Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters. JK Rowling and Warner Bros have that pleasure. All I own is this story.
A/N: Hey everyone! This is a one-shot about Harry and Dumbledore's last words as Harry lays dying. Sort of sad but a sweet ending. Read on! And remember to review when you're done. Thanks!
Love of the Light Child
An eerie shadow lay over the ruins, the sky a gloomy gray as if in mourning. The remnants of Azkaban prison lay scattered everywhere in helter-skelter fashion, having been demolished in the flurry of the final battle. Indistinguishable dead bodies littered the rocky ground, with many casualties on both sides. In the center of it all crouched an old man with a face that whispered of palpable sorrow, cradling the limp body of a teen close to his heart. A smouldering pile of robes lay nearby, emitting a sort of black smoke that hissed, serpent-like. If it weren't for the proof right before their very eyes, one might have thought Lord Voldemort was still alive; hissing Parseltongue with a skill none but an ebony-haired boy could have matched. But as it was, that fetid pile of robe and ash was all that was left of the Darkest Wizard of the Age. For the prophecy had come into fufillment, and now the Dark Lord was defeated... but not without a cost. And the Light had born many a sacrifice. The Light's victorious Child lay crumpled in the Order Founder's arms- lifeless, pale, and drained under a shock of black hair that clashed violently with his white palor. The Boy of Light had triumphed over the Evil Sorceror in a fantastic battle, and in the end had destroyed Him with the ultimate weapon. As Dumbledore had many times acclaimed- love. He had beaten One that could not have been beaten any other way; he had saved the world from darkness and had suffered the burden of the world's fate heroically...
And now, he was dying.
Albus Dumbledore shifted position, drawing his shuddering young charge closer. He winced, but ignored the pain shooting up from the pulsing, open wound that traveled the length of his side and disappeared under folds of fabric. What did it matter now? What did anything matter? Harry was leaving... the world may have been saved, but the old wizard felt a pang of guilt as he realized, it didn't matter to him. Not if Harry had to be lost in its place.
The Headmaster felt as though a bludger had torn through his heart, ruthlessly slashing it in half. Bitter pieces were all that remained. His Golden Child, the Chosen One; the one he loved like his own son, had only mere minutes to live. The boy's body was coursing with Dark Magic, eating away at him internally and spreading the poison rapidly. It had been Voldemort's "gift" before he being vanquished into oblivion; a gift the Boy-Who-Lived hadn't foreseen and Dumbledore hadn't been able to redirect. There was no cure for the curse eating away at Harry Potter, and by the time they could have gotten away from this ruined fortress, Harry would be dead. But death was inevitable now, and watching it happen was the only thing Albus could do.
It was worse than the Cruciatus.
Harry Potter opened his viridian eyes, unaware of where he was or what had happened to him, only that he hurt all over and just opening his eyes took a lot of strength- it felt like someone had placed a thousand-pound weight on them. He saw a blurred face above him; a haze of white and two pinpoints of the brightest blue that came closer as it said,
He knew that voice. He'd heard it a million times. The last time he'd heard it, it was screaming his name in terror. That's when Harry remembered, in a rush that overwhelmed his senses: the fight! Harry recalled the ensuing battle between the Order and the Death Eaters, and his and Voldemort's duel to the death. The Avada Kedavra Voldemort had cast at Harry had rebounded, when Harry had used all his powers of Love. Harry would have survived and come out the living hero, had it not been for Voldemort's last incantation before he died. The Dark Spell hit Harry squarely in the chest- the Poison Killer, even worse than Avada Kedavra. The victim would enter a world of pain and suffering before they died of poison overdose to their bloodstream, eventually ceasing their heart.
And boy, was Harry in pain. His muscles spasmed painfully when he made even the slightest movement, his head pounded as if someone were repeatedly hitting him, and his insides burned a white fire. An all-consuming, inescapable fire. Harry wanted to scream, but his vocal cords didn't seem to be working properly. Breathing was difficult.
"S-sir?" Harry moaned out weakly. Despite his body's defiant protests, the teen reached out a trembling hand and touched his beloved Headmaster's face. Surprisingly, it was wet, stricken with flowing tears.
"It's me, Harry," Dumbledore responded, clasping Harry's chilled hand in his. He squeezed it gently.
"I-is e-e-everyone okay?" Harry whispered, vision going in and out of focus. Soemtimes he saw Dumbledore, sometimes just a white blob, and sometimes darkness. A warm, peaceful darkness. Without pain.
Dumbledore laughed half-heartedly. Only this boy would ask how everyone else was when he himself was on the brink of death. My sweet, altruistic child. "They're fine, Harry. Just fine..." But Dumbledore's voice broke. It was a lie, but he couldn't stand adding anymore sadness to this child's heart. It already wept for the loss of Remus, who'd been killed in the pandemonium.
"Ron? H-Hermione?" Harry gasped out, a tremor taking over his body. The aged mage sobbed inwardly that he was unable to take away Harry's pain. If only- that damned perpetual mantra- if only he could take Harry's place. Give him a chance at life. The child hadn't even come of age yet, and it was horrible that his life was to end so soon. Never to marry, to have children and pass on the Potter heritage... never to have love, or experience the joys of adulthood. It was so cruel.
"They're fine too, Harry. Rest now," Dumbledore commanded softly. Harry tried to, but more tremors shook him painfully. He gasped for breath.
"Sir... am I dying?"
Harry knew he was, but maybe... just maybe... if he heard the negative from Dumbledore's mouth...
Tears fell onto Harry's face from above. They felt soothing, as did Dumbledore's hand stroking his face and lovingly ruffling his hair as if nothing were wrong. But there was.
It broke Dumbledore's heart to say this, shattering the pieces into tiny shards. Anything but that one word! Why, why couldn't it have been in the negative?
"Stay with me. I'm scared!" Harry whimpered, eyes wide. Dumbledore held Harry close to his chest.
"I will. I'll be with you the whole time..."
"I'm scared," Harry repeated, closing his eyes and taking shuddery breaths. The end was near, they both knew it.
"Don't be. There is a beautiful world waiting for you; one without sadness, pain, or Voldemort. You'll see your parents and Sirius again. And Remus too!"
A small smile light Harry's features up for the last time.
"That's right... I feel them already... their warmth..."
Dumbledore paled, joyous for the boy yet anguished for himself. Harry was leaving him- he could feel his spirit breaking free of his body. In that moment, Dumbledore knew. He would not seek medical help for his own wound. Having to live alone after this... No. One hundred and sixty years on this earth had been miracle and blessing enough, but even the greatest of wizards grew weary. It was his time; and what a way to go- with Harry, the boy he'd grown extremely fond of over the years. And death was nothing to fear. It was but the next greatest adventure, as he always said.
Harry began hyperventilating, trying and failing to get the required breaths he needed to live. The pain was excruciating, as if someone were casting Cruciatus on him. Normally, he would have been jerking and writhing, but his stiff joints didn't seem to be working properly. He was paralyzed.
Harry opened his eyes for the final time, looking as if each deliberate word cost tremedous effort. "Professor... I love you. Thank y-you... I won't... forget..."
His eyes closed, this time remaining shut. Harry Potter fought in his last breath, then his heart stopped as the poison reached it and contaminated the weakened muscle.
The Boy-Who-Lived, lived no longer.
Dumbledore broke into open sobs, clinging to Harry's limp body as if he were his life support. He pressed his face against Harry's stony white countenance.
"I love you too, Harry. I'm going to join you shortly."
The old man grew weaker and weaker from considerable blood loss. He waited it out, losing more strength as time went on. The whole time, he watched his life pass before his eyes. The memories lingered on recent years with young Harry, watching him grow... mature... oh, the pride it had brought him! Dumbledore chuckled softly, admiring the black unfurling at the edges of his vision. If he ignored the pain, and the red staining the rough ground, it really wasn't so bad...
It brought him comfort to realize what was coming.
I'm on my way, dear boy. Wait for me; let us take those first steps into the unknown together...
Time became uncountable. Minutes, hours... nothing registered. All Albus knew was that he slumped foward onto Harry, breathing haggard and vision dimming- dimming- disappearing.
Albus Dumbledore had passed on, the Greatest Wizard ever but for perhaps the remarkable child that he still held in his arms.
And the Heavens mourned as tears began falling from the gray skies.
It was dark.
No light, just.. nothing. An abyss.
Harry had no clue where he was; what to do, or even why his soul was floating here in wait. Or how he even knew he was waiting for something.
But then, Harry felt warmth- a loving, accepting one that he recognized as it drew closer. A figure came into view, adorned in gleaming white robes and bearing a visage that looked more youthful and carefree than Harry had ever seen it. The long, white beard still swayed against his robes as per usual. Harry then took the time to look down at himself, and was surprised to see he wore the same.
"You... you died too?"
The Headmaster let loose a booming laugh. "Indeed, it seems I have."
"How do I get to my parents? Where do I go from here?"
Dumbledore offered his arm and Harry took it. "Follow me."
They glided along, and soon a faint trace of light became visible, almost like one at the end of a tunnel. It grew in strength until all Harry could see was the blinding white. Then all at once, his vision cleared and a nostalgic sight greeted him, warm and welcoming. He and Dumbledore were standing in a revived Godric's Hollow; a home-like little place complete with kitchenette and living room. A fire was dancing in the fireplace, emitting real heat.
And before Harry could register it, he was enveloped in a bear hug by four ecstatic people... four, solid, completely real somebodies that Harry recognized immediately.
"Mum? Dad? Sirius? Remus?"
Four smiles echoed his own.
He drank in the sight of Lily Potter, more motherly and beautiful than pictures could ever show as she kissed him soundly on the forehead. Her firey red hair tickled his face, its oddly familar smell transporting Harry back to a world filled with the love he'd so longed for.
"We're so proud of you, sweetheart," she whispered throatily, Harry's own emerald orbs glistening back at him.
He feasted on James Potter, a near mirror image of himself as the man clapped Harry genially on the back. Hazel eyes brimmed with pride behind spectacles similar to Harry's own.
"See, Lily? I always knew you he'd be an amazing Quidditch player! I told you so! That's my boy..."
He grinned in great emotion at his godfather, barking in laughter at Harry's probably overwhelmed expression with an arm slung around James.
"Had to be- what was it old Snivelly always said? Oh yes, 'as arrogant as his father', going and slaying the Darkest Wizard of the Age! Bet Snape's rolling around in his grave, eh? I always knew you had it in you, kiddo..."
From beside his fellow Marauders, the werewolf winked at Harry and the boy returned the gesture. Remus was no longer the tired, battle-worn and grief-stricken man. His face sparkled in the youth of his school days.
"Welcome home, Harry."
Harry turned, and Dumbledore was still there, watching the scene unfold with a visage of pure happiness. He had kept his distance while Harry reunited with his family, but now stepped foward.
"You see, Harry? Death is not the end. It is the beginning of a much better, much happier life. An eternal life full of love..."
Harry smiled in reply, then, tentatively, he reached foward and enclosed his arms around the Headmaster. It was something he'd never been able to do in real life, but had always wanted. This man was like his grandfather, and deserved as much after mentoring Harry for so long. Dumbledore returned the embrace whole-heartedly as Harry burrowed his face against the soft chest, feeling the long and warm arms that came up to pull him closer.
This is my family.
This is home.
Harry smiled. For once in his troubled life, he was home. He was home, happy, and at peace with those he loved. And one day, his friends would join him as well. But for now, he just enjoyed forever.
"To the well organized mind, death is but the next greatest adventure" (Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone)
A/N: A little sad there in the beginning, but like I said, it got sweeter in the end. Did you like it? Please review and tell me what you thought. If you liked this one, then maybe you'll like the other Harry Potter fic I'm writing. It's called "It Ends Now", and there's a lot of Harry/Dumbledore in it too, for those who enjoy reading fics about these two. Stars many other characters as well! You can click my profile to get to it. The story ID is 2669528/1/.Thanks for reading this fic and I love you peoples!