Chapter 21"Choices in Life, is this the End?
Draco and Harry watched as Voldemort slowly entered the library. The smile on his face made them edgier then they were when they first noticed him. He looked calm, as if he had anticipated all of the stuff that had happened so far, in Harry's mind, he probably did.
That still didn't explain the calm expression Voldemort was in. He looked as if his wildest dreams came true and Dumbledore died. He was watching the two young men and he wasn't even wearing a scowl. Harry and Draco, if they were not composed at least a little, would have pissed their pants the first chance they got and embarrass themselves in front of the man.
Voldemort still did not say anything, but continued making his way towards them, slowly as if he was in no hurry at all to start their punishment. In Draco's and Harry's mind, he would have been delighted to even cast Crucio on them. Their guarded expressions met him as he finally sat in one of the chairs, the boys edged away slightly. Neither of them wanting to be close, Harry especially.
"Ssoo..." He stretched the word out, making them shiver. "You have done what none of my Death Eaters have managed to do so far." Harry and Draco exchanged looks of worry. Voldemort chuckled softly.
"Oh don't worry, there will be no punishment for what you have done. I must congratulate you two on a job well done. I have anticipated you two to come up with something that would break the memory charm." He looked at Draco and then turned to Harry.
"As you know, memory charms are one of the hardest to break. I have expected Harry to overcome at least part of the memory block, seeing at how powerful he has become." Harry's open mouth made Voldemort's grin widen further.
"Don't be surprised, I knew that you were gaining your memory back. The charm I have placed on the serpent on your arm was supposed to warn me if you gain your memory back, but for some reason it has not warned me about anything until a few minutes ago when Draco cast the Rememo spell. It seems, Harry, that you have unconsciously blocked the serpent from entering your mind yet again, but today you were weak and you let your mind become an open book in order for Draco to break the spell."
"You do not have to worry, you will not be punished for your actions since I knew it was going to be this way. I made sure that you two were reacquainted again in order to trigger some of Harry's memories. It has worked."
Harry and Draco sighed in relief. No death today.
"My Lord, if you are not going to kill me, seeing as you wouldn't kill Potter," Harry sent him a nasty look. "then what do you plan on doing to me. You obviously know that I am a spy and that I will tell everything that I saw. Everyone wants Potter back and these two months have been hell for everyone who knew him."
"All will be going according to plan Draco. You will tell Dumbledore what I tell you now, if I find out you told him otherwise, you will suffer death."
"Yes sir." Draco said shortly. Harry glanced at him and almost felt the sudden fear in the blond boy.
"You will go to Dumbledore and tell him that he must stop this pointless war, Harry Potter will not be going back anytime soon. He will not be a tool used in this war for Dumbledore's sick game. He has messed around in people's lives long enough and it is time for him to stop. Harry may be powerful but he does not have the heart to kill and everyone knows that. Even though he has killed, his spirit was never in it." Voldemort's gaze turned to Harry who shifted his eyes to look at the floor.
"It is true Harry, you have never belonged in this war and all that I am saying is true. Dumbledore has been meddling in your life and mine, and only god knows how many others have fallen under his control. Don't you see what happened last year? All that had happened should not have happened. I know you agree with me because I can still feel your anger and it is not directed at me, it has not been for a while now." Harry felt the eyes leave him and turned to Draco.
"Tell him that. Harry will not join this war if I can help it. No matter who wins it, he will not be a pawn."
Draco bowed low and turned to Harry. "I guess I don't know if this is goodbye or if I'll see you again. I know that what He said is true, Dumbledore has messed in all our lives, mine especially, but don't let yourself down, Potter, do what you must do to survive. It is the human instinct and you are as human as the rest of us, even though you are a bit abnormal." Harry scowled playfully and stuck out his hand.
"I'm glad that we finally settled everything between us, Draco. I don't know how I would have gone through all of this without you. So thanks."
Draco smiled and with a wave and a another bow, he left. The library door closed behind him as if the door a of a prison cell closed on Harry. The world was on the outside and he was inside, watching as days went by. Harry sighed and turned back to Voldemort, only to find the dark lord studying him intently.
"You know the serpent allows me to feel emotion from you too. Right now you are helpless."
"I am not. I just don't like this arrangement. By the end of the week Dumbledore will come knocking and–"
"And you're not sure what to do anymore, correct?" Voldemort finished quietly.
"Yes. I'm really confused right now, I don't know if that was your intent but if it was it's working."
Voldemort smiled slightly, "No it wasn't. I know you are confused, most of the people of today are because they don't know what to think anymore then you do. On one side there is the dark which have some pretty good ideas and on the other there is Dumbledore and the corrupted Ministry and needs to be fixed."
"Harry the reason I said I do not want you in this war is because this is between Dumbledore and me, it has nothing to do with you. Dumbledore is the one that is corrupted, he wants the Ministry to be the way it is because then he has control over it, but I want a Ministry where all the magical people live together. Every race, no matter where they came from, be they giants, vampires, ghouls, everyone should be able to live together. This Ministry is so afraid of the non human kind that they have either killed all of them off or they have cast them out. They took all their privileges and locked them out."
"That is why so many of the non humans are under my command, they understand what I want to do." He turned to Harry and forced him to look in his eyes.
"Do you understand what I'm doing? Would you rather go back and live among people that shunned you when you were not perfect? Would you go back to people that tried to manipulate you into doing everything you want them to do? This is your life Harry, you are supposed to have control of it, not someone else." Harry avoided his gaze.
"You know I'm right. You have been manipulated and cast aside when you were not needed just like me. No one cares how your life has been until they need you, than they worry if you had enough power to stand up for them or if you were just a piece of glass just about to break. They care only about themselves and power. Your life is your life and no one is supposed to try and take control of it."
Harry turned away from the red eyes and stared at the bookcase in front of him. The books were all on dark arts and Harry had the sudden urge to read them all. Other thoughts forced that meek attempt at forgetting the things Voldemort had said. All of it was true, they had tried to control him and only worshiped him when they needed him, than when they were through they criticized him and made him an outcast.
"You don't have to put up with all of that. Take control of your own life and live it the way it was supposed to be lived."
"I can't just run away from destiny. I am supposed to kill you or you kill me. It was prophesied and I just can't run from it, sooner or later it will catch up."
"Do you believe in the prophecy Harry? That prophecy might as well have been Neville Longbottom, his parents defied me numerous times."
"You marked me, not Neville."
"If I went to the Longbottom's first, the same thing might have happened, who knows. We can't live on prophecies, Harry. Just because you were said that you would kill me doesn't mean that you have to. Life is made by the choices we make, if you chose to kill me then you will, if you don't then you won't."
"If I don't kill you than they will try to force me to. Right now I just can't bring myself to try to do anything. I admit that you were strict these past few months and that you have lied a couple of times, but for what it's worth, you were like a father I never had. You pushed me to my limits, you tired to teach me the stuff I never knew. You even protected me on some terms, but Dumbledore never did that. Sure he acted like he cared and probably does, but after all the things he did, I lost trust in him. I may have forgiven him, but Sirius' death will never leave my mind and these months you almost made me feel happy. All the times I fought you I thought that you were cold and heartless, than I learned that you really aren't, it was only a facade to protect your true feelings."
"Not everything is as it seems, Harry. I thought I could protect you by trying to keep you here, but you never wanted to stay so I had to threaten you with your friends' lives. I would never hurt them. In the past I might have, but ever since I was reborn I saw what you went through. I saw the same signs in you that I saw in myself. The signs that would turn a person dark and I knew it was Dumbledore's doing."
"Why is it that you pin everything on him? I did the same and yet he still took me with open arms when Remus took me back. That was the only reason I forgave him. He believed that I did not change and even stood up for me when everyone started to shun me."
"As I said Harry not everything is as it seems. Dumbledore may have soft side, but he would do everything in his power to get rid of me because he does not want the Ministry changed. He has so many people wrapped around his finger, when he commands the people don't even realize what they are being asked to do, they just do it."
"Dumbledore got rid of Grindelwald."
"For trying to do the same thing I am doing." Voldemort countered.
Harry growled. "I really don't know what to think. I either go back or stay with you. If I go back I'll probably be used as a tool to kill you, I don't even know if I could do that. If I stay with you, he'll probably send the Order after me and kill other people in the process. Ugh why is it always me?"
"Good question, yet we don't know why. Fate will answer along the way."
"You said you didn't believe in destiny." Harry sighed he was getting extremely tired. The talk with Voldemort was proving to be a challenge.
"Fate and Destiny are two different things. We can change our destiny but we cannot change our fate. Whatever we chose in the end will be our fate, but we can always alter our Destiny's path."
"To me they are the same thing."
Voldemort chuckled. "Alright enough of that. What will it be Harry? Will you go back or will you stay?"
"You will let me?"
"Of course. But if you go back, than we are enemies. It does not mean that we will fight if we meet up. But whatever you chose will be your fate. Chose wisely."
Harry sighed. Staying with Voldemort might let him get out of the war, but it would also prove a longer war that it should be originally. Going back to Dumbledore meant he had to become his puppet yet again. The odds there were against him. The choices were tough and if he chose the wrong one, who knows what might happen.
"What will happen if I go back?"
"Not much I guess, the war will resume the way it has been going on. Our talks won't be as long anymore if at all. My men will leave you alone if you decide to try and stay out of the way. I cannot guarantee your safety if you decide to come in-between. You will go back to your previous life and will have nothing to do with me until our paths meet again, I am assuming they will."
"Will you sever your ties?"
"Do you want me to?" Voldemort asked.
Harry didn't know what to say. He had wanted to all this time to be able to get rid of Voldemort and all his planning for him. Now he didn't know what to do. Severing ties meant that he wouldn't be able to see what Voldemort was planning, though he certainly did not mean to tell anyone. Just being involved in something might help him. On the other hand all the pain that came with the ties would be gone.
Harry closed his eyes, "For the pain, yes."
"I can only remove your serpent and cast you out, but I cannot do anything about your scar. It is a part of you and I cannot do anything about it. I can however, try and block the pain you feel. Harry I know I am doing all of this for you, but if I find out that you are giving information to anyone about what is going on I swear to you that there is going to be pain through your scar. I can close the link but I can also open it."
"Don't worry, I wasn't planning on doing anything of the sort. I do not think that I will even join the war."
"You might have to. Dumbledore might not take no for an answer, he can be very persistent when he wants to be. Be careful around him."
"You make it sound as if I am going back." Harry said softly.
"I know your choice by all the questions I am getting. You are very easy to read."
"Do not worry, everything will turn out all right in the end."
"Hopefully. When can I leave?"
"Now if you want. All I have to do is get rid of the mark." He took Harry forearm and aimed his wand at the blinking serpent. A searing pain ripped through Harry and he clenched his teeth as a sudden fury enveloped him. Anger radiated in waves at him, he knew it was from the mark as if the snake was disappointed in his decision. It ended suddenly and Harry slumped to the ground.
"I am sorry, it seems that the snake took a liking to you. No wonder I could barely get any information from it anymore. Anyway, good luck Potter."
Harry nodded, a sudden pain in his chest made it hard for him to breathe and his stinging eyes told him that he was about to cry. An almost new experience to him. His stuff appeared at his side and Harry sighed.
"I guess this is goodbye."
"We might meet each other again, someday. We may have had our ups and downs these past years but somehow I can say that we have come close to being friends. Who would have thought."
Harry smiled. "Yes, who would have thought. A Potter befriending Voldemort."
"And a Dark Lord trying to save a Potter. How very ironic."
He stared up at the huge castle in front of him. All his stuff at his side, a solemn smile on his face and a far away look in his eyes. There was nothing he could do now, but wait and see what would happen in the future. Life was hell for him and maybe for once, if people did not intervene, it would be all right.
All he had to do was try to be neutral. A life of war was not for him. Many people have died because of an old man's mistake. Many more lost their lives in belief that they were doing good, but in the end, no one had won. All they were doing was following the will of another.
Harry Potter flicked his wrist and his trunk moved by his side as he began his walk to the castle. He could almost hear the end of the year feast in the Great Hall. Laughing children and saddened adults sitting around talking of who knows what. No one having a care in the world of what has been going on.
Harry smiled. Maybe this war won't be so bad. All they have to do is agree to change the Ministry so that it accepts everyone and everything. Shunning people isn't the right way, protecting them is.
"Life is full of surprises."
Okay, I don't know if I should end it there, though it seemed like a good spot to end the story. I know it was a bit rushed through the whole chapter but this story was getting a bit long. It was going to be about 15 chapters but it turned into 20 than 21. So it has finally ended, and I think on a pretty good note. So does everyone think I shouldn't end it there? A sequel maybe? I left it there just in case I want to make a sequel.
Thanks to everyone who was very kind and reviewed for the whole story! I couldn't have done it without you guys.
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And to everyone else! Thanks! You guys have been a great support...just tell me if you want the story continued then I'll try and write some more when I have the time...I don't know when that will be...but I'll try to write a sequel if you want one. BYE and maybe I'll tt some of you on your own stories.