Disclaimer: If Harry Potter were mine, it surely would not be the iconic series it is today.
A/N: Please read, review, and enjoy chapter 1! This is a re-posted, edited version (well, more like added-onto version!). Hopefully it is more coherent and descriptive; my original version was just plain pitiful. Oh, the torments of ignorance! I'm currently in the middle of renovating and updating the story itself so you will eventually find that the writing style changes here and there.
SUMMARY: As you can infer, this story follows Harry his sixth year. I posted it as Dumbledore and Harry being the main characters, considering their relationship will be a pivotal part of the story. That is not to say, however, that it'll be all lemon drops and lightning scars every chapter. Along with a DD/HP focus, I'll be developing the Snape and Harry relationship a little more (rest assured, I hate fics where SS and HP are suddenly all nice to each other after little time has passed). You'll see that after sharing a few terrifying experiences together (not gonna give anything away; you'll just have to read on), they become tolerable to each other, I guess you could say. Thirdly, there is a lot of the Golden Trio and now Ginny too. I suppose my point is this: please don't turn your back on this fic because you think the focus will be on Dumbledore and Harry all the time. This is very much a sixth year fic, as opposed to a two-man show.
~It Ends Now~
Author: AngelMoon Girl
Fandom: Harry Potter
Genre: Alternate Universe
Setting: Sixth Year
Part 1: "Attack"
Harry Potter sighed, staring out his window vacantly while brushing a stray lock of ebony hair from his face. It was dark beyond the frame, but not a star was visible in the cloudy canopy above; the sort of night where one would question their own existence under such a consuming abyss. The fifteen year old listlessly began to stroke his snowy owl, Hedwig, as warm July breeze drifted into the small bedroom. His mind slowly tread away from opines on how stifling his room was; instead, it chose to fester on heart-breaking recollections of a night similar to this one... Strange, how the utter darkness echoed his current mood! Ever since a few weeks ago, Harry felt like a hole had been viciously gouged into him. The chasm was the place Sirius once inhabited, but now his godfather was gone- gone, like his parents. Gone, like the optimism he'd once fostered about his future.
Sadness stole over Harry again, and he felt an aching loneliness wash over him. His relatives slumbered close by, but Harry had never felt so isolated from the world than he did now.
Why, Sirius? Why now? Why you? I need your strength; your comfort... I can't do this alone…
The Boy-Who-Lived got up quickly, old mattress creaking in protest. He needed to do something; *anything* but brood. Harry feared that if he did, the memories of Sirius' demise would come back, and with it that self-hating guilt. The whole summer had seen Harry moping around; often lying listlessly on his bed as his body was proverbially crushed by emotion. It wasn't until recently that the emerald-orbed one had pulled himself from severe depression, and he didn't relish in toppling back into it.
The seeker moved past the mirror, pausing as the reflection of a foreign teen caught his eye. The glass showcased a skinny- too skinny- boy of fifteen. Startling green eyes stared back at him, but they seemed... lifeless. The spark they normally held was absent; as absent as Dumbledore's twinkling had been on that awful, awful night. The night Harry's whole world fell apart.
In an effort not to relive the Department of Mysteries fiasco, Harry continued appraising the boy in the mirror. He cringed upon noticing how malnourished his ribs looked; how thin his countenance and cheekbones had become. Harry hadn't been eating a lot, preferring solitude and the silence of morning to the glares of his family. For the past two months, Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and Dudley had been completely ignoring him and the depression-like state their nephew had collapsed into. They gave him chores, which Harry did without protest. Nothing mattered anymore; what was life without Sirius? Sometimes, the arduous labor even acted as a release. Total concentration did wonders in occupying the mind.
Then, there was the little matter of the Wizarding World.
Every three days this summer, Harry sent a letter to the Order proclaiming his overall good health and spanking well-being. It was such an easy prevarication; so simple... No one ever saw the tears he leaked after a particularly realistic nightmare; no one observed his undernourishment up close... They only knew about the Harry on paper, and the Boy-Who-Lived was shipshape and on the road to recovery there. He hated people worrying over him, so it was a necessary sin to continue committing. What was the use in sharing his feelings with them? Whining over how much he hated the Dursleys was futile. It wasn't like Dumbledore would let him leave! Their talk last year had proved that.
Harry gave an enormous sigh and tumbled backwards onto his bed. Crickets lulled him into a fitful slumber as fatigue finally ensnared the boy in its clutches.
Darkness shrouded the room, obliviating all sight.
'Where am I?' Harry squinted, peering around curiously. He tried taking a few steps, but movement was limited. The boy couldn't even feel his legs; they were as solid as jelly. 'Well this is unbearably frustrating...'
Suddenly, dots of blue flared up- torches, burning on the walls in a semi-circle around Harry. He watched as a door loomed forward from up ahead, and his stomach lurched with horrible nostalgia.
The door creaked open slowly and Harry released a whimper. He watched as Sirius, body twisting and undulating like a practiced and lethal snake, swished his wand-
Dueling, with Bellatrix. Again.
'No, no, no… please, I don't want to watch anymore… Wake up! Wake up!'
"Come on, you can do better than that!" Sirius exclaimed, teasing his dangerous cousin into anger. The laughter hadn't quite died from his eyes as the jet of light hit him square in the chest. In a beautifully smooth arch, Sirius flew limp through the eerie veil. It rustled once, then fell quiescent; empty.
Sirius was gone-
Like every night this summer vacation.
Harry flew up, gasping as the covers writhed around him. Sweat clung to him like a second skin, hot and sticky. He groaned, wiping the residue away with the end of his sheets. So much for a moment of peaceful sleep...
Melancholy descended on the boy once more, and he slid out of bed and into trainers. Harry needed to get out; inhale some fresh air and clear his mind. If only he'd mastered Occlumency, then nights wouldn't be such a nuisance…
The seeker slunk down the stairs and, careful to avoid the memorized creaks that would rouse the Dursleys, Harry went outside. Again, gentle summer wind whispered through him as Harry walked swiftly down Magnolia Crescent. The easy gale felt pleasant on his face, washing away the aftereffects of his dream. Harry wandered until he reached the playground, then sat down on the same swing he had vacated the summer previous. Lymphatically, Harry glared at the ground. His thoughts began shifting from Sirius to Voldemort.
Harry's hand tightened around the chain. It was all Voldemort's fault; these deaths. The whole world's fate was on Harry's shoulders, and the load was so heavy he felt ready to suffocate at times! Why was it him? Why not someone else? How could he, a mere fifteen year old, defeat the darkest wizard of all time?
Kill Voldemort or be killed, Harry thought. Wow, what a promising future ahead of me. If possible, Harry's mood drooped even more.
A sudden rustling in the bushes caused Harry to perk up. His heart dropped straight down into his stomach, fear gnawing at the boy's insides as the plant continued swaying.
How could he have been so *stupid*? He was unprotected here; no blood wards, no nothing. And if Harry used magic again, he risked being expelled.
"Dammit," Harry hissed, rummaging around in his pockets.
It was probably nothing, the seeker tried to reassure himself. An animal; maybe a cat. Probably even Ms. Figg's; she often sent her felines on missions. Heck, maybe it was even guarding him! Anyways, since when did Voldemort stake out in bushes, then give himself away so obviously? Dark Wizards had far more intelligence than that!
Just to be on the safe side, Harry brandished his wand, stood up, and pointed it at the bushes with a steady hand. He waited for the arrival of whatever was attempting to separate itself from the thorny leaves.
Suddenly, Dudley Dursley of all people stumbled out. Harry gaped, but didn't lower his wand in suspicion. Dudley had been out earlier, but Harry would've thought he'd have returned home as he slept. What time was it? The fat boy tripped towards Harry, a malodor of beer lingering on the boy's clothes and off his breath.
"Dudley… you're drunk!" Harry realized aloud. Wait until his Aunt and Uncle found out what their precious Diddykins was doing by moonlight, he thought gleefully.
"What's it to you?" Dudley asked in slurred tones, still lumbering onward toward his scrawny cousin. Harry held his ground, not flustered in the slightest. It would be easy to take on an inebriated Dudley.
"Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia will *kill* you!" Harry couldn't help the uppity undertone. But then again, Vernon and Petunia would probably believe Dudley over Harry. He frowned. Oh, crushed dreams.
"Not before I kill you!" Dudley cried, lunging at Harry. The attack was so unexpected that Harry failed to move fast enough. Dudley's whale-like figure slammed into him, fist going back and then connecting with Harry's stomach- hard. Harry grunted, half-surprised and half-winded. He clutched the offending area, gasping for breath and stumbling backward. Balance lost the war and Harry met ground painfully, unable to prevent his wand from escaping his grip. The only weapon available to Harry landed a foot or two away, far from the dorsicumbent one's reach.
Harry tried to grope around for it dazedly, but then Dudley was upon him once again with renewed punches.
"Dudley," Harry choked. He tried to shield his face, but ended up only shattering his glasses. Incarnadine liquid sprayed from spots near his clenched lids, where glass had embedded itself. "Dudley... s-stop!"
But Dudley's glazed eyes were mad and insane, the alcohol enveloping his features and speech.
Harry cried out, sure some ribs had broken. But Dudley didn't stop there- his fist found Harry's nose and it burst, blood seeping out each nostril.
"STOP!" A rush of power shot through Harry, and Dudley howled. He jumped off the teen as if having been scalded. The young wizard stumbled up, only thought being of escape. Unfortunately for Harry, a drunk Dudley did not give up as easily as his sober counterpart. Where before a magical shock like that would have sent Dudders running to his Mummy, now Dudley rushed at Harry in renewed fury. He gave Harry a hard push, and next thing the scarred one knew, his head had connected with the swing. It flew back and swung forward again to hit him twice. Harry bit his lip in pain, shivering at the terrible sensation of blood seeping down his nape. More power fizzed through his veins, this time fiercer. It was the same feeling as when Uncle Vernon had been unable to hold him last summer. Dudley yelped as the current in Harry exploded, eyes wide with fright. The fifteen year old's last sight was that of his cousin, bolting homeward, as his vision erupted into red.
Hurting all over, the Boy-Who-Lived managed to pull himself up. He staggered forward, whole body shaking with effort. Harry got in a few steps before crumpling next to his wand. He grasped it desperately, vision blurring into crimson a second time. He realized he could only see out of one eye; the opposite spectacle lens was gone. Belatedly, the boy wondered if the red blocking his sight was blood.
And then, pain seared through his forehead; an agony quite unconnected with the rest of the burning he felt. A wave of fear passed over Harry.
Somehow, *he* knew. And he was coming…
Harry clambered up and swayed, then began to walk forward, each step seeming to zap a little strength out of him. 'Got to get to the Dursleys,' Harry thought. 'I'd rather face ten Dudleys than one Voldemort… '
Harry passed through an alleyway; the very same alleyway he had fought the dementors in the summer previous.
"Hurry, hurry," he moaned, but Harry's legs failed him just as they had in his nightmare. The boy collapsed, flagging knees unable to hold him up any longer. Panting and breathing raggedly, a coughing spell overcame the boy and he hacked violently. Blood spurted out of his mouth, accompanied by an unbearable pain rising in his chest. Harry leaned against the wall, trying to find comfort in the solidity of it.
A dim fog was trying to overpower his body. Through it, Harry discerned a high-pitched, cruel laughing.
Was he reliving Fourth Year, in the graveyard? But no; his scar ached worse than ever; it was a sledgehammer slashing through his head. Harry's senses went acute and he knew with dreadful certainty that it was too late to do anything.
Standing above him, with blood-red eyes, snake-like skin, and slit nostrils, stood Lord Voldemort. His wand was pointed straight at Harry's heart, and a look of pure joy gleamed off his countenance.