Author's Notes: This will officially be my first fanfic in over 5 years and so far I've been starving for one. The story is of my own version of how things would end in the Potter-verse, mainly between Harry and Voldemort with an added twist of Harry and Hermione.
Chapter One: Facing Fear
Voldemort seethed with anger as he passed through the never-ending halls of the old and decrepit Riddle Mansion. In the house above, sounds of battle were waning. An army of the unlikeliest source led by Dumbledore himself had caught the Dark Lord unaware. Wormtail had suffered greatly for his lack of intelligence with a slow and agonizing death that did not give Voldemort any comfort. After years of sacrifice and careful planning, the thought of failure fueled his rage to a blazing inferno.
Gritting his teeth as the pain in his broken and burnt left arm seared anew, Voldemort opened a door leading to a staircase that stretched down into the very pits of the Earth. Wasting precious seconds, the Dark Lord apparated directly to the bottom of the deep chasm to stand before an ancient door encrusted with dirt and grime millennia-old. His voice hissed the ancient words of magic to unlock Voldemort's greatest secret, the one thing that would make him the single most powerful wizard of all time.
If the staircase leading down was a deep chasm, the room the Dark Lord entered dwarfed it a hundred-fold. In the center of the room, great curved pillars of dark granite and hardened steel held aloft and ever-shifting, ever-spinning collection of rings within rings within rings. When he had first laid eyes upon this magnificent piece of magic engineering, the device reminded Voldemort of a similar muggle contraption called a mariner's compass. But, instead of a mere piece of magnetic iron at the center, there was a swirling mass of purest magic illuminating the entire room, sending tendrils of light and dark in all directions. The air itself was charged with energy beyond that of normal wizard description.
"Finally," the Dark Lord whispered in a calm, even voice. "Godhood is within my grasp."
"Not yet, Voldemort," replied an equally calm, but firm voice from the edge of the floor and the whirling rings. The dark wizard known as He Who Must Not Be Named, who named himself Lord Voldemort, and was known the world over as the Bane of the Wizarding World of this day and age, knew fear for the first time since his start down the path of the dark arts.