Disclaimer: I still don't own Harry Potter.

Disclaim her: That which threatens us is the enemy.

Note: Out of character with: Harry, Lucius, Dumbledore, Severus, and Voldemort…

Rating: M for Mature.

Point of View: First.

"speech" thoughts and/or mind speech (Harry and Voldemort) Parseltongue

I do not own the quote below.

A/N: The ones you'll miss the most are the ones that leave the soonest.

I can't believe it ended like this. …What a twist! (sighs) Jeez… Please, review.

Chapter 29: Finale: The Dirge Without Music

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Of course he's not afraid. He doesn't have a paranoia complex like I do!

…But that just makes me feel worse.

He cards his fingers through my hair gently as can be and distractedly presses a kiss to my temple while rising from the bed, drawing on his outer robes as he goes. The moment the door closes, I slam my fist into the headboard as hard as I am physically able and exhale violently as I hear a sharp crack.

He just doesn't understand!

I…I…I don't even know what I can tell him anymore! It's just…!

Doesn't he realize that Dumbledore is out for blood and he won't stop at anything to get it?! …He underestimates you…just as he always does.

I don't want him to die…!

Why don't you find yourself a religion? That whole idea of an afterlife seems nice.

Shut the hell up!

After all, praying only works when you're directing it toward someone.

I said, shut the hell up

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I viciously shove down the urge to take flight and compel myself to go to Lucius' side.

His smile never wavers as he looks up at me with happiness. It is futile to try to covey a copy of what he presents to me back to him so I lean in and press myself against him as hard as I dare with his ribs bound as they are. After a moment, I pull back and find his eyes unusually bright.

I slip my fingers under his palm and breathe out again with forced control.

"Lucius, I'm…afraid."

…There have been speculations that Lucius may never regain his voice.

"…I know I shouldn't…because he's there to protect me…but I think that Tom takes Dumbledore too lightly…I don't want him to get killed."

Lucius' grip tightens very slightly and I look up. He merely gives me a wavering but also reassuring smile and I force down a sob harshly. This is not the time for me to break down.

Not again!

I scrub at my eyes roughly in order to wipe away the tears but it is relatively useless. His arm gently touches my own and I give a sharp intake of breath out of my increasing disquiet. Sliding down beside him, I curl up next to his frame in a pitiable fetal position.

"Lucius, help me." I'm so fucking selfish!

You never even could help yourself.

His hand pauses in my hair and I choke again on my tears as he finds my fingers. Lucius' arm trembles almost unnoticeably, and I know it takes an extensive amount of effort to perform this simple action in order to comfort the thing I cannot even pass off as human.

"Please, help me." I want him to, even though I know he can't. I can't and won't go to him. It doesn't matter how much I love him; he just doesn't understand you!

His hand delicately finds a way in which to clasp itself to my own, and my sobs become uncontrollable.

I'm so afraid.

Why can't I seem to control myself anymore? Why am I so weak?!

…I hate this.

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"Don't leave again."

That's right, beg.

His hand pauses on the door handle and I take in a shaky breath.

"Please, stay with me."

He turns in question, and I feel my legs give warning on their imminent collapse as his gaze alights on my eyes. My own gaze strays to somewhere along his shoulder and decides to fix itself at that point.

You're repulsive.

"Please."

His footsteps make no sound on the carpet. "What's wrong?" Red eyes attempt to meet green, but dead green close in humiliation.

"…I just want you to stay with me." My voice is nothing more than a whisper.

He lifts my chin and I avert my eyes. "What is bothering you?"

"…Just…stay with me…please." The last word is a plea and I feel my closed eyes tear. I shouldn't be breaking up like this again!

"All you had to do was ask," he answers questioningly. Voldemort then says nothing for a few moments and I cannot bear for him to look at me. "…Will you tell me what is the matter? Is this about…your godfather?"

The words nearly don't sound off. "…No." I feel a tear burn it's way down my cheek and drop from my chin.

"Will you tell me what is wrong?" His fingers brush at the tear streak and I barely restrain myself from choking.

I don't even know myself. How could I tell him why I am acting like such a pathetic excuse for a human being again when I myself do not know why? "Hold me?" My eyesight flickers off to the side once more.

He pulls me to him and slides his arms around my waist while resting his chin on the top of my head. I do the same and press myself to him in such a submissive manner I make myself want to heave. But…I still want him here all the same. I want to know that he cares for me.

"…Will…you……will you……?"

"Do you really want to?" He falters at my request: he knows I never take incentive with matters such as this.

"…Please." I hate sounding so weak. But I cannot help it as much as I cannot stop breathing.

Maybe if we do this then I can forget for a time…that…

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"I'm going after him and we're going to settle this once and for all. He's never going to hurt you again." There is a gut-wrenching pause. I really don't feel very well. "…Are you going to come?" He doesn't think that my current state of being is being caused by you, does he? …Then again, I wouldn't put it past you for a second.

Inwardly I want fold in upon myself and just collapse. Does the fact I am bonded with him mean nothing?! I should feel better with him! I shouldn't feel sick anymore.

You know what's really amiss.

Things like that just don't happen!

Suit yourself. Just explain that to your lover.

…But I have to be strong. I have to be, don't I…Sirius? Because…I have to make things…right?

"Don't worry, I'll protect you…"

I don't want to go to Hogwarts. …I know someone's…going to get……!

"…I promise." Shouldn't I be grateful?

"…"

I look up slowly from where I was staring at the ground and into his eyes, unsmiling. His features relax as I finally relent and he holds me close. But I just want to stay exactly where I am: he just doesn't understand.

He just wants you safe. He wants to protect you.

All he's doing is making me miserable

I Apparate myself in front of the gates to Hogwarts castle and the Dark Lord appears beside me a split second later. Seconds later he casts a number of spells upon me to protect me from any kind of wayward magic.

Sharp cracks alert me to the Death Eaters' arrivals and I stick myself close to the Dark Lord's side. I mustn't…be separated from him.

"Ready?"

"As ready as I'll ever be."

Sweetheart, I love you.

Yes, I know. I-

"My Lord, the teachers are coming down from the castle."

My gaze cracks to the top of the hill the Hogwarts castle lies on and sure enough I see the teachers coming down to meet us. Voldemort rises to action so quickly, I cannot even begin to grasp the action. The Stunner shoots over my head, rifling my hair and he curses in Parseltongue as he pushes me to my knees.

You needn't protect me so. I want to help you.

Yes, and I also want to protect you, I murmur as an afterthought.

His gaze turns to mine for a split second before he deflects a Burning Hex. But in the look is what I had never hoped to receive. He trusts me to protect as he does me.

I blast the gates open with my wandless magic and force down the wards with a will much stronger than yours, and even though it requires nearly no effort at all, I find I want to waste my magical energy away. It's been far too long since I've hurt anything or anyone. As my sadistic urges reemerge, and I see that a combination of Ministry Aurors and teachers coming my way, the will to live returns full throttle and I take the first incentive I can remember in a long time in taking charge.

I can feel the Death Eaters following behind me and the battle up the hill for myself is a small one. I slaughter half the Aurors with a mere thought and permanently scar most of the teachers for the moment, if not for life, with a number of Dark spells that include burning one from the inside out to pulling bones from the skeleton while the person is still alive and breathing. It is a shame.

I turn just for a moment to find him just a few feet away from me, crimson eyes upon me, and I find myself carelessly smiling in his direction just because I-

It is at that point in time where the Killing Curse is shot at me with such a fervor I nearly cannot get my magical shield up in time to block it. They're fools if they really think that the Unforgivables are indeed unable to be blocked. Searching for the culprit who decided it was time for my life to end, my eyes travel up the steps to find that blood traitor Weasely with Hermione. Hermione's wand is held high and I have the sudden craving to watch her bleed down the steps until her veins run dry.

Again the Killing Curse rains down on me but at this point I am prepared and deflect it angrily back at her. Unfortunately, she steps out of range and Ron is hit instead. …Her scream makes my head hurt; I swear she's part harpy.

But in all seriousness, by the time she recovers her wits I have come to the base of the steps and am prepared to pull her heart out in the worst ways possible.

Her eyes narrow. "Hello Harry. Have you been a good boy?"

Can't she tell who in the hell is behind me? "Are you mad?! You're a dead woman."

"It doesn't matter Harry. He's coming." Her face goes into a spasm in which at the end one eye has become a different color and is opened so wide the skin has torn and now bleeds. "And there's nothing you can do to stop it. He's going to kill you. He's not playing anymore."

I am in front of her before I know what has happened and straddling her across the hips with my hands clenched around her throat. This time I'm going to finish the job. No more half-assed attempts on lives like I did with Neville. No spells. Just…me. Her eyes bulge and I squeeze even harder until her breath suddenly chokes off and I hear as well as feel the glorious shattering of her neck. Blood splatters my face and, irritably, I wipe it from the lenses of my glasses as I straighten up.

Footsteps come to meet my side and I turn just slightly. Voldemort's covered in blood as well. Well, I know I'm through when I start finding that attractive. I look up slightly to meet his eyes and he chuckles softly. "That was vile. A bit barbaric, but a lovely job."

I laugh quietly in response and he breaks into a half smile and ruffles my hair. …I don't mind; he's…proud of me. No one's ever been proud of me. That makes me…happy.

The Dark Lord turns to the amassed group Death Eaters behind him. "You have your orders and you know that you are to kill any Auror you find or any student who decides to resist you. You know who is one of us. …Get to work."

…While the smoke from the doors of the Great Hall I just burned down clears, I turn back around and look back down the hill. The fight continues seemingly evenly with the Aurors not even attempting Dark spells and the Death Eaters firing them off with an eagerness that would be praised if actually perceived.

As I turn back to the scene at hand, I find that the Death Eaters have ventured off into the smoke and that Voldemort and I are alone once more. His larger hand slips into my own and I feel him tighten his grip, whether in reassurance or anxiety I don't know. But he moves forward, and I follow obediently just like a child does with a parent.

As we move forward into the castle, the sound of screams begin to sound in my ears and I watch students freeze in horror as they see Voldemort and screech at the top of their lungs. But he pays them no attention, and it is left to me to cut their voices short so I don't receive a headache later on today.

Remus unexpectedly streaks past me with Fenrir at his side and in curiosity I turn forward to see the blood traitor's sister shooting hexes at the two with a ferocity I haven't seen from her before. Why won't they block the spells…? I put an end to that little wench with a well aimed Cruciatus Curse and watch as her mind breaks down as we walk by. …Voldemort shows his satisfaction of this action by pressing a feather-light kiss into my hair.

I climb the staircase with the Dark Lord and this time my legs don't buckle as we approach your office. But you have to be close; why would you wait for us to come to you? That would be just…stupid. Then again, old age does make fools of the…best.

As we climb the last of the stairs, I find you descending the staircase to your office at the exact moment we reach the top step. The corridor is silent as I watch your eyes widen at my appearance. However, your gaze then flickers to the Dark Lord then to me once more in question, your expression unreadable.

"Tom, what have you done with him?"

"I've done nothing, Dumbledore." Your reply is quiet and I stamp down the want to flee. I will not run away. Not this time.

"Harry, come here." The words are a bitter command and I grimace at your voice. No, I will not! Never again!

It takes a moment to find my voice and when I finally do, it is sound. "NO!" …The windows nearly rattle off their frames.

Your demeanor changes like lightening and becomes remote and distasteful. "Listen to reason Harry. He'll kill you eventually and-"

"Like you weren't going to either?! I've had enough of your lies!" I scream in a rage that nearly threatens to escape my grasp entirely.

The Dark Lord's grip on my hand tightens just a fraction.

There is a brief yet horrible silence. "…So. You'd side with the man who killed your parents. …This is your last chance to give in. Otherwise, I will not be responsible for my actions." go mad

"Like I'd give in to you?!" I shout in an anger that this time imperceptibly touches off into the deep end. And at this point, some windows in fact do shatter.

The sudden and unexpected Stunning Spell cast by you rebounds off my shield with ease, but the Dark Lord pushes me behind him and draws his wand. He casts the Killing Curse but you draw up a wall of water which neutralizes any effect that the Curse may have had upon yourself.

Transform and protect yourself! A Basilisk's skin is nearly impenetrable.

Complying without one complaint I slip into my Animagus form and draw back from the battle. It's just as well; I didn't want to fight you one on one. I seem to become curiously weak when trying to face you head on, and it is not a favorable thing to happen in a duel. As I send my vision through Voldemort's eyes I find your face dawn in comprehension and nearly open my eyes to knock you dead right then and there. But he wants to do this the old-fashioned way. …So I let him be and curl into myself while remaining alert. It wouldn't do to get knocked out by some wayward hex.

And even though I know that he can hold his own, I begin to weave a barrier of protective magic around his being just because I'd care to have him alive tomorrow and not in a casket outside the Manor.

You attempt to expel his wand from him and nearly succeed but at the last moment Voldemort manages to maintain his grasp on the wood and I shrink back even further, if that were even possible.

Again, he casts the Killing Curse and like last year, Fawkes comes to take the blow to your life. But you're running out of options; he's backed you into a corner and there is nothing that can be done for you anymore.

Voldemort casts the Curse again, but miraculously you manage to dodge the spell, though I can see it was by a fraction of inch and that your reflexes are slowing down. That's just too bad.

But…something's wrong. A fraction of second passes in which the realization of what you're doing catches up with me.

There is no opportunity to change back into my human form. TOM, GET OUT OF THE WAY!

He takes a step and twists around to face me. No, turn back!

I open my harmless gaze onto him and his eyes meet mine. No.

You finally let loose the Dark Curse you had built up in the span of a mere two seconds of ignorance and in utter terror I lunge out for him, wanting-no, needing to throw myself in front of the Curse to protect him, to do anything to prevent the magic from making contact with his body.

The white light shakes the entire building to its roots and after a moment the ceiling and walls burst in a flurry of stone and scatter to the winds. …The magic assaults me dead on and without surprise, I find it slips off me like rainwater. But the energy behind it is fatal, and it reminds me of the sensation of being hit by lightening.

I push through the continuing spell with no small amount of effort until I am close enough to see the whites of your eyes, if you would actually open them, that is. What a pathetic wizard you are: some basilisks can make their sight fatal at will.

The Dark Curse at last ceases, and I lunge at you to kill. And yet, at that exact moment, in the split second of where I am about to make contact with your neck and put an end to your pathetic excuse for a life, you raise your wand, completely unafraid with your eyes wide open. The words are so faint I nearly don't catch them.

"Avada Kedavra."

You stupid man, haven't you realized…Wait.

… It wasn't me he was aiming at, it was-!

The Curse catches Voldemort unawares, and it breaks through every single one of my shields as if they were never there to begin with. …The green jet of light impales him directly in chest like Godric's sword pierced the Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets.

He doesn't cry out. In fact…he doesn't…make one sound.

As I rear myself in at the last possible instant and turn towards him, his scarlet gaze meets mine and I cannot tear myself away. It seems to take him…ages to fall and…and…my eyes follow his lethal descent until he…he crumples to the floor and…then there is deathly silence.

I…I…

Rage unlike anything I've felt before fills this new unforeseen emptiness in my mind and body as I whip around to face you. There is no hesitation. But I do see…scarlet…as I wrench off your head with a ruthless snapping of my jaw. Red hits the air to then come down in a rain, which afterward proceeds to splatter the floor and myself…but I… As the haze of rage deserts me, I move myself into my human form with some difficulty and…move myself to…

He looks…as if he is sleeping.

I can't seem to bring myself to cry: I've gone curiously numb. How…strange.

Distractedly and unconsciously, I pull his wand from his fingertips, lightly brushing his palm, which happens to be colder than I remember. I pocket the twin phoenix core wand, placing the piece of worn wood with my own wand, and carefully sit myself down by his side. And now I find the ability to tell him what I couldn't find the nerve to earlier.

Footsteps approach from somewhere behind me. I haven't the will to turn.

"Harry?"

Who is that? Do I know you?

I trace the infinity sign into his cold, cold palm, a small smile lighting my features. He isn't dead. He's just in a deep, unreachable slumber. That's why he won't answer me mentally. But that's okay, because he isn't dead. He'll wake up. He won't abandon me.

He wouldn't do something that cruel to me. He loves me.

"What happened? Is the Dark Lord…dead?" Graying sandy brown hair and a set of deep brown eyes.

Have we met before? I can't…recall.

"Harry, look at me." Ebony hair and a pair charcoal black eyes.

Excuse me, who are you?

"Everything's going to be all right, come with me now."

I'm terribly sorry, but I don't think I know you.

What do you think you're doing?! Don't you dare try to separate me from my lover! Get away! Get away from me!

A murmur of voices……and more footsteps.

A white gloved hand settles upon my own, and I'm gently being pulled up, up, up to my feet. Unsteadily, I try to reach out to him and nearly feel myself topple over. But there are those white gloves again, holding me just so kindly I find myself maintaining by precarious balance. But looking up, I find a sea of faces I cannot differentiate…Who is there? Beyond me, who is there? I don't…I…

Platinum blond hair and matching soft gray eyes. "…Love, it's okay. I'm going to take you home."

Ah…

Meaningless shapes become comprehensible again and my eyes finally tear: he isn't sleeping. He's…

Flinching back from the silent judgment of the Death Eaters who maintain an odd so circle around myself and…him, I relinquish my hold on everything and at last let Lucius take me into his arms.

I never…even told him…I…loved him…as well.

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Cremated. A scarlet jar so deeply red it seems black sits somewhere on the bedside table. Dead. That's it. Flat out. But everything will be…all right? A distant memory: "I'm not well, am I?" And then the reply: "No, you're not." …A silver serpent tightens its hold on an emerald and a frail youth cries in the back round in pain, unable to desist. Cracking, the sound of a curious stick snapping in half.

But that's what you wanted, wasn't it?

The golden band. The signifying of a union among true lovers. But the presenter of this gift is gone, burned to ash, so the would be receiver can only lament his loss after the discovery of the ring in a desk drawer and what might have been. Cries of…anguish. …But the color won't fade. All that is seen is the scarlet, the crimson, the color of blood. It remains burned into the retina's core and nothing can remove the image from sight.

The…child.

No, I don't want to hear this!

You will listen.

…The child. The most complete and absolute sense of devotion and commitment there is. The mother cries endlessly, mad with the loss of her beloved, yet the father will not return from the deceased. He can only watch. …Nevertheless, the mother will not put an end to her dirge without music. She's defeated. Wasted. …Useless.

And yet…the child provides a hope the mother has never had. It presents the idea that indeed everything will turn out well.

He knew you loved him.

I chance a look upwards from the blankets in my arms, wiping away my tears with the back of my free hand and my smile shakes. Severus smiles at me wordlessly and Remus does the same, words unnecessary. Lucius is the one who comes close and he kisses my forehead in a manner that is all too familiar.

"…He would be proud." His voice is soft and soothes me.

And in the small moment in which I look beyond Lucius, I see him looking upon me with utter adoration. My smile solidifies and turns brilliant as I look back down at the sleeping infant within my arms.

Quietly, without being sure of doing so, I find my voice and I speak. "…I'm going to name him…Tom…" A good name.

After the man who cherished me with all his heart.

…After the man I loved.

End.