As cliched as it sounds, it WAS a dark and stormy night.

A certain raven-haired boy with a unique scar was standing in the wildly blowing snow, facing off against an unspeakable evil. A once-man who was once called Tom, this being was idly waiting for his death eaters to arrive before storming Hogwarts in full force. You see, only two people alive have the power to apparate onto the Hogwarts grounds. One, was Albus Dumbledore. The other was Lord Voldemort.

Voldemort had apparated in advance, and was waiting for his squad to make their way from the neighboring wizarding village of hogsmeade, when he was called out from the Dark Forest by a certain eighteen year old thorn in his side.

"Riddle."

"Who DARES call me by that.. that... filthy MUGGLE NAME!" he bellowed to the cloaked boy.

Harry only chuckled. "Who do you think? I'll give you a hint... It's not Dumbledore."

Voldemort's eyes narrowed in a cold rage that would have given half the wizarding world a heart-attack.

"Potter."

Voldemort raised his wand to cast a spell, but Harry was far quicker. Before Voldemort could even begin the second syllable of the death curse, Harry had already cast a spell.

"A-va-"

"EXPELLIARMUS!"

Voldemort's wand flew from his hand, and directly into Harry's open hand. This was, of course, the only strategy that Harry could come up with that had any chance of his survival. Any other plan he came up with, other than disarming Voldemort, would probably ultimately end up in Harry's Death. He had to at least cripple the Dark Lord at the very beginning of the fight. It just had to be done.

He had also predetermined the battle field, just outside the late Hagrid's hut on the edge of the dark forest.

There was a reason for this.

:FLASHBACK:

(Sixth Year, sometime in November)

"Hermione."

"I'm sorry Harry, *sniff* I still haven't gotten over Hagrid's death." Hagrid, the Hogwarts Gamekeeper, had died two months earlier trying to fend off a Death Eater raid just outside of York. "I'll try to keep my emotions under control."

"No, Hermione. It's not that, it's not that at all. You don't need to try to cage your feelings, at least around me. I..I've been doing some thinking."

"Yeah?" Hermione looked at him with a curious expression plastered on her face, trying her best to hide the longing in her eyes she normally portrayed everytime she looked at him when he wasn't aware. Still, even now, she chanted her own personal mantra in her head. 'He's your friend, he's your friend, he's your friend, Hermione, he's your friend, you can't be in love with him, he's your friend, etc.'

"Hagrid's death has reminded me that life is too short. I need to tell you how I feel.." He had to tell her how much he loved her. The pain was entirely too much to take now. He always had reasons not to tell her, such as 'She is my best friend", or "Anyone who gets too close to me becomes a target." Now, however, as he watched yet another loved one slip away, it dawned on him that life is entirely too short, and that as it is, he has been on borrowed time for sixteen years. Why should he deny his chance at happiness?

"Yes?" Hermione inched a little closer, tears in her eyes, hoping at what he was to say but fearing it would be something else entirely.

Harry looked back at Hermione, no longer trying to mask his feelings. "I.. I love you, Mione." He reached up and tucked a stray hair behind her ear with a somehow sad, yet happy at the same time smile. "I've known that I've loved you since I almost lost you to that mountain troll. I know that no one has told you, but when you were petrified, I spent every night I could with you, crying myself to sleep beside you in the bed." He looked away with his eyes clenched shut, tears still somehow forcing their way through. "The only people who knew I was there were Ron, whom I begged and pleaded with to keep it a secret, Madame Pomfrey, whom took even more persuasion than Ron, and Professor Dumbledore, who seemed to be the only one who knew that the term 'visiting hours' didn't apply to the way I felt, no, I FEEL, about you."

He ended his speech, only Merlin knew how many times he had practiced it in his own mind, but still couldn't look at her. He was too afraid of losing everything by confessing how he feels, how it seems he has always felt.

Hermione was stunned. No one, (excluding Ron), not even HER, his best friend, had ever seen Harry cry. He always seemed somehow.more than human. He seemed to be able to distance himself from sadness, even in the face of everything he had to endure his entire life. This was her proof. This was what she had been waiting for. One thing, just ONE thing had been able to crack his superhuman persona. It was her. More specifically, his feelings for her. He was crying at the mere memory of her being in danger. 'He loves me.' she thought to herself.

All the years of hiding, all the years of fearing losing him, had been in vain. He had always felt the same way about her, and she knew now. She knew that no more time must be spent in vain.

"Oh Harry!" she shouted at him, her tears of sadness quickly becoming tears of joy. " I love you too!" She flung herself on him, toppling them both to the ground, where she proceeded to give him a kiss for every tear he had ever shed over her.

Harry was never more ecstatic, and knew that if he ever needed a comforting thought in the face of extreme danger, he would think of her, this place, and the moment his life became complete.

:END FLASHBACK:

"Very well Potter, you have my wand. Now, would you mind telling me just how, with your bumbling and childish mind, managed to find me before I was ready to strike?"

:FLASHBACK:

(Yesterday Night, about 3:00 AM)

"aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" Harry woke up in bed screaming for the third night in a row. Breathing quite heavily, he was unable to hear anything over his own panting. As such, he was completely unaware as Hermione ran across the short hall connecting the Head boy and Head girl private dorm rooms.

Harry and Hermione had agreed to shut and lock the door that connnected their private hallway to the rest of the castle, but to leave their respective doors open in case the other needed anything during the night. Complete trust and caring was the most evident aspect of their relationship.

"Harry? Harry? What IS it? This is the third night in a row! Why won't you tell me what's wrong?"

For three nights in a row, Harry had woken up to the same dream. No, not a dream, he knew. It was real. It was a vision. Had he not taken Divination, he would probably have just ignored it as a reoccuring nightmare. He, however, knew better now.

Harry looked at her through his dilated pupils. She had a right to know. He was, after all, planning on marrying her after graduation, and there is almost a certainty that he will be coming back to the Head boy dormitory tomorroy

"Hermione." He whispered, but the whisper carried a heavy undertone of concern.

She was taken aback. This tone was deadly serious. He now had her full, undivided attention.

"Please shut the door," he gently asked. If he knew her half as well as he thought he does, she is going to be screaming at one point in the conversation or another.

She did as she was asked, then, hesitantly walked back to where Harry was now sitting on the bed, fearing that whatever it was, was terribly bad.

He looked up at her with weary, weary eyes. "Can you keep a secret?"

'No 18 year old boy, no, make that man, should have eyes that old so young' she thought to herself as she studied his face. Few people could give her soulmate comfort, and by Merlin, she was going to at least try.

"Y-Yes, I can and I will. Just please tell me what is going on."

"Voldemort is going to attack the school tomorrow. He has two targets, one being Professor Dumbledore. I'll give you three guesses who the other is."

Hermoine let out a sharp gasp, but quickly recovered. "WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO KEEP THIS A SECRET!" she screamed at him.

This is exactly why Harry had Hermione shut the door. Their rooms became soundproof when sealed, so they could discuss Head boy/Head girl problems in private, they had supposed. Or maybe it was just a privilege of the position. Regardless of the reason for it, Harry was thankful for the charm at the moment.

"Hermoine, calm down. I have a plan, and it involves you."

"This had BETTER be good."

'Great,' Harry thought to himself, 'she is even more agitated than I thought she would get.'

"Look, Voldemort can apparate onto the school grounds." Hermione tried to interrupt, but Harry had anticipated this and cut her off. He could already imagine her retort. *No, Harry, no one can apparate onto or from the school grounds. Anyone who had read 'Hogwarts, A History' would know that.* "No, Hermione. Voldemort CAN. I'm pretty sure Dumbledore can too. Now, he is going to apparate here and hide in the dark forest awaiting his Death eaters to travel from Hogsmeade. I am going to go and try to stop him." Here Hermione tried to interrupt again, and again she was cut off.

"No, Hermione, don't try and stop me. I've been having visions. If anyone else comes with, even Dumbledore himself, large amounts of people will die. This is the only chance to save everyone's lives. Now, I am going to try and kill him. Whether or not I succeed, there will still be over a hundred Deatheaters on their way here. I need you to tell Dumbledore everything exactly one hour after I leave. The Deatheaters will need to be dealt with. Do you understand?"

Hermione took a deep breath and sighed. She understood that this was something Harry had to do. It was an integral part of him to put everyone else over himself. And she loved him even more for it. She also knew, however, that the chances of Harry surviving this fight were slim to none, and slim just left town. "Alright, I agree. But I want to give you something before tomorrow."

Hermoine stood slowly, removed her nightgown from her body, and let it fall down to the floor, away from her nude frame. Harry was speechless as he gazed at her in open admiration and love.

Hermione, you see, had been saving herself for marriage. Harry had whole- heartedly agreed, for one of the traits he admired most of her was of her ability to figure things out for herself, and then stand by her convictions. If her innocence was to be tainted, he was not going to be the cause of it.

Now, she felt, the man she was saving herself for may not be returning to her tomorrow evening.

She crawled into bed with him and pulled his still shocked face towards her own. Eyes only half open, she kissed her love tenderly yet passionately, while pulling the worn oversized T-shirt he always slept in up to caress his chest. Harry soon got the hint, and helped her undress him, but never let his loving gaze fall from her chocolate eyes.

Quite some time later, they both fell into a contented sleep, having pushed tomorrow's events to the back of their minds.

:END FLASHBACK:

"A bird told me." Harry replied, smirking.

"You insolent fool," Voldemort said, his hate radiating from him like an open kettle on a cold day. "You think just because I don't have my wand you have rendered me impotent? After I kill you, very painfully I might add, I will torture your little mudblood girlfriend into insanity before I grant her the sweet release of death."

The smirk immediately left Harry's face. In its place, a look of pure malice was forming.

He didn't quite know what he was going to do with Riddle's wand. He hadn't worked the plan out that far. He didn't expect that the choice of what to do would be made for him.

He thought about Hermione. He thought about how much he loved her. He thought about how much anguish he would feel if he ever let Riddle get near her. He thought about professing his love for her on this very spot. He thought about how many people would die should he fail. He thought about how he had been living on borrowed time his whole life. He thought about how Hagrid had died trying to protect others. He thought about how Sirius had died trying to protect him. He thought about the Weasleys, who had given him a family to call his own. He thought about his best friend Ron Weasley in particular. He thought about how Ron would die trying to protect others the same way that Hagrid had should he fail. He thought about Cedric, and how Voldemort had killed him just when he was beginning life as a man. He thought about the life he would never have, the friends he would never have, the love he would never have, should he fail. He thought about Hermione.

All of Harry's Anguish, Grief, Love, Hate, Courage, and Determination began flowing from him, through the twin wands, and into the makings of one of the greatest spells ever cast. He felt himself lift from the ground, and the phoenix's song in his ear. He closed his eyes and heard the song of the ancients.

He opened his eyes and there was energy rippling around him, tossing and turning, changing color, and growing in intensity. Looking up to the sky, he raised each one of his arms out, holding the twin wands out to his sides.

Voldemort was beyond afraid. He prided himself on being a master of every magic known to man. He had never seen, nor felt anything in the realm of what was transpiring before him.

Harry opened his eyes, now wild with the power coursing through his veins, and stared down at his, no the worlds enemy. He brought the wands together, arms straight, to point them at the evil being. As he closed the distance between the wands, the power seemed to be concentrating more and more at the point at which they would meet.

The wands met, and all the energy swarming around the Boy-who-lived collected to a single pinpoint, just in front of the wands. It paused for a second, and Riddle's life flashed before eyes in an instant. His life was filled with hate and malice. It was also fairly repetitive and boring.

The spell shot forth into Riddle's waist, doubling him over. He stood there, frozen, wide-eyed staring at nothing in particular on the ground as the spell rocked his entire being to the very core. That nothing in particular was the last thing Tom ever saw.

There was a blinding explosion at Tom Riddle's waist. His immortality torn asunder, his body blown apart, the greatest threat to the magical world was no more.

The force of the blast knocked Harry backwards towards the ground. Having unknowingly used a very large part of his own life force to complete the ancient magic, Harry was struggling to keep conscious, nay, to stay alive.

It takes an awful lot of magic to kill an immortal being. The sheer force of the ancient spell Harry had unknowingly invoked ripped a momentary yet invisible tear in the fabric of space and time, and Harry was unwittingly falling right towards it.

Harry was falling backwards, and mid-flight, everything just seemed to.. stop for a fraction of an instant, hardly enough to be noticed.

Harriet Lillian Potter, or Lily to her friends, was wondering the Hogwarts grounds, trying to find solace. The Fourth year girl, as she had been told NUMBEROUS times, was the spitting image of her father. Raven-black hair, glasses, and eyes so green that emeralds look dull in comparison. Everywhere she went, people would either whisper, try to get her attention, or just slack-jawed stare. Being the only daughter of the savior of the world would seem, to most people, to make life a breeze.

What people didn't realize, however, was that it isolated her more than most would care to believe. She never did know if people wanted to get close to her because she was famous, or if it was because of her, the person behind the parentage.

'Thank Merlin for the Weasleys,' she thought to herself. At least she knew that they were true friends. Her mother had had it incredibly difficult after Harry died. She had Lily to care for, and had trouble finding a job, even as intelligent as she was. Her Uncle George and Uncle Fred offered her a position she couldn't refuse. Even though Lily was sure she got an edited version of events from her mother, her mom had never lied to her. The way she tells it, was that George and Fred had gotten the start-up money for Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes, their Joke shop, from her father. They had been very successful, and were going to offer a partnership to Harry after he graduated. Since her father died, they offered it instead to her mom, saying something to the effect of; "Harry would have wanted it this way."

The partnership was beneficial to both sides. Fred and George did the joke inventing, and her mother stayed at home with Lily doing the bookwork and financial management. With her mom helping them, her uncles had been able to branch out into a chain of stores, and with her uncles and their family helping her mom, she was able to keep a very successful and lucrative job while still getting to raise Lily herself.

The Weasleys had become family to Lily and her mom. Grandpa Arthur and Grandma Molly had them over to the Burrow for every holiday. Her cousins, or the seven Weasley sibling's children, however you want to look at it, never saw her as the 'Daughter of the Savior.' They saw her as Lily, their family and more importantly, their friend.

With it being Harry Potter Day , or HP day for short, the entire school had the day off to celebrate the fifteenth year of freedom from the tyranny of he-who-must-not-be-named. Her mother had told her the story of her father's death numerous times over her life, but every HP day it always hit her full force.

Her mom had jumped the gun on Harry's time limit, and was running to the dark forest, just ahead of the army of Hogwarts to what was now called the 'Final Battle'.

Everyone just stopped and stared, however, as they caught sight of Harry and He-who-must-not-be-named.

Her father was levitating a good two meters off the ground, with a wand in each hand, looking as if he was being pulled upward by a hook in his chest. Multiple beams of colors were warping and flowing, swirling around him, casting a reddish tint to the freshly fallen snow and the trees composing the background. The unnamed one was frozen in fear. All of a sudden, the light just seemed to collapse into her father's center, and then rip forward into the unnamed one's waist. There was a blinding light, and then, there was nothing. They eventually found enough pieces of He-Who- Must-Not-Be-Named to declare his threat to the world at an end, but all they ever found of her father was a shoe and a shattered pair of glasses.

The death eaters did come, just as her father fortold, but were ambushed by the Hogwarts army, and no lives were lost. Her father had saved the world, and the lives of every student and staff member at Hogwarts. He did so, but at the cost of his own life.

Lily was going to the one place she felt she could be close to her father, the statue erected at the very place of his victory. The eight meter high marble lightning bolt had, over the last fifteen years, become a symbol of hope to the entire wizarding world. If an eighteen-year old boy could overcome the greatest threat mankind had ever known, then whatever problems anyone had they knew they could surmount.

"Dad, I wish you were here," she began, tears falling down her face. "I know I say this every year, but I need you. Mom needs you. I don't care if you were the Famous Harry Potter of legend or not, I only care that you were my Dad.. I'd give anything to just have you with us."

Lily looked towards the statue, stopping at the inscription etched across the base.

'In Memory of Harry James Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived, and gave the world hope, The-Boy-Who-Died, and set the world free.'

Lily looked back up, towards the middle, and everything just seemed to.. stop for a fraction of an instant, hardly enough to be noticed.

Out of seemingly thin air, a man shrouded in a black Hogwarts cloak just dropped almost a meter to the ground, striking the apex of his back very hard on impact. Lily ran over to him immediately, and gasped. Whoever this man is, he was half dead already and desperately needed medical attention.

Her own problems forgotten, she hastily got the man to his feet, draped his arm over her shoulder, and began making her way to the castle.

It was a long trek, and Lily had to fight hard to keep him at least conscious enough to help her get him to proper Medi-wizard attention. Many times she had tried to ask this stranger questions, but could not get one coherent answer out of him. He was unable to open his eyes, and his black hair was strewn about his face. Lily, however, did not seem to notice his appearance. Who this stranger actually is was secondary to getting him help.

It took the better part of an hour to get him to the castle, and if her body hadn't been strengthened over the years by playing massive amounts of quidditch, (playing seeker just came naturally to her, most said it was unsurprising, given how excellent a seeker her father was), she probably would not have been able to get him to the castle at all.

'Okay, think Lily,' she thought to herself. 'Where would the closest professor be... It must be lunch by now, I'll have to drag him into the Great Hall.'

Everyone in the Great Hall was enjoying HP day. No one was allowed to leave the school grounds, but still they enjoyed it as much as any holiday. Harry Potter day was started as a memorial to the hero, a time of mourning, but as the years passed on, it blossomed into a day of celebration and remembrance. Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of the school, was chatting quite happily with the other professors when the doors to the great hall banged open and saw a raven haired student half-carry, half-drag another raven-haired student, this one only half alive at best, down the center isle and towards the table.

Albus quickly ran around the table and over to the pair, noting that one was Lily Potter. Lily gently laid the stranger on the ground when she saw the Headmaster running over to her. Albus stopped, took a good look at the man, and gasped. Now, when any ordinary person gasps, people generally look to see what alarmed that particular person. When Headmaster Dumbledore gasps, people generally come running to see what could have surprised the man who is never surprised.

Harry opened his left eye, using all the energy he could muster, to see a ring of blurry faces all staring down at him. He focused on a girl only a foot to his left, who looked familiar in a deja-vu kind of way, and then up to Albus Dumbledore's face, so close to Harry's own, upside-down, and gaping in recogition and awe.

A memory floated to the surface of his mind, of the only time he had seen anyone collapse on the Great Hall floor. It was a professor wearing an ugly turban.

A slight smile stretched across Harry's face as he looked Dumbledore square in the eye, and uttered a harsh whisper that to even hear it would make your throat hurt. "Troll in the dungeon, thought you should know.." At this he wildly grinned at the older man.

Dumbledore's face broke out into a full blown smile. He gently whispered, more to himself than to anyone in particular, "Thank Merlin, He's Alive."

Lily looked up at him, her curiousity was at its breaking point. "You know this man Professor Dumbledore?"

Albus looked Lily straight in the eye. She could see the twinkle in his blue eyes even behind the wall of tears that was threatening to fall. "This is Harry Potter, Lily, and Thank Merlin, He's Come Back!"

The last thing Harry remembered before falling unconscious was the familiar looking girl's head whipping down to look at him, no, to SEE him, and he stared back up at her eyes, which were overflowing with tears, raining down on him with reckless abandon, and her faint, heartfelt whisper of: "Dad?...."