We have another change of plans. I decided to leave the whole Check-up-and-healing for after the final confrontations. To be honest, I decided on this when I killed off Remus, I just didn't put it in the last AN. So yeah, this chapter will be the last before the epilogue and I have several special things planned for both.
I have a plan on how to take out Voldemort, how to deal with Pitch and what will happen once the Final Confrontation is over. Also, please know that this will be where Remus' death will get its true meaning and know one other thing. The Diary and the Locket are the ONLY TWO Horcruxes. I don't care for the others, they don't exist.
Let's do this,
PS. Who spotted the little hint I put in the AN. It concerns the Final Confrontation. If you don't want to be spoiled about it, DON'T READ!
To Destroy And To Defeat
14th of January 1996
Unknown Location, England
"Are we sure? Are we sure that it's really him? His body?" Molly asks, fright and horror sounding through her voice as we are all seated at the same table we were at when the Minister was attacked and Albus nods as he says: "Kingsley was able to get permission to check the site for himself. It was most definitely Remus."
This, just like the realization that the man has been working for the enemy of the Guardians, feels like just another stab to the heart and I angrily growl: "What happened to him?" Wanting to mask my pain over what happened to my long-time late friend with anger over how stupid the idiot was to follow someone like Pitch.
"According to Kingsley, he was found by Pitch, who discovered what Tooth and Sandman had done to him. Pitch then had Remus look up, making him incapable of seeing the Killing Curse until it struck him. After this, it seems that either Tom or Pitch kept Remus' body, until they decided to make an example out of him.
And a challenge." This confuses a lot of us and Albus says: "Remus was found in front of the Department of Mysteries. That's the one place where Voldemort has been wanting to get this entire time, because of the weapon. This is him saying I will not have a drawn-out war. Fight me and let's determine the winner once and for all."
And the man's own face proves how the rest of us feel about that. Yet then the one thing even I don't want happens as Harry's voice sounds from the doorway and he says only two words: "I'm ready." Everyone turns to him and notices him leaning against the wall next to the door, his outfit messy and proving he just went through a bout.
"What are you talking about! What do you mean, ready? Do you really –?" Molly tries to yell, but Harry interrupts her and says: "Yes, I really think this is between me and him. Last night proved that." This confuses all of us and Albus asks: "What do you mean, my boy?" Harry sighs, looks away from us all and says:
"You all know that I've been training my skills, the abilities given to me by my family, ever since the ritual tied us all together. I've learned to change objects with the snap of my fingers, I can change water into Felix Felicis, I can create a shield that can both surround me and move to surround whoever I want to see protected.
But while Uncle Arthur and mum's gifts aren't magical, have I been really hesitant to use dad's gift ever since we moved out of London. But – last night – while I was asleep, I got the sign that I needed. And next to that, do I know two things. Two things that mean I need to accept this challenge here and now instead of waiting or ignoring it."
Harry says the last part while making annotations with his hands before he goes back to crossing his arms, yet he is now staring at Albus. And the intensity of his look makes chills run down my spine, make me glad that the others aren't here as it might frighten them and makes me proud to call this young man my son.
"One, there is no way Voldemort's going to be alone. He and Pitch work together and Pitch considers me and the other Guardians as much a threat as Voldemort does. Pitch'll be there too and I can only imagine what he will do with the employees there. I know the Unspeakables are tough, but everyone has a Boggart."
At this Albus, who looks both grave and struck with a sense of depression, obviously over how responsible and serious my son sounds, his voice and whole demeanor really proving that, when it comes down to it, he's more an adult than a child, nods. And that is a thought that both fills me with pride and breaks my heart to pieces.
"Two, we're talking about Voldemort here. Lupin was just an example. If we don't accept his challenge as quickly as possible, there will be others. And with him probably being in there, having used Pitch to get inside and whatnot, the next victim might just be one of those Unspeakables, if not a bystander wanting to see the body."
"That doesn't mean that –." Molly tries, but Harry looks at her and just his gaze silences her before he says: "There is also one other reason we should accept this challenge, because right now, we're between a rock and a hard place, to use a Muggle term. Almost everyone's had their medical exams, but taking the procedure is dangerous.
Not because the ones offering it are unreliable, but because it will render those healing vulnerable, easy targets. Healing, even if it will make us all stronger in the end, will endanger us if we do it before answering the challenge." The woman looks horrified at this and Harry turns back to Albus, strength and vigor in his voice:
"We have a chance. A chance to make sure everyone can heal safely, that they can let their guard down, that they can put their wands away and say I need time to heal. But if we ignore the challenge, we lose that chance. And that would mean that hundreds of kids will need to keep walking around ill, because Voldemort is out there.
That too will make them easy targets, because the spellwork will affect them. This is our chance to make sure they get what they deserve, the peace of mind to get themselves better, without fearing for the consequences. We have to take this challenge. I'm ready." Harry repeats and I can tell the majority of the Order believes him.
The next night
15th of January 1996
Department of Mysteries
"Harry Potter." That voice is definitely being affected by Pitch's power, but I am confident in what I am about to do and have made sure to visit a few public locations as well as the homes of friends I've made over the years before coming here. And now, as I approach the murderer of many, do I feel their trust in me strengthening my power.
The man smirks and wants to open his mouth, but I say: "Not this time, Voldemort." The man falters and glares at me, but I say: "You got to gloat and hold a speech last time. This time it's my turn. And let me start with two simple words." The monster's glare has lessened, but his desire to kill me is still obvious as I say:
"Merry Christmas." The monster's eyes widen, but I wasn't looking at him as I said this. I looked to the darkest corner in this huge, arch-like room filled with cabinets that reach all the way up to the ceiling. And it is from that ceiling that a huge white and silver portal appears, from which a huge sleigh flies out.
The Guardians are all on this sleigh, that is being pulled by reindeer as large as the horses that pulled the Beauxbattons carriage in my Fourth year and it aims for that same corner, from which Pitch curses and flies off, escaping being rammed by one of the reindeer as he says: "Send them after him." Making Voldemort smirk.
I raise my eyebrow at this and the man snaps his fingers. And instantly an intense cold almost overwhelms me. Almost as the power that is my center keeps me on my feet and keeps me strong. Voldemort's eyes widen and I look up, spotting more Dementors flying over us than there were at the Lake at the end of my Third.
"Powered up by Pitch, just like your voice. Not bad, Voldemort, but I'm afraid he came up with that idea at the wrong time." And now more than ever am I glad for what happened in my dream two nights ago. I want to smile at this, but know that will just anger Voldemort and make him do something to ruin my plans.
And so I remain calm and just look at Voldemort as I say: "Lupin said hi." The man looks startled, but then laughs and says: "Oh, poor Harry Potter. You actually –.""You misunderstand me, Voldemort. You see, on the night of the 13th to the 14th, when you put his body to be found, his spirit visited me – in my dreams."
The man looks shocked and even a little afraid of this and I say: "He did so for two reasons. One, to apologize for how he treated me, proving that Pitch's control really was absolute on him these last few years as he was everything I thought he would be after he got his friends back. The other – to be the teacher he was 2 years ago.
And you may or may not know this, Voldemort, but after my parents came back as teenagers, did I go through a ritual alongside Arthur and Molly Weasley, Kingsley Shacklebolt and of course Sirius Black. And this ritual unleashed my Guardian power, my ability that makes me stand apart from Jack Frost, North and the others.
From my new brother I got the ability to change anything into another something at just the snap of my fingers. From my new sister, I got the ability to change any kind of draught into any and every potion, poison and draught ever created by wizard kind. Kingsley taught me to create a shield that even Dumbledore can't penetrate.
And here is where it gets interesting." I state, having taken a stance that will allow me to cast the required spell at a moment's notice and Voldemort spots this, glaring at me in challenge and having already drawn his wand. Yet thanks to my weeks of training, I no longer need my own phoenix and holly wand and so keep my hands bare.
Yet my power is now really surging through my cloths and I can feel it gathering in the fabric of my gloves, causing for the fabric to tingle with the growing power of the spell. "While Uncle Arthur and Molly may have given me non-magical and more personal gifts, is it the gift of my new father, Lord Black, that makes this a sad sight to see."
I motion for the Dementors with my other hand, keeping my right at the ready, but not moving it as I just think back on every happy and loving moment I've had in my life, especially in the last three weeks. "The gift I got from my father, Voldemort, is to use Dark Magic – for a Light purpose. And Lupin taught me how – and more."
And with that do I shout: "EXPECTO PATRONUM!" And while a single tear of loss and grief runs down my face, do I cast the overpowered spell, a stag, that is actually even larger and stronger than the reindeer that are still chasing a fleeing Pitch, erupting from my glove. Yet I don't let it be a stag for long as I snap my finger.
And with my mind fully focused on that one night and that one dream, do I feel my power reacting to my source of focus and the Patronus shines brightly, changing into a ball of light before a huge werewolf erupts from it, howling and letting off huge soundwaves before rushing at the Dementors, tearing into them.
Voldemort looks horrified and astounded at this sight, but then he glares at me and snarls: "You able to change your Patronus won't save you." But I just stare him down and say: "And yet again you are just not seeing what is right there in front of you. Look at what my Patronus changed into, Voldemort. Who it became."
The man looks at me and then turns back to look at the Patronus. And as he looks, do I start to twirl and twist my wrist, causing for the Patronus to start running around, becoming a circle of light that starts to change into a circular wall, like a shield. It expands and pushes the Dementors all the way to the walls of the huge room.
I then slowly close my hand and lower my arm, making the wall of light shrink down and move to surround the two of us. And as if they know that it can just as easily push them back to where they are, do the Dementors stay where they are, just floating against the walls near the ceiling, yet I don't care enough to focus on this.
Instead, I keep my eye on Voldemort, using my power to keep the shield strong while thinking back to everything I was ever told about this man and especially what Hagrid told me the first time we met in that lousy little shack on a rock in the middle of the ocean. The shield descends and now it surrounds just the two of us.
"You have talent, Harry Potter, but it will not save you. A Patronus cannot stop –.""A Killing Curse? That's just it, Voldemort. You love that spell so much, yet you never studied its lore, where it came from. And that became your greatest weakness. That spell, your favorite Unforgivable, was created by my father's ancestor."
And because I used the time where I was casting the Patronus and turning it into a protective wall to gather this power in my other hand, do I finally make use of my stance, turning on my axis as I shout: "AVADA KEDAVRA!" Voldemort's eyes widen and he ducks as not one, but an array of Killing curses shoot all around.
And thanks to how I was focusing on Voldemort and what he caused in the last war – as well as that horrible night back in June – do my curses hit several dozen small bits of light that had been shining within the wall of the Patronus. The wall breaks and the light of it gathers in each of these points, changing their forms.
And a true sense of horror shows on Voldemort's face as several dozen spirits appear from the light, Lupin being one of them and standing right behind the man, the werewolf sending me a short glance that speaks a very clear message. "Thank you for this chance. I will make it up to you. Take care of my friends for me."
Others also look at me like this, two of them having looks that I recognize thanks to living in my old family home as my grandparents and smiling at me in loving and respectful pride. "This won't save you! It only allowed you to save your own skin and escape me last time, but it won't be the same. You will die here tonight, Harry Potter!"
Voldemort snarls at me, yet I can easily hear the fear coming through his voice, no matter how much the man tries to hide it. But while he is scared of what is around us, do I not feel scared of him. I shake my head and say: "This isn't the same, Voldemort. This is the darkness of your curse combined with the Light of their souls.
This is your true fear. Death. A force that is neither Light nor Dark.""Do not assume you know me! AVADA KEDAVRA!" Voldemort yells, his wand alight with the frantic power that shoots from his wand, yet before the furious, horrible looking light of green magic can hit me, does a spirit shoot in front of me, blocking it.
I look up and see familiar features. This makes me smile, even as another tear slips down my face as I whisper: "Thank you, Cedric." And the older Champion looks at me, his eyes conveying another clear, yet shocking message. "We're even now." This shocks me, but I don't focus on it as Cedric flies straight at Voldemort.
The man casts frantically, but the spells just hit the spirit without doing anything and I think: "Makes sense. The dead are dead, they can't be harmed." And when the spirit reaches Voldemort, do I see his body glowing with that same deadly green color, the man gasping and sounding as if he ran for several miles while out of shape.
The other spirits then also shoot at the man, spirits that resemble Sirius, Susan and her Aunt, that look like people of the picture Moody gave me months ago and even the spirit of the old gardener that I saw get killed in the summer before my Fourth. And with every spirit that enters him, that green light surrounds him and he gasps more.
His gasping becomes more and more frantic, as if his body is losing the ability to take in oxygen and his whole body seems to age incredibly rapidly. Then the last spirit, which ironically enough, is my brother's father flies through the man, who sends one last look my way, one of pained fear and hatred, before he falls down.
And when he does, do his eyes take on that same glazed look as the one I saw on Cedric months ago, making me know that yes, the monster is truly death. I take a deep breath and while all of this has drained me greatly, while I wish that I took a Pepper-up Potion with me, do I look up, raise my fingers and whistle loudly.
The chase stops and Pitch is the first to spot me. He shoots down and growls: "How are you still here? Where is Voldemort?" Which I find ironic, because the spirit of fear is standing on the body and so I state: "Look down." The spirit does and his eyes widen, while the sleigh lands behind me, the guardians jumping out.
Yet while they all have their weapons at the ready and while I know that I am just not strong enough to take him on now that Voldemort has tired me out this much, do I still raise my hand, calling them to a halt. The group falters, but I turn to Sandy, who nods and comes to stand to the side, right between me and the spirit of fear.
Pitch looks at me and growls: "How?" To which I answer: "Through my abilities as a guardian. But I won't use them on you. I didn't kill Voldemort directly myself and I know I won't be able to defeat you directly either. And if I have to be honest with you, Pitch Black, I don't want to." The spirit looks shocked and I shrug as I say:
"To be honest, I think you made a mistake. England is, indeed perfect for you, but Voldemort there is not the reason why. Think about it, Pitch. We of the Magical world already have everything you ever wanted. We have Knockturn Alley, we have Azkaban, we have the Forbidden Forest. All places that exude great deals – of fear."
The spirit now looks intrigued and interested and I really hope this will work as I can feel my body wanting to shake with fatigue, working my hardest not to let darkness eclipse my sight or take over my senses as I say: "Those are spots, where you will be respected, Pitch. Where you will find people who want to believe in you.
And the auras that these spots exude, that they project even upon their surroundings and where both the areas and the beings living in them, will keep you strong and sustain you for centuries to come, if not for all eternity. And I just don't understand why you won't just go live there, enjoying the presence of those who think like you."
The being frowns at me and growls: "You're trying to contain me." But I shake my head and say: "I'm trying to compromise. I don't feel like fighting you and I know that, even if the Guardians and I will beat you, it will only be a setback for you, that one day there will be someone like Voldemort who will help you return.
But I know what you want and I understand that. Both because of my uncle, who gave me the gift to understand anyone and everyone and where they come from with what they do – and because I've wanted the same. To be accepted, to be believed, to be respected for who I am and what I can do. I know how that feels.
And seeing how much Voldemort knows about me and probably told you, you know I'm right." The spirit is still frowning, yet he doesn't seem to be violent or suspicious of my intentions anymore. I then turn to Sandy and the being nods, snapping his fingers and making a large document appear in front of him out of sand.
I turn from this to Pitch and say: "The reason I came today and not last night, when you laid Lupin out where you did, was because I took Bill and Madam Bones of the DMLE to Gringotts first. This contract is that compromise, Pitch, and it is created out of time sand and signed by both Madam Bones and a high-ranked Goblin of the nation."
"What does it say?" Pitch asks, sounding suspicious, yet interested and I say: "It will give you permission to live between Knockturn Alley, Azkaban, the Forbidden Forest and even the cells of high-offence criminals. To increase the power of the auras they let of and to, more or less, rule over the citizens of the first.
You will also be allowed to use your skills to keep those high-offence criminals in check until their trials, to use your skills in case they become unruly during their court session and to control the Dementors and increase their strength and ability while in Azkaban. Even the monsters of the forest will be yours to lead."
The Spirit of Fear looks at me astounded and Bunny mutters: "You're kidding me, right?" But I ignore him and say: "You will have your own little kingdom, Pitch, one where you will share rulership with whatever form of rulership already exists, in the current case the Ministry, but you will only have to answer to Madam Bones.
And that will only happen if you let a prisoner escape or if those living or shopping in Knockturn Alley let out their desire to spread fear in Diagon. You will also be made responsible of making sure that mistakes like my father never happen again and Madam Bones even allows you to install fear in those that try to make that mistake.
In return, I will leave you alone, the Guardians won't try to put you back underneath that bed and I will make sure that no one harms anyone living in your domains, not even the centaurs, who I know can be really territorial or Hagrid. I even have – one last little extra – that I didn't tell Madam Bones about – that I think you will like."
By now it's really hard for me to fight to fatigue, yet I don't want to give up on this one chance and I close my eyes, pinching them closed and pressing my fingers into the skin of my legs. And this pain helps keep me awake before I open my eyes again, spotting Sandy looking at me worriedly and Pitch looking intrigued and slightly impressed.
"What is this extra?" The being asks and then I notice it. I smile at him tiredly and whimper: "The Chamber of Secrets. I can get you in there – and allow you to use what is left of the Basilisk to keep the Legend going – as long as you don't traumatize any of the students. Scare is fine, it's part of life, traumatizing isn't."
The man smirks and asks: "So, in return for leaving your precious little realm of light alone, I basically get –." And I happily conclude: "Everything you wanted – the last time you came back. Do we have a deal or not?" And I stretch out my arm, using every last bit of my strength not to have it shake or show any sign of weakness.
Pitch looks at me one last time and then asks: "How do I know that you won't –?" And because I am on my last legs, do I snap: "Because I'm not you." The smirk widens and he says: "Right answer." Slapping his hand into mine and shaking it before Tooth comes over, one of her own feathers in her hand that she reaches out to us.
Pitch looks at it and I say: "To make the contract eternal. To make sure that both the Guardians, you and I are tied to it until we are all left forgotten." The spirit nods and takes the feather, signing his name at the bottom of the contract and I take it from him, doing the same before I say: "You really are the worst, Pitch."
The being smirks before he slides back, fading into the shadows. I sigh relieved, panting and ready to faint before I growl: "That no-good bastard. He was purposely stalling. I got him convinced eons ago." At which Bunny growls: "That sure sounds like Pitch." Before the darkness of fatigue overwhelms me, making me fall down.
Well done, Harry.
And that was that. What do you guys think? Did I live up to your expectations? Did you like the way that I incorporated Harry's powers into the fight against Voldemort? Did I properly and honorably use Lupin's death? Did you see the contract and the way that Harry dealt with Pitch coming? Did you enjoy this twist of a fight?
I sure hope so, because the next chapter – will be the last. And I plan to make a huge time jump, but also to deal with everything that is left. Harry dealing with the fact that he used an Unforgivable on an animated object (the wall was moving magically), the whole healing deal, Harry being a Guardian and some other stuff.
Let's do this,