Disclaimer: Nothing but the plot is mine.

A/N: A grateful bow to my ever wonderful beta Jenn, who stuck with me until the end. Enjoy the conclusion of this story, and look out for my new fics!

The Darkness Within


Five years after the Final Battle of the Second War

A young man was walking through the ancient corridors of Hogwarts Castle. It was the second of September, and he had just finished his final lesson of the day. He was just passing a slightly opened classroom door, when he heard a name … his name. The man came to a stop and stepped closer to the door to listen.

It was a first year class of History of Magic, taught by Professor Weasley after the Professor Bins had finally gone on permanent retirement and vanished from existence a few years ago. One of the little children had asked a question. Merlin, were we so young once? And the excited clatter of the classroom had quieted after –

"Professor … is it true that you know Harry Potter?"

He smiled silently. See, how you answer that, Ginny. And leaned closer to hear the answer.

"Yes, Ms Beech, Harry is a very good friend of mine." Her voice carried through the classroom and the open door, strong and confident.

"Professor, could you tell us about him? And Voldemort? How he defeated Voldemort in the War."

His breath caught as he peered through the opening in the door to see Ginny motion the young children closer to her. As the first years huddled around her, she began.

"Well, children. Not so long ago there was an evil wizard, who terrorised the entire country, Muggles and wizards alike. He was very, very evil, but so powerful that nobody could stop him. Until one day a little boy, barely a year old, survived the Killing Curse, banishing Voldemort into the Ghost Realm for thirteen years … And then he returned to living form. It was up to the Boy Who Lived to stop him again…" She smiled, immersed in the 'fairy-tale' she was telling.

"How did he do it, Professor?" a child interrupted, caught up in the story.

She continued, "You know that Professor Dumbledore and his Order of the Phoenix had a spy among the Death Eaters, right?"

An affirmative noise could be heard.

"That spy let Harry know that Voldemort had captured his best friend, Ron, and so Harry took off to rescue him. And with him went his other best friend – Hermione. They Apparated right to Voldemort's headquarters, where Ron was kept prisoner … and freed him. By that time the Order of the Phoenix together with our headmaster Albus Dumbledore had arrived. A great battle ensued. Harry duelled with Voldemort, but the wands locked and neither could win. But then, Hermione saw what was happening and attacked Voldemort from the side … giving time for Harry to get close enough to kill Voldemort. After the evil wizard was defeated, Harry turned to his friend, only to realise the distraction she had provided for Harry had killed her…"

Ginny's voice was quiet now, as was the rest of the class.

Then a girl in the first row spoke, "My Mum says she was a great hero."

"She was, Ms Lee, she was…" she answered with a sad smile.

The same smile was on the lips of the young man as he walked on, towards his quarters in the teacher's wing, Dumbledore's words from that fateful night echoing in his mind, "The winners write the history, my boy, and the people choose their heroes."

Seven years after the Final Battle

A slender young man, wrapped in a heavy black cloak, sat in the private room of the Hog's Head. "Enter," he said, as someone knocked on the door. A scarred wizard wearing nondescript dark robes walked inside and carefully shut the door behind him.

The young man pulled out his wand and warded the room against possible eavesdropping. He placed his holly wand back inside his robes, and motioned for the other wizard to sit. "Well, what news do you have for me, my child?"

"Everything is in place, my Lord."

The young wizard smiled, incredible cruelty distorting his handsome face for a fleeting moment. Then he relaxed. "Good. You may leave me now."

The man scrambled to his feet and headed for the door; however, before exiting, he turned and asked, "When will it happen?"

"Patience," the young wizard said softly, "our time will come."

The door closed behind the scarred wizard. A large white snake slithered out from underneath the table, and wrapped herself around the wizard's arm. He blew a lock of black hair from his eyes and, petting the snake, hissed, "Our time will come."

Nine years after the Final Battle

Breakfast at the Great Hall had always been a lively time. This morning was no different as the four tables hummed with conversation, the teacher's table not far behind in volume as the young Professor of History continued her ongoing teasing of the grumpy old Potions Master.

Then the windows opened as carrier owls soared into the Hall, dropping letters, packages and an occasional Howler in front of the students. Suddenly, a loud cheering emitted from the Gryffindor table. Ginny glanced over and saw that two thirds of her Gryffindors had gathered around a young boy with an opened newspaper in front of him.

She picked up her own Daily Prophet her grey owl had deposited into her bowl of porridge. There, on the front page, was the article that had brought such a loud exclamation of joy from her students, and even she could not help but smile.

Harry Potter, the Man Who Won, was elected Minister for Magic in a landslide victory this morning

Mr Potter, who is best known for his double defeat of the Dark Lord Voldemort, and dubbed the Man Who Won for ensuring the safety of the Wizarding world, announced his surprise candidacy for the position of Minister only recently. Since his victory over Voldemort, he has worked as a Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, even doing a stint as the Gryffindor Head of House. This spring, however, one of the most loved Professors in the school retired from his position and entered the political arena. Not surprisingly, he has gathered a large support base, promising extensive reforms for the still war damaged country…

The End

A/N: Nothing can describe how it feels to write the words 'the end' for something that has been a part of your life for such a long time, so I all hope you enjoyed reading this little story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

A thank you to everybody who reviewed: Latisha C, Keldore, AngelaStarCat, Shadowed Rains, Lord Anime, M. R. Moore, doesntmatter2u, Irish Anor, ogerhunter, Vegita43, kira66, draconis05, Lierian, Killer916, Grey8, kodomo, Nymphe14, alwaysariyana, sasqch, KrazeyForever, EugeBlack, AzureSky123, Gathac, killerorange, Shadow King77, tennisprincess15, emortis13, JerseyPike, Shinteo-5, Manraviel, Brandy.

I'll be emailing everybody who's made it to the epilogue with my thanks and answering their questions in the course of this week, so, you can expect an email from me. ;)

This fic is now complete, and I hope that despite the fact you might come by it months from now, you'll leave a review with your thoughts. After all, reviewing is good for the soul.