I am still amazed by the response to this fic. I wish it could be longer because I'm enjoying the popularity, but this is actually the end. I'd be curious to write a sequel to this, but I doubt I ever would. Anyways thank you so much for your wonderful response, and enjoy. Also if anyone is interested in a Secret Santa fic-exchange check my profile for more details.
Newt and Dumbledore chased after the obscurus, and discovered Harry standing in the middle of Newt's tundra ecosystem. He was back in human form, shaking visibly from the cold, but not moving back towards the warmer areas from which he'd come. The dark smoke of the obscurus fizzed around him, expanding and contracting as Harry's teeth chattered, but not back in control.
It was vying for control, however, and from how suddenly the obscurus was appearing Newt knew the bonds on the force within were breaking. Harry might be able to survive two more transformations, but no more.
Newt approached the boy slowly, stopping whenever the obscurus grew out towards him. He didn't want it to feel threatened and react, but he also needed to get close enough to Harry to calm the boy down. Something had set him off before, even if those somethings needed less-and-less severity with each outburst. "Harry, what's wrong?"
The boy looked up, tears streaming from his green eyes. He was shaking visibly, whether from the cold or the power within, and turned away from Newt and Dumbledore. "Stay away from me! I don't want to hurt you! I heard you, I heard what you said. The Darkness isn't after me, it is me! And it doesn't want you to kill it. I can't hold it back and it wants to kill you!"
Newt didn't move back, but he didn't come any closer either. Dumbledore joined them, his gray robes whipping around in the frigid wind. The wool of Newt's overcoat absorbed the snow, chilling him quickly, but he made no move towards warmth. He wasn't leaving the tundra until Harry did, one way or another. "Harry, you can fight it! I know how to kill it, all you have to do is fight it long enough for me to help you!"
"I can't," Harry hissed, dropping to the ground and holding his head. Newt reached towards him, but the force of the obscurus decided that he was definitely a threat and threw him a few meters away, right into a snow bank. When Newt looked up he saw Harry still on the ground, clenching his head as the darkness grew in strength. He let out a blood-curdling scream which echoed against the snow-covered mountains until it became an unbearable noise.
"ALBUS, GET BACK!" Newt called, his scream practically drowned out by the ferocious wind. The Professor either heard him or was wise enough to see what came next because he apparated over to Newt before the obscurus within Harry exploded.
The obscurus had, apparently, been holding back up to that point. It tripled in size and force as it burst forth from the small boy. Newt could hardly believe its power. Credence's obscurus had been the largest in recorded history reflecting not only his advanced age, but also his sheer power.
The obscurus in Harry was twice the size, and it was made from only a fraction of Voldemort's magic. Looking at it there was no wonder that Voldemort had gained so much power so quickly; his magic was in a class of its own. And for Harry to have beaten him as a baby… for Harry's own magic to have been fighting back against this force for so long… Well Newt was more than a little afraid of the boy himself.
"Harry, you must fight this," Dumbledore yelled using his wand to magnify his voice. The obscurus slowed for a second, which encouraged the Headmaster. Harry was still in there somewhere. Riddle's soul hadn't won yet. "Harry, you are stronger than this. He is controlled by fear. You are stronger than him because you face your fears and choose to love! You chose not to allow the darkness to consume you, and that is why you're better than him, and that is why you will win!"
Newt realized what Albus was saying and how true it was. Perhaps the obscurus wasn't made from Harry's magic, but it should have been. The way his Aunt and Uncle treated him should have turned Harry into an obscurus in his own right, but it hadn't. Harry had not let their hatred make him fear magic. Harry thought magic was wonderful, not something dark, and that was why the darkness of Voldemort had never destroyed him.
There was just too much brilliant hope in Harry for even the Dursleys to crush.
Another figure appeared in the darkness of the obscurus. At first it was just a flicker of silver, but soon Newt could make out two figures- a doe and a stag- fighting back against the obscurus.
"Is that a patronus?" Newt asked blinking to make sure he wasn't just seeing things. It was clearly a patronus, however. The silver of the deer was unmistakable, and their light fought against the obscurus with a devoted frenzy. They nipped at the smoke, and wherever the stag rammed its horns the obscurus seemed to shutter back into itself. The patronus were actually fighting the obscurus, and they were doing an effective job at it.
"Harry's magic, it must have developed a patronus to fight the invading Horcrux…" Newt muttered, trying to make sense of the literal fight between the light and dark he was witnessing.
Albus Dumbledore didn't look convinced. He stared at the patronus mouth hanging slightly open. In his eyes the last decade hadn't ever happened, and he was once again witnessing the perfect complementary natures of Lily and James Potter fighting, once more, for their son.
"Expecto Patronum!" Newt cast quickly realizing that if the patronus was working for Harry it might be a way for him to help. As the little silver bowtruckle passed by Dumbledore's eyes, he added his own phoenix to the mix.
The patronus were enough to overwhelm the obscurus. Its dark force tried attacking them one by one, but whenever it went after the soaring phoenix it received (surprisingly deep) scratches from the little bowtruckle. Finally the stag took a step back from the dark shadow and ran right through it, dissipating the mist and dropping the body of Harry onto the snow.
Newt and Dumbledore ran towards Harry, terrified of what they might find. When Newt touched him the boy was practically frozen solid, and it took him a few frenzied moments to find any sort of a heartbeat. "He's alive, but barely."
Dumbledore breathed a sigh of relief and quickly began administering a few warming spells. They weren't going to be enough, however, if the obscurus wasn't removed soon. The light magic of the patronus had only pushed it back inside Harry, and when it burst forth again he would probably burst with it.
"Levitate him and follow me," Newt ordered. Dumbledore was a bit shocked at being ordered to do anything- few dared order him- but Newt never had been normal. When he was hyperfocused on something no one was above his commands.
Dumbledore levitated Harry gently, and followed behind the Magizoologist. Newt was practically running through the case and was completely unaware of the fact that every single one of his creatures was terrified because of the obscurus. A few beasts Dumbledore was fairly sure weren't supposed to exist were fighting, and Newt didn't even seem to notice. Sighing to himself Dumbledore managed to stun the beasts, and then continued hurrying after Newt, Harry's unconscious body in tow.
Newt finally stopped in a part of the case which reminded Dumbledore of Africa. Newt was making some noises that made him sound completely insane, and Dumbledore set the unconscious Harry on the ground and did his best to make the boy comfortable. He didn't even know if Harry was alive enough to feel discomfort, but if he could, Albus wanted to ensure he felt safe. Everyone should die feeling safe.
"Newt, it's too late," Dumbledore admitted his hand pressed against Harry's feverish cheek. The boy was still alive, but barely so. Harry would not live long enough for them to find the solution that had been evading them for a hundred years.
"No," Newt answered a bright grin across his face. "No it isn't. I was trying to tell you before. We don't need to kill the obscurus. We just need to destroy the Horcrux. That I know how to do."
Dumbledore was still confused as by how they were supposed to do that without killing Harry anyways, but he did not get a chance to ask. Just as he was going to he was blindsided and knocked to the ground by a large beast unlike anything he'd ever seen before.
At first glance it looked like a large tawny owl, but its legs were long and muscular, similar to a gorilla. Its wings were heightened by sharp shoulder blades, and a small child could probably sit in the cavern between the appendages. The most surprising feature of the beast was its strong smell. When it got near Harry the odor was rancid enough to cause the boy to stir even if he did not awake.
"Have you published something recently that I have yet to read?" Dumbledore asked as the beast circled around them in a way that reminded him of a vulture.
The beast began to dive towards Dumbledore, and Newt hit it with a stinging hex. "No! What have I said about sucking souls at random? Come here!"
The beast let out a little hoot that sounded startlingly like a wailing baby, but went and settled beside Newt. Sitting down it was only the size of a child, but it was certainly more imposing then one. Especially considering what Newt had yelled at it for trying to do…
"Are you saying this creature is a form of dementors?" Dumbledore balked at the suggestion. It certainly didn't look like a dementors, nor did it seem to suck all the happiness out of the room, but if it could suck souls then it wasn't a good thing to be around.
"It's nothing like a dementors, not really," Newt defended reaching down to fluff the creature's feathered head. The creature shook his feathers at the contact, but seemed to relax when Newt's fingers hit the right spot. "Dementors are anti-beings. They don't age and they don't die. They're not really alive. This is a kikiyaon which I assure you is very mortal. I discovered him in West Africa last year. The locals have spoken about them for years, but no one ever believed they really existed. Despite their size they're quite good at hiding and very smart. I just have to remind him sometimes of what he's not supposed to do."
Yes, because sucking souls was wrong. "You've been hiding the existence of this creature for a year? Why? It's probably the discovery of the century."
"I've made the discovery of the century fourteen times now," Newt admitted with a shrug and the kikiyaon, in imitation, shrugged as well. "I really have no need for the credit. I simply do not want the Ministry to think that they have found a perfect replacement for dementors. They will either be killed or used for nefarious purposes. They are much better remaining unknown."
Dumbledore could not fault Newt for believing that the Ministry wouldn't snatch up the kikiyaon the moment they knew about the beasts. "And you plan on letting that beast near Harry? What is to guarantee it will suck out the right soul?"
"Well Kikiyaon seem to go for the most corrupted souls first," Newt admitted running a few fingers through his light hair. "But, ah, well there is no guarantee. I think he knows what I'm saying and will listen to me, but I cannot know for sure. Still it's our only option. We know Harry will die if we don't remove the Horcrux. He has a chance to live this way."
Dumbledore looked over at the boy. His breathing was growing shallower, and his skin seemed to be blistering from the strain of holding such dark magic in him. Harry only had a few moments to live. There was no time to come up with another plan. Either they tried it and Harry had a chance of surviving, or they tried nothing and just watched him die.
The old Headmaster nodded, and Newt turned to the creature. "Now I need you to listen to me. There are two souls in that boy, okay? I want you to find the one that is full of dark energy. I know you love absorbing dark energy, so take that soul and then leave all the others. Okay?" The creature, obviously, said nothing, but it nodded its head in a way remarkably similar to the headmaster. Newt was hesitant for a moment, but then Harry started to shake, and he pushed the creature forward knowing it could not get any worse.
The kikiyaon leaned over the boy and tilted its head. Suddenly it reached down and covered Harry's mouth with his beak. The boy flailed and shook trying to get the beast off, but Newt held Dumbledore back from separating them. As quickly as it began, the struggle stopped, and the kikiyaon let out a long hoot-like wail before flying off.
Newt and Dumbledore crouched down besides Harry trying to find his pulse. For a second there was none. All the heat seemed to leave Harry in a rush, and his face paled like death. "It was too late," Newt whispered bowing his head to hide the tears for a boy he'd just met.
Harry's green eyes flew open, and he sat right up. Newt and Dumbledore jumped back startled by his reemergence from the pits of death, "Newt? Professor Dumbledore? What happened? I feel… different."
"Harry my boy, I think you are free," Dumbledore answered helping the boy scramble to his feet. "Do you think you can walk? I would like to go ask your runespoor friend a few questions."
Newt was just as confused as Harry was when they made their way back towards the runespoor, but he made no comment. As far as he could tell everything had gone exactly as plan. Harry seemed to have some sort of soul given that he could converse and even retained his memory. That soul didn't appear to be Voldemort's as the obscurus seemed to have disappeared. All and all it seemed to have worked flawlessly.
Which he could hardly believe. After so many years it was impossible for him to believe that he'd actually found a way to save an obscurial, any obscurial. Even if the method wouldn't have worked for the others, seeing it work at all… Newt's heard felt like it had been hit with a weightless charm.
"Go on now," Dumbledore prompted when they arrived back at the runespoor. "Why don't you ask the middle head if it has had any good dreams lately?"
Harry moved over towards the runespoor, and Newt watched with interest as the boy spoke to the snake, "Hello. It's me again. Mr. Middle-Head? Have you had any good dreams lately?"
The runespoor hissed back, and Harry tilted his head in confusion. He tried asking the question once more, but when he still didn't understand the response he turned back to the adults with his head down. "I'm very sorry Professor Dumbledore, but I don't seem to be able to understand it anymore."
Dumbledore let out a sigh of relief, "Do not be sorry my boy, I did not think you would be able to. It seems the darkness inside of you had gone for good, something I think you shall be most grateful for going forward."
Harry nodded. As clearly tired as he still was, he seemed thrilled with the prospect of being free. "Oh. Okay. Newt, do you have any other animals with three heads?"
"I do," Newt admitted. "But I think you've had quite enough excitement for one day. Why don't you go back over to the bowtruckles and I'll be over in a minute."
Once Harry ran off, Newt turned to his own teacher. "You must be glad to know that after all these years an obscurial will finally live to attend Hogwarts."
He was, and he suspected he had a long overdue visit to make before he returned to Hogwarts. Perhaps between the two things he'd finally be able to find peace. "Yes. Though there is still the question of what will be done with young Harry. The wards protecting him at Privet Drive were destroyed with the house, and even if they weren't he cannot return to the Dursleys. I never imagined someone would treat their own family that way… He is old enough to know the truth. I will just have to find some family to take him until he goes to Hogwarts, though who I do not know."
"I'll take him," Newt decided suddenly. The words surprised him as much as they did Dumbledore, but once they were spoken aloud he realized how much he wanted to. "I might be almost a hundred but I don't feel it. Tina says whenever Rolf visits that she wishes we still had a little boy around. She will probably curse me and then be glad."
Dumbledore looked hesitant, but Newt turned towards where Harry was sitting and called, "Harry, how would you feel like joining my wife and me in Argentina?"
The boy grinned not a trace of darkness behind his jagged lightning-bolt scar. Perhaps his future was still full of excitement and danger, but for the moment all was well.