Chapter 30: Part II
(A/N: There will be an epilogue, however, it will be a story in its own way. Basically, if you go to my profile, you will find it. Each chapter will be from a different character's p.o.v, and at a different time period after the war. Enjoy the battle A. S. Leif)
Review Response: (I'm doing this now so it doesn't affect the ending)
Therio: Thanks for pointing that out; and no, I don't sleep much, heh heh.
He carefully dodged a Killing Curse, then struck the Death Eater across the face with his claws, causing them to drop to the ground, either dead or unconscious; Godric hoped for the first. He didn't care for killing, but, like Rowena, he did it when it was necessary and right now, it was; for Harry's safety.
Harry himself was just a little ways away, fending off super-dementors with his Challenger, and fighting a minotaur at the same time.
'He is near,' the thought came from Sal, who was busy biting and staring at Death Eaters until they were dead. Godric knew Slytherin was the one least-affected by killing.
Godric nodded, 'Eyes open then, we don't want any nasty surprises.' He heard Helga and Rowena agree, but Salazar chose not to reply. Figures, Godric thought, and continued with his rampage.
He dispatched several Death Eaters with ease, his daggers flashing in the light of the other spells. Kingsley checked over his left shoulder for Longbottom; the younger wizard was holding his own rather well.
Returning his attention to the fight, Shacklebolt lunged in for another blow. The Death Eater fell as Kingsley stabbed him in the chest. As he circled a Minotaur, he was glad that the clouds successfully covered the sun; there was no chance his sight would be impaired by it. However, the clouds made it rather dark for a summer day, adding to the deathly gloom and painful atmosphere that was already soaking into everything around him.
He remembered the first war, and decided that this one was considerably better, as far as in the fewer amounts of slaughterings by You-Know-Who.
Ducking under a curse fired his way, Kingsley swept the legs out from under the Death Eater with his own, and then knocked him out by bringing the hilt of his dagger down on the side of their head. He sheathed one of his knives and unholstered his wand, ready to combine his two styles of fighting.
A quick knife slash followed by a stunner caused another Death Eater to fall, but then he was hit in the ankle with a bone breaker. His face grayed with pain as he accidentally put his weight on it. As he shifted his weight and prepared to heal himself, another bone-breaker hit him in the back. His ribs cracked, and he cried out in pain as one punctured a vital organ.
Someone caught him as he fell, and suddenly he was up in the air, in a dragon's claws; Neville. Kingsley's vision began to blur as he was set down gently onto the grass back at the main base area for his forces. Neville's round face came into his view, "Sir?" he whispered.
"You're in command, kid." He croaked, wincing slightly. "Good luck, you'll do fine; you're parents would've been proud." Kingsley's vision dimmed completely and he clasped Neville warmly on the shoulder before his hand fell gently to the damp grass.
His grey eyes scanned the area from behind the white mask that hid his worry and nervousness. His job for the Order was done, there would be no more spying after this. Yet he still was standing next to the Dark Lord, fighting anything that came near while the most evil wizard of the century searched for Harry.
Draco desperately wished that he could somehow spare those who attacked him, but that would result in his own death by the hands of either another Death Eater or by the Dark Lord himself, and he had to make sure Harry would be safe when he and the Dark Lord met. So for now, he killed, knowing that his deeds here today would haunt him for the rest of his life, no matter how short or how long it turned out to be.
Already, in his nightmares, he saw his hands stained with blood, the blood of those he'd killed or harmed in order to prove his worth as a Death Eater. In his nightmares, he was unable to wash it off, for the blood kept coming. It was after these nightmares that Draco had decided to seek out help, to look for the Order of the Phoenix and try to redeem himself by spying on their behalf. He'd talked with Severus many times about the guilt he felt, and the older wizard was able to counsel him, having experienced the same thing.
That was another thing. Severus was more like a father to him than Lucius was. He dearly hoped that Severus would survive this war, though he knew the former spy did not expect to survive this day; such thoughts disturbed Draco.
"Draco." The low hiss came from the Dark Lord.
"Yes Milord?" he answered faithfully.
"Do you see Potter?"
Draco scanned the area quickly, "No Milord, though there seems to be a rather large defensive group to your left, Milord."
The Dark Lord nodded his satisfaction, and wandlessly threw the nearby Aurors aside, sending them crashing into the nearby boulders. Draco cringed inwardly as he heard their bones crack, and saw splotches of blood coloring the stones. I will do all I can to help this stop, he vowed, even if it means my life; please hurry Harry.
"Shit!" The MTI yelled.
"What?" she asked immediately, coming over.
"The satellite feed's been terminated! We can't see a damn thing that's going on!"
"Shit!" Tonks repeated, running a hand through her hair. The heat-sensing technology was vital to knowing if something was approaching.
"Can you reboot the system?" one of the M.D. members asked.
"No," the MTI answered, "It's linked to the government system. If we shut down, so will they; then they'll noticed something's up."
There were a series of curses that followed, Tonks' being the loudest. She knew the battle couldn't go perfectly, but she hadn't expected their entire advantage to be thrown out the window. Without the satellite readings, they were blind as to how the others were doing; the war could end and they wouldn't even know who'd won it. They couldn't even see if they were needed to help somewhere else.
"What about the communications?" she asked the MTI wizard, "Can you still talk to the other interpreters?"
The MTI tapped the keyboard for a moment, "It's fuzzy, but there's still a bit that I can understand; something's interfering with the overall frequency."
"Voldemort?" one of the Aurors suggested.
"Most likely," Tonks replied. "If he knows about the Hogwarts wards, he could probably create some of his own to make anything muggle-made to malfunction."
"Not good." Ron noted, still pale and shaken from his brother's death. His face was grim, and Tonks knew that this was something he'd never forget; war did that to people.
They waited anxiously, binding up the knocked-out Death Eaters, and sending some in small groups to Stone Hold; Tonks hoped that there would be enough room for them all. Once they'd transported their dead to a safer area, tem Bolt waited anxiously for someone to contact them; no messages were able to fully come through, despite the MTI's best efforts.
Tonks paced, not liking the awkward silence that had settled over the fortress. She knew they couldn't leave it unprotected; they needed to keep this place under their command. It was rather well defended, they could easily hold out large numbers of Death Eaters, which is probably why You-Know-Who chose to build his base here.
Suddenly, the air dropped several degrees in temperature, and Tonks noticed a faint frost on the trees as well as the fog her breath caused. "Dementors!" She shouted, alerting her Team. Instantly, the black-robed nightmares began to appear in large numbers and the patroni of team Bolt rushed out to meet them; but they were greatly outnumbered. Tonks began to sweat slightly despite the cold temperature: this would truly be a fight for not only their lives, but their souls.
Algor slayed Death Eater after Death Eater, his face an unreadable mask. In one hand he held a dagger, in the other, a wand. His return to the world of the living was not known outside of the Dark Lord, his Inner Circle, and the Order of the Phoenix. Nonetheless, Algor was determined to make up for at least a fraction of what he'd done in his first life.
His main regret was the way he had treated his own children. As the first born, he'd taught Selena the ways he himself had learned from his own father. However, she had proved stubborn at first, not submissive like Severus had been. She'd actually fought back when he punished her, and that was when she made a deal with him; the memory was still fresh in his mind.
She stared at him, anger and fear burning in her gaze. "I'll take the Mark," she said, surprising him, "But only if Severus doesn't have to; only if you stop punishing him…"
In the end, Algor had agreed, and he'd begun to train Selena to become a Death Eater when she was only eleven years old. He had pushed her hard, not wanting to be disgraced, but also to push all the fear out of her. Only when it was too late did Algor realize the horrific path he'd set his daughter on. He'd realized it when the Dark Lord had cast the Imperious Curse on him, and ordered him to kill Helen, based on the suspicion that she was planning to betray Algor's Death Eater activities to the Ministry. And Algor had obeyed.
So when Lucius Sr. told him of Selena's betrayal to the pureblood line of Snape, Algor had jumped at the chance to free his daughter from the fate he'd pushed her towards. However, none of that mattered anymore, for when he had explained his actions, Selena had refused to believe it, continuing to both hate and fear him.
Looking over at Severus, Algor felt the bitter irony of it all. Severus had become a Death Eater because of Selena's banishment, just as Algor had become more faithful to the Dark Lord after killing his own wife. But now, now they were both traitors to the Dark Lord, both working to redeem themselves.
Algor continued to fight, using the Unforgivables rapidly on the other Death Eaters. Green light seemed to stream endlessly from his wand, and screams always followed. He saw one of the M.D. members fall, followed by the Death Eater who had her. Another scream made Algor want to turn away in mild disgust out of habit—it was Severus being subjected to the Cruciatus Curse.
Steeling himself, Algor threw his dagger at the Death Eater attacking his son; it stabbed the witch in the throat and she died with a gurgling scream. As Algor walked over to his son, an unseen Death Eater approached him from behind, a poisoned dagger in hand.
Algor pulled his son up, "Are you alright?" he asked gruffly.
"I'm fine; thank you."
Algor nodded, and gasped as the dagger plunged into his back, its poison spreading rapidly through his system. He slashed backwards with his own knife, killing his attacker. Algor fell to his knees, convulsing slightly as the poison did its work. His blood began to boil, and Algor noticed with distaste that it was a poison he himself had invented for the Dark Lord's use.
He looked at Severus, whose face was pale. "Forgive me," he croaked, feeling the life flee painfully from his body.
Severus hesitated, and Algor's spirit plunged for a moment into despair. "I forgive you." Severus said quietly, and Algor died, his last thought dwelling on the daughter he would always be a monster to.
Salazar swiped four trolls aside with his powerful tail, sinking his fangs into another that came within range. Only the stupidest of the foul creatures came within biting-distance of him, and only the quickest managed to get away. And they say my bark is worse than my bite, he thought smugly.
A faint buzz began to sound in his head, and Salazar closed his eyes. "Voldemort is near," he hissed to Harry, who was surrounded by animagi.
"Which direction?" the young wizard asked in return.
Salazar took a moment to decide. "North-east, about ten minutes away."
"We'll move in that direction then," Harry said firmly. Though anyone else would see nothing other than grim determination on Harry's face, Salazar knew that the boy was nervous, and he didn't blame him in the least. He'd grown to have a certain amount of respect for the boy, more than he gave Godric anyway, and with that came the slight need to keep him safe.
Though the other founders often thought of him as a heartless wizard with a hate of mudbloods, he wasn't really like that all the time. Yes, he did not want mudbloods coming to the school, mainly because of what he had witnessed when truly alive. He still shuddered when he remembered the young wizards and witches being burned at the stake by their own parents for the magic in their blood. In Salazar's opinion, it was the muggles who were the monsters.
He tilted his head to the side, 'Voldemort has cast wards of his own,' he told the others. 'The muggle equipment has been cancelled, and no one may apperate out of the area.'
'Not good,' Gryffindor said.
'No, not at all,' Salazar replied, surprising himself by agreeing with the irritable wizard.
Selena cursed when she heard that Voldemort had interfered with the satellite readings; they were as blind as worms out here. She sent out a scouting party, composed of five fully-transformed werewolves, and waited for them to come back and report. It took them several long minutes, and then a few more for the other W-Group members to translate their report.
"Nothing just yet Cap'n." The head of the W-Group told her.
"Thank you," she said, and turned to Tylore. "If you could, get a team and spread out along the border to scout, and come back when there's a disturbance."
He nodded, bowing slightly and she bowed in return, then he left with nine other vampires.
Having nothing to do, Selena began to check on their losses. Three of the half-vampires had been killed, and two clansmen but no more; she had to wonder if the other teams had suffered large or small losses. Damn Voldemort's wards, she grumbled. She couldn't even get in contact through the radios the MTI had to check up on the envoy group; she wanted to know how Remus, Severus, and Sirius were doing.
I'll never forgive them if they die, she thought with grim humor. She also had to wonder about Harry, if he had found Voldemort, but, judging by the looks of things, the two had yet to meet. We should have done more to help him when he actually does fight, she thought with irritation, rather than just tell him what to do and leave him at it. Personally, she hadn't wanted to be a Head Officer of any team, but her friendship with the vampires pushed her to being the best candidate for the team which had eighty percent of the clan in it.
"Professor?" Alex's voice drew Selena out of her thoughts and she walked over.
"We're getting a slight reading from the fortress." The young witch told her, "They've taken it, but dementors are arriving—lots of them."
"Did they ask for back up?" Selena asked.
Alex shook her head. "No."
Now she had a debate: go and check it out, or stay put and wait for more trouble to arrive. The fortress was a long ways away, in another country even… "We have to stay," Selena decided aloud. "We can't be absent for long, Voldemort might try surrounding a nearby team while we're gone." Alex nodded to show she understood, and Selena resumed her pacing.
His breath hitched when he saw Bellatrix Lestrange among a nearby group of Death Eaters; he would never forget her taunting gaze from two years ago. Neville let out a roar as he changed into dragon shape, and charged straight for her. She screeched as she jumped out of the way, firing off the Cruciatus as she did so.
The curse felt like no more than a simple stinging hex to Neville, and he charged again, swatting everyone away with his wings and claws as sharp as the daggers some of the warlocks carried. He could smell the fear on Bellatrix, and he began to taunt her, just as she had him about his parents.
He slashed at her, purposely only drawing small amounts of blood as he circled her. He swooped at her from above, charged her from the side, and snapped at her with his long jaws from all angles. All her curses had little effect, as Neville was careful to keep his eyes protected.
Finally, he whacked her to the side, where she crumpled against a boulder; still alive, but only just. Neville became human once more and glared at her. "Not fun, is it?" he growled, "You'll pay for what you did to my parents."
Any look of fear she'd had before vanished, and she sneered at him, a maniac glint in her eyes. "Going to kill me little Longbottom? Going to kill the evil witch who played with your parents?"
Neville's eyes gained the coldest look they ever had; he doubted he'd ever had been so full of anger, so full of bitter hate. It was because of this woman that he had never truly known his parents. It was because of her that he'd grown up afraid of many things. He got out his wand and pointed it at her. "As a matter of fact, I am." He said harshly.
She sneered as he faltered, "I knew you were such a baby, you can't even cast a curse you're so afraid." Bellatrix laughed. "Your parents were hardly any braver than you, I suppose it runs in you cowardly blood. The Dark Lord will make sure that you live to see the day his kills your parents; perhaps he'll even toy with them some more while you watch." Her smile widened cruelly, "I daresay you'll be used to it by then, won't-"
Her words stopped and her eyes widened as a flash of green light came out of Neville's wand, and a look of horror spread across and her face and she screamed as the Killing Curse took affect.
That one's for you, Neville thought to his parents, now I'll never have to do it again; you're avenged.
Voldemort heard the familiar scream of Bella off to his right as the bright green flash of the Killing Curse lit up the area once more. Turning his head, he saw a young wizard standing near the faithful Death Eater's body. He motioned for his guard of Death Eaters to follow, and stalked over, Nagini slithering beside him. "Crucio," he hissed, and the boy fell to his knees with a scream.
His Death Eaters laughed as the torture went on. Voldemort stopped it for a moment and peered with mock curiosity at the boy's sweating and trembling face. "Well, well, Mr. Longbottom, is it not?" The wizard had the nerve to glare at the Dark Lord and spit at the ground on his feet. Voldemort snarled and kicked the boy, causing another yell of pain. Nagini slithered hungrily near the boy, hissing until he paled.
"Where is Potter?" Voldemort asked him coldly.
Longbottom merely continued to glare, "H-he'll beat you, you sc-scumbag."
Voldemort chuckled, "He has already lost, as have you." Raising his wand, Voldemort pointed it at the boy and hissed, "Avada Kadavra." The young wizard screamed as the light hit him, and the Death Eaters laughed.
The Dark Lord turned around as his Death Eaters were shoved away by wind: Harry Potter had decided to come out of hiding at last.
Harry's eyes blazed as he stared at the wizard who had just killed one of his friends right in front of him. His aura was flaring brighter than ever before, causing the dark creatures nearby to recoil. He kept the Death Eaters at bay with wind then hissed, "Parsolanz Lidesh." An electric blue dome surrounded the Death Eaters, locking them in place; not once did Harry's eyes stray from Voldemort's blood-colored ones.
The founders spread out, forming a line behind Harry in their magical animagus forms; Voldemort's eyes widened slightly. "I want you to know Voldemort," Harry began coldly; "This will end today. One of us will die: For neither can live while the other survives."
"The prophecy," Voldemort hissed. Harry nodded, then the Dark Lord chuckled, shaking his head. "And all this time, I had wondered if I would be ripped from my body, should I try to destroy you once more." He inclined his head with a smile, "Enjoy your last day as the Boy-Who-Lived, Harry—avada kadavra!"
Harry jumped to the side, and yelled, "Crucio!" the Unforgivable hit Voldemort and he opened his mouth in a silent scream, and then he jerked out of the effect.
"Not bad," he said coldly, and the duel continued once more.
Harry kept dodging the killing curse which Voldemort fired at him, and returned with curses of his own. He fired many Parsloz bone-breakers, but they missed. Voldemort began to use Parsloz as well, switching from the Unforgivables to even more painful forms used for torture. Harry dodged them all, using his animagus forms. As a last resort, he pushed himself into the air with wind, escaping a dark violet curse.
He saw Godric attacking Nagini, who had been trying to sneak up and bite Harry. Silently, Harry thanked the founder and returned his attention on the duel.
Then, their wands met.
The phoenix song rose into the air as they were linked once again by a golden beam. The gold dome began to form, and their feet lifted slightly from the ground. Harry put half of his mind into keeping the connection, and another part into reaching for his second wand. "Sanctus!" he shouted in Parsletongue and his blazing light shield erupted from his second wand, multiplied tenfold in power as it enveloped them; there would be no escaping this battle.
However, his shield also closed out the escorts that had come with Harry, along with the founders; he couldn't risk them getting hurt in this fight. The founders shouted out in protest, but Harry puta silencing charm on his shield, blocking out their voices, despite the twisting of his heart he felt at that moment. He would not let them be killed like Neville.
He then broke the connection before the echoes could appear, and they both tumbled to the ground, sweat dotting their brows. Harry rolled to his feet, both wands at the ready. "Rovenis Staveno," he whispered, and his regular wand twisted into Rowena's staff. He fired a Parsloz cutting hex which managed to hit the Dark Lord on his cheek.
Harry lost no time in the short period Voldemort was halted in surprise. He shot multiple draining-hexes, dodging the curses Voldemort shot in return. They exchanged spells for a long time, Harry being hit by many pain curses, and Voldemort by the same, though they seemed to have less of an effect on him.
Harry occasionally lashed out with fire or lightning, distracting Voldemort for a moment with the flames on his robes. As Voldemort was dousing himself, Harry took the moment to cast a complex illusion charm. He steadily began to chant the incantation Salazar had told him, with Spyridon hissing the same words. It was one of the spells that required a serpentine assistant, and Harry slowly began to feel the change. Mirror images of himself appeared all around Voldemort, then began to move; Voldemort soon lost track of the real Harry.
Tallon once again used the elements to his advantage, liquefying the ground beneath Voldemort, distracting him further. Frustrated, the Dark Lord screeched, "Nefarton!" Harry's copies vanished, and he had to dodge a Killing Curse once more. He kept moving while trying to catch, trying to keep Voldemort turning to keep Harry in sight.
"You will not win," Voldemort hissed, launching a series of fireball curses Harry caused them to swerve away and back towards Voldemort, singeing the Dark Lord once more.
Harry cast a Parsloz shield around himself then threw back his head and allowed himself to transform. He felt himself first become a snake, then sprout arms and legs, just like Splikvin had done before and taught him a few days ago. Opening his eyes, which were now only emerald green orbs, Harry lunged.
Voldemort jumped out of the way, firing a cutting hex at Harry's back. Tallon yelled in fury and pain, feeling it slice through his tough scales. It didn't bleed much, but sent the adrenaline rushing through him. He swerved and lashed out at Voldemort with his clawed hands. He scored a hit on Voldemort's arm and chest, leaving deep gashes. The Dark Lord hissed something and Harry was thrown backwards into the shield that surrounded them.
He rolled to his feet, barely escaping an unforgivable. The shadows leapt up at Harry's command, and began to swamp Voldemort. He fought back with a flaming rope that formed the shape of a snake, but the shadows continued to attack. Harry hid himself in the growing darkness, stalking around to the back of Voldemort. He could feel the blood running down his back, dripping slowly onto the already damp grass. Tallon shoved a corpse aside, eyes searching the leaping shadows for Voldemort.
Harry returned to normal, his wands returning to his hands now that he was human again, and he muttered, "Oitar" A small bar appeared in his mind, telling him how much energy Voldemort had left—about half. Harry didn't need the charm to tell that he was even lower; his breath came in quiet, but ragged gasps, turned that way from his constant use of the elements. "Salithren Excalibera," he murmured, and lunged into the shadows as the sword appeared.
Voldemort screeched and lashed out with one of his own knives, slicing Harry's chest with a shallow cut. Ducking back into the shadows, Harry quickly grabbed a potion from his belt and drank it; the poison's effect was lost on him. Taking his momentary break, Harry quickly drank a pepper-up potion, giving him the boost of energy he needed to keep going; Voldemort's energy level was still even.
As Harry cast multiple curses into the shadows, sweat began to drip into his eyes. They distracted him for a moment, but that was all Voldemort needed. The Dark Lord banished the shadows with a strong light spell, one Harry hadn't thought he would ever use, and attacked Tallon once more.
Harry gasped in pain from the Parsloz Cruciatus, and fell to the ground, rolling out of the way of the next curse. He scrambled to his feet, transforming into his chimera form; Spyridon was still tightly wrapped around his wrist, hissing his part of the ritual. Harry lunged and feinted, slashing at Voldemort with claws and tail. Voldemort hissed something, and Salazar's sword appeared in his hand, and he attacked Harry with new ferocity. Tallon snarled as the blade slashed across his left wing, and bit into his flank. Whipping his tail around, he caught Voldemort at the knees and sent the Dark Lord tumbling unceremoniously backwards into the shield.
'I am finissshed, Tallon.' Spyridon hissed quietly so Voldemort wouldn't hear.
Taking his que, Harry transformed back and checked Voldemort's energy: it was down to a fourth, just like Harry's. I don't know if I can do this, Harry thought desperately, creating a wall of lightning around him to keep Voldemort from distracting him as he began to etch the proper runes into the air.
Harry felt his energy drain as the spell took form. Because he was casting it on a living thing, he couldn't just say the incantation like he had at Durmstrang. Sweat dripped down his face and back while Voldemort harassed his protection. "Coward," the Dark Lord hissed. Harry wiped his brow and continued, his voice hoarse after all the hours of spell-casting and yells of sudden pain.
He chanted the last syllable, and the bright yellow runes flashed gold, then began to surround Voldemort. Harry fell to his knees, coughing blood as his vision blurred and his limbs grew heavy and stiff. He wouldn't survive to finish the spell, not on his own, and he'd locked everyone else out…
Voldemort began to screech and yell in anger as the runes melted into him, and a sharp, green mist began to flow out. He writhed in pain as he fought but the runes were merciless, Harry urging them on with the last of his energy; neither the Dark Lord nor the Boy-Who-Lived had noticed the rat that lay in wait throughout the entire duel. Peter Pettigrew transformed back into his normal self, with a sharp dagger in his silver hand. He was trembling, but his eyes were firm with resolve. Harry fell onto his back, feeding the spell with the small bit of life force he had left, and saw the traitor standing over him. "No," he groaned, his spell faltering slightly.
"I'm sorry," Wormtail said softly, and knelt next to Harry. Harry closed his eyes, which were growing darker by the second, and waited for the fatal strike that would free him from his burden, that would prove the prophecy to be a lie, that would allow him to finally be with his parents again...
Suddenly, he felt a hand on his forehead, wet and warm with Peter's blood. Pettigrew whispered an incantation, and Harry felt energy flood into him. In a quiet, raspy voice, Wormtail finished transferring his life energy to Harry. "I now repay the life-debt which I owe, and beg forgiveness for what I've done." Harry jerked his eyes open, to find Wormtail limp beside him. Harry was full to the brim with energy, and he got to his feet. "I forgive you," he whispered to the dead animagus, who had once been his father's friend. Turning his hard emerald gaze back to Voldemort, he regripped his wands.
"Finish it," Voldemort spat, still fighting the runes which melted into him without an ounce of leniency, "Kill me as you must."
Harry shook his head, "I will not become a murder." He said firmly, the Dark Lord's eyes widened in either pain or surprise, Harry didn't know which. "The prophecy says I have the power to destroy you, a power you know not. Voldemort shall die, just as Tom Riddle died when you were born."
Voldemort hissed in anger as Harry crossed his wands and pointed them at Voldemort as he began to finish the ritual. "Evomer tai cigam don swolf guorht yht luos dan vér ot eb denruter ot don morf ecnehw ti emac." At the same time, Spyridon wound himself around the two wands, hissing his own part. "Ember ay sangue, phasma ay magi; aeternus eternus victus."
The green mist around Voldemort began to glow brighter, changing into other colors as it separated. The Dark Lord himself was frozen in place, unable to move as his magic was bled out of him, to be returned to the world where it had come from. From Harry's wands came a gold and silver light, which enveloped Voldemort, twisting until he began to shift.
His skin gained more color, his eyes faded to a sharp, but blank grey. A normal, human nose took the place of the snake-like slits that had been there before. Jet-black hair sprouted from his head, and his body shrank until it was that of a young teenager's. As the freed magic dissipated, the shield that had surrounded the two duelers began to disappear, and the light surrounding the older wizard dimmed until it was gone.
Harry gasped for breath, looking down at the thirteen-year old before him. The Dark Lord Voldemort was dead, and Tom Marvolo Riddle was alive once more, as a magicless being with no recollection of his life at all.
The prophecy had been fulfilled, and Harry collapsed simultaneously with Riddle onto the blood and sweat-dampened grass.
All across the body-littered battle field, Death Eaters suddenly began to fall to their knees as the Marks they bore burst into green flames which rose into the air and vanished, leaving the Death Eaters' forearms bare of any sign whatsoever.
Those fighting on the side of the Light erupted into cheers as they realized what had happened: Voldemort had been defeated.
The Dark creatures fled in silence, vanishing into the woods miles away, but their foes did not chase after them.
The soldiers hollered and yelled in triumph, werewolves howled at the cloudy sky as Vampires led out victorious cries. Dragons spurt fire in celebration, wizards and witches fell to their knees; some wept openly, in both mourning for those lost and for the freedom that had come to their world at last.
In the southern area of the largebattlefield, a black werewolf sprinted towards the base site of team Venom, with his mind on one person: his sister.
He arrived at last at the base, where he morphed back into human and hurriedly looked around. "Where is Selena?" he demanded.
The Second Head Officer, Alex, answered quietly, "I haven't seen her since the last wave of attacks."
Severus paled and ran out onto the field, his eyes fearfully scanning the mass of bodies that were everywhere. A cold wind blew suddenly across the grassy plain, and a sinking feeling grew in his soul. "Point me," he whispered, thinking of his sister. To his relief, his wand pointed to the east, and Severus followed it for fifteen minutes.
He dropped his wand when he saw her lying in the middle of a ring of dead chimeras, Minotaurs, and Death Eaters. Tylore lay a few feet from to her, impaled by one of the Minotaur's spears. Severus skidded over to her, landing on his knees. There was a large bite mark on Selena's wand arm, and a deep gash on her leg. "Selena," he whispered, gently lifting her head; she didn't answer him.
"Selena," he repeated, louder this time. Her eyes were closed, and her skin was pale. "Selena! Wake up dammit!" His shoulders shook with suppressed emotions, but he couldn't stop bitter tears from forming. Severus wiped the blood off her cheek, fighting the sadness that threatened to overwhelm him. "You can't leave now!" he yelled, hopelessness and exhaustion fueling his rage at her. He shook her forcefully, then stopped; it would do no good for either of them.
Severus closed his eyes, stopping the tears that threatened to spill. A small groan reached his ears.
His eyes snapped back open, "Selena?" he called, his throat tightening. "Please, wake up."
Selena's eyes opened a tiny bit, "S-Sev?" she croaked, "I'm… tired."
"You can rest later," he replied desperately, "Just, not yet; please."
Her eyes closed briefly, "Why?"
"I need you to stay here," Severus answered, "Please, stay awake; you own me that much, after leaving me with those idiotic Marauders for seventeen years."
"You're such a Slytherin," she grumbled with a tiny smile. "I'll stay awake."
Severus quickly closed the wounds on her leg and arm, then picked her up. Cradling her head against his shoulder, Severus began to walk back to the base, ready to go home as a free man.
Several miles north, a wolf and a dog ran as fast as they could to the area where they had seen the glowing shield, praying silently for the Boy-Who-Lived. They reached the area, and found Harry surrounded by the founders, who were keeping a careful eye on the two living humans.
"Harry?" Sirius rasped, eyes filling with tears.
"He is alive," Rowena told him, a smile on her face. The two remaining Marauders rushed to the young hero's side, allowing tears of happiness to flow freely down their cheeks, which had been pale with worry. Dumbledore appeared a moment later, smiling as he cried, looking at the wizard whose determination and good-will had allowed him to survive.
There were many losses on both sides, once the battle field was cleaned and purified of death. Voldemort's army had little remaining, and those who had been in it either came out from under the Imperious curse, or fled from the magical world. The losses on the side of Light was great. Half of the people at Voldemort's base had fallen victim to the dementors and Death Eaters, Tonks among them. Ninety-four of the Russian soldiers had perished, along with three of the Animagus Squads, one D.M. team, two Bulgarian Auror squads, nine of the giants, eighteen vampires, three members of the V-Group, and fourty-seven werewolves.
Those of the Order who had died were buried at Godric's Hollow, which had become the official burial ground. There was a monument constructed there as well, dedicated to all who had fought at the Battle of Twilight, as it was called. The monument was a fountain which showed the reflections of all the fallen, whether they were from the Order or not. On a silver plaque was a poem:
Through light and through dark,
All both take is a single spark
To be lit or be doused,
When fate makes its mark.
Every single person who participated in the battle recieved an Order of Merlin from the British Ministry. A second monument was erected at the Ministry building in London: a marble wall with plaques which had all the names of anyone who had served in the first war, The War of Shadowed Endings, against Voldemort.
Harry himself took several days to recover, and his spell had caused him to age a year or two in appearance. As soon as he was out of the hospital and able to dodge Poppy's care,he attended the funerals for all of the Order members that had fallen: Kingsley, Tonks, Neville, McGonagall, Dung, Percy, and even Algor's funeral. He also went to the funerals of Dom, Tylore, and those of the people who had guarded him while he searched for Voldemort. Tom Marvolo Riddle himself was adopted by a loving muggle family and had his memory modified so he would think he had always lived with them, though the Ministry was keeping an eye on young Tom, to ensure his magic and/or real memories did not return; Harry doubted it would, but let them do it anyway.
Relief was spread throughout the globe, starting at Britain and reaching across the oceans to the foreign countries, even as they mourned those who had died or lost their souls in brave service.
The war was finally over, and the Age of True Light had begun.
Wow.Three books, one story, and not a bad ending, in my opinion; heh, Iactually finished it before Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince came out! Make sure to read the Epilogue, which should be up either tomorrow or in the next couple of days. I hope you all enjoyed the story, but I would like to thank those who were with me from Red Bolt of Lightning, to the grand finale: HeWhoComesWithTheDawn, TuxedoMac, Andromeda's Kitty, bandgsecurtiyaw, SeekterTLK, angelXofXdeath, and especially IcyTears a.k.a. Pyschic Lunar, who I believe submitted the most reviews, and was rather amusing in many of them, lol. Naturally, I want to thank all reviewers for putting the time and effort to read the story, and not fall asleep while doing so -grin- I wish you all luck in your own writing and story-hunting, and again ask that you keep a look out for the Epilogue!
Yours truly, now, tomorrow, and for a long, long time:
—A. S. Leif