It's not vengeance," Harry said to himself as much as to Neville as he resumed walking, "It is justice. They killed innocent children and will get what they deserve and to do that I need to get stronger,"
"Please let the aurors handle that," Neville pleaded, trying to stop his friend, "It is their jobs to stop dark wizards," He was too weak to try and bind Harry. All his magic had went into the battle and he left nothing for afterwards.
Harry looked back with dead eyes and shook his head, "No, Neville, It is my responsibility,"
"And why is it your responsibility," Neville asked him getting irritated, "You are not the only one that has lost someone here,"
"It's my responsibility because it is my fault they are dead," Harry stated, making Neville stop in shock, "Therefore it is my responsibility to make sure that none of them escape what they deserve,"
"Harry! It is not your fault," Neville said trying to catch up with the fast moving teen. He did not understand how Harry was still moving. He had been fighting harder than any of them, but he was still outpacing Neville who was no slouch when it came to fitness.
"Yes it is, my friend," Harry said calmly as if he was talking about the weather, "If I had just given myself up like I was supposed to then none of this would happen,"
"That is not true and you know it," Neville said. He knew that Harry was acting like this out of grief, but Harry was stubborn and Neville knew that once his mind was made up about something, it would be hard to change it. That was just the way that he was. But that stubbornness was also what was keeping Harry from listening to him. "He would have attacked us regardless,"
Harry did not respond to that, instead he continued onto his destination. The taller teen followed behind him, trying to convince him to listen to reason, but no matter how hard he tried. Harry would not be swayed.
Suddenly Harry stopped in place. "Watch over them, will you?" Harry asked, turning to look at one of his only remaining friends. "Watch over the others while I make sure that this never happens again. This is goodbye for now, I don't know when I will see you again,"
It was only then that Neville saw where they were. They stood a couple dozen feet from the front gate, but more importantly they stood outside of the tattered wards for the school. Which meant that apparition was possible. "Harry! No!" He called out and tried to stop him. He was too late as the teen disappeared with a pop of displaced air.
He did not know it, but that would be the last time that he would see him for a long time. The next time that he would meet Harry would be two years later and Harry would be a much different person.
Harry wiped the tears from his face after forcefully dragging himself from his memories. He was still spinning around as he was being transported, but it was getting noticeably better or he was just getting used to it. The day that his best friends died was still raw for him. He had been able to move past their deaths somewhat, but it still hurt to think about it too much. Every death eater he removed, the less it hurt to think about.
He shook his head at how naïve he used to be. After hunting death eaters for almost a year, he realized just how stupid it was to go gung-ho and start trying to get revenge, because that was what it was. He tried to disguise it as the noble goal of justice, but it was not his righteousness that forced him along. It was the look on Ron and Hermione's face along with every other man, woman, and child that laid dead in Hogwarts and the need to make them answer for what they had done.
There were dozens of them left, many of which had almost a decade of training on him. That did not mean much for most of them because they never practiced anything besides how to cast a killing curse, but while they were the majority, there were those that honed their skills and were threats. The biggest problem that he had was not fighting them, it was trying to finding them. Some of the death eaters were pureblood and thus had money, making it easy to flee the country and lay low. Some were able to use their fortunes to go into hiding and throw off any trails to them. If it was not for the fact that Harry was connected to Voldemort, he was not sure if he would have found a fraction of what he had. Harry had found that he was able to sense the dark mark to a point, which lead him from one death eater to the next. It did not work on the new death eaters, but for every dark mark created by Tom, he could track if he was within a hundred miles of the carrier.
Finally after what had to be hours of falling, which may have been minutes for all he knew, time was hard to tell when stuck in a swirling vortex, Harry started to feel something more than just being squeeze. It was strange, he could feel darkness emanating from one side and light from another, yet he could not see either. It took a second to notice, but he was being brought towards the darkness. The light was getting farther and farther away while the unease of being dragged into the darkness increased. The closer he got, the more he felt as if his body was being tainted by whatever was on the other side of the portal. His body began to tingle as his magic fought back against it, but his magic was slowly losing the battle.
Harry began to struggle towards the light, but it seemed that the portal did not like that and was fighting back against him. Harry tried to summon his magic to fight back, but it was difficult. Trying to gather his magic was much harder than before, but he persevered and launched what little he gained into trying to drag him more towards the light. It only worked a bit and he felt whatever was infecting him, lose some of its hold. Harry sent another burst of magic with similar results. It was not doing any good though, for every foot he got closer, the portal dragged him two back to the darkness. A stray thought crossed his mind, since he had nothing to lose, as his normal magic was not doing much. He began to use his subpar manipulation of shadow magic to drag himself forward. He theorized that it may be easier because there was literally nothing, but shadows around him and it should minimize the amount of magic needed to the lowest amount, but it would still be a large amount to expend at once.
So he prepared to use a vast amount of magic and began bending the shadows to his will. What he did not expect was that the shadows would respond to him like an eager puppy and jump to his command with only a fraction of the magic he normally had to use. The ravenette was not going to look a gift horse in the mouth so he used as many shadows that he could manipulate at once to deposit him in the light rather than darkness. It did not take long for the shadows to listen to him and soon he was getting closer to the light and away from whatever was trying to take his body over.
Then he was out. The smells and sound of nature hit him like a hammer as he exited the portal. He had a brief moment of weightlessness before he dropped to the ground. The feeling of being crushed and spun disappeared suddenly, making him lose his bearings and unable to stop himself from falling, making it so that he hit several trees on the way down to the forest floor. He did not pay any attention to that however as he felt something burning on his right wrist. The moment that he was out of the portal, his wrist began to feel as if something was being stitched with fire into his wrist. He clutched it in pain, trying not to cry out in case something nearby heard him and decided that he looked like easy prey. Fortunately it did not take long for the agony to end and a soothing coolness to radiate from the same place. After the pain calmed down, he turned his hand around to see what happened and froze.
On his wrist was the symbol for the deathly hallows, pitch black and plain as day on his pale skin. The symbol was not that large, but it was large enough that people would be able to easily notice it. Harry noticed something after examining the tattoo. A weight was missing from his neck and his left wrist. He grasped for the resurrection stone and came away with nothing while his wrist holster was completely empty.
All of the hallows were gone from his person and left a tattoo in their wake. However, he did not let that trick him. Harry knew that he was still attached the hallows in some way, he could feel it. He just needed to figure out how. He ran a finger over the symbol to see if there was anything special about the tattoo that he just could not see and suddenly he was looking through a transparent cloth. Harry jumped in surprise as the cloak fluttered around him.
Harry tore the invisibility cloak off and looked to see if anything about it had changed. Other than looking brand new, nothing was different. The once frayed edges were fixed and the slightly dull interior looked like it had just come from death's cloak. The twenty year old sighed in relief. He was afraid that his only connection to his father besides a couple pictures was unharmed. He saw that his tattoo was now missing the triangle, the symbol that represented the cloak. Harry ran his finger over the tattoo again, but nothing happened.
He ran over the tattoo several more times to see if the first time was a fluke and the invisibility cloak appearing was a one-time thing. Suddenly while he was contemplating the cloak appearing, said cloak he was holding in his hand vanished, and he was once again looking through the invisibility cloak. He pulled death's cloak off yet again and glowered at the symbol that seemed to be mocking him.
He slowly ran his finger over the tattoo again to see what would happen, but like before nothing did. Harry groaned in frustration, it was like the thing was making fun of him. The only thing he had accomplished was making his cloak appear, he wished that he could just get out his elder wand again so he did not have to figure out some trick with the tattoo to use it.
His finger accidentally brushed up against the symbol as he was thinking and a familiar weight appeared in his hand. The elder wand was not like he remembered it to be. It was much more streamlined with all the knobs gone, but it still retained the elder berries carved in it. An added bonus was that it felt perfect in his hand, like it had been crafted for his hand and only for his hand.
Harry thought about what he just did and then pushed those thoughts to the side. It could not be as easy as just thinking about what he wanted and touching the tattoo. It was never that simple with magic, especially if the hallows were involved. He thought about the stone appearing then halfheartedly swiped his thumb over the tattoo to see if the stone would pop out or something. He was shocked when something did appear around his neck. He fished the new chain out and saw that out of all the hallows, the stone had changed the least. All that was added to the black gem was a setting for it to make it easier to spin with a black chain so it could be used as a necklace. All that was left of the tattoo now was a slight outline of the triangle. Harry touched the tattoo again, wishing all his hallows away to see what happened and they all vanished from his person. He quickly touched his wrist again and they appeared on him again.
"Well this make everything easier," Harry muttered to himself. He had been constantly worried about losing the wand and now he had a place to store it where no one, but him could get it. He relaxed and stored them all into their handy hiding places. He had more pressing things on his mind at the moment, like where in the hell was he?
He looked at his surroundings and the first thing that he noticed was that he had absolutely no clue where he was. He got up and checked himself over for any new wounds. Besides a couple scratches from the fall, everything was in working order, or at least enough to function properly. Whatever that beast was, it gave him quite the thrashing.
Harry decided that he had wasted enough time looking at his new markings when he should have focused on more important things. He needed to get back home, so he focused on his home in his mind and tried to apparate there. Tried being the operant word because when he attempted to, a large amount of magic, three times more than it normally took to apparate, left his body then it all came crashing back into him with a bang. Harry fell to the ground in pain. That only happened when the area he tried to apparate to was warded against magic travel, which his home was, but he was keyed into it, or if it was too far away for him to apparate to. Harry attempted to apparate to his other safe houses, but it all ended the same way with him gasping on the ground in pain. He had safe houses in almost every country, so he could have been able to reach one at least.
Using a different tactic, he grabbed a nearby branch and silently made a portkey out of it. Harry took a minute to collect himself after expending so much magic to make it, but portkeys were not limited by distance. The only thing that matter was if it had enough power to get there, and Harry definitely put enough power in it to make it anywhere in the world, even with the increased difficulty of casting. The piece of wood glowed blue in recognition of the charm and he tried to use it to get home. Only to be tossed to the ground and the portkey explode into a ball of fire.
He tried every manner of travel that he could to get back to England, but ever attempt failed spectacularly. Eventually he gave up and accepted what he figured out a while ago. He was stuck there and there was nothing he could do about it.
(A/N: And that is the wrap of the first chapter of my new story. As some of you know, I have been playing Twilight princess recently and I just had to write a story about it. Now this chapter was just a prologue to the rest of the story. I wanted to set up the backstory and how it differs from canon. Let me say this, I did not mean for it to get as long as it did. I was going for around ten thousand words as is my average and I just kept going.
Let me be clear about something. This does not mean that I am stopping Nothing Left, my Harry Potter/RWBY crossover. It just means that I am making another story. That has the unfortunate side-effect of making my other story update slower, but I am hoping that writing this will get my creative juices flowing and make it easier to write the rest of Nothing Left because I have recently hit a point in the story that is hard for me to continue for some reason. I love 'Nothing Left', it is so fun to write, but I want to try and branch out into different fandoms and Zelda was the one I chose. Mass effect was a close second followed by elder scrolls, but I felt that Zelda would be a breath of fresh air.
The thing with shadow magic. I quite enjoy the idea of manipulating shadows for the users benefit. It has so much potential. I did not like how little Twilight Princess went into the shadow magic, as it was a significant portion of the game, but I can understand why they didn't. Explaining the theory in the game would just be tedious and slow the story down. However I endeavor to add more of it throughout my story and it will play a larger part in the twili society than just a brief mention. I will be explaining the difficulty that Harry faces with using magic later, not the next chapter, but probably the one after that.
In this story, link is not going to be a big part of it. As much as I would enjoy adding him, I don't think I can. The first problem is that I have no clue how to write him in the first place and the second is that LoZ:TP is not really a group adventure. It is more of a one person and Midna kind of thing.
That being said, please note that this will be a Harry/Midna fic. I just find Midna awesome and want to pair the two so we will see how this one goes.
Another side note. Never and I repeat NEVER take too many AP classes if you are not ready for it. I took four of them and I thought 'hey what can go wrong? It can't be that bad,' Let me tell you something. It was that bad. It was that bad and more. I have never been so stressed out in my life. All the testing coupled with the rest of my classes that seem to think that now is the best time to spring finals on me, made for a very stressful few days where I have been unable to write properly. Now that I have that off my chest, I hope that you have enjoyed my new story and have a good day.)