A/N: This is an idea I got long ago after reading wa-ay too many slashy fics by my idol, Rhysenn. It's pretty self-explanatory at this point, H/D slash, as usual. It'll get a bit more complicated, trust me.. Here it is. Enjoy.

Chapter 1

July 30th was the day that history took place.

July 30th was the day that Harry Potter gave the ultimate sacrifice to the world, and killed both himself and the Dark Lord in a great maelstrom of power.

July 30th was the day before Harry Potter's 21st birthday.

It was the final stand. All the struggle came to this very point. The Death Eaters gathered around their Lord, while the Aurors stood behind their protector and he who they had to protect, Harry Potter.

Not a single person there, perhaps in the world, knew what he was planning.

But one person had a pretty good idea.

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Harry sat in his study, his hiding place within the headquarters of the Aurors in the house of Dumbledore, on the eve of July 29th. He put his quill to the paper, and wondered yet again what to write.

He put the quill down. There was no way he could put anything into a note. Anything of this magnitude had to be said. There was the possibility that someone would stop him. That could not happen. This could be the only way.

The fact that the core of both of his and the Dark Lord's wand was the same was the key. He had done some research and found the possible answer. He was surprised that Dumbledore hadn't figured it out. Perhaps he had. God knew.

The Killing Curse. At his own chest. While Voldemort did the same. He hoped it wasn't the only way. That meant a faceoff, which had to happen eventually; how did you arrange them, Harry wondered? Did you call up the other people and ask what time would be convenient?

"Are you excited, Harry?" Harry jerked and turned around. A tall, black-haired woman gave him a sideways look as she leaned against the doorframe. She was Ella Lindstrom; an Auror. She was about a year older than him.

He measured her with his eyes. "For what?" She couldn't know. Ella thought she was the brightest thing since fire, but when it came to it she was somewhere out in space. Her face was quite serious, though.

Ella smiled a silly little grin. "For your birthday, of course. 21, right? Going to get rascally drunk?" She laughed. "I did last year."

Wouldn't it be nice. If he was living then, yes, he would. If he wasn't, it'd be pretty damn difficult. "Maybe. I was going to spend a quiet evening with a... friend."

Her eyebrows raised. "A friend. Right, Harry. Who would this friend be?" She stepped into the room with laughter edging her lips with her dark red lipstick.

"I don't think you'd know this person." He looked away. Ella didn't deserve to dig into his personal life. Maybe she could, though, considering that it might only last for the next, say, twenty-four hours at most. "They haven't been around for a while."

"Well, all right, if you're going to be stubborn." Ella shrugged. "You look worried. What are you writing?" She sashayed over to the desk, but not on purpose. That was just how Ella moved. She was like a theatre actress, every movement exaggerated but in a way that seemed right. She peered over the desk.

"It's nothing." He pushed the quill farther away from him. "I was just going to send an owl. Nothing important."

"It has to be important, if you're to send out an owl. You know Dumbledore said that your contact with the outside world is to be limited." She could be such a know-it-all sometimes. Reminded him of Hermione. Damn. Hermione. He had to write to Hermione.

"That reminds me, I do have to send an owl." Ella looked annoyed and scandalized at the same time. "Don't worry, it's just to the Ministry. To an Unspeakable." Hermione had become an Unspeakable only a year earlier. She couldn't even tell him about the work, just give him price information if it was really needed. She still retained that nose for rules.

"An Unspeakable?" Her eyebrows flicked upwards again. "You do have friends in high places, don't you, Harry?" She frowned. "You're extremely lucky, Harry. You must know that."

He laughed and it was a bitter, dry sound. "I'm not sure what you mean. No, I have no idea what you mean by that." If she only knew what he knew.

"You were born into a rich wizarding family, brought into Hogwarts as a star, became the youngest Seeker in ages, basically had everything possible happen for you, prefect and whatnot.. but not Head Boy." She frowned again. "What was the name of the boy who took it from you, again?"

"Draco Malfoy," he said absently. "Listen, I see it this way." He looked her dead in the eyes. "I was orphaned, forced into a family who hated me, brought into Hogwarts as a freak, was almost killed by Voldemort and various other people and things over my years, and.. well, that's about it," he finished lamely. "But that's enough. Don't you see? It looks glamorous, but can you imagine? ...No, you can't. No one can." He reached for the quill.

"Harry, you mustn't think like that." When he looked up at her, Ella had her arms crossed over her chest and was looking quite cross, to be honest. "You're lucky, or else you wouldn't be alive. It's as simple as that. You've survived Voldemort so far, haven't you?"

No. "Define survive." He looked down at her feet. She was wearing leather heels. Typical. "I've survived, but almost no one around me has. I have good luck, but that comes from sucking the luck of everyone else away. It's just good luck by comparison of everyone else's bad luck once I'm done with them. Look at Cedric Diggory."

"You're too self-critical."

"It comes from everybody praising me too much. So stop." He gave a weak smile. "I've got to write a letter now, Ella. I'll be sure to invite you if I decide to get rascally drunk."

"And perhaps introduce me to this friend of yours?" Her eyebrow raised again, slowly this time. "I'm quite interested." Her tone contradicted all of that.

"Maybe." Never. He wearily smiled again at her. "I really do have to get on. It's nearly nine."

"Nine? That's nothing," Ella said. She shrugged, gestured out with a hand. "But if you say so. If you need me, just give a call." She swept out. Harry breathed out.

"All right," he said under his breath. He dipped his pen in the ink, and wrote.

Hermione,

This is quite important. If you don't help me, you'll regret it. Trust me. Everyone will.

A/N: Cliffhanger! The suspense builds. Ooh. Chapter 2 will be up soon, as soon as I feel like uploading it. I'm actually up to Chapter 8, I wrote almost the whole thing in one night. It's not even done yet. For now, domo arigatou and sayonara!