Choice

He stood there, staring at the two men that had influenced his life the most. They were side-by-side – who would have guessed it was possible? – and staring at him through their burning eyes. The red flashed with hatred for him, fire exploding in the air between them. The blue glinted in the light rays of morning, deep sadness resonating from them in waves.

Harry stood before the Dark Lord and the Headmaster of Hogwarts and wondered when things got so out of hand. All around him, witches and wizards crowded around to get a good look. It was the Big Moment, the Grand Finale: would Harry Potter, The Boy-Who-Lived, Top Auror in the World, choose dark over light? Would he spare Voldemort, or kill him?

Was his shattered trust, faith, and love in Dumbledore too much for him to handle? Would he let the rest of the world go to hell just to settle his own vendetta against the old Headmaster?

"Harry," Dumbledore murmured. "Prove me wrong, Harry."

Harry thought it would be the right thing to do, to prove Dumbledore wrong. To prove to him that he hadn't turned dark, all those years ago. It would serve him, and the world, best if he showed just how good he truly was.

But it hurt, to let that go. It hurt that Dumbledore had gotten him into this mess, that he had to make this decision in the first place.

"Harry," Voldemort whispered, his voice silky and honey-filled. "He hurt you, Harry. He lied to you and betrayed you and, in the end – he ruined you."

All of that was true, too. Voldemort had never lied to Harry, he had never pretended to be anything other than his arch enemy. Dumbledore was the real liar, the true manipulator in this whole game. Dumbledore was the true bad guy.

"I'm sorry," Dumbledore whispered, his voice cracking. "I made a mistake, Harry. I should have believed in you." His voice resonated sorrow, just the way his eyes had. "Prove to me that you didn't deserve my distrust, my boy."

Harry narrowed his eyes at both men. "You," he said to Dumbledore, "Destroyed me. You pretended to be my mentor, and then you took it all from me – you took my friends, my family, my happiness. You told me that what I had done – that the fact that I had killed a Death Eater was wrong. You told me that I had gone Dark, that I was going to become worse than Voldemort ever was. You made the whole school – no, the whole world turn against me. I was left alone, unsure, lost because you made a mistake?"

Dumbledore looked at the ground, no response coming to his lips. Voldemort nodded. "Kill him, Harry," he urged.

Green eyes met red. "You're no better," he snapped. "the whole reason for any of this is you. You don't even deserve an explanation."

He pointed his wand …

And killed both of them.