Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings.
A/N: OMG!! It's…the…LAST CHAPTER! Unbelievable! I hope you all enjoyed these two stories! I sure had fun writing them!
Chapter 25: Return to the Portal
For a second, Voldemort looked as stunned as Harry felt, though nowhere near as horrified. Instead, he laughed and stepped over Legolas. "Fool," he said, "He died in vain. He only bought you a few extra seconds to live!"
Those words woke up Ron, who had been standing in a stupefied horror. He raised his wand and pointed it at Harry. "Liberus Totalus!" he shouted. Instantly, Harry felt his limbs loosen and rolled to the side. Then he got up just as Ron tried to tackle Voldemort, but ended up knocking them all down. In the scuffle that followed, both Ron and Voldemort got up, wands raised and glaring at each other.
Gandalf thrust out his staff before Saruman did, sending him flying towards the prison wall himself. But he was up before Gandalf could blink, and wielding his staff with just as much ferocity. The two continued to clash, and everyone around them turned to watch in awe. They were equally matched; every time one managed to knock the other to the ground, that other would jump right back up again with an even more powerful attack. Finally, Gandalf summoned up everything he had left. "Horta sina saura istar anna i aire!" he chanted in a low, powerful voice. His staff began to glow, and before Saruman could understand what was happening, he was hit by a powerful, brilliant white light that sent him hurtling into the churning waves of the ocean. He was never seen again.
More exhausted than he had ever felt in his life, Gandalf heaved a sigh and had to sit down.
"Avada Kedavra!" shouted Voldemort.
"Stupefy!" yelled Ron.
Light came out of both wands and…connected?
What the…? thought Harry. He looked more closely at his own wand, and suddenly he understood. "Ron, you're using my wand!" he called.
"Now you tell me?" gasped Ron, trying hard not to break the connection. Both he and Voldemort were lifted into the air. "Harry, help me!" cried Ron. On the other side, Voldemort was visibly panicking.
"Hold on Ron!" yelled Harry, chasing after them, "And whatever you do, don't let go!"
They flew over Azkaban to the other side, where the battle was also going on just as fiercely. Harry watched as his best friend struggled against his worst enemy.
Then he knew. Now was the time. With Voldemort distracted, Harry could easily kill him. But there was a problem: he had nothing to attack with.
Harry turned around to see Cedric running towards him through the walls of Azkaban carrying Valor; Cedric, the first to die at the start of Voldemort's second rise to power. It all seemed to just fit.
"Here!" he yelled, tossing the sword to Harry, "Now finish him, quickly!"
"Ron, let go!" yelled Harry, dashing towards Voldemort. But as he did so, he found himself hesitating. Could he really do this? Then he saw his parents, who smiled at him and nodded. Next to them was Dumbledore.
"Do it Harry," he said.
That was all Harry needed to charge forward, just as Ron broke the connection, and stab Voldemort as hard as he could.
Voldemort stared at him with wide eyes. This was different from that night on Halloween, seventeen years ago. He could feel it now. He was actually dying. "The Horcuxes…" he gasped.
"Gone," replied Harry coldly, "Now you know…because you can die."
Voldemort never answered. He opened his mouth, shuddered, and collapsed. He was dead.
Harry continued to stand there, the sword still clutched in his hand. He had never expected this moment to come, nor that he would be able to actually do it. Then he felt a warm presence next to him. It was his parents.
"We're proud of you, Harry," said Lily, looking him directly in the eye, "You've become an exceptional wizard."
Harry looked back at Voldemort's body. "Am I a murderer?" he asked himself out loud.
"Well, in a way, yes," replied Lily, "But you've done so much good for the world by ridding them of Voldemort. Don't ever forget that."
"Why couldn't I have done it?" asked James in a mock dejected tone. Harry laughed; it helped get rid of the tension inside and relaxed him. That is, until Arathorn and Gilraen showed up.
"We saw what happened," said Gilraen, "Thank you for all you've done, Harry."
"But where is our son?" asked Arathorn.
Harry thought back, and remembered Aragorn…and Legolas. He looked up and locked eyes with Ron. They nodded. "We have to get back!" Harry told them, and he quickly dashed to the other side, and to the spot where he had left Aragorn and Legolas. What he saw made him feel sick again.
Aragorn was much better, that was good at least. But he was part of the small crowd that had gathered around Legolas. Luna was prominent among them, she seemed to be holding him. Harry was startled to feel tears threatening to come. He shook it off and hurried over.
Luna was talking to Legolas. Harry couldn't understand why, but he realized she must have been in denial. "Don't worry," she was saying, "St. Mungo's is excellent, they'll fix you up in no time."
What happened next shocked Harry so badly, he stopped dead in his tracks. Legolas opened his eyes ever so slightly and said, "That's fine. But if they can't, we can always ask Lord Elrond. He saved Frodo from his wound by the Ringwraiths; I'm sure he can help us."
"You're just lucky to be alive," grumbled Gimli, "Stop doing such reckless things!"
"If I didn't, Harry and Aragorn would definitely have been killed. I had no choice."
"Legolas!" shouted Ron. He raced over to the group as fast as his legs could carry him. "You're alive? I don't believe it! How'd you survive?"
Aragorn was grinning widely. "Apparently Avada Kedavra is not as strong on elves as it is on humans. He's wounded, but alive."
"That's incredible!" cried Harry, "How are you feeling?"
"Not as badly as I expected to be," replied Legolas, but when he tried to sit up, he winced in pain and had to lie down again. "I suppose I should get to St. Mungo's after all."
All this time, the dead army had been standing around, waiting to hear what to do next. When Harry announced that Voldemort was dead, there was a rousing cheer. Aslan roared in triumph, Gandalf shot some lights from his staff, with Brom's dragon breathing her blue fire among them. Boromir, Theoden, and Haldir came up to congratulate him, and Captain Jack debated over whether it would now be in poor taste to steal the large, gold Galleons in Harry's pocket. He decided it was, and only took half the amount.
Admist the overall rejoicing, Harry noticed Hermione was apart from the others. She was staring at the bodies lying everywhere. Every now and then her eyes flickered towards her friends, and Harry could see that those eyes were filled with tears. He headed over to her.
"What's wrong?" he asked, "Aren't you glad we're ok?"
"Oh yes, of course I am! It's just…that was a very near miss that Legolas had. And not just him, we all could have been killed!"
"But we're not dead," said Harry, "I know it's sad that so many other people had to die, but we can't dwell on that forever."
"I know we can't. But I wish our friends had never come at all! They didn't have to risk their lives like this; they were safe and happy in Middle Earth, and it's my fault I dragged them into this!"
"How is it your fault?!"
"I'm the one who made the time portal, I'm the reason they came! And I'm the reason we almost got killed so many times over!"
"If you hadn't done it, Aragorn and I would never have gotten a dead army to help us," offered Harry, "I'm sorry, but I don't get why you're so upset! They're all fine, and they needed us in Middle Earth, don't feel sorry about that! It's Voldemort's fault this all happened, it's Sauron's fault, it's even Saruman's fault we almost died!"
"That's just it," said Hermione softly, "I only thought we could get help from good people in other worlds. I never suspected that anything bad could come through either!"
"I'm surprised he even made it through Rivendell!"
"After all we've been through, nothing surprises me anymore Harry," said Hermione quietly. Harry was getting concerned. She looked like a defeated person.
"Did Voldemort do something to you guys that made you this way? You weren't nearly so upset after Frodo destroyed the Ring!"
True, thought Hermione. Maybe Harry had a point. But the sudden appearance of Saruman and the near death of Legolas had opened her eyes. She couldn't let this keep happening, and she could only think of one way to end it. After all, just because Voldemort and Saruman were dead, didn't mean there wasn't more evil out there, and she couldn't let it keep traveling through worlds. The results would be disastrous!
"I need to speak to Gandalf," she said.
"What?" asked Harry, taken aback.
"I'll be back. I just need to talk to him in private."
"I'll tell you later."
Scratching his head, Harry returned to his much happier friends. "How's Legolas?" he asked.
"He's been better," said Gimli, "We're taking him to that…er…'hospital' of yours."
"Yeah, and we'd better do it quick," said Ron, trying to hoist his friend up. Aragorn helped him, and the kids got into some of the boats. But before they left, Harry went to say goodbye to everyone who had come to help him.
"Don't say a word," said Sirius, shaking his head, "You did me a favor by giving me another chance to fight the Dark Side!" Nearby, they saw Lupin running over to greet James. "Excuse me for a second Harry," said Sirius, and he hurried over to join them.
Aragorn said farewell to his own parents, and Harry was startled to see a pale woman with long blond hair running over to embrace Luna. He suddenly realized that it must be Mrs. Lovegood. Boromir, Théoden, and Haldir were greeting their friends from Middle Earth, as well as Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, and Ginny. Then Dumbledore approached them.
"I'm sorry," he said, "But I'm afraid it's time for us to leave."
"Now?" asked Fred in disappointment.
"I'm afraid so," said Dumbledore, "We don't belong in this world anymore."
Harry's heart throbbed. He couldn't believe that for a second. He would have said so too, except that Ron suddenly shouted, "Oy! Get out of there, you!"
Jack jumped about a foot in the air, dropping several Sickles and Knuts. "Nothing to worry about," he said innocently, "Just polishing 'em…"
"Sure you were!" said Ron, rolling his eyes as he picked up the coins.
"Honest!" said Jack, and he started to walk away, muttering under his breath, "It wasn't as if there was anything to take anyway…"
"What?!" Ron's face grew red with fury. Harry laughed. It was as if Ron couldn't decide which was worse: getting robbed, or not being worth a thief's time.
Then, all the souls gathered at the shore, and Aslan made another door. One by one they all went through. Harry hugged his parents tightly one last time, and then they were gone. He stared longingly at the door. Now that Voldemort was dead, was there anything left that he needed to do? The world of the dead was such a wonderful place, more beautiful than he ever could have imagined, and he wanted to return and stay there forever. Aslan, who was the last to leave, seemed to know what he was thinking. "Not yet, Harry," he said. And once he bounded through, the door disappeared. Harry was left standing there, with a few tears sliding down his face. He would've continued standing there, if Aragorn hadn't laid a hand on his shoulder and gently led him away.
Once at St. Mungo's, Legolas was taken care of immediately. Everyone who wasn't tending someone injured was clamoring to know what had happened. Ron and the Foursome basked in the limelight while Aragorn and Harry shied away from the attention as usual. Luna dashed up to Legolas' room and would not come out. Frodo was his typical polite self, giving away as many details to people as he thought was necessary. Sam and Neville seemed a bit stunned by all the sudden attention and admiration they were getting. Harry took Ginny aside.
"I heard how you led everyone to Azkaban," he said, "You were excellent!"
"What's this?" said Ginny teasingly, "The great and famous Harry Potter thinks I'm worthwhile?"
"I always did," he said, "I'm sorry I've tried to keep you hidden in the background all the time, I just worried, that's all."
"Now that I look back on it, I can't be too annoyed with you about that," she replied, "It just shows you cared. And I'm glad you do!"
"So no hard feelings?"
"Never. You let me come with you to the Department of Mysteries with you at least. I'm grateful for that."
"That was brilliant the way you Disapparated right under Voldemort's nose!" he laughed, "Ron told me the look on his face was priceless!"
"I wish I could've seen it!" said Ginny ruefully, "Better yet, I wish someone had thought to bring a camera!"
"That would've made him even madder!" Both of them laughed. Already Voldemort seemed less scary now that he was dead and gone.
That night there was a party at Godric's Hollow. Fred and George set off fireworks and Sam, Mrs. Weasley, and Dobby combined their efforts to make a spectacular feast. The only downside was that Legolas and Luna weren't there. He still needed to recover at St. Mungo's, and she refused to leave his side. Gandalf and Hermione weren't there for a time either, though when they were, both seemed happy enough.
The best news was from Professor McGonagall. The school board had decided to reopen Hogwarts that fall! They would still have to find some new teachers, but now that Voldemort was dead, the jinx he had placed on the Defense Against the Dark Arts job had most likely been lifted. Professor McGonagall was now the new headmistress. The rest of the staff had agreed to come back as well.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Magic was eager to be the first to announce the news of Voldemort's demise. The Daily Prophet gave Harry the credit he deserved, though he couldn't help but notice the slant in the Ministry's favor, and how it mentioned that "several Ministry officials were on the scene to help, none of which were in any way hurt". They were, of course, referring to the Aurors in the Order, Kingsley Shacklebolt and Tonks, as well as people like Mr. Weasley. But nobody cared too much. All that mattered was that Voldemort was finally gone.
The next morning, Aragorn, Gimli, and Ron stopped at St. Mungo's to visit Legolas. They came back with some bad news.
"He's stable," said Aragorn, "But the Healers say they have no idea what to do for him."
"So they can't cure him?" asked Harry in alarm.
"They're trying," replied Gimli with a grim expression, "But they certainly can't promise any results. They aren't even sure what's wrong with him."
"So he'll never recover?" asked Frodo in horror, "We can't let that happen!"
"I really don't know what we're going to do," said Aragorn. He looked exhausted.
"Where's Luna?" asked Hermione suddenly.
"She's still there," replied Ron, "I don't think she's even slept."
"That's not healthy for her!" exclaimed Hermione, "Somebody should go back and get her! Has she eaten anything?"
"Of course," said Ron, "They serve food at St. Mungo's, Hermione." He tried not to roll his eyes.
"Can we get back to the real situation?" interrupted Harry, "What can we do for Legolas?"
There was a long silence as everyone thought. Nobody could come up with anything, and for a horrible few hours, it seemed as if Legolas would be wounded for the rest of his life. Then Frodo had an idea. "We need to take him back home, to Lord Elrond. He'll know what to do."
"Elrond has never dealt with anything like this before," warned Gandalf.
"He saved me from the Morgul blade. And we have the healing plant, athelas. Aragorn said that could heal almost any injury, right?"
"Yes, I said almost any injury."
"Well, I think we have a better chance of healing him at home than we do here, even if it was a magical injury."
"Mr. Frodo's right," said Sam, "What've we got to lose? If it doesn't work and the Healers discover something else, we can always bring him back here."
In the end, everyone agreed. They returned to St. Mungo's and told the Head Healer that they had decided to take Legolas home with them, since nothing could be done here. The Healer argued with them for quite some time, but finally had no choice but to give in. They carried Legolas outside, and then took a Portkey to the portal.
But nobody left right away. It had suddenly occurred to everyone that their friends from Middle Earth were leaving, possibly for good. Aragorn and Arwen had their kingdom to run, and Sam had his own family to return to. It was time to say goodbye.
Harry felt someone tap his shoulder. It was Frodo. "Can I speak to you?" he asked. Harry nodded. He followed Frodo quietly out of the room, and was surprised to see Gandalf and Hermione there as well.
"What's going on?" he asked.
Gandalf sighed heavily. "I'm afraid this is the last time you will ever see Frodo and I."
"What…what do you mean?"
Hermione had tears in her eyes. "They're leaving for good Harry."
"I don't understand. Why can't you come back? And how come it's just you and Frodo?"
"The elves are leaving Middle Earth," explained Frodo, "All of them, except Arwen, Legolas, and his people in Mirkwood. But the rest of them, including Elrond and Galadriel, are sailing out into the West, to Valinor."
"And once you leave, you can never come back?" asked Harry slowly. He had heard something about the elves leaving before, when he was in Middle Earth.
"You wouldn't want to anyway," said Frodo, "The way you didn't want to leave the world of the dead." Harry was stunned, but Frodo simply stared back at him and nodded. He had understood what Harry was going through back at Azkaban.
"It's like heaven," said Gandalf.
"But why are you explaining this to me?"
"Because we're going with them," said Gandalf simply.
Harry stared. "What?"
"We're going with the elves," replied Frodo, "I can't stay in Middle Earth anymore, Harry. I've been scarred too deeply. I was preparing to leave when Professor McGonagall summoned us here. But now Gandalf and I must leave."
"Is anyone else going?" asked Harry, feeling a lump in his throat.
"Just my Uncle Bilbo," replied Frodo, "You'll still get the chance to see everyone else again."
Hermione was staring at the ground. "You almost didn't," she said softly. Frodo and Harry looked at her in surprise.
"What are you talking about Hermione?" asked Frodo.
Hermione sighed, and looked up at them. "When I was talking to Gandalf, I had come to a decision. I was going to try and destroy the portal."
Harry's brain locked. This was simply too much information to take at once. "You were going to what?"
"Destroy the portal," repeated Hermione, "I was horrified when I found out Saruman was using it. I realized it could be used for both good and evil purposes, and I didn't want more evil coming between our worlds."
"What made you decide not to do it?" asked Frodo.
"You, Frodo," replied Hermione.
"I don't understand."
"When I went to talk to Gandalf about it, he disagreed with me strongly. He repeated a lot of what you told me Harry, and he said that without the portal Middle Earth would've been doomed. Apparently, someone told him what happened that day on Mount Doom."
Frodo blushed slightly. "I thought he had the right to know."
"I'm glad you did," said Hermione, "Because Gandalf was then able to convince me not to destroy the portal."
"I'm lost again," said Harry, "What happened on Mount Doom?"
Frodo sighed. "I didn't destroy the Ring, Harry," he confessed.
Harry blinked. That was all he could manage to do. He had left the room thinking he would be having a farewell discussion with Frodo, and now one by one, everyone was spilling their huge secrets! "You didn't?"
"No," added Hermione, "I did."
"Me. Frodo couldn't do it in the end, so it was up to me. I destroyed it."
"Why didn't you say so?"
"I didn't want the credit. And it wasn't as if I was a hero or anything. Frodo did most of the work carrying it."
"However," added Gandalf, "If Miss Granger hadn't been there, the Ring might have found its way back to Sauron. Everyone in Middle Earth owes her their life and freedom."
"That's why I'm not destroying the portal," explained Hermione, "Gandalf convinced me that we may need each other again, and it would be stupid if we cut each other off forever."
There was a long silence. Finally Harry said, "Anything else I need to know?"
"No," replied Gandalf calmly, "I believe that is all."
"So…this is the last time I'll see you both?"
"Yes," said Frodo.
Harry swallowed hard. Gandalf and Frodo were two wonderful friends. The idea of never seeing them again was heart-wrenching. He didn't even bother trying to hold back tears as he gave each of them a final hug goodbye. Hermione did the same, only she was crying harder.
"What's up?" asked Ron anxiously as they came back in.
"I'll tell you later," replied Harry quickly.
Everyone stood at the entrance to the portal. "Well," said Fred finally, "Bye everyone!"
"Goodbye Fred! Goodbye George!" Merry and Pippin pretended to burst into tears as they gave their friends hugs. Fred and George pretended to cry as well. Hermione rolled her eyes. It was exactly like the day they left Middle Earth. Some things never changed.
Luna kissed Legolas goodbye. "I'll come to visit you as soon as I can!" she promised.
"It was nice meeting you all," said Neville, as he said farewell to each of them in turn.
Harry gave Aragorn one final hug. "Thanks for saving my life repeatedly!"
"You always do the same for me!"
Arwen hugged Hermione and Ginny, and then she was the first to leave. Aragorn followed her, as he and Gandalf carried Legolas through. Harry's heart throbbed again as Gandalf disappeared. Gimli was next, then Merry and Pippin. Then Sam went through, and finally Frodo.
Many years went by. Merry and Pippin continued to visit, always staying at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. When they first came back, it was to say that Gandalf and Frodo had indeed sailed into the West with Elrond, Galadriel, and Celeborn. Everyone was heartbroken, Sam most of all.
Ginny and Luna finished their last year at Hogwarts. A year later, Ginny married Harry, and Ron married Hermione. They all moved into Godric's Hollow together, as Harry continued training to become an Auror. It was taking him longer than most applicants, because he hadn't finished his schooling. However, due to the circumstances, the Ministry was more than willing to take him on. Neville also found a job, only he became an assistant to Professor Sprout, taking care of the many plants in the greenhouse so that she could devote more of her time and energy to teaching Herbology. Eventually he became the Herbology professor after she retired.
It was around this time that the Quibbler published its final issue. No official reason was given out, and The Daily Prophet snidely hinted that it must have lost too many subscribers. But that wasn't the case. Harry found out from Merry and Pippin later that Luna had taken her father with her to Middle Earth, and they weren't coming back. Mr. Lovegood found this new world fascinating, and Luna wanted to be with Legolas, who had recovered with the help of Lord Elrond.
Any Death Eater who had actually survived the battle went underground. They went back to having normal lives, under different identities. Draco Malfoy couldn't recover from what happened to him. He spent the rest of his life at the home he inherited from his parents, living off the vast fortune they left behind, in seclusion from the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, Aragorn and Arwen had three children: a son, Eldarion, and two daughters, Elenath and Menel. Incidentally, Eldarion was the same age as Harry's son, Aaron. He and Ginny couldn't give him a name like Aragorn, which would've been too strange in their world, so they went for the next best thing. Ron and Hermione also had a daughter, whom they called Robin.
The Fellowship continued to see one another occasionally, though they couldn't visit as often as they would've liked. Aragorn was always busy running Gondor, although he was helped greatly by his steward, Faramir. Legolas, Gimli, and Luna were exploring whatever part of Middle Earth they hadn't seen yet. Only Merry and Pippin were able to frequently visit and help out in the joke shop, even after they married and had families of their own. And even as time went on, and the times they all saw each other grew farther and farther apart, none of them ever forgot the adventures they had together. They had all forged a fellowship that would continue long after they died.
A/N: The End! Once again, I really hope you liked it!
At the very beginning, Gandalf is saying, "Send this foul traitor to the depths of the sea!" And it seems that nobody knows what Aragorn's daughters' names are, so I made them up. "Elenath" means "star", and "Menel" means "sky".
I'd like to thank everyone who ever sent in a review, whether it was a compliment or constructive criticism. I enjoy both because it encourages me to write more and at the same time, write better! So thank you very much! I'd thank you all personally, but there are just so many of you, and I'd hate to leave anyone out! Also, thanks to all the silent readers out there, if there are any, and I'm sure there are! I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read what I write! Thanks again everyone!