((A.N. Chapter 18, the last chapter. Wow, that's really depressing to think about. I love this story so much. But! If you liked this fic, then add me to your Alert List so you know when my new fic, Somewhere I Have Never Traveled, comes out.I think it's gonna be even better than this one. I really appreciate all the reviews you guys have given me. I'd especially like to thank those of you who have been with me from the beginning(Black-rose23! Spirit Well! Tears-That-Fall! Loriliant! ramones4me! Lady Moofin! Kou Shun'u! EuphoniumGurl0(the very beginning! ;D)And a lot more of you! Amerise Rei, probably my smartest reviewer. IceHeart161, my funniest reviewer. Jay Ficlover, definitelythe most imaginative reviewer! Oliver's Quidditch Crazy, just because. Le Saut de l'Ange, for translating this story into French. And all the rest of you, who are An Anti-Sheep Cheese Muffin, Sarcastic Capricorn, whogirl, CareBearErin, The Anti-Romantic, Slytherinstargazing, CountessMel, Euphonium Girl (are you learning a foreign language? Because your reviews have been steadily reduced to absolute gibberish:D), donoma, charmorrobaby, haiga, Anuksumamum-Kalia, UNOWEN, Jolena (very good theories), steffy-potter, ObsidianEyes666, hpfanf, iHARTu, BIGHARRYFAN, Hannah-yo, Belle Lamour, cocvanilla, JamieGirl, Duja (Brilliant! you got almost all of it), Tween Idol, Avanell, Nathonea (Yeah. It is.), kittykatekat, stargazer starluver, BabyGooGoo2, blaiselover, Charming-Lynn, gATITABella, vla 1 diva, Loony Ferret, spicysuga, just reading, enchanted light, Pandora, LilytheSpitFire, irishpirates (that concept is exactly what I'm getting at), Phaet, silver gaze, Jess, Kerrie-A, Jay Ficlover (Much as I love and adore and cherish all of my reviews, I wouldn't never change my plot because of one. ;D), Aritocratic Assassin, hewhoistomriddle, msq91029, KyootNShort, Emma, bIsHiE-hUnTa, Mustangchic, Eccentrically Yours, DarkYuke, Salt in Your Wounds, Mikki, bubble gum girl, tickle the dragon, and SaTiNk06. And Drama Shethan, my beta, I owe you everything. My poor readers, though. :( I think some of you took it the wrong way when I told you that the fic wasn't over. I want everyone reading, even those of you who have been silent readers up until now, to tell me what you think. I love you guys and hope you read my next story. Enjoy the end of this one.))
Imperfect cry, and scream in ecstacy
But what befalls the flawless?
The love I've built
It shines so beautifully
Now watch as it destroys me.
Break down, and cease all feeling
Burn, now, what was once breathing
And you may take my heart away.
Chapter 18; The Beginning
Epilogue: 50 years later . . .
He had finally achieved it. The murder of Harry Potter. Voldemort stood triumphantly in the empty clearing, savouring the accomplishment of killing his only opposition.
But what was this?
Movement, it seemed, a tiny gasp to his left. He turned to face the only human that was alive in the clearing.
"Ah, the filthy Muggleborn that Potter adored so much," he spat.
There was a slight gasp, and a pause.
"Pity . . . I don't even know your name," he whispered with a terrible smile. All he could see through the mist was a silhouette of a female figure, sprawled helplessly on the floor of the clearing. Her name was Harriet or Helga or something horrid like that, and he would kill her quickly. He raised his wand.
A moment too late, he caught sight of her face, and simultaneously remembered the name Hermione. But already the spell flew through the air, its deadly green light illuminating the clearing.
In slow motion she fell, a graceful phantom in the darkness of eternity. As she hit the ground, Voldemort noticed an object clasped tightly in her right hand. It was a jet black rose, and it had not wilted. After fifty years, or one moment, depending on how you looked at it, the rose was in full bloom, healthy and vigorous as it had been the moment seventeen-year-old Tom had given it to her.
I killed her, he realized quite suddenly. I was the murderer.
And at last, the greatest realization of all. He had heard his own laughter.
Tom laughed, a chilling and bloodcurdling and ruthless laugh, but not because he was amused. He laughed because he finally understood.
Tom observed the profound irony of the situation. Hermione had gone back in time to kill him, but instead had fallen in love with him. Tom had loved her with all of his heart, and then she had disappeared. Because of that, he had become Lord Voldemort, which in turn led to him killing Harry Potter, and at last, to killing her. It was like a huge chain linked circle. Could any part of the chain be broken?
Hermione, in her last moments of living, had understood the seriousness of what she had done. She had single-handedly created the monster that was Lord Voldemort. Then again, Lord Voldemort had existed long before she had even been to Hogwarts, or obtained the time turner. How could she be responsible for creating a man that existed before she had been born?
Falling in love with Tom had ruined every ideal that their society had strived for. And yet it had been inevitable. She had created a monster. How could something as beautiful as love twist a man into the thing Lord Voldemort had become?
There was only one explanation for the course of events that had passed. It was the one tragic truth that the human race had yet to understand. This truth had changed the course of history, and at the same time kept it from changing at all. Hermione had been meant to travel back in time to meet Tom. Similarly, Tom had been meant to become Lord Voldemort. As Tom had once unknowingly stated, it was all part of a huge, predestined pattern. Hermione had changed the future into what she had already known it to be.
Fate, and destiny. Few believed in these abstract terms, and fewer still knew how to deal with the repercussions of them. But what it came down to was that changing what had been written in the stars was impossible.
In the end, we are who we were always meant to be. The choices we make do not alter our destiny; destiny alters the choices we make.
Voldemort realized this, and noted that he had been correct, when, at the age of twelve, he had believed his whole life was already planned out for him.
At that moment the last human feeling left his body.
I will kill him. I will kill whoever it was that caused her to die right in my arms. I will kill him if it is the last thing I do.
Tom Riddle would kill Lord Voldemort, and it would be the last thing he did. He hated himself more than the whole rest of the world hated him, and that was a tremendous feat.
Tom Riddle, Voldemort, the Dark Lord, turned his wand on himself and performed the Killing Curse without a second thought.
Later it would be written that Harry Potter and Voldemort had dueled so fiercely that they had killed one another and everyone around them. No one would know the truth, and this was that Voldemort had killed himself out of love, an emotion that people underestimate time and time again.
When the morning mist in the forest vanished and the sun rose again, it would look to many as if nothing alive was left in the clearing. But clutched tightly in Hermione's lifeless hand was the jet-black rose that was just the color of Tom's eyes.
Even in his death, the rose had still not wilted.