Chapter Thirty: The Healing Spell
The room was silent. Harry looked up from where he had sunk to his knees from the power of the spell he had cast. He felt drained, limp. Several people stood around him, but Harry looked for one.
"Oh, Harry..." she pushed through to his side and dropped to her knees beside him, wrapping him in her arms. He pulled her to him, taking in a deep breath.
"Are you okay?" he asked. "Did I do it in time?"
"Oh, yes, oh... Harry... what was that?"
"What...?" Harry looked at her, then stood, wobbling a bit until a hand took his elbow and helped him. Remus.
"Remus... it wasn't Neville and Luna... it was you, and Tonks..."
"Harry?" Remus looked concerned.
"Mrs Weasley... is she...?" Harry's throat felt odd. There was a huge lump of something caught there.
"Molly was merely stunned," Dumbledore's voice said in his ear. Harry turned to see the elderly wizard leaning down to take his other arm. "Harry..."
"Did I kill him?" Harry muttered. "I didn't mean to kill him, Dumbledore... but he was going to kill Ginny..."
"Yes, Harry, I know... we all saw..."
"Is he dead?"
"He's gone, Harry. The spell..." Dumbledore looked closely at him. "I've never seen that before."
"What?" Harry asked, sitting heavily on the sofa that he'd been guided to.
"That spell... Harry, the Killing Curse produces a green light."
"That light wasn't green, mate," Ron said, collapsing next to him. "It was purple. And the minute it took effect, every Death Eater in the room dropped."
"Harry, what did you do?" Dumbledore asked.
"I don't know."
"You changed the spell, Harry..."
"I don't care what he did, Professor," Ginny said firmly. "Harry needs to be seen to. He's exhausted..."
"Of course," Dumbledore gave his head a slight shake. "Of course, Miss Weasley, you are right. Everyone, please, this place is no longer safe. I would appreciate it if everyone would floo back to Hogwarts..."
After getting all the occupants of the Burrow out, and the aurors in to clear out the Death Eaters who all seemed to be Stunned, Dumbledore followed the others through to Hogwarts.
Harry lay in the Hospital Wing for three days. He had exhausted his magic, and all he wanted to do was sleep. Ginny never left his side, and the others took turns sitting with her. Molly Weasley recovered from being Stunned, and was absolutely livid that she had missed the entire thing without even throwing a single hex. She had been found on the kitchen floor, a bowl of potatoes strewn across the floor and her wand still in her pocket.
As Harry came to on the third day, it was to find Ginny sitting beside him, cradling his hand in her own.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"I should be asking you that," she said softly, gently brushing the hair away from his forehead.
"I wasn't the one who had Avada Kedavra thrown at me."
"Actually," she smiled. "It was only Avada Ked... he didn't get any further."
"I don't know why my spell worked..." Harry said. "We have brother wands... my spell shouldn't have worked... I wasn't thinking, I guess."
"It's okay, Harry..."
"No, it's not. I used an unforgivable. Even if it was against Voldemort..."
"Harry, you didn't."
"I did," he said, "I used the Killing Curse against him, Gin... I..."
"You changed the spell, Harry."
"Harry, don't you ever read your history of magic?"
"What?' Harry looked at her like she'd lost her mind.
"History of Magic, Harry. Honestly, I think Hermione is right about you two."
"Harry, listen to me. The Killing Curse was originally a healing spell."
"It was developed as a Healing spell, used against illness, and infections... that sort of thing."
"It was only when Dark wizards began to understand that it could be used differently... with hatred fuelling it, that it became an Unforgivable. The good effects it had... well, they weren't nearly powerful enough to counter the bad... so its use was outlawed entirely."
"Harry, when the power of the spell comes from good feelings, when it's fuelled by love, it changes the effect."
"How do you know this?"
"Dumbledore and the others have been analyzing your wand for days, Harry. They've figured out that you didn't feel hatred or anger when you cast that spell, you were thinking good thoughts, feeling love..."
"I was thinking about you... and your family, and the others..." Harry admitted. "And all of a sudden I felt this surge of power... and then it was all over and I was on my knees."
"It was an unbelievable level of power, Harry," she said softly. "It was... I've never seen anything like it. Every Death Eater in the room dropped."
Harry was silent.
"I was wrong. I thought I just had to destroy his power, and they'd leave him. I was wrong, and it almost cost you your life..."
"Harry, you were right," Ginny said.
At that moment, the doors at the far end of the room opened to admit Dumbledore, with Remus Lupin, Minerva McGonagall and Severus Snape behind him.
"Harry, you're awake."
"Yes, Professor," Harry said. "Professor... I'm sorry... I tried... but he was going to kill Ginny... and..."
"Harry, calm down."
"Am I going to Azkaban?" Harry asked.
"Azkaban?" Dumbledore looked at him, smiling. "Why would you be going to Azkaban?"
"I... I used an Unforgivable... I killed..."
"No, Harry... you didn't. You used a very old magic, one that we have not used in millennia."
"I used the Killing Curse!"
"You used the original 'Killing Curse'... the healing spell," Dumbledore said gently. "There is nothing unforgivable about that, Harry."
"Yes, Miss Granger has been telling anyone who stands still long enough to listen what she has found... Professor Binns is delighted that it has been proven that someone listens during his classes."
"I don't understand, Professor... it might have been a different power behind it, but the effect was the same. He's still dead."
"Yes, Harry, and do you know why?"
Harry looked up at the old man. "Because I killed him."
"No, Harry, because you killed the evil within him. You killed the poison. The infection... you killed what he was living off of. You killed his power."
"I don't understand."
"You used your love for Miss Weasley, and others important to you," Dumbledore nodded in the direction of Remus, "to fuel the spell. When it's fuelled by love, Harry, it changes the outcome considerably."
"Bellatrix Lestrange..." Harry said softly, thinking to himself.
"What about her?" Dumbledore asked, his eyes narrowing.
"She told me in the Department of Mysteries..." Harry flushed. "I tried to use the Cruciatus on her, and I couldn't. She said I had to really mean it, really want to see her in pain..."
"Precisely, Harry," Dumbledore nodded.
"But does it mean he's gone? Really gone?" Harry asked.
"Oh, he's gone," Remus smiled. "And you'd be surprised the effect of hearing that is having on some of his most faithful servants..."
"Remus..." Harry turned to the werewolf. "It was you and Tonks."
"You felt it, didn't you?" Harry asked.
"Yes," he nodded. "Yes, I did. Nymph, too."
"Some things, Harry," Dumbledore said softly, "We are not meant to understand, we are simply expected to trust that Fate will allow us what we need, when we need it. Even if it is from an unexpected source."
"How many, sir?" Harry asked. "Nev, and Luna? Ron? Hermione? They're okay?"
"Yes, Harry, your friends are all fine," Dumbledore's eyes clouded.
"Who?" Harry asked, his throat tightening. "The Weasleys?"
"The Weasley family came through relatively unscathed, although it is my understanding that George will have a rather nasty scar on his chin... rather convenient for everyone else, actually. Telling them apart will no longer be an issue."
"Who?" Harry asked, knowing that someone hadn't survived. The look in the old man's eyes told him that.
"We suffered several losses, Harry. Order members... Elphias Doge, Emmeline Vance... The vast majority of the original Order are now gone. The Weasley's survived, and those you see here... Nymphadora is fine... and Kingsley."
"Mad Eye?" Harry choked, glancing at Ginny and seeing the tears in her eyes as she shook her head. "Mrs Figg?"
"I'm sorry, Harry."
"What about Dung?" Harry whispered.
"Mundungus Fletcher was found in the cellar... attempting to make off with a rather old bottle of brandy, actually."
"Was it him?"
"Yes," Dumbledore nodded. "I'm afraid my judgment was impaired in my original assessment of him. Perhaps... well..."
"Albus, you can't blame yourself," Snape said. "I, of all people, should have known, and I didn't see it. How could you?"
"Thank you, Severus. But I am fully aware of where the blame lies for the deaths of our colleagues."
"So the Order is gone, then?" Harry said.
"Gone?" Dumbledore's eyes twinkled. "Indeed not, Harry."
"But if Voldemort is gone...?"
"Voldemort may be gone, but that is not the only reason for the Order of the Phoenix to exist. The Order is there to ensure that any Darkness is dealt with quickly. We will continue."
"So what now?" Harry asked.
"Well, it's over, isn't it? I'm done. What now?"
"Now, Harry," Remus smiled. "You get to be a seventeen year old Hogwarts student with NEWTS approaching. Between that, and the young lady to your left, I think you'll have your hands full."
"How, exactly, have you got that figured?" Hermione's voice came from the other side of the lounge. "Ron... you can't possibly believe that the information will just 'come to you' once you're sitting your exam?"
"Hermione," Ron stated from where he was sitting, his legs draped over one arm of the huge overstuffed armchair in the Gryffindor common room, munching on an apple. "If I don't know it now, no matter how much I study tonight, I'm not going to know any more for the exam tomorrow morning."
"Ron...!" she looked at him, flustered.
"Would you shut up, close that book," he stood and held out his hand to her. "And come with me? We've got two nights left in this great heap of rock, and there's a broom closet on the sixth floor that we have yet to explore."
Looking at him, shocked, she suddenly giggled and slammed her book shut, taking his hand and following him towards the portrait hole.
"Oi! You two!" Harry called from the sofa where he was sitting, holding Ginny. "Remember, Potions exam at nine!"
"We'll be back in plenty of time for that, Harry..." Ron said as he pulled Hermione through the doorway.
"Are they gone?" Ginny asked sleepily from where she rested against Harry's chest.
"Gone," Harry confirmed, reading a Potions book he held in one hand.
"Hmm, and Neville?"
"Off with Luna, somewhere," Harry said, absently turning a page.
"Dean and Seamus?"
"Snuck into Hogsmeade, I think. Seamus said something about it being their last shot at sneaking out with the chance of getting in trouble for it."
Ginny giggled against his chest.
"So..." she said, tracing a pattern on his shirt.
"So?" he continued to read, half paying attention to their conversation as he played with her hair with his left hand.
Who knew wolfsbane could do that? I wonder if Remus knows...
"Harry?" Ginny moved against him.
"Your dorm is empty," she whispered into his ear, gaining his full attention immediately. He turned sparkling green eyes towards her.
"I haven't slept next to you since before Christmas, Harry," she trailed kisses down his neck.
"No nightmares..." Harry said softly, his body responding to the suggestion of hers.
"But I wasn't sleeping beside you just for that..."
"You weren't?" his voice cracked.
"No..." she whispered, still trailing kisses down his neck.
Harry glanced around the common room, which was startlingly empty.
Gulping, he tossed the book to the side and stood, lifting her as he did, and moved quickly towards the stairs to the boys' dorm. He paused at the first step.
"Are you sure?" he asked, a catch in his voice.
"Positive," she said, smiling at him, her arms around his neck.
Harry didn't waste any more time.
Well, there it is. The final chapter in yet another fic. I am planning a couple of outtake-type one shots from this for the new year (because I know several reviewers who will hunt me down if I don't provide details). There were reasons for not including things like the DA competition in this one... I was trying to show that life was going on pretty much as normal within the school, despite the expellation of the six... and the attack on the Burrow had to come as a surprise, out of the blue. If I failed in that, and only managed to annoy, I apologise. It's the way it came out, folks!
I thank my lovely reviewers... you have no idea of how important you are. And, of course, I thank James... my friend and beta who has been there from the beginning.
I will not be writing over the Christmas break, as we will be travelling. But I intend to come back sometime in January with something. And there may be a few surprises on the horizon – one never knows!
Take care, and to each of you, happy holidays.