Until We Meet Again
DISCLAIMER: I don't own the world of Harry Potter in any form, as it belongs to J.K. Rowling. However, the theory of the last Horcrux is completely my own as only I am crazy enough to even think of it.
TIMELINE: Post HBP. AU.
Harry sat down on the wet grass, putting down a bouquet of flowers beside him, letting his fingers follow the contours of the name that was carved into the stone in front of him, beside his parents' grave.
He remembered the last conversation they had had together, before they had been found. He remembered how his so carefully strategic plan had flown out the window - All because of her arrival - because she had refused to listen to him and stay behind.
He heard Hermione smack Ron in the back of his head as the redhead once again made a stupid comment about the nerd, the bookworm and the hero creeping around in the night, and Harry had to hold back a laugh. He was glad they had come with him. At first, he had wanted to go alone, but as he thought back, he realised he never would have made it this far without his two best friends.
He remembered the triumph they all had felt as they watched Hufflepuff's cup exploding in a rain of fire. He remembered the relief they felt as they found out Regulus Alphard Black was alive and had destroyed the real locket, just as he said. He remembered the sadness they felt as he died - for real this time.
He remembered when they had found the book of Rowena Ravenclaw and how Hermione had reacted that all that knowledge inside had to be destroyed. It had been rather funny, Harry thought with a laugh. Ron had had to hold back Hermione with all of his strength as Harry lifted his wand and sat the book ablaze, trying to shut out the sounds of Hermione pleading to at least get a quick look, or to get to copy the pages: A hunter of knowledge through and through.
He remembered how they had hurrayed as they realised their was only one Horcrux left, when they had destroyed Gryffindor's amulet. He remembered the sombre mood around them as they gave each other a last look, friends between, before setting out on their last expedition, straight into the nest of the enemy in hunt of the snake, Nagini.
Harry took a deep breath, almost smiling, fingering Gryffindor's sword in his hand. It was soon over. As soon as Nagini came out to hunt, they would kill her, and it would be over. Harry would only have to meet Voldemort one last time, knowing the Dark Lord was no longer immortal.
Suddenly, there was a voice right behind his ear, whispering quietly.
Harry turned around.
"Hi Gin." He turned back, before he froze and turned around again. In the darkness he could see Hermione and Ron's eyes looking at the scene wide-eyed.
"Ginny?" He hissed. "What are you doing here? Are you crazy!"
Ginny rolled her eyes.
"Not more than you are. You didn't really think you could get rid of me that easily, did you?" She grinned. "I've been following you since the beginning of the summer. I can't believe you didn't notice."
Harry could only stare dumbly at her. Now that she mentioned it, it had been times when he had thought they were being watched...
Ginny shrugged. "One of Fred and George's new inventions - invisibility candies."
"Ginny!" Ron said. "Get the bloody hell out of here!"
Hermione nodded vigorously in agreement.
"No. You're not my mother, Ron, I can do what I want, and I'm staying. I can help."
Harry didn't really know what to think. One part of his brain told him to lean over and snog her senseless and the other was agreeing with Ron. He opened his mouth to answer when a sudden light startled them all.
"Well, well, look what we have here."
It had all gone downhill from there. After being discovered by Snape, Peter Pettigrew, Bellatrix and Lucius Malfoy, they had been dragged into a big chamber, disarmed, with their arms bound behind their backs, in front of the feet of Voldemort himself.
"So," Voldemort mused. "You thought you could destroy me, did you, boy?" He chuckled evilly.
"You honestly thought I didn't know what you and your friends have been doing?" He stood up, and lifted his wand, looking down at the four friends on the floor.
"Everytime one of my Horcruxes were destroyed, I'd feel a pull in my soul, in my bones, my very being." He smiled cruelly. "Dumbledore was too ignorant, thinking that I could no longer feel it. But I did. But I let him keep destroying the pieces of my soul. Why? Easy. It was very funny, watching the old fool kill himself, bit by bit. And then you took over his mission. Things couldn't have gone better. "
He leaned down and looked Harry in the eyes.
"Because I know you cannot win. Because I know it is impossible for you to destroy the last Horcrux."
Out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw a long shadow slither out of the room. Voldemort chuckled again.
"You honestly thought I would be so see-through? That I would hide a soul of myself in a snake? Nagini is loyal, but she is still just an animal." He made a sign for his followers to leave the room. "No," he said when they were alone again. "Lord Voldemort is more ingenious than that." He started to pace around the room, his wand held tightly in his grip.
"You have a very short memory, don't you, Potter?" He asked. "I even gave you clues - or more like a part of me - as to what the last Horcrux is." He stopped pacing. "Or who the last Horcrux is."
Harry's eyes widened. The last Horcrux...it was a person? He frowned. When had Voldemort given him clues? Never, as far as he could remember.
"You truly are dense, aren't you, Potter?" Voldemort sneered. "Think. Search your mind. When was the only time you encountered a part of my soul?"
Harry frowned again. Quirell? The Triwizard Tournament? The Department of Mysteries? Then his eyes widened in realization. The chamber. The diary; the memory of Tom Riddle.
Voldemort chuckled. "Good. You're using your brain. Now can you remember what I told you that day? Or what my memory told you that day?"
Harry just looked at him strangely, and Voldemort screamed in frustration.
"Do I have to explain everything for you! I thought you were supposed to be smart!"
Harry bit his tongue to keep from saying that Hermione was the smart one, not him. The only thing Harry wanted was to keep Voldemort attention on him. Unfortunately, Ron didn't realise this.
"Hermione's the smart one," he said.
Voldemort turned his attention to Ron.
"Really?" He smiled cruelly. "So you are the loyal one," he looked Ron up and down, like he was someone on display. "And the brain." He gave Hermione a long look.
"I wonder," Voldemort mused. "If the hero no longer has his sidekicks, what happens to him then?" He lifted his wand, and Harry's eyes widened.
"NOOOOOOOO!" He screamed, but it was too late.
"AVADA KEDAVRA!" Voldemort screamed, and a body fell to the floor.
Harry stared in horror at his best friend's face, frozen in shock and fear. Beside him, he heard Hermione sob, close to breaking down, and felt Ginny shaking.
"That should teach him not open his mouth when he is not spoken to," Voldemort mused. "One sidekick down..." He turned his eyes to Hermione. "One to go. AVADA KEDVARA!"
Another thump, and Hermione's body landed beside Ron. Voldemort's thin lips twitched.
"Where was I? Oh, yes...the chamber. What my memory told you. But first...some backstory."
Harry listened as in a daze, his eyes still glued to Ron's and Hermione's dead bodies. It was his fault. He knew he shouldn't have let them come. He knew he should have gone alone.
"...you might have been lead to believe that I had already parted my soul into seven pieces when I came to your house that night," Voldemort said. "But I had not. I had planned to do it that evening, but when Pettigrew arrived with your location, I simply could not wait any longer. Little could I have known that choice would turn out to be fatal - but the consequences of it so much better." He turned his red eyes to Ginny, and Harry unconsiously moved to stand in front of her, protectively.
"My rise to power had to wait, because of it, and I had to spend years waiting without a body. But it turned out to be worth the wait. Because I could make a blow so fatal to Harry Potter, he wouldn't even realise what I had done. Not until it was too late. Of course, I counted on having a little luck on my side, and that I have." He smirked.
"Back to the Chamber. To what my memory told you. Maybe you remember, Ginny?" He smiled cruelly. "Or maybe you don't. You were, after all, quite close to death that day. What none of you know is that I planned for Harry to show up and rescue you. I even wanted you to win that day. One Horcrux for another. You destroyed the diary, unfortunately, but you saved Ginny Weasley." He turned to Harry. "The seventh and last Horcrux."
Harry's eyes widened, and he started to shake his head furiously in denial.
"Yes, it's true," Voldemort said. Slowly he started to chuckle, maniacally. "Do you remember what I told you now!" He screamed. "I grew powerful, far more powerful than little Miss Weasley. Powerful enough to start feeding Miss Weasley a few of my secrets, to start pouring a little of my soul back into her..."
He laughed, raising his hands towards the ceiling.
"Do you see now why you cannot win! Do you see it, HARRY POTTER! You cannot kill THE WOMAN YOU LOVE!"
Voldemort raised his wand and mumbled a few words and Harry found neither he nor Ginny was bound anymore. And somehow, his wand had been returned to him.
"KILL HER!" Voldemort said. "If you truly want me gone, if you truly believe of the GREATER GOOD kill her!"
Ginny's lower lip was trembling as she stared at Harry.
Voldemort smiled again.
"So powerful, love. How ironic, that the feeling that Dumbledore thought would be my downfall will turn out to be yours."
Harry turned his eyes to Voldemort, shaking with rage. Neither he nor Voldemort noticed as Ginny started to move towards the entrance, towards the sword of Gryffindor Snape had thrown there, as they disarmed them. The sword Harry had planned to decapitate Nagini with would get to kill a Horcrux tonight - only not the one they had thought it would be.
Suddenly, Ginny heard someone whisper and she turned back towards Harry and Voldemort. Harry still had his back turned to her, but Voldemort was staring straight at her, shaking his head, desperately.
"No..." the Dark Lord hissed. "NO!"
This brought Harry's attention, and he turned to stare at Ginny, his eyes widening as she lifted the sword.
"GINNY, NO!" He yelled, and he started to run towards her. Voldemort had lifted his wand.
"EXPELLIA - "
- It was too late. Ginny heaved her body down on the sword, letting out a gasp as it impaled her between her ribs. She looked down and saw how her blood flown freely down on her hands, down on Harry as he reached her, pulling her into his arms.
Ginny smiled a little, her eyelids already feeling strangely heavy.
"Hi," she said weakly. "I told you that you would have some use of me." The sword fell to the floor, as she with a last effort pulled it out. "I-I love you, Harry." She smiled, staring up in his green eyes.
His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad
"Now go kill that bastard."
Her head fell down limply, and Harry closed her eyes as if in a daze, still in shock from what had happened. He carefully put Ginny down on the floor, and turned to Voldemort, who seemed to be in the same state of shock that Harry was, but for another reason.
"Well, this was...unexpected," Voldemort said slowly. Harry lifted his wand. Voldemort did the same. It would all end tonight; one way or another, Harry didn't really care how. But one thing was for sure. Voldemort was going down.
It had all ended that night. Voldemort had died. Afterwards, the wizarding world had been in shock. Then they had started to celebrate. No one cared about the sacrifices that had been made. Ron. Hermione. Ginny. All gone. But never forgotten. Not by him.
Harry stared at the white stone in front of him. He would never forget.
"Hi, Gin." Harry said quietly, letting his hands fall down in his lap. "It's me again."
A wind blew slowly across the field, ruffling up Harry's hair, making it messier than it usually was.
His hair is as dark as a blackboard
"It's the last time I'm here for awhile. I'm...going abroad. Going to see the world. I hope you're not too angry with me for leaving."
I wish he was mine, he's really divine
"I'll always be yours, you know that, right?"
"I talked to your parents yesterday." He said slowly. "They miss you. And Ron. But they understand why you did whatyou did. They're selling the Burrow. They said they're moving down to Charlie in Romania."
He let his hands stroke the muddy ground.
"I did it. Like you wanted. I killed him. I won. And...I guess you would want me to move on too. So that's why I'm here. To say goodbye - to all of you."
He cast a quick glance at his parent's grave on the left, and Ron's grave on the right. Hermione's grave wasn't here. Her parent's had buried her in a muggle cemetery, not caring about Harry's wishes of letting her be buried beside her friends. They had been mad - were still mad - at the wizarding world that had robbed the life of their only daughter. Harry had been there earlier that day.
He stood up and left the cemetery, without looking back. A trail of orange leaves flew up from the ground by a sudden wind, and they seemed to follow him, until he reached the gate.
The hero who conquered the Dark Lord
It was not a goodbye, Harry suddenly knew. Just a farewell. Until next time.
Until we meet again.