Title: Harry Potter and the Orb of Souls
Date: May 17-August 11, 2006
Summary: Voldemort has discovered a new weapon—the Orb of Souls. With it, he has discovered a way to purge the world—with their only savior.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, any of its characters, or themes. I will not profit from this story except receiving enjoyment of your questions, comments, and input on this work.
Claimer: I do, however, own this story and its plot and any Original Characters that I may use during the duration of the story making process.
A/N- So sorry for taking so long guys! I had no idea my summer was going to be as busy as my school year! I know it's no excuse, but I finally did it. Here's the last chapter of Harry Potter and the Orb of Souls. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you all for waiting so patiently!
Chapter 20: Playing a Losing Hand
No! No! NOOO!
Harry squeezed each temple, pushing them together with the palms of his hands, as if to rid himself of the horrible images and sounds of memory that flashed across his mind from the effects of the Dementor spell.
All alone, except for his torturer, Harry lay on the floor of one of Voldemort's darkest dungeons, curled up in a fetal position so that he would present the smallest target possible. His breathing was labored and hitched frequently, his body trembling and sweaty from too many Cruciatus Curses.
His wrists and ankles were chained to a strong metal link embedded in the floor. It would have been easy to snap the chains had he been able to transform into one of his stronger Animagus forms; however, wards had been prepared beforehand on this particular cell so that only wanded magic would be usable, which meant as long as they did not give Harry his wand, there was no possible way for him to escape without help.
It had been two days already since he had been discovered as the spy among Voldemort's ranks. Luckily Snape had managed to escape the Dark Lord's notice and the Order would still be able to have inside information passed on to them.
Harry secretly felt that they should use that inside information to save him, but tried to suppress the feeling. No matter how bad the torture and his suffering, it would be even worse if the Order were to attempt a rescue and lose the war to Voldemort than for Harry to just endure in isolation.
Thus it was with complete surprise when the Dementor curse was lifted due to a knock at the door in which Snape's crooked nose poked through the small slit in the door and conversed in hurried whispers with Ganmou. What was even more surprising was when Ganmou dashed out of the room following the confrontation allowing Snape to enter.
"What's going on?" Harry had the courage to ask once the last echoes of footsteps faded.
"The Order is here; they've decided that risking everything to rescue you is the only way we will be able to win this war," Snape sneered. "Apparently, Albus believes you are the 'Chosen One' and the only one able to save us."
The look on the Potion Master's face was indiscernible to Harry and he wondered if it was because the man had finally been able to see the rest of Harry Potter, such as his Slytherin side and did not know how to act around the wizarding world's savior anymore. If that was the case, Harry no longer knew how to act around his former Professor either now that he knew the man could be trusted and discovered what all the man had to go through during his tenure as a spy.
Their moment of scrutiny passed quickly as a thunderous multitude of footsteps resounded from the ceiling reminding them that the battle outside was underway and reinforcements from Voldemort's end were coming to the aid of their fellows.
"Alright," Harry announced as Snape finished shoving the last of his strength renewing potions down his throat. "Did you see them fighting out there on your way in?"
"Yes, Dumbledore and the Dark Lord were already closing in on each other when I—"
"Did you see Voldemort with some kind of sphere when you were out there?"
"If you are referring to the Orb of Souls, no, I did not notice it in his possession."
"Great, then we might just have a chance at this thing. Let's go!"
Harry bolted out the door before Snape could get a word in edgewise; unfortunately, he was going the wrong way. Instead of up and out to escape from the fortress, he was going down and in to the most tightly guarded areas.
"Wait, you little--!" Snape trailed off, preferring to catch up to the brat before speaking so as not to look like he had lost his mind and was only talking to himself in the dimly lit corridors.
"It is my job to make sure you make it out of this place alive, which means you will follow my directions; do you understand me!" Snape was nearly spitting with rage as he finally caught up to the Boy-Who-Lived.
"Oh yeah, well it's my job to make sure Voldemort doesn't go rampaging around the world for the rest of eternity! I've been presented with the perfect opportunity to defeat that monster once and for all and I'm not about to let it slip through my fingers just because Professor Dumbledore told you something that you're taking too literally!"
"And what is that supposed to mean?"
"It's obvious the only reason he wants me alive is so I can kill Voldemort for him! He knows the prophecy, he knew that only Voldemort and I can defeat each other, and yet when I supposedly 'died' he never once looked for me."
"Well why should he when all the evidence pointed to the singular fact that you were indeed dead!"
"Oh, but don't you know! The usual rules don't apply to me! They never have! Every single year I've been placed in some kind of life threatening situation and not once has Dumbledore done anything to stop any one of them. In fact he was always giving me just enough information that I would get into trouble, but not enough to help me figure out how to get back out!
"He's the one that gave me my dad's invisibility cloak first year so I could sneak around out of bounds, he's the one that told me how to use the Mirror of Erised so I could get the stone out, he's the one that gave us the time turner third year so we could go back in time to save Sirius—"
That seemed to be last straw for the Potion Master; he could contain himself no longer.
"Don't you DARE blame all of your attention-seeking stunts on the Headmaster. You should have been expelled after your first year, but instead you were rewarded and this is how you repay your beneficiaries..."
"Yeah, I stab them in the back, just like I'm going to do to Voldemort who took me in for a year as well. You know Snape, you're not the epitome of righteousness either!"
"This isn't about me!"
"No, this is about this stupid war that all you slimy blood purists started just because you wanted to hold onto your bigotry! Well you know what Snape, I don't care! Do what you want for all I care! I don't have time for this. I have a job to do, and I intend to get it done with or without help, whatever it takes."
With that, Harry raced off again, leaving Snape behind, slightly shocked at his former student's audacity.
How dare that self-righteous pet of Dumbledore insinuate that barmy old coot cares even one wit about ME! He never has and never will! As long as I defeat Voldemort for him! Well, I may get rid of that slimy snake, but it'll be for me! I'm not going to let him take away everything I care about without paying his dues! Harry fumed silently as he stomped down the hall towards the 'Forbidden Chamber'.
Placing his hand on the door and feeling all of the complex locking spells magically sealing the door, Harry knew he was going to need his wand if he wanted to get through the wards quickly enough to catch Voldemort while he was still distracted.
Thankful to be out of the charmed room that restricted his magic, Harry wandlessly summoned his wand from wherever the Dark Lord had stashed it. He was extremely relieved to see his holly and phoenix feather wand zipping down the hall towards him and felt even better when it settled, resting in his hand.
Remembering the time Fred and George taught him how to pick a lock and Voldemort's lessons on disabling a ward, Harry combined the two and subtly, delicately released the wards surrounding the Forbidden Chamber.
Instead of a faint click to let Harry know he had uncovered the wards, there was a sharp shock as the magic was unlocked and Harry was pushed back a bit.
Not wasting any time rejoicing in his success, Harry hurried back over to the door, unlatched it, and stepped inside. Sitting there on a pedestal at the far end of the room was the Orb of Souls.
"Yes!" Harry whispered; glad that Voldemort had not the time to take it with him when the Order attacked. If he had, neither the Order of the Phoenix nor even Dumbledore would stand a chance against him.
Thankful for the chance that was finally presented to him to vanquish the Dark Lord, Harry strode across the room and scooped up the Orb of Souls.
Then, taking care not to lose his grip on the sphere, Harry sprinted down the hallways and up several flights of stairs so he could get out to where the fighting was taking place.
Peeking out the main entrance, Harry could see that all the fighting was taking place on the front lawn. Aurors in their red robes could be seen shooting spells at masses of wizards clad in black attire, while the Order of Phoenix members were dressed all in white robes, which were mostly covered in dirt, grime, and in some cases blood.
Even though most that were fighting seemed to be clustered into groups, at one of the four corners of the compound a ring of open space had been created for two dueling wizards with tremendous amounts of power: Dumbledore and Voldemort.
Perfect! Harry thought. Now is my chance to catch Voldemort unaware and finally get rid of him once and for all.
Thankfully Voldemort was facing Dumbledore and had his back facing Harry and so was unable to see him sneaking up behind him. Dumbledore could however and threw an incredibly powerful spell in the Dark Lord's direction to keep him distracted.
However, instead of trying to deflect or block the curse, Voldemort simply Apparated behind Dumbledore, which gave him a perfect view of what was happening.
Ruby eyes locked onto emerald orbs and the game was up. Harry had not the time to close off his mind before Voldemort's Legilimency exposed his plan. It also happened that a small group of Death Eaters and Order members had been drawn closer to the cleared ring of lawn due to their fighting and one of them was knocked into Harry causing him to fall to the ground, losing his precious hold on the Orb of Souls.
Voldemort knowing of his plan to rid the world of the Dark Lord, decided to use the Orb of Souls for his own evil purposes and shouted, "Accio!" summoning the orb into his slim, bony hand.
"NO!" Harry cried, attempting to overcome the summoning spell with one of his own, which failed.
Harry watched in horror as Voldemort began an incantation to summon the souls into the orb of a big group of people. He was going to get rid of the entire Order of the Phoenix with a single spell, leaving behind all his Death Eaters undamaged!
Grateful that he had gotten to the Orb of Souls book before Voldemort, Harry began the incantation that would provide a powerful protection over the ones whose souls he did not want to be taken.
It seemed to be a race against time to see who would finish their spell first and it was fear and panic that Harry realized Voldemort would complete his incantation first. Already a faint white mist had begun to spew from the orb and begin to collect its first victim—Dumbledore.
Hoping that he could still prevent the light's leader from being taken, Harry hurriedly finished the last few remaining syllables.
But it was not enough. Dumbledore was gone.
Shock, horror, sadness, fear, and anger all mixed together inside the Boy-Who-Lived, fully reviving his deep-seated hatred for his parents' murderer.
Harry looked up, staring Voldemort full in the face. His emerald green eyes were bright in their intensity almost as if a flame were burning in their center. The wind began to howl furiously as the magic around Harry Potter gathered. Leaves, grass, and dirt were picked up in the wind around the Boy-Who-Lived, giving him an eerie powerful appeal as everything began to cyclone around the boy hero.
Everyone became silent; all fighting stopped in that moment as the power around Harry grew and with a single shout from him, threw itself at the self-proclaimed dark lord and the Orb of Souls.
He did not know how it happened; it was not possible. He had not even uttered anything resembling an incantation. However, the love that Harry had was so powerful, so strong that despite the usual rules, Dumbledore was restored to his body, Voldemort's soul disappeared into the Orb, and, with an almighty blast of power from Harry, the Orb of Souls shattered into miniscule fragments, leaving the Dark Lord's body where it lay.
Harry fell to his knees as fatigue set in. He had just magically exhausted himself. It was worth it, however, to bring his parent's murderer to justice.
Merlin, Harry thought as what he had done finally sunk in, I just killed Voldemort. He's gone for good now. I'm free.
The last thing Harry heard before slipping into unconsciousness were the screams of the remaining Death Eaters as they each clutched their arms in pain.
Wakefulness slowly returned to Harry by degrees; first came the sounds of birds chirping outside the window and the stillness of the room around him. Next came feeling, as the soft, comfort of the cushioned mattress underneath him and thick, oddly textured blankets on top. Finally, as Harry opened his eyes to take in his surroundings, the brightness of the sun shinning through the window made itself known.
It was during Harry's look around the room that he was made aware of the fact that he was not the only occupant.
Sitting on one side of the bed, tucked somewhat into the corner was the aged Headmaster—Albus Dumbledore.
His eyes sparkled with an intensity that Harry had never seen before and his entire presence radiated a happiness that could not be contained within the old wizard's wizened form.
Harry marveled at the change and wondered why the Professor just kept staring at him without speaking. It took a moment for the past few days to sink in and for Harry to remember what had transpired that morning.
Had it really only been this morning? Harry wondered.
Once complete recollection of what he had done settled in on him, Harry figured out what the Headmaster's look must mean.
It was pride.
Professor Dumbledore was proud of him.
"Professor?" Harry inquired softly.
"You were brilliant, my boy! Simply marvelous! There are not words to describe how I feel about what you have done. I thank you, Harry Potter, for purging the world of the evil influence of Lord Voldemort. Well done, my boy."
"Um...thank you, Professor," Harry replied, not quite sure what to say, or how to handle the comments, "but what's going to happen now?"
"Well, I think it's about time Harry Potter officially came back to life, don't you? I know your friends and family have missed you considerably."
"Surely you can't mean the Dursleys!"
"No, my dear boy. Family does not necessarily consist of those related to us by blood, but also those we love, and who, in turn, reciprocate that love back to us. The Order is your family, Harry."
"Considering the events that have transpired, I believe I shall just have to call an Order meeting, don't you? Only this time, when you come, you might want to dispense with the Dark Lord's spy disguise."
"Why did I ever agree to this!" Harry spoke to the empty room in one of Grimmauld's upstairs bedrooms, pacing back and forth and tugging on the collar of his shirt in a nervous manner.
What would everyone think once he told them where he had been and what he had been doing all this time? Surely they had all moved on and were getting on fine without him now, right?
Would they all be mad at him for fighting for Voldemort, spying on the Order for him, and coming back to Hogwarts so he could betray them all? How could they ever want him back after finding out about everything!
The fear and tension just kept building up inside of Harry as the minutes ticked by with no one except himself for company while he waited for the Order to arrive.
Would his friends ever want to speak to him again? Would they shun him for the rest of his life? Would they—
Harry's musings were cut short as the Headmaster knocked on the door and stepped into the room, signaling for Harry to precede him down the stairs and that the time had come...the Order had arrived.
Steeling himself to just get everything over and done with, Harry heaved in a huge breath of air, held it, and released it in a sigh before gathering together his courage and walking into the kitchen.
"Hello everyone," Harry muttered quietly and was immediately met with silence.
For a moment, time seemed to stop, everybody was so still, depression began to overwhelm Harry and he braced himself for rejection, when all of a sudden the entire room sprang into action.
Everyone was clamoring for Harry's attention, giving him excited pats and tearful hugs; even when Harry spun his tale, his audience gasped and awed in all the right places. Never once did a look of rejection cross a countenance, never once did they blame him for the things he had been brainwashed into doing; they just accepted him and loved him, just like a family should.
Over the sea of familiar faces, Harry and Dumbledore's eyes locked. Harry grinned in delight; for the first time in his life, Harry was free...and he was home.