A/N: Thanks for your patience guys! Hope you enjoy the last chapter.
Harry dreamt, and the images confused him. He saw himself as an eleven-year-old battling his way through numerous tasks to reach a stone, helped by his friends Ron and Hermione. Friends? They were his caretakers, his guardians. How was it that in the dream they were the same age as him?
He saw himself a little older; saw messages in blood written on walls, diaries that had nothing in them, spiders that talked and a huge serpent chasing him through a chamber in the bowels of the castle. The words came to him, Basilisk, Chamber of Secrets, Philosopher's stone. Harry didn't understand where all these things were coming from. He longed to escape from this confusing dream and return to his normal life, but it was impossible. He was caught in the grip of the images: A rat who wasn't a rat, a werewolf, carriages of student from other schools, dragons, Cedric, the graveyard he had been in that morning, Sirius Black, the ministry, the prophecy…
Suddenly Harry remembered everything. He saw his two lives before him, and understood. The goblet he had taken that night had led to this… He had been under a spell – no, a potion – and where had that potion come from? It must have come from Voldemort. Who else would have wanted to make him and Draco young? Who else would have profited?
Harry awoke. He sat up, blinking and found himself in an office he somehow remembered, but didn't remember. Professor Dumbledore sat behind the desk, watching him.
"Sir," Harry gasped, as soon as he was able to. "Sir, it was Voldemort – he's gone; we killed him – and Draco – he killed Draco –,"
"Harry, please calm down," Dumbledore said. "If you are up to it, I must ask you to tell me what happened today."
Harry quickly related his tale and Dumbledore nodded.
"I see," he murmured, almost to himself. "So Voldemort knew about the prophecy, did he?"
"Sir, Voldemort fed us the potions; he wanted to attack us!" Harry was desperate to make Dumbledore understand this. Dumbledore however, didn't seem to notice this.
"No, Harry," he said quietly, and there was no twinkle in his eyes. "Voldemort could not have gotten close enough to feed them to you."
"But Sir, how else -,"
"It was I who gave you the potions," Dumbledore said calmly.
Harry stared at him. Dumbledore had given them the potions. Dumbledore had wanted them to be attacked. Harry backed away.
"No, Harry, you do not understand," Dumbledore said quickly. "I did not want you to get killed. I simply wished you to kill Voldemort."
Harry didn't understand. How did the potions affect his chance of defeated Voldemort?
"You might remember, Harry," Dumbledore spoke. "That last year I showed you the prophecy that caused Voldemort to hunt you down." Harry nodded, he did remember this. "I must confess that I didn't allow you to hear all of it," Dumbledore went on. "I modified it a little, cut out certain parts. It was necessary for me to do it; for if you had known what to do it wouldn't have worked. But I think, now it is time you heard the whole thing."
Dumbledore stood up and got out his pensieve from the cupboard. He prodded it once, and the figure of Professor Trelawney rose out of it, spinning around on the spot, just as Harry remembered. But the words weren't the same as the ones he had heard in June.
The ones with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approach; one born to those who support that that he must kill: one born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies; they will rise together; one shall be noticed and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not: it will be an act of great love by the two that will defeat the Dark Lord and either must die at the hands of the other, for neither can live while the other survives: so it began, so it shall end… the ones with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord…
Harry stared at Dumbledore. If anything, this had made it all the more confusing.
"Don't you understand Harry," Dumbledore said softly. "The prophecy included both of you. An act of great love… one of you had to be willing to sacrifice yourself to save the other, and when this happened the curse rebounded back upon Voldemort himself just as it did when you were a baby, but this time it would finish him. So it began, so it shall end."
"But I still don't understand," Harry began. "Why did you -,"
"Why did I give you another life with Mr Weasley and Ms Parkinson? Simple. The sacrifice had to be done out of love, not out of necessity. If I had simply told you that one of had to sacrifice yourself you would have done it for the wizarding community, not for each other. I had to create a strong bond of brotherly love between you and Draco to make this work."
Draco… Suddenly Harry was angry, angrier than he had ever been, angrier, even, that when Sirius had died and he had stood in this same office smashing things while Dumbledore simply watched.
"You told me the prophecy didn't necessarily have to happen!" He shouted. "But you did all of that to make sure it did happen, just the way you wanted it. And you got your wish. Because you didn't tell us, Draco's dead!"
"Harry," Dumbledore interrupted.
"You got what you wanted; we did have a strong bond. He was my friend; I had a whole life with him! But none of that matters to you, you just care about killing Voldemort! You don't care about the people you mess with do, do you, you just care about what they achieve in the end!"
"Harry, Draco is not dead."
Harry stopped short.
"He's – he's not?"
"But the prophecy -," Harry's mind was reeling. "It said, either must die at the hands of the other, for neither can live while the other survives. And it was right. Draco died."
"No, Harry. The prophecy was not talking about you and Draco. It was talking about the two of you – and Voldemort. Either you two or Voldemort must die, and Voldemort is gone. Draco will be fine – though he will have a rather unusual scar on his chest… Much like the one on your forehead I'd say." Dumbledore's eyes were twinkling once more.
"Can – can I see him?"
"Certainly," Dumbledore said. "I, too, wish to see him. I will accompany you down to the hospital wing."
Madame Pomfry was looking tense. Ron, Pansy, Hermione and Draco's parents were sitting at Draco's bed. Draco was arguing with his parents saying that he'd liked living with Ron and Pansy much more than with them – evidently he remembered his two lives as well. Ron, Pansy and Hermione were talking amongst themselves and all three looked worried.
Madame Pomfry looked relieved when Harry and Dumbledore entered the hospital wing.
"Headmaster," she said, hurrying up. "The boy shouldn't have any visitors, but…" She trailed off, the look in her eyes conveying the disapproval of the situation.
"Thank you Poppy," Dumbledore said gently. "But I need to speak with Harry and Draco."
"What have you done to my son?" Lucius hissed, striding up to Dumbledore. "This is your doing, these… ideas he's got in his head now."
"Lucius," Dumbledore said calmly. "I'm afraid I must ask you and Narcissa to leave for now. I need to talk to the boys."
"If you think I'm going to leave him alone with you, you're very much mistaken," Lucius spat. "I demand that you put him back the way he was before this mess!"
"I'm sorry, but that choice belongs to Draco," Dumbledore told him. "Draco, what would you like to do?"
"Stay like this," Draco said at once. "And I'm not coming home with you again, either."
Lucius made to hit his son, but Dumbledore stopped him.
"I think you'll find that if you touch the boy you'll be back in Azkaban before you know it," he said quietly.
"I am his father and that is my right," Lucius sneered.
"Not in my school," Dumbledore told him. "But if you wish to test my theory…"
Lucius made one last, angry gesture and strode out the room, Narcissa following behind. Ron, Hermione and Pansy made to leave too, but Dumbledore held up a hand.
"You three may stay," he told them. Quickly, he explained about the prophecy and why he'd given Harry and Draco the potions.
"Now, if you like," he said to Harry and Draco. "I can erase what you've felt for these past two weeks. I cannot erase your memories of it, for that would make things very confusing, but you can forget all about this and go back to how things were before it happened."
"No," both said immediately.
"I'd like to stay how I am," Draco said.
"Me too," Harry added. "I don't want to forget."
"Very well." Dumbledore stood up to go. "I must see to your parents, Draco. I'm sure they'll have plenty to say to me."
He walked out of the hospital wing and the five sixteen year-olds looked at one another. Before they had a chance to speak, Madame Pomfry came hurrying out of her office.
"Out,' she called. "Mr Malfoy needs rest. Mr Potter, I think it's better if you stay here too tonight. You three… out!"
Ron, Hermione and Pansy left, promising to be back as early as possible in morning while Harry got into a bed near Draco.
"Isn't it nice to think we'll still be sixteen when we wake up tomorrow?" Draco asked.
"Yeah." Harry smiled and looked over at his friend. "I thought you were dead. I just – well – thanks."
"No problem," Draco smiled. "You would've done it for me."
And that, Harry thought, was absolutely right.
A/N: Well, that's the end of the longest story I've ever written. Thank you so much to my reviewers and those who have followed the story all the way through, it means a lot. I was toying with the idea of writing a sequel in which Harry and Draco have to learn to cope with their new lives... What do you think? Thanks for reading!