Disclaimer:Considering all the press interest in J.K. Rowlings book that's about to be released (ha! Beat it!) and the lack of interest in this ones completion, I think we can all agree that Harry Potter doesn't belong to me. This is written for fun and I make no profit from it. And now -- the last chapter.

Chapter 18 The Power He Knows Not

Events in the wizarding world continued to move. In the first full week of August the Governors of Hogwarts met and debated closing the school for the duration of the war. McGonagall argued that with the new anti-Dark Mark wards the school would be safer than most homes and additional measures were being taken. The two known tunnels between the school and Hogsmeade had been filled in. They had done everything magically and humanly possible to protect the school. The board reluctantly agreed to allow the school to open.


Voldemort drank the potion Snape gave him. He was tired of feeling pain every time he tortured someone. He wasn't the one that was supposed to be hurting after all. That was the whole point. So he was sitting in his darkened audience chamber, trying to relax when he was interrupted.

"My Lord! Please forgive me for not kissing the hem of your robe."

Voldemort looked at the teenager in the wheelchair. Malfoy's brat. He certainly wasn't much use to the Dark Lord the way he is.

"My Lord, if you could see your way to healing me, I would be a useful follower! I would destroy My Lord's enemies. I would. . . ."

"Snape," Voldemort cut in with a sharp hiss. "Can he be fixed?"

"No, My Lord. Not by normal magical healing. I am not acquainted with as many Dark rituals as you, My Lord, so I cannot say for certain." Snape had a bad feeling about this. He had warned Draco to stay away, but the young Malfoy had never been one for using good judgment.

"I would perform any Dark ritual My Lord requests. I . . . ."

"You said you would be a useful follower if I healed you?"

"Yes, My Lord."

"Then you acknowledge that you are not useful now. I have no time for this. Avada Kedavra. AAAAAGGG!"


Snape held Narcissa that night as she cried. Her worst nightmare had come to pass. With the exception of her crazy sister, she had lost everything in the service to the Dark Lord. She was finally sleeping fitfully. Snape should have left hours before to get the potion ingredients that he needed, but he had been unwilling to leave her until she'd fallen asleep. Cursing the delay, he grabbed his bag and Apparated away. The moon was half full, but beneath the trees of the Forbidden Forest the light did not penetrate. The ingredient collection took a few hours but he eventually finished. His official task done, he then extracted the black robe and Death Eater mask from his bag and donned them. For a moment the thought that this was probably the second stupidest thing he had ever done flitted through his mind. Joining Voldemort was definitely number one. But then other incidents in his life escaped the mental boxes they were stored in, and he had to admit that it didn't rank in the top ten.

He concentrated on his destination, and Disapparated.

The town of Nottinghamshire bore very little resemblance to the forest where a certain thief once made a name for himself. The block that Snape appeared on was filled with closely built houses; older than the bland modern dwellings on Privet Drive in Surrey, but more diverse and friendly looking. The street and gardens housed tall trees that looked like they had been there fifty to a hundred years.

Snape didn't spare the neighborhood more than the glance necessary to make sure he was alone. He mentally went over his list to ensure that everything was ready, and took his wand and a potion vial out of his robe's pocket. He stood in front of a house and banished the potion at it. The cost of that potion briefly crossed his mind. He started casting spells even before the fragile glass struck the house.

The Ward Disrupting potion was restricted, complex, and filled with very rare ingredients. Coupled with the spells Snape was casting, he hoped it would give him enough time to complete his mission. As the flask broke, the potion spread out over a larger area than one might have expected and the wards lit up briefly, Snape ran towards the house.

There was no time for subtlety now. A reducto made the door disappear. He saw a stairway almost right in front of him; he fired off several more explosive hexes as he ran towards it. There were screams from upstairs. He held his wand ready as he took the steps two at a time; not something one could do in a robe without practice. A stunning hex flew at him, but was stopped by his hastily raised shield. He again cast a reducto at a wall near the witch who had attacked him. She disappeared into a door, and Snape was sure he heard the sound of a portkey activating. Following with a bit more care than the initial attack, the former potions instructor entered the same room. It was decorated for a child. Behind the white mask, Snape smiled. His goal was sitting there on a dresser. He grabbed the cage containing an owl, and heard the return portkey that was probably bringing the Aurors back to the house. Dean's suggestion for keeping the population safe had been implemented and had shocked the Death Eaters the first few times it was used. After that, the next incident ended in a massacre of the Aurors who used the portkey to return; the Death Eaters had been waiting, wands drawn, at the location the portkey had left from. Tactics changed to respond; the Aurors no longer came back exactly where the portkey left from. War was a great force for innovation, and the Unspeakables had made numerous advances in Portkeys to help the Aurors.

Snape didn't wait around. One change was that as soon as the Aurors popped in, they erected an anti-portkey ward. The Aurors could drop it, but the Death Eaters would suddenly find their emergency portkeys useless. However, as this wasn't a normal attack, there was no anti-Apparation ward to keep Snape there, since that ward was usually the first thing that normal Death Eaters set in place, and he needed a quick get away. He Apparated to the Forbidden Forest with the owl, which had been the objective of this exercise. He opened the cage and was bit by an enraged and deeply offended owl. One petrificus totalus later, he tied the note he had written to its leg, and released it from its magical bounds. It quickly took flight, hitting the former potions instructor on the head with a wing while doing so.

Snape returned to his house on Spinners End. He checked on Narcissa and got to work on the potions that the Dark Lord required.

At about the same time, the Headmistress of Hogwarts was being awakened by an owl knocking on her window. She let it in, and read the note. It was unsigned, but she recognized the handwriting. She pondered trust. Was the note trustworthy? If it was, who could she share it with that she could trust? If this information got back to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, what would happen? And if this note weren't true, but a trap, what would happen?

She was tired, but she got no more sleep that night.


The Order of the Phoenix met in the Great Hall of Hogwarts. Dedalus Diggle looked over the group, and noted Tonks, Shacklebolt, and several other Auror members in the back of the crowd. There were also a large number of House Elves around, serving tea and butterbeer and pastries and other snacks. He walked among the members, chatting with them.

"When does the meeting start?" Bill Weasley asked him.

"We're waiting for someone. I have a special guest, and a job for the Order. If all goes well, we may have a chance to make our mark on this war."

"Really? What's the plan?"

"You'll have to wait and see."

As he was speaking, a House Elf handed him a note. Diggle took the paper, and made his way to the podium. The Order was sitting at the Ravenclaw and Gryffindor tables, the two in the middle, towards the teacher's end of the hall.

"Friends, I have a guest who has asked to speak to us," he began as the door to the Great Hall opened. "May I present Rufus Scrimgeour, the Minister of Magic."

The Minister entered the room with about a dozen Aurors. Some fanned out around the Order, and some guarded the doors.

As he reached the podium, a pair of Aurors put a paper at each of the student tables.

"What we have there," Scrimgeour stated, "is a binding magical contract prohibiting you from disclosing, either actively or inadvertently, anything you hear in this meeting. It is of vital importance that nothing we are planning gets back to You-Know-Who."

"We all took a magical Oath when we joined," Gwenog Jones commented.

"Yes, so you won't have any objection to signing this."

There was some mumbling, but everybody signed.

"Now we can continue," Scrimgeour said, as he was told of the full participation. "In three days time Riddle will make a major attack on a Muggle town. He intends to kill virtually everyone, but mostly, he intends to strike a blow against the Aurors who've been so successful against him lately.

"Your organization has been in the fight since before the Ministry got involved. That's why I'm here to offer you a chance to strike a blow directly at Riddle and the Death Eaters. Anyone who wants to, and has the skills, will be temporarily Aurortorized and allowed to join in the battle."

"Payback time!" George shouted. A large number of other people yelled something similar.

Diggle was delighted. He had felt that Dumbledore had held back the organization from taking any useful action against the Dark Lord; but here was his chance. They were going to strike a blow directly at the Death Eaters.

Minerva McGonagall looked over the cheering crowd. She'd been in the first war with Voldemort, and before that in the war against Grindelwald. She wondered how many of these cheering witches and wizards would be here after the battle.

"Even if you are not up to a battle, we can use you in the infirmary we will have set up, and in other positions. I want everyone who wants to fight over there, everyone who's willing to work in other capacities over there, and anyone else to leave." Scrimgeour was in his element. Of course he had to know how to play politics to get his position as Minister of Magic. But what he really liked was organizing and running the Aurors. Nothing in his current job (and especially not the paperwork) could compare with the execution of a well organized police action. He got down to work.

After the meeting, Scrimgeour approached McGonagall.

"Headmistress, I want to thank you for that information."

"You are welcome, Minister."

"I was wondering if you could tell me how to get in contact with Harry Potter?"

"What do you want with Mr. Potter?" she asked, suspiciously.

"Nothing bad, I can tell you that. No, it's just that I know that Mr. Potter had expressed interest in being an Auror, and I know he taught defense and he acquitted himself well against the Death Eaters that attacked him during his Apparition test. I just wanted to invite him to participate in the upcoming battle."

"But he hasn't even taken his NEWTs yet. . . ."

"Nevertheless, he is an adult, and he is involved. It will be his choice, but I feel that it would be politic to invite him. We made an arrangement to help each other at the beginning of the summer, and I think this is part of it."

"Very well, then. He can be contacted at the Burrow."

"I thought so. Thank you."


Despite the war, life went on. The next day the Hogwarts letters were sent out. Slughorn was coming back to teach potions, and Remus Lupin was rehired to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts. McGonagall had argued that he was the best defense teacher they had had in over ten years and she guaranteed to personally make sure he took the Wolfsbane potion and was locked up on full moon nights. She also hired Hilaria Shingleton, a Ravenclaw who graduated in 1977, as the new transfiguration instructor.


Also that day Harry and his friends met at Neville's place. It was getting a little too close to the full moon, so Remus wasn't there.

Harry explained what he could to his friends.

"Scrimgeour talked to me. In two days there's going to be a Death Eater attack. He asked me if I want to be part of it. I agreed, and he allowed me to invite those of you who are adults. Sorry, Luna and Ginny. You are invited to be at the command center. I can't give you any more information than this, except to say that we'll be on the high street. So, over the next fourty eight hours, I'd like us to prepare as well as possible."

They spent the next two days getting ready as best they could. Harry scouted the area (because, even if Scrimgeour hadn't told him the town, Harry knew), practiced broom mounted spell casting (even Hermione and Neville), worked on two man dueling teams, and stocked up with a few Weasley Wizarding Wheezes each.

They also worked on their transfiguration. They practiced converting marbles into marble walls to use as blocks against the Killing Curse. By the end of the day they started to get burned out, To break up the monotony, they started to inject a level of silliness into their spell casting.

Luna started it when she transfigured a wall with a bas-relief of a unicorn on it. Harry, noticing the laughter, created one with an engraving, "Dark Lords go Home" in it. They weren't sure what Ron's was supposed to be, but it wasn't a wall. About that time, they gave up practicing, and just started to have fun. Ginny transformed a marble into a large W, and Neville made one into a large N. Hermione tried to transform hers into a Greek temple, and mostly succeeded, but it was only eight centimeters on a side. Luna took the idea in a different direction and created a marble column, which started a contest to see who could make the best column.

Transformations of that sort require several things. The magical strength of the caster determines how large a transformation can be. Harry's column was almost ten meters tall. Ron, Neville, Ginny, Hermione and Luna each had smaller columns; although Luna found that she could increase the height by decreasing the diameter, which led Harry to creating one almost twenty meters tall but that broke under its own weight. They gave that up when Hermione pointed out that Neville's greenhouse would have been destroyed if the column had broken a different direction.

Skill with the spell determines how quick the transformation and how intricate the new object can be. Harry thought that imagination had something to do with it, too; Restricting themselves to three meter tall columns, they played with adding elaborate designs to them. Hermione based hers on columns that she had seen or read about. Luna's were engraved with images of creatures, some of which Harry had unsurprisingly never seen before. They conceded the contest to Luna and broke for dinner.

After dinner they floo-ed to the Ministry of Magic and then to a temporary fireplace in Kendal.


The day had been a tense one for the Order of the Phoenix. They knew what was going to happen, just not how it was going to turn out. Harry's warning, via Tonks, supported by Snapes' note, had a huge impact on the war. Voldemort had emptied his barracks for this offensive. Virtually all his Death Eaters were sent to Kendal to ambush the Aurors who would come to fight the Dementors. There were almost eighty Death Eaters, two dozen werewolves, and the last score of Voldemort's Dementors.

What they didn't know was that Minister Scrimgeour had contacted several other countries, and there were almost 150 foreign Aurors as well as thirty British Aurors already in the town. Each group was assigned a different part of town to watch. Throughout the day, the Muggle police had been quietly evacuating neighborhoods. After the police were done, the Aurors had gotten a list of people who hadn't left. They were quietly hunted down, stunned, Obliviated, and moved to a safe location. The town was close to deserted.

Molly Weasley glared at her daughter, and Ginny glared right back. She had forbidden Ginny from being in the battle. They were in the gymnasium of the local school which had been set up as a makeshift hospital and command center. Scrimgeour stood by a table at one end of the room. There was a large map of the town and a dozen clerks manning a large set of magic mirrors. Luna was with them. Being underage she also wasn't allowed to join the battle. Waiting nearby was a group of Aurors with brooms. They were a fast response group prepared to aid any of the other groups that encountered the enemy. To cover the whole town, the Auror groups on patrol had to be kept small.

It was on the western part of the town where the first attack came. The werewolf pack came into town where a contingent of foreign Aurors was stationed. One tactic that the Death Eaters hadn't noticed in their previous defeats was used with great effect against the magical creatures -- brooms. With no way to attack anyone in the air the lycanthropes were out maneuvered and decimated. Even the Aurors felt it was no challenge. The only casualties occured when Fenrir Greyback, his mind intact after taking the Wolfsbane potion, tried to hide in a house and a group of French Aurors had to go in and get him. Three Aurors were killed, one was bitten and infected, but Greyback was decapitated.

On the eastern side of the town, the Dementors attacked. This was what the Aurors were waiting for. They knew this wasn't going to be like the other attacks. The Death Eaters would be ready for them. The Autors hoped they were ready for the Death Eaters.

A group took to the sky as soon as they felt the Dementors. Anti-portkey and anti-Apparition wards were raised. Word went back to the command center on the location of the Dementors. The reserve group took off to get nearer the area of fighting.

Auror Dawlish was in the group that first approached the Dementors. They carefully flew over the black clad creatures. They wanted to mark the positions of the waiting Death Eaters before the trap was sprung. The Death Eaters, showing more restraint than they were typically known for, stayed well hidden in the dark. Finally, Dawlish mirrored that they were going to land and confront the Dementors and led half his group of ten towards the soul suckers. By this time the reserve Aurors were in the neighborhood. They stayed hidden until Dawlish's group actually attacked the Dementors, which was the signal for the Death Eater attack.

As the first Patronus appeared to start herding the Dementors, the night was lit with spells. Half a dozen green beams came out of the darkness, targeting the group of Aurors. They erected hasty walls and barriers to block the Killing Curses. The Aurors in the air, now having spotted the enemy, returned fire. Authorized to use the Unforgivables, they let their hatred for the black robed assailants fuel their own Killing Curses.

The group with Dawlish had problems, though. They were off their brooms, surrounded by Dementors and Death Eaters. Trying to do three things at once -- defend against the killing curses heading their way, fight the Dementors, and return curses at the Death Eaters, they were quickly overcome. The first two fell to Avada Kedavra spells that weren't blocked. The other three were swarmed by Dementors. They destroyed several before a dodged killing curse meant that Dawlish didn't get a cheering charm cast upon him, which in turn caused his Patronus charm to fail allowing the Dementor to kiss him. The last two Aurors tried to fly out of the skirmish, but were cut down in the air.

The Death Eaters, meanwhile, were not having as much success with the rest of the battle. Dawlish's group was in the open and had limited mobility. The thirty or more Aurors in the air didn't have those limitations. Outnumbering the Death Eaters they could keep up a barrage of spells and dodge the return fire. As they realized they were losing, the Death Eaters tried to escape, but they couldn't breach the wards. If they had physically run some might have escaped, but they grouped together for what they hoped was mutual protection. In the end, it only made them a more convenient target.

A mile to the south a similar battle was being fought. The German Aurors ignored the English suggestion to use brooms, and fought on the ground. Their tactic of using rapid, short range Apparition didn't work in the warded area, and they took heavier casualties. They still outnumbered the Death Eaters, and received some air support from the Aurors that Scrimgeour had held in reserve, but they fought with determination and mounting anger as their comrades were cut down. The Death Eaters were systematically killed. There were rumors that some tried to surrender, but none were captured alive.

With the local and foreign Aurors guarding the periphery, the Order of the Phoenix was spread across the center. Broken into groups of five, they weren't expected to encounter anyone, but were there to backup the Aurors and watch for any groups that might break through the outer areas.

Harry's group was stationed in the middle of the high street. Neville, Hermione, Ron, and Professor Flitwick were in the business district, watching for any signs of trouble. When he had been told of the assignment three days ago, Harry had known he was being put in one of the least likely places for an attack. He hoped their two days of intensive training would be enough should they be attacked.

They moved into place at dusk. Disillusioning themselves they checked the area, pointing out natural hiding places, discussing possibilities, and making plans. They then split into two groups and moved several blocks away. Every fifteen minutes, Harry had the team of three move to a new position in their eight block patrol area, and one of the three join the other team. That way they always knew where each team was and at least one team could send a person to tell the other if they spotted anything. Harry kept the teams changing (it was Hermione's idea) so that the constant change would keep them alert.

Professor Flitwick was theoretically in charge of the group, but everyone, including him, took their orders from Harry. Harry, for his part, took suggestions from everyone, and added any good ones to their plan.

Around ten, when it was fully dark, Ron and Hermione saw a group of Death Eaters appear near a pub. They felt the anti-Apparition wards as they were cast, but then they felt something else.

"Flitwick," Hermione whispered to Ron. "They see them too." Flitwick's job, besides being "in charge" of the group, was to cast an anti-portkey ward as soon as they encountered the enemy. Depending on how observant they were, and how quick Flitwick was, the Death Eaters might not notice the new wards. Watching from the shadows, Hermione thought they had got lucky.

They watched as the group cautiously made it's way towards the pub. Neville arrived on his broom a moment later.

"You see them?" he asked.

"Five. One for each of us," Ron said, enthusiastically.

"Ron..." Hermione began.

"I know, it's not a game. Just keeping up morale.

"Harry suggested we move to the roof across the street. He expects them to go in the pub. He and the Professor will be on the pub's roof, watching the back and sides in case they go out another way."

They nodded, renewing their disillusionment charms, and carefully flew to the designated roof. They kept an active lookout for other Death Eaters, though. The group they found may have friends nearby.

They landed on the roof of a hardware store, and looked across the street. The door to the pub was open and only one Death Eater was visible.

Harry, meanwhile, left Flitwick at the back of the building, watching for any Death Eater activity in that direction. The pub abutted the building to the north, and there was narrow alley between it and the one to the south. There was a side door that opened onto the alley, and a loading dock at the back of the building. Harry dropped a portable swamp in the alley by the door. He then moved to the front of the building.

He removed his disillusionment charm from himself so his allies across the street could see what he was doing. They had told themselves that they were ready to kill but they really didn't want to if it could be avoided. Harry felt that this was an instance when it could be avoided. He waited a moment for the nervous Death Eater to pace away from the door. As soon as he did, Harry cast a stunning spell from nearly point blank range, above and slightly behind him. The Death Eater never saw it coming. As the body hit the ground it started floating away; one of the group across the street was making sure he or she couldn't be revived by the other Death Eaters. If they couldn't find the body, they couldn't Ennervate him. The Death Eater, Crabbe senior, it turned out to be, would later be found tied upside down to a branch of a tree, twenty feet above the ground.

When the other Death Eaters came out, they became more wary when they found their companion missing. When all 4 were out, Hermione cast a Colloportus spell on the door causing it to shut and lock behind them. As they turned towards the door, Hermione, Ron, and Neville cast spells at the Death Eaters. The Death Eaters were already alerted to the danger by their missing guard, though, and one of them threw up a shield to protect the others. All three had cast again, though, not waiting to see if the first spells hit.

In the second volley, Neville cast a blasting hex at the ground in front of the black robed fighters. While Ron and Hermione's spells were again deflected by the shield, Neville's wasn't, and chunks of concrete and tar struck the masked wizards. The one that had cast the shield had his concentration broken, and the shield fell. They dodged the next set of spells, though. One of them said something to the others, and they all cast the same spell, Reducto, at the building across the street from them. The four blasting hexes were aimed between the windows and door, and one at the corner. The building started collapsing. Ron and Hermione moved away from the edge, but Neville was thrown off balance by the rocking building, and fell. Unable to run, he tried to grab anything, but the flat roof offered no hand holds, and he had to ride it to the ground.

On the other rooftop, Harry had been diverted from the beginning of the fight by the need to get Flitwick to their side of the building. Their roof was sloped, so it was a little more difficult to move around, and offered less cover. Harry took a moment to re-apply his disillusionment spell, and came over the roof to see the spells from his companions flying towards the ground below him. His enemies were too close to the building for him to see, so he moved down the slope until he was able to look over the edge. The Death Eaters were scattering, and the front of the building across the street was collapsing. Harry cast a spell at one of the Death Eaters, a charm, so it had no visible spell trace to give away his position. It was something he had worked out with George. It was a recreation of the spell Dobby had put on the bludger, and a variation on the spell the twins had placed on a snow ball back in Harry's first year. He pulled a bludger out of his pocket, and threw it in the air. It would attack the person he had cast the charm on until it was caught or destroyed. And since it was dark, and the iron ball was black, he didn't think anyone was going to catch it quickly.

The Death Eaters were running in different directions. One headed for the alley that had the swamp in it. Harry, being closer to that side of the building than Flitwick, made his way towards the alley. One ran down the street south, and two headed north.

"I'm following the the group of two," Harry heard Flitwick's voice from slightly above him. The professor must be on his broom, Harry thought. He looked over the side of the building, and heard more than saw the figure fall into the swamp. Harry cast a freezing charm on it, followed by a disarming hex. The freezing charm solidified the swamp, where the Death Eater was up to his thighs in mud. Too busy trying to figure out what was going on, he didn't shield himself, and lost his wand. Harry got on his broom, and flew to the other side of the swamp. He stunned the Death Eater, cast several summoning charms to remove any portkeys and other wands from him, letting them fall around him, and wrapped him in ropes. He hoped the frozen swap would be enough to confuse any allies who might find him. He flew off to join the rest of the battle.

Hermione and Ron saw the Death Eaters splitting up, and decided to follow the pair of them. They grabbed their brooms from where they were leaning against an exhaust vent near the back of the store and flew north. Ron suggested that Hermione fly at her own pace, and make sure they don't double back. Hermione agreed, but was also going to try to keep up.

The two Death Eaters, though, had hardly gone a block before one of them was hit from behind by a hard object, and fell to the ground. He got up, frantically looking around. The other one pulled off her hood, showing she was female with her long black hair, and looked around. Damn these hoods, she thought. She saw a black object flying towards her companion a moment before it almost hit him. He also saw it, and dodged at the last instant.

He too threw back his hood to gain a better view. He waved his wand and a beater bat appeared in his hand. He hit the bludger right before he was the recipient of a stunner from above.

Disillusionment wasn't perfect invisibility. And with the direction of the spell the woman was able to make out the caster's location.

"Avada Kedavra!" she called in a high squeaky voice. The charms professor dodged the first spell, but was hit with a second one, falling dead off his broom. Instinct made her dodge, and a curse passed through where she had been. She spun and searched the skies for another attacker.

She cast multiple "Finite Incantatems"in an arc and suddenly Ron was visible as the spell removed his disillusionment charm. Now she had a target and as fast as she could she cast the death curse repeatedly at Ron. Ron flew like he was in a Quidditch game with a dozen bludgers after him -- he dodged every one and even got a few low level spells off at the Death Eater whose distinctive voice gave her away as Bellatrix Lestrange. The spells forced her to dodge, which was why she missed seeing the bludger impact on her downed companion, breaking his ribs and causing one of them to rupture his lung. Marcus Flint would be dead before anyone would show up to help.

The other thing she missed was a Stupefying Sue dropped right next to her. Without a spell trace, she didn't have a chance to dodge. She fell in the middle of another "Avada Kedavra" incantation.

Down the street the other direction, the lone Death Eater ran past the ruined front of the hardware store. Rodolphus Lestrange didn't have his wife's instincts. Once past the debris his hood stopped him from seeing the reducto curse that Neville cast at him. It hit him in the side and blew apart his right arm and chest cavity.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione showed up a few minutes later to help Neville out of the remains of the building. He had a broken ankle and would have been a sitting duck if his curse had missed. He was happy that Bellatrix was captured, and very happy that he had been able to take out one of the people who had tortured his parents. They collected Professor Flitwick's body, and walked the five blocks (Neville floated in a Mobilicorpus cast by Hermione) to the temporary headquarters, where a bunch of Aurors were sent out to collect the living Death Eaters.

Later that night they learned that several other groups of Death Eaters had Apparated into the center of town. They were supposed to start killing the populace while waiting for the Dementors to reach their neighborhoods.


Voldemort waited in his hideout for word of the attack, but none of his minions returned. He would read in the Daily Prophet the next day that less than ten of his people were captured alive. All of the werewolves had been killed, and all of the Dementors were destroyed. Only fifteen Aurors, mostly foriengers, lost their lives in the battle. Voldemort was furious.

Harry felt his anger, and set up his Occlumency shields. Harry was barely bothered by the Cruciatus spells that Voldemort used on his followers. It seemed that Voldemort received almost as much pain from the spell as he gave. Harry smiled. It was time to bait the trap. He floo-ed to the Ministry of Magic.

A short time later, the editor of the Daily Prophet received an unexpected visitor.

"Minister! What can I do for you?"

"You can run this story on the front page tomorrow, and forget I was ever here."

"Is this. . . . is this true? You're going to be at Hogwarts Friday? You're going to the Chamber of Secrets?"

"All of it's true. Just print it exactly as it is written."

"Who wrote this? What byline do we put?"

"Just print it!"


Voldemort was not happy the next day when he read the paper. The fact that Macnair tried to keep it from the Dark Lord only made it worse.

Daily Prophet Exclusive!

Harry Potter "The Boy Who Lived" gives tour of Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter, who has survived numerous encounters with Death Eaters and their so called "Dark Lord" boss, gave a tour of the Chamber of Secrets today.

"I heard that Headmistress McGonagall had been successful in keeping Hogwarts open, and that she had closed some tunnels into the school grounds. Since I'm the only one besides Voldemort who knows how to open the Chamber of Secrets, I felt it was my duty to help the school make sure it was as safe as we can make it."

The Chamber can only be opened by an incantation in Parseltongue, a skill which Potter believes he received from Voldemort during their first encounter when he was only one year old. It is reached through a haunted girl's bathroom and is located far below the ground. The Chamber has numerous pipes leading into it, conjectured to be access ways to the school for Slytherin's monster, which has twice in the last fifty years terrorized the school. Most of those pipes were filled with debris when the Chamber was disrupted four years ago. The Headmistress intends to make sure all of them are filled in, so as to not allow any future monsters access to the school.

The Chamber holds a huge statue of Salazar Slytherin (see picture). According to Potter, the basilisk that he killed in the Chamber entered through the mouth. Potter has been unable to open it, so a group of Unspeakables will be allowed into the Chamber on Friday to either find a way into the mouth, or destroy it.

"If there's an entrance to the Chamber, and thus to the school, through the mouth, we'll have to close it for good." Potter explained.

Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour will be in the Chamber with the Unspeakables Friday to oversee the project.

Harry sat in the Great Hall reading his interview. The only problem with the plan is that he didn't know exactly when Voldemort would attack. He could, theoretically, come at any time, even before Friday. But the way the award had been protected, ie. not at all, told him that Voldemort would want to get there before the Ministry did. He might also want to kill the Minister and Harry Potter himself, which would be (to him) a good message to send the world.

But Voldemort didn't have to wait until Friday, and Harry had to be ready no matter when it happened.

Harry was asleep on a cot in Myrtle's bathroom very early Friday morning when Hermione woke him up.

"It's time. The scrying glass we have focused on the tunnel entrance showed Voldemort and at least six others entering the tunnel."

"Drat. I was hoping he would come alone. No matter. I'll get down to the Chamber. Make sure everyone else is ready."

He put on the boots and robe that he had made for this occasion, as well as double checked the amulet around his neck. Harry conjured a rug to wrap around himself, and jumped into the pipe that lead to the Chamber of Secrets. Aurors were just entering the bathroom as he slid out of sight. He ran to the actual Chamber and ordered the doors closed behind him. As they were about to close, he aimed his wand out of the chamber and shouted, "Reducto!" The exploding charm hit the ceiling of the tunnel and caused it to collapse. The doors finished closing and he heard debris falling against the outside of the door. He took out his mirror, and activated it.

"Hello, Harry. They're walking. It will be a little while before they get there." George was awake and in the control room, which in this case was the Great Hall. They had nothing to do but wait.

"Harry, they reached the first point. Voldemort is still in the lead."

"Let them have it," Harry told him.

In the Great Hall, George touched his wand to a specific coin on the table. The Protean charm that Hermione had connected with that coin caused a large group of objects to change. Specifically, the detonators on the explosives that George had rigged up in the tunnel became active. From the entrance in the hillside to the midpoint that the attackers had just past there were explosions, and the tunnel collapsed.

Harry felt Voldemort's anger. It would be a while before they reached the next scrying point in the tunnel. Harry waited.

Ron's voice came through the mirror. "Hey, mate! It looks like just two of them left. Pretty sure the front one is Voldemort. We're going to blow the next part of the tunnel."

Harry heard this one. It was a dull rumble -- more felt than heard, actually. He waited. This time the news from George was better.

"He's alone. Whoever was with him isn't coming. If they're still alive, they won't be after the next set goes off. Are you sure you don't want me to blow up the tunnel he's in?"

"No. He still has his wand. He might find a way out. We can't take that chance. We have to be sure that he's dead."

Ron's voice came over the mirror again, "He's at the third scrying point. He's still alone. As soon as he opens the mouth we blow the rest of the tunnel."

"Great, Ron. I'll talk to you when this is all over."

Voldemort was not happy. The tunnel collapsing had cost him his remaining Death Eaters, except Snape (who was working on some potions), Malfoy's wife (who was off somewhere grieving), and Wormtail, who was hiding. He would punish them all when he was finished. He knew that he had walked into a trap after the first section of the tunnel collapsed. Nott had been the only one to be mobile after the first explosion. Unfortunately, he had lagged behind, and he vanished after the second blast.

Somehow he knew, just knew, that Potter was behind this. This time there would be no escape for him. There were no portkeys out. Voldemort had tried to use his emergency portkey already. Well, what's bad for the goose. . . .

He reached the end of the tunnel, and took down his award shield. He held it in his hand and cursed. He could tell that it wasn't the award he had received, and that his horcrux was now missing. Once he was done here, he resolved to check on the rest of them.

"Speak to me, Slytherin, greatest of the Hogwarts Four," he hissed The tunnel opened in front of him. He was going to take a quick look out of the opening when there was another explosion, right behind him. He went flying through the mouth.

The brief moment he was in the air showed him something strange was going on. All over the Chamber were posters on walls. There must be scores of them, he thought, all over the chamber. Small, one meter by two meter walls.

He barely had time to notice that before he felt the affects of a momentum arresting featherfall charm that he cast upon himself. He landed in front of the statue, and noticed that the floor was covered with some sort of goo. He stood up and cast a cleaning spell. There was a sound off to the right. He looked that way with his wand ready, when instincts honed by fifty years of dueling warned him of the threat from the left. His shield spell stopped whatever it was that was coming towards him, and he cast a Killing Curse towards the unseen attacker. It hit one of the posters, and the wall it was attached to blew up. It had said, "Dark Lords never prosper." Others read "The weed of crime bares bitter fruit"; "Light rules!"; "Bad things happen to bad wizards"; and "Turn from the Dark Side, Tom." The last was created by Hermione.

"Come out Potter, and face me like a man."

Potters voice came from all over the Chamber, "But after everything you've done, you're not a man, anymore, Tom." All around the chamber various voices were laughing. Harry had enlisted the ghosts to help distract the Dark Lord.

Voldemort cast a few more Killing Curses at the posters. They were rude and referred to him.

"If you are planning to make me angry and hoping that I will make a mistake, you can think again. I've often dueled while angry. . . ."

Harry sent another spell at the Dark Lord, which got another killing spell in return, which gave Harry the chance he wanted. He cast a silent stunner at the Dark Lord, and the two spells collided.

And it worked. There were three potential flaws in his plan. The first would be that Voldemort wasn't alone. The second would be that Voldemort would get stuck in the tunnel and survive. The third was that Voldemort had replaced his wand.

But he hadn't. The spells hit, and the wands were joined. Phoenix song was heard in the Chamber again, and a golden dome appeared around Harry and Voldemort.

"Not this time, Potter!"

Harry said nothing. He hoped that the mirror in his pocket was sending the Phoenix song to the Great Hall. He knew that it was when the room burst into flames.

Harry's clothes were dragon hide, and resistant to fire and the amulet around his neck gave him the Flame Freeze charm, so he was protected. Voldemort struggled, but couldn't get his wand away from the connection it had with Harry's. He pulled enough concentration away from the battle of wills to cast the Flame Freeze charm on himself wandlessly.

The goo on the floor had been hastily brewed by a legion of Unspeakables under the direction of George. It was a variation of an old potion used to turn rope and string into fuses for fireworks. They had figured how to replace the whale oil with vegetable oil and Hermione had led a group to clean out several Muggle grocery stores of the stocks. You had to be careful moving on it, but it would accomplish Harry's purpose. It was burning quickly.

Harry saw what was happening as the red of his spell suddenly leaped forward, pushing the green spell back at Voldemort. Harry moved forward as fast as he could, following the red beam of the stun spell. Voldemort was hurt by the fire, but not too badly. Harry knew it wouldn't be permanent if Voldemort got away. He kept moving towards the Dark Lord, and his spell crept towards Voldemort's wand. The strange phenomenon of the brother wands completed -- they were in a golden dome floating above the fire.

Harry pushed forward, still closing in on Voldemort. His spell reached Voldemort's wand and ghostly figures started appearing. Harry was shocked to see the first one out was Draco.

"Kill him, Potter," the image said. More and more images appeared.

Voldemort wasn't surprised, this time. "It won't work, Potter! You have no place to run to." He was breathing fast.

He would not be overcome by Potter this time, he thought. All he had to do was concentrate. If only he could catch his breath! Why was his heart pounding so fast? He wasn't afraid! He wasn't!

"I'm not running. I'm waiting."

Voldemort's breathing became even faster. His eyes were wide, looking at the people he killed, most of them from the government building. He let go of the wand, breaking the connection. He was thrown backwards, and landed hard on his back. He gasped for breath. Harry floated to the floor.

Most of the fire was out. Harry could tell that there was still a lot of the flammable gel on the floor. Voldemort ripped his robes as he struggled to get air. Harry picked up Voldemort's wand and snapped it. Voldemort tried to say something, but couldn't get the words out. His mouth opened and closed, and nothing came out.

Harry drew the Sword of Gryffindor, and stabbed the Dark Lord. It may have been a magical body, but it was still a body, and blood gushed out of it until the heart stopped beating. Harry pulled the mirror out of his pocket and announced, "The Dark Lord Voldemort is dead." He walked over to the base of the statue and waited. Ghosts surrounded him, congratulating him. He ignored them. A moment later someone appeared. He stood up and Harry saw that it was the Minister of Magic.

"May I see the body before we go, Harry?"

Harry nodded wearily, pointed the direction, and waited for the Minister to return.

He returned and they squatted by the stone that touched a piece that was broken off it -- a portkey anchor. As Moody had said, most anti-portkey wards didn't affect portkeys with anchors.

"Harry, when they told me to put a bubblehead charm on, I was expecting to find this place underwater. Why do I need this charm? Everything seems alright."

"The fire burned off all the oxygen. And without oxygen, you'll die, even though there's plenty of air in here. I wonder if that's the power that the Dark Lord knows not. Muggle science?"

"I would say it was a brave heart, Mr. Potter."

"No. My parents had that, and Voldemort knows -- er, knew -- that he could over come that. Perhaps it's what Luna said. Maybe it's friends?"

"Could be, Mr. Potter. Could be. Well, let's get back, the press is waiting.

He continued, "By the way, collapsing the tunnel to the Chamber wasn't part of the plan."

Harry smiled. "Back up plan. If I failed, it would have taken him a while to get out. You would have had time to prepare." Scrimgeour nodded, and they portkeyed back to the Great Hall.


"Narcissa, wake up please."

"What? Hello Severus."

"It's time to go."

"Go? Go where?"

"Someplace far away. Anyplace. It almost doesn't matter. It's over. Look at your arm."

"My dark mark is gone. It's completely gone! Does this mean. . . ?"

"Yes. He's gone for good. And we have to go, too."

"They'll be looking for us."

"Let them look. I never expected to live this long anyway."

"Will you stay with me?"



Wormtail waited until the Dark Lord was gone with the rest of the Death Eaters. He Apparated to Surrey and turned into a rat. They would never think of looking here. Right where they knew Potter wouldn't be. He was safe. He found a hole to hide in. He knew the secret, he did. As long as he didn't think about it, the pains wouldn't come. It didn't matter if he did it! As long as he didn't think it. He took a nap.

He was awakened by a terrible pain in paw. He woke up screaming and with a rat's instincts started running. His silver paw was dissolving and it was causing him excruciating pain. He ran and screamed until Mr. Tibbies, one of Mrs. Figg's part-Kneazle cats, found him and ate him.

Mrs. Figg was quite upset when she discovered Mr. Tibbies' body the next day. He had consumed some of the remains of the silver hand, which turned out to be poisonous.


Harry moved out of the Burrow and into his parent's house. He avoided most of the celebrations that accompanied Voldemort's death. He was emotionally exhausted, and contemplated not returning to school.

With the death of Professor Flitwick, the Fidelius charm ended on the house and he had Bill put it on again after he was inundated with strangers who wanted to thank him, or ask him to help them, or wanted him to give them money. He gave the secret to only the five friends who had gone to the ministry with him at the end of fifth year.

He stopped going to Neville's, and locked up the floo. He wasn't sure how he felt. Relief? Certainly. Hollowness? Definitely. Guilt? No. But happiness? He was happy that it was over, but he didn't think he was happy.

He was shaken out of his introspection by a knock at the door.

He opened the door to two large, silvery eyes.

"Hullo, Harry."

"Luna, please come in."

"You're hiding."

"No one I really wanted to see was coming around, so I changed the Fidelius. I'm just not up to meeting anyone."

"You've succeeded beyond your wildest dreams, and now you don't have any more dreams. You need new dreams, Harry."

"I used to dream about being normal. I wasn't normal before this happened, and I certainly won't be considered normal now."

"Normal is vastly overrated. Nobody's normal. Just be Harry. He's a pretty good bloke. And if that's not good enough for some people, let them eat Snogworts."

Harry laughed. "You seem to have the power to make me feel better. I don't think we would have won if you hadn't been there at certain crucial times." Luna smiled at the complement.

Harry continued, "But speaking of eating, would you like to come with me to a restaurant. I don't think I've eaten anything today."

"Go with you . . . as friends?"

"No. As maybe something more than friends."


The End


Author Note: My very great thanks to this chapter's beta readers, Swordchucks and Wombat, who in record time defeated passive voice, confusing constructs, and incorrect words. My thanks to them and all my beta readers who not only gave you a better story, but helped me become a better writer..

This has been my first long fiction in many years, and the first completed. I hope you enjoyed it, and thank you to everyone who reviewed and encouraged me. It's been hard, exciting, fun, tedious, and slow in various places. I encourage everyone to give it a try!

Tom A.