Disclaimer: I do not nor will I ever own the Harry Potter story, characters, villains, heroes, and creatures. I also sadly do not make any money off this story. Trust me; my bank account cannot lie about that.
A/N: Hello All! I wanted to let you know that there are two endings to this story. I couldn't make up my mind which one to use, so I posted them both. (grin) Enjoy!
Summary: Harry has to make a sacrifice in order to help his friends and family. Will he be able to do it and if so, what will it be?
Warnings: Angst, AU,
RAVEN OF THE BATTLE
Hermione ran into the Gryffindor common room, panting, her expression afraid and determined. Harry and Ron looked at her with surprise before concern filled their faces.
"Hermione, what is it?" Harry asked.
"Voldemort is approaching Hogwarts. He's leading a contingent of three hundred Death Eaters, werewolves, vampires and around twenty trolls," she informed him.
The common room was silent for a moment before someone screamed with terror. Harry stood up, glanced around common room, his expression determined. "All right, first years through fifth year, you know what to do. Make your way towards the tunnels. Sixth year and seventh year, those of who are in the DA or can fight, make your way towards the Great Hall. If you choose not to fight, then follow the younger students. Dean, I want you to lead them down and then meet us in the Great Hall when you're done. Do this just as we planned. Go on, get going," Harry commanded.
The room erupted into chaos. People were scrambling around, gathering the things that they wanted to take. The young first years were crying with fear, and the older students tried to console them. Luckily, though the students were afraid, they knew what to do. Harry was proud of his house. They had practiced this long and hard, and there was no way that the students were going to be harmed. Dumbledore had taken it upon himself to make a tunnel underneath Hogwarts that would lead the students out of the school if Voldemort were to attack Hogwarts. No one knew exactly where the tunnel was or where it led, as the Headmaster didn't want Voldemort to find out, but everyone knew to meet the house-elves in the dungeons.
Professor McGonagall entered the Gryffindor common room, her face stern. She looked around and nodded with approval as she saw her students getting ready to leave. She gazed at Harry, her eyes serious as she realized that this was it. This was the Final Battle. Voldemort was coming after them with everything that he had. She hadn't told Harry that Dumbledore wanted her to detain the boy. He feared that if they didn't defeat Voldemort's army, then there would be no one left to destroy the Dark Lord. Making sure that Harry was locked up somewhere while the battle raged would make the young seventh year angry, but he would be alive to lead whatever was left of the Order. She just hoped that things worked out tonight. She wasn't ready to die.
"Mr. Potter!" she called.
The messy haired boy turned and looked at her, a question on his face. "Come with me, please. Miss Granger, Mr. Weasley, make your way to the Great Hall and meet up with the rest of the DA and the Order. I'm afraid that it has come time to fight," she informed them.
They glanced at Harry and he nodded. They hugged him briefly, their expressions solemn. Harry knew that this could be that day that one of them or all of them died. He swallowed the ball of fear that caught in his throat.
"Remember your training," Harry told them hoarsely.
"We will," Hermione replied.
Harry nodded. "Be careful. I want you alive after this is over. We still have things to do," he said.
"Of course, Harry," Ron stated. "You have yet to beat me at chess. You can't die until that happens," he smirked.
Harry chuckled and Hermione rolled her eyes. "Come on, Ron. We need to get going." She looked at Harry, tears in her eyes. "You be careful as well."
Harry grinned sadly. "Always," he replied.
They nodded and left the common room. It was quiet. The other students had left as Hermione, Ron and Harry talked. Harry looked around, his gaze sad as he realized that some of the older students wouldn't be coming back.
"Mr. Potter," McGonagall said, gaining Harry's attention.
"Sorry, Professor. I was lost in thought."
"I understand. If you would follow me, the Headmaster wanted me to show you something that he thinks might help you," she informed him as they left the common room.
Harry glanced at her curiously. "Oh? What?"
She frowned, her face flickering with an emotion he couldn't describe. "I'm not sure. He didn't tell me," she said primly.
Harry looked at her oddly, but followed the Transfiguration Professor down the hallway. Several minutes later, she stopped in front of a door, opened it, and entered the room. Harry followed, looking around curiously. He frowned. What was in the room that was so important? It looked like any other room at Hogwarts.
"Professor? What am I supposed to be looking for?" he asked.
"I'm sorry, Harry. It wasn't my choice. The Headmaster told me to do this. Forgive me," McGonagall said softly.
Harry whirled around, his expression surprised when his Transfiguration Professor stunned him. McGonagall looked down at the Wizarding World's savior and sighed. "You have every right to fight tonight, but the Headmaster wants you to survive to fight another day. I'm sorry, Harry. I truly am." She shook her head sadly and left the room.
Twenty minutes later, the spell wore off and Harry got up off the floor with a groan. He was angry. "What the hell is going on?" he yelled.
He walked over to the door and tried to open it, but it was locked. He pulled out his wand, pointed it at the door, and said, "Alohomora." Nothing happened. "Damn it!"
"Dumbledore!" Harry screamed. "Let me out, you bastard. You can't do this! Let me out!" He banged on the door, hoping to catch someone's attention, but nothing happened.
Growling with frustration, he whirled away from the door and looked around the room. It was a suite. It looked like any other Professors' room in Hogwarts. There was a desk in the corner and a parchment rested on top of it. Curious, Harry walked over to the desk and picked up the parchment.
My dear boy, I am so sorry to do this to you. I know you want to fight, but I have a feeling tonight. I doubt that we will survive Voldemort's onslaught. With that in mind, I had to make the difficult choice of hiding you. I know that this will anger you and I have no doubt that you will hate for doing this, but if we don't survive tonight, the Wizarding World is going to need you even more. You are the only one who can destroy Voldemort.
Please don't hate me for this, but I will understand if you do. We will lose many tonight. The world will be thrown into chaos, and the Order will be leaderless. You will have to take up the reins for I have a feeling I won't be alive to do so.
Harry, you are precious to me. I consider you my grandson and I love you dearly. This choice was hard to make, but know that I do it with love in my heart.
I must go. I have a feeling that I will see you after tonight.
May you lead us into the light,
Harry cried tears of anger, pain, and loss. He couldn't understand why Dumbledore wouldn't let him fight. It was his battle. He wasn't a Leader. He wouldn't able to lead the Order. What had the old man been thinking? A flash of light outside the window caught his attention and he ran over to see what was going on.
He moaned with despair as he saw that the battle with Voldemort was raging in full swing. Hermione and Ron were out there, without him. They could be killed while he was locked up here. "Let me out. I need to be out there. Only I can defeat Voldemort. You know this, Dumbledore!" he screamed as he pounded on the window. He screamed with rage as he saw Neville fall to the ground, hit by the Avada Kedavra curse. Tears fell from his eyes as students he taught in the DA were falling, along with the Order, the Aurors, and even the Death Eaters. People were dying, and he couldn't do anything to stop it.
"Please, let me out! I need to be out there. Please, someone!" Harry yelled with desperation. "I'll give anything, just let me out!" He slammed his hand against the window, trembling with rage and pain.
Time seemed to freeze. Nothing was moving. The Witches and Wizards on the ground weren't moving, and curses were frozen in mid cast. Harry looked on, bewildered by what he was seeing.
"What's happening?" he wondered aloud.
"Would you really give anything to save them?" a voice asked behind him.
Harry whirled around, his wand out, ready to curse whoever had snuck up on him. His eyes widened and his mouth gaped open as his eyes beheld the glowing figure before him. She was tall and her figure willowy. She had long blood-red hair, and her eyes were silver with speckles that reminded Harry of stars. Her face was stern, though her eyes were kind and fierce. In one hand, she carried two spears and on her shoulder sat a large raven, who stared at him with red eyes. Harry could feel the power flowing off her and he took a step back, realizing that this woman was no ordinary Witch.
"Who are you?" Harry whispered, his gaze wary.
"I am Morrigan, Goddess of War, Death, and Prophecy."
Harry swallowed hard. He was facing a Goddess; something he didn't really think existed. He wondered what it was that she wanted. There was no way that he would survive if she decided to take his life.
"Be at peace, child. I am not here to take your life, but to offer you a chance to end this war," Morrigan informed him.
"I can give you the power to destroy your enemies as was foretold in your prophecy," Morrigan said.
Harry's eyes widened. "The power he knows not," he breathed.
Morrigan smiled. "Yes. As it was foretold, you would find the power that you didn't know about and with it, you would destroy Voldemort. I am here to offer you that power."
Harry grinned wildly before a thought struck him. He stared at the Goddess, his eyes wary. "What's the price?" he asked.
"Your life," she told him gently.
The messy haired young man took a step back, his face filled with fear. "I'm not ready to die," he whispered.
Morrigan reached out and touched his face gently, trailing a finger down his cheek. "You knew that there was a chance that you wouldn't survive your confrontation with Voldemort tonight. What makes this any different?" she asked.
Harry closed his eyes as he realized that she was right. He didn't expect to live tonight. Hell, he was surprised that he was alive after all the other confrontations with Voldemort. However, to know that he was going to die scared him. He thought a moment before sighing. His death would mean that his friends and those he considered family would live. It would be safe for future children to come to Hogwarts; at least until the next Dark Lord arose. Could he give his life in order to protect those whom he loved? Hermione, Ron, Remus, Dumbledore, the Weasleys, could he die for them?
He looked up at the Goddess, his face determined. "If I can save my loved ones, and destroy Voldemort, then I accept. I give you my life for theirs."
Morrigan smiled gently. "As I knew you would, Harry Potter. There must be a balance."
Harry nodded with understanding. "That's all right. At least I'll see Sirius and my parents soon," he responded.
"As a token of your promise, I need a blood offering," she said as she held out a lovely silver dagger carved with crows.
Harry gulped as he took the dagger. Breathing in deeply to fortify himself, he cut his palm and the blood fell to the floor. "I offer you my blood as token of my sincerity."
"Accepted," Morrigan replied. She glowed brightly and the blood that fell to the ground turned silver. It rose off the ground and hovered in front of Harry. Morrigan reached out and scooped the blood with her hand. Moving closer to Harry, she dipped a finger in the silver blood and marked Harry's face. She ran her finger down his scar, covering it, and drew a small crow in the middle of his forehead. With a flicker of her hand, the blood that Harry spilled, flowed back into his body, and he began to glow. The Goddess leaned forward and kissed Harry on the forehead, her lips moving as she whispered something was unable to hear.
Harry screamed as power filled him.
Dumbledore stared out the window of his office. He knew that he wouldn't survive the night. He could feel it in his bones. He sighed, relieved that his end was near and he could finally rest, but saddened by those who he would leave behind. The Wizarding World would need a new Leader. Someone who could give them hope if things didn't work out tonight. He smiled sadly, knowing that Harry would hate him for what he had done, but Harry needed to survive and the odds didn't look good for them tonight. He had told Dobby that when the battle ended and if Voldemort won, the house-elf was to take Harry to a secret place that was well protected. From there, Harry would be able to help those who had survived the battle.
McGonagall entered the office and Dumbledore looked at her, a question on his face. "Is it done?"
The stern woman nodded. "Yes, it's done."
Dumbledore walked away from the window and stood in front of his old friend. "Then I guess its time to join the others."
"Albus, I..." McGonagall began.
The wizened old wizard reached out, grabbed her hand gently, and patted it. "I know, my old friend. And I you," he replied.
McGonagall swallowed, tears in her eyes. They both knew that the night would be long and many would die, she just hoped that they would prevail. Dumbledore pulled her arm through his and they walked out of the office, making their way down to the Great Hall. They entered the chaotic hall, and were gladdened to see their allies that they had smuggled into the school throughout the last couple of weeks. Rumors of Voldemort's attack had been floating around, and without Severus there to confirm it, they had to guess as to when it would happen.
Dumbledore felt sadness flow through him as he thought of his friend. Severus had been revealed as a spy and was tortured, then murdered, his body left outside the gates of Hogwarts. He missed the man who he had considered a son, and knew that he would be seeing him soon.
"Dumbledore," a voice cried out and the old wizard looked up. Arthur Weasley was hurrying over to him, panting from the exertion. "Everything has been prepared. The Order and the Aurors are ready. The Centaurs are guarding the Forbidden Forest and promise that no Death Eater will get through. The house-elves have led the children through the tunnels, and those who wanted to defend Hogwarts will be back soon. Our contingent of Werewolves stand at the ready with Remus ready to lead them. Draya is ready to lead his Vampires into battle. Hagrid informed me that the Giants in the Forbidden Forest are ready when the sign is given. We stand ready to fight," he informed him.
"Good, good. What about the DA?" Dumbledore asked gently.
Arthur sighed. "They are only waiting for Harry to lead them."
Dumbledore shook his head. "Harry is going to be detained for the moment. He is doing something for me. Ron will have to lead."
"Ron?" Arthur asked, his eyes filled with fear.
"I know you fear for you son, Arthur, but he's a powerful Wizard. He'll do fine. He's the one who is in charge of the strategies. He'll be a good leader," Dumbledore reassured him.
Arthur nodded. "All right, I'll tell him." He smiled wanly and walked way, looking for his son.
"Did you detain the boy?" a harsh voice asked beside him.
"Yes, Minerva locked him in the room. I hope I'm doing the right thing, Moody," Dumbledore sighed.
"You are. If things go all to hell, then the Wizarding World is going to need Harry to lead them."
"I know, but what if Harry doesn't want to lead them if everyone he loves dies tonight?" the Headmaster asked fretfully.
"Maybe, but it's the chance we'll have to take."
Dumbledore nodded. He knew that. There had to be hope for the Wizarding World.
Tonks walked up the Headmaster, a grim look on her face. "They are outside the wards, Headmaster."
The old Wizard sighed. "Very well, move everyone into position. We have a battle to go to." Dumbledore looked around one last time and sighed. It was time.
The battle had been raging for over thirty minutes. There were bodies all over the grounds of Hogwarts; Human, Vampire, Werewolf, and even few House-elves who had decided that they wanted to do more than just protect Hogwarts. The grounds were slick with blood, and one could hear the moaning and screams of the injured.
Dumbledore's expression was fierce as he battled one Death Eater after another. With Minerva at his side, they cut through Voldemort's defenses. Years of working together had made them a great team and many a Death Eater fell before them.
"Albus, to your right," Minerva called.
Dumbledore swung around and ducked just a spell flew towards him. He snarled angrily and cast a spell toward the masked man. It hit the Death Eater in the chest and he went down. They continued to fight until suddenly Minerva was hit with a spell and she fell to the ground. Dumbledore rushed over to his friend, looking around warily and saw no one around. "Are you all right?" he asked urgently.
Minerva nodded. "I'm fine. It just caught me by surprise."
He helped her up off the ground and was surprised when he looked up and found them surrounded by Death Eaters. His eyes narrowed as he saw Voldemort stalk towards him, his red eyes gleaming malevolently.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here?" he hissed.
"Tom," Dumbledore greeted, his eyes wary.
"My name is Lord Voldemort," the Dark Lord yelled.
"Of course it is, Tom," the Headmaster replied benevolently.
Voldemort hissed, his eyes filled with rage. "Crucio," he said. The spell hit Dumbledore and the old man fell to the ground, convulsing with pain. Minerva repressed a sob, refusing to beg the Dark Lord to stop, knowing that it would only increase his enjoyment of the torture.
The Dark Lord released the spell, and Dumbledore lay on the ground, panting. He looked up at Voldemort, his eyes hard. "You can kill me, Tom, but you won't win. You might even win this battle, but you will still lose in the long run."
Voldemort sneered. "Pathetic words from a pathetic man. I am the most powerful Wizard alive, and there isn't anything you can do to stop me. Now, where is Potter? None of my Death Eaters can find him on the battlefield. Tell me, and I'll make your death quick," he encouraged.
Dumbledore struggled to stand, his eyes serene. "He's hidden, Tom. You won't be able to find him. You can kill me, but you'll still have Harry to contend with," he said smugly.
"That boy isn't a threat to me," Voldemort snarled. "He will be killed as well. Nothing will stand in my way."
"According to the Prophecy, he can and will," the old wizard stated. He smiled serenely at the rage that filled the Dark Lord's face. He was puzzled as Voldemort's face filled with mirth.
"If he is such a threat to me, then why isn't he here? Why is he hiding from me? Is he scared? Does the Boy Who Lived fear me?" he asked, a wicked grin on his face.
There were gasps around the battlefield and Dumbledore looked around, realizing that everyone had stopped fighting and stared at them. He realized that maybe leaving Harry locked up might not have been the best choice. He could see the looks of betrayal and fear on their faces as they realized that their Savior wasn't with them.
"Harry isn't a coward, snake-face," Ron yelled. "He has more courage in this little finger than anyone here. I don't where he is, but you can be damn sure it wasn't by his choice."
There were murmurs of agreement from the students who formed the DA. They knew what kind of man their leader was. There was no way that Harry left them. Harry Potter wasn't a coward.
"Thank you, Ron. Your endorsement has made my day," a voice rang across the battlefield.
Everyone's head turned and gasped as a glowing figure walked towards them. Harry Potter stared at them, a smirk on his face. His green eyes glowed with power and there was a caricature of a crow on his forehead. His scar glowed silver, and his hair moved as power rushed over his body. Sitting on his shoulder was raven, its red eyes staring at everyone with a superior expression on its little face. Harry held a spear in one hand, and his other held a dagger. His expression was serene as he gazed at gazed at those on the battlefield.
He walked up to Dumbledore and lifted him off the ground gently. "You know, I really should be mad at you for locking me in that room, but if you hadn't, I wouldn't have found the key to destroying Voldemort."
"I'm sorry, my boy. I just thought to protect you," Dumbledore informed him tiredly. He gazed at Harry, an expression of delight and awe on his face.
"Its fine, Headmaster. You're forgiven," Harry assured the old man.
"Potter!" Voldemort hissed, his eyes wide as he took in his nemesis.
Harry looked over at the Dark Lord, his face grim. "Hello, Tom," he greeted. "I hear you've been looking for me. I'm afraid I was a little distracted."
"It's good that you're here. I wanted to have the pleasure of killing you."
"I'm sorry to disappoint you, Tom, but tonight, I'm not the one who is going to die," Harry stated.
Voldemort's eyes narrowed. "That is true," he replied. In a flash, he lifted his wand, pointed it at Dumbledore, and yelled, "Avada Kedavra." The spell sped towards the Headmaster and cries of horror filled the air as the Order realized that Dumbledore was going to die.
Harry stepped in front of the Headmaster and the spell hit him. Those on the battlefield were silent as they realized that Harry Potter had been hit with the Killing Curse. Voldemort chuckled as he realized that Potter had sacrificed himself for the old man. He gasped as Potter looked at him, his expression amused. "Wow. That tickled."
"What? How!" Voldemort shrieked.
"It is my destiny to destroy you, Tom. I tire of this," Harry stated. He lifted the spear and threw it at the Dark Lord. Voldemort tried to step aside, but the spear hit him and entered his body, disappearing in a flash of light.
Voldemort froze, fear filling his eyes. A moment passed then he began to chuckle. "It seems that it didn't work," he hissed, his eyes filled with malicious glee.
Harry smirked as he raised the danger in his hand. He cut it across his palm and blood flowed from the wound. He raised his hands in the air and called out, "Morrigan, Goddess of Death, War, and Prophecy, I call upon you to receive my offering. Destroy my enemy. Take his soul and may you judge him accordingly."
"Accepted," a feminine voice rang out. A bright light filled the battlefield and a flock of crows appeared, making their way towards the Dark Lord. They flew around him, and Voldemort screamed with terror. The crows flew around him faster and faster until a funnel of wind surrounded the Dark Lord. The funnel rose into the air, climbing higher and higher, taking with Voldemort with is. His screams were growing fainter the farther away he got. There was a flash of bright light and the crows and Voldemort were gone.
It took a second for those on the ground to realize that the Light had won. A cheer filled the air and the Dark Lord's army tried to escape, but with a wave of his hand, Harry bound and gagged them. He waked over to the blonde-haired man lying on the ground and smirked. "You look a little uncomfortable," he said.
Lucius Malfoy glared up at him. Harry squatted down and reached for his arm. He lifted it and placed his hand on the Dark Mark, closing his eyes in concentration. His hand glowed and there was a whoosing sound and everyone could hear the muffled screams of the Death Eaters. A few minutes later, Harry took his hand off the Dark Mark and dropped the arm. "Enjoy!" he said cheerfully. "You sentence for following Voldemort is to become a squib. Your magic is gone. Enjoy your stay in Azkaban." The remaining Aurors began to gather up the bound Death Eaters, a satisfied look on his face.
"Harry?" Dumbledore asked. "What did you do to them?"
"I destroyed their magical cores. Every Death Eater is now a squib. It was their punishment for their foolish decisions," Harry pronounced loudly. There was a moment of silence before another cheer filled the air. They didn't have to worry about the Death Eaters any longer. There would be a few years of peace at least.
"What about the non-human members of Voldemort's army?" Arthur asked. He, Ron, and Hermione had walked up to Harry and they gathered around him.
"There isn't much they can do. They're nothing without the Dark Lord. Let their own race deal with them," Harry told them.
Hermione threw herself into his arms. "Harry! I'm so glad you're all right," she exclaimed tearfully.
"Yeah, me too," Ron said. He looked at his friend warily. "So, er…what happened? Why are you all glowy and powerful?"
Hermione pulled back, her expression curious. Harry felt a twinge of pain as he realized that he would be leaving his friends. He knew it was worth saving their lives, but it still hurt. He looked over at Ron and the redhead's pleasant expression disappeared as he gazed at Harry. He looked concerned, and a little scared.
"Harry?" Ron asked. "What is it? What's going on?"
"I'm sorry," Harry said, his eyes filled with regret. "I needed to do it. I needed to save you guys. She offered and I accepted. I'm so sorry," he whispered.
"What is it, Harry? What's wrong?" Hermione demanded, her face filled with fear.
"His life is mine," a female voice said.
The group turned and stared at the Goddess who stood before them. "Morrigan," Dumbledore breathed, his face filled with shock. He looked over at a sad Harry and whispered, "No."
Harry gazed at the Headmaster and nodded. "My life for yours and the chance to defeat Voldemort. The Goddess offered it to me and I took it after much thought. I already expected to die tonight, so when she offered a choice, I decided to take it. You have survived and you'll live on in relative peace. Me, I'll be with my parents and Sirius," he explained sadly.
"No," Hermione denied. She shook her head. "No, you can't. I won't allow this. You destroyed Voldemort. He's gone. You should be able to live your life. This is wrong," she stated, her voice hysterical.
Harry sighed. "Morrigan was kind enough to allow me the opportunity to say goodbye. I should have disappeared when Voldemort did, but I wanted to take care of the Death Eaters as well. I know that you don't want to hear this, and I know that you think it's unfair, but it was my choice. I chose to give my life for all of you. I love all of you and it would've pained me to have anyone of you die."
"And you don't think it pains us to know that you're dead as well?" Remus demanded. He had joined the group just before Morrigan showed herself. "You can't die. You're the last of my Pack. What will I do without you?" he whispered.
Harry smiled. "I'm not the last of your pack. You have Ron and Hermione. You have the Weasleys, and Dumbledore. There are people here who consider you family. You won't be alone. Not if you don't let yourself be," he said. He reached over and pulled the trembling werewolf into a hug. "I'll miss you," he whispered. "But I'll be watching over you, just as Sirius and my parents are. Love you, Moony."
The werewolf sobbed briefly and pulled back. "I love you as well, cub," he sighed.
Dumbledore looked at him, his expression serene. "I understand your choice, Harry. In fact, I myself am not long in this world. I hope when my time comes, we'll meet again."
"Me too," Harry said and hugged the old wizard. "Take care of Hermione and Ron for me. This is going to be hard on them."
Dumbledore nodded. Harry looked around and saw that word must've spread about the choice he had made. His life for the lives of his friends and family. The students that he had taught stared at him, tears in there eyes. They bowed with respect with they saw him glancing at them. Harry smiled and returned the bow. They turned and walked off the battlefield, crying at the fact that their friend would soon be dead.
One by one, the Weasleys, his teachers, Dean and Seamus, Kingsley, Tonks and McGonagall came to say their goodbyes. Harry's heart filled with joy as he realized how many friends he had made and how many had cared for him. It also filled him with pain as he realized that he was going to miss them greatly.
Finally, everyone had said their goodbyes, and it was only him, Hermione, Ron and Morrigan. The Goddess smiled and stepped aside, knowing that this goodbye was going to be the hardest. Harry smiled his thanks and stepped towards his friends.
"I guess this is it," Harry said, choking on his tears. "I knew it was going to be hard, I just didn't know it was going to be this hard. I'm going to miss you guys, but I'm okay with it now. You're alive, and you'll be together. All I ask is name a kid after me, will ya?" he asked, grinning.
Hermione burst into tears and threw herself at Harry. She sobbed as Harry pulled her closer. He looked over at his best friend, and held out a hand. Ron stared at him a moment, his face filled with pain and anger, before breaking down and pulling them into a hug.
"I'm sorry I won't be able to play another chess game with you, Ron," Harry whispered.
Ron choked then began to sob. Harry held them and cried with them. When the tears finally stopped flowing, he hugged them once again and took a step back. "I have never had better friends than you two. You are everything to me, and I want you to know that I love you both so much. Remember me when I'm gone," he requested.
Ron nodded, tears filling his eyes, holding a sobbing Hermione. "Goodbye, mate," Ron said.
"Goodbye, you prat," Harry replied affectionately.
"Harry," Hermione moaned. "It's not fair."
"Maybe not to you, but to me, it was a good bargain. I love you, Mione," Harry said softly as he bent forward and kissed her on the forehead. Hermione nodded and turned towards Ron, burying her face into his chest.
"Are you ready, child?" Morrigan asked, walking up to stand next to him.
Harry nodded. "As ready as I'll ever be."
Morrigan smiled and took his hand. Harry gave his friends one last glance and with a flash of light, they were gone.
Hermione sighed as she skimmed through the rows of used books. She was bored. Ron was in London on a job for the Aurors, and she had decided to use her time alone to find herself some new books. So far, she hadn't really found anything. She guessed that after all these years in the Wizarding World, Muggle bookstores didn't really hold a lot of interest for her anymore.
Life had been hard for her since the final battle six years ago. She hadn't been able to get past Harry's death. It was hard to accept that Harry had willing chose to die in order to save theirs. She was filled with guilt, thinking that she should've died in his place. She frowned as she remembered the chaos the Wizarding World had been in when they found out about Harry Potter's sacrifice. Minister Fudge had done a large expose on it, putting a personal spin on it to make it look like Harry had sacrificed himself for the Minister.
There was outrage from Harry's friends and family and they had demanded a retraction of the article. There was no way that they were going to let Harry's sacrifice be used as a publicity stunt for the Minister. Fudge had refused, and Harry's friends were angry. Mysteriously, after that, photos had appeared on the desk of the Daily Prophet's Chief Editor that showed the Minister having a meeting with several Death Eaters, including one Lucius Malfoy. There had been enough suspicion cast on the Minister that he forced to step down. When asked where the photos had come from, the Chief Editor had shrugged and said that a large raven had delivered them.
Those who had been on the battlefield and had seen Harry and the Goddess smirked. They knew where the photos had come from and they had given their thanks to Goddess.
The years passed and there was relative peace. With no Dark Lord, and no Death Eaters, the Witches and Wizards were no longer afraid. There was a sudden influx of marriages and the birth rate shot up. The Wizarding World seemed to be making up for those who had died in war.
Hermione and Ron had finally stopped dancing around and made it official two years after the war ended. Their first son was born a year later, and true to their word, they named the little redheaded boy, Harry. What amazed them were the bright emerald green eyes that he had. No one in either family had green eyes and color reminded them of Harry. Ron had said it was a blessing from Harry or the Goddess, and Hermione, usually the skeptic, had to agree.
Dumbledore had died three years after the war. He lasted long enough to see young Harry Sirius born before passing on. Even to the end, the Headmaster had been cheerful, his eyes twinkling. His funeral had been huge as Witches and Wizards from all over came to say their goodbyes. Ron joked that now that the Headmaster was gone, he would be bothering Harry with his manipulations. Hermione smiled fondly as she remembered the image that had passed through her mind at the comment. She could just imagine Harry rolling his eyes at the Headmaster's antics, a fond look in his eyes. She hoped that they were together. The Headmaster hadn't been the same since Harry died.
Ron had become an Auror, and Hermione had found a place with a research company that developed new Potions. She was one of the few students who Snape had taught to make the Wolfsbane potion and it was in great demand since the Werewolf laws were repealed. A werewolf could now marry, have kids, and hold a job. The werewolves had the same rights as every other Witch or Wizard. The only condition is that they had to take the Wolfsbane potion. Lupin Labs were created to market and deliver the Wolfsbane potion at a reasonable price. Thanks to Harry, Remus had inherited enough money that when the laws were done away with, he was able to start the company. Not only did they make the Wolfsbane, they were looking for a cure as well. It hadn't been found yet, but they were making tremendous strides in potions that helped with the pain of transformation and the after effects. Remus was doing better than he had in years.
Hermione was brought out of her thoughts by something hitting her legs. She looked down and grinned when she saw a three-year-old boy sitting on the floor. She squatted down to check him out. "I'm sorry," she said. "I didn't see where you were going."
The little boy looked up at her and Hermione gasped. The little boy's bright green eyes twinkled as he grinned up at her merrily. It was impossible. Harry was dead. Yet, here was a little boy with Harry's eyes and his messy black hair. If she looked hard enough, she could see Harry in this boy. The nose and chin was all Harry.
"Hewo," the little boy said cheerfully.
"Hello," Hermione replied, her mind racing with thoughts and possibilities.
"Ronald James Potter, you get your skinny little butt back here," a woman's voice yelled.
Hermione felt faint. It couldn't be, but the name of the little boy was another clue to the possibility that Harry was alive. But how?
"I'm sorry, mummy," Ronald said, looking sad.
A tall redheaded woman had walked up to them and looked down at the little boy, her face impatient before glancing at Hermione. "I'm so sorry for my son. I hope he didn't hurt you," she said, concerned.
Hermione shook her head and the woman looked down at little boy, her expression stern. "What did I tell you about running around the store?" she demanded, her brown eyes twinkling with kindness and laughter.
"Ummm…not to?" Ronald questioned cutely.
The woman sighed and shook her head with fond exasperation. "Wait until your father gets back from lunch. I can't chase after you and mind the store. If you can't behave, then I'm just going to have to drop you off at Nana's house."
"Nooo," Ronald wailed. "I be good. I stay wif you." His eyes filled with tears and his little chin trembled.
"Oh, don't you cry. Fine, but if I have to tell you one more time, then no more. You'll stay at Nana's house and like it," she said.
Ronald nodded his head eagerly and raced towards his mother, throwing his arms around her legs. "Tank you, mummy," he said, his eyes wide with innocence.
"God," she moaned. "I'm such a sucker. You're father gives me the same look."
Hermione watched the little boy and realized that the look he was giving his mother was all Harry as well. She swallowed hard and was about to approach the woman when she heard an unmistakable voice.
"What has my little Ronnie done now?" a male voice asked jovially.
"Daddy," Ronald cried and ran towards the man who was walking towards them.
Hermione whimpered as she watched Harry Potter pick up his son and throw him in the air. There he was, her best friend -- a man who was supposed to be dead for the last six years. How was this possible? They had all seen him disappear. Was it all a ruse? Did he use the opportunity to disappear from the Wizarding World? If so, then why stay in Britain? Why not go somewhere where he couldn't be found? These thoughts raced through her head as she stared at her best friend. The years had been good to him. His green eyes twinkled with humor and warmth, and his hair had grown to mid back. He had filled out, his shoulders broader than they were six years ago. He grew a couple of more inches and he was built. All in all, he looked good.
"So, what did he do?" Harry asked the redheaded woman.
"Husband, dear, your son is a menace," she said sweetly. "He was running around the shop again. He wasn't watching where he was going and bumped into this nice lady. Luckily, she didn't seem too concerned with it."
Harry grinned. "Were you being a little demon again?" he asked the boy.
Ronald shook his head. "No, daddy, I be a perfect angel," he replied innocently.
Harry snorted. "I bet. Did you at least apologize to the lady?" Harry demanded.
"Nooo," Ronald said softly.
"Well, don't you think you should?"
Ronald sighed dramatically and looked over at a frozen Hermione. "I sorry," he said.
Hermione didn't respond. She just kept staring at Harry. The redheaded woman frowned at her. "Miss? Are you all right?" she asked.
Harry looked around his wife, his face concerned. "Are you all right, Miss? My son didn't hurt you, did he?"
Hermione opened her mouth to respond when everything around her froze. Nothing moved. It seemed as if time was frozen.
"He doesn't remember you," a feminine voice said behind her.
Hermione whirled around, her eyes wide as she gazed at the Goddess Morrigan. The Goddess was staring at Harry fondly, her eyes twinkling. Her silver eyes swung back towards Hermione and she frowned slightly. "I wanted you to see him as he is now. You've been drowning in your guilt, unable to accept his sacrifice. He's not dead, but he gave up his life in the Wizarding World. He's no longer a Wizard. In fact, there isn't an ounce of magic in his whole body. He'll never remember any of you or what he's sacrificed. He's happy. He has a home, a wife, a son, and a business that makes him happy. Let him stay that way," she urged.
"But what about those who he left behind!" Hermione demanded. "What about us? Don't we deserve to know that he's alive?"
"Child, you're the only one who can't accept that he's gone. His other friends and family have mourned his passing and moved on. They will always miss him, but they aren't drowning in guilt. You had nothing to do with his death. It was his choice and his alone. Why you seem determined to feel guilty, I can't understand, but you must let it go. Look at him," Morrigan commanded as she waved towards Harry. "Look at how happy he is. He has a family. He has obscurity. His life will never be in the spotlight. He will be surrounded by those he loves. What better life could he ask for?"
Hermione's eyes filled with tears as she gazed at Harry. His face with filled with love, happiness and contentment. Things that she had never seen on the haunted, stressed filled boy she had gone to school with. She sobbed as she realized that Harry was truly happy for the first time in his life. With a sense of relief, she let go of the guilt and pain that had surrounded her since Harry's death. Taking in a shuddery breath, she looked over at the Goddess and asked, "Will any of his children attend Hogwarts?"
The Goddess shook her head. "No, none of his children will, but a grandchild will have magic. To the Wizarding World, the Potter Line has died. Even when the child goes to Hogwarts, it won't be under the name of Potter. Harry is now known as Evan Potter, but the child will have a new last name, as his mother will marry another. The grandchild will have all the powerful magic of the Potters."
Hermione nodded. "I understand. He's truly happy," she whispered.
"Yes, he is."
Hermione sighed, wiped the tears off her face and said, "Then I will leave him be."
Time began again and she saw that Harry was still staring at her with concern. No, it wasn't Harry any longer, it was Evan. He repeated his question and Hermione smiled wanly. "No, your son didn't hurt me. For a second, you reminded me of someone who had died. It threw me for a moment."
"Oh dear, I'm sorry," Harry said, his eyes gentle with compassion.
"It's all right. Er…I have to go. You have a lovely bookstore," Hermione said.
Harry grinned widely, his expression delighted. "Thank you."
Hermione smiled, took one last look at her best friend, and walked out of the bookstore. As she left the store, she grew dizzy. Stopping a moment, she shook off the dizziness, her mind a blank. What had she been doing? Oh yes, she needed to meet Ron for lunch. It was time to tell him about the new baby. Maybe this one she would name James in honor of Harry. For the first time since Harry died, she felt free.
The redheaded woman watched as the bushy-haired woman walked out of the shop. She felt a presence next to her and looked over at the Goddess. "Did it work?" she asked softly.
"Yes, my priestess, it worked. Though she will not remember meeting Harry, she is no longer drowning over her guilt and she no longer take her own life. Her child will be born and he will become the father of the new Prophesied child. Harry's granddaughter will meet her grandson and together they will bear a child that will defeat the new Darkness that will rise," Morrigan told her.
Rosalyn sighed with satisfaction. "That is good."
"Now go, spend time with your husband and child, and know that I watch over you," Morrigan said with a gentle smile.
Rosalyn smiled brightly and walked away.
Morrigan sighed, petting the crow that was perched on her shoulder. "It is only the beginning. The Prophesied child will bring the Wizarding World into a new age." With a final fond glance towards Harry and his family, she disappeared.
Now on to the alternate ending. If you like the way this story ended, then don't click on the link.