Okay, this is my first Harry Potter fanfic, so don't be too harsh. It's just a oneshot I threw together on a whim – the idea has been in my head for a while. I wrote it while watching the first movie, which was more than a little confusing. Oh well...I don't know if it's good or not. I skipped over a lot of details, just because I didn't want to make this a novel. They wouldn't matter in the end, anyway, and that's what I wanted to focus on...the end. Please Read and Review! (Disclaimer: I do not own anything Harry Potter, and I never will.)
It's all over Harry...you're going to die tonight...I've always been stronger, more powerful...I've been playing with you, dear boy, all these years...there is nothing you can do now...
Harry squeezed his eyes shut, hoping beyond all hope that this simple act could possibly stop the awful, taunting voice of his worst enemy, the wizard feared by all, the one responsible for the deaths of his parents, for Cedric, for Sirius, for Dumbledore, and for countless other innocent people who stood in his way.
He wasn't scared – no, he was way past that. He had accepted his likely fate long ago...more precisely, the moment that Dumbledore had revealed the destiny of the warring duo as foreseen in the prophecy. He no longer cared for his own life. It wasn't important. The fate of the entire wizarding world rested in his hands, relied on this very moment. For he, Harry James Potter, the gangly, seventeen year-old boy with unruly hair, acid green eyes, and a lightning bolt scar on his forehead, had been marked as Voldemort's equal the night of his parent's death. Without meaning to, Voldemort had doomed his own future. The one year-old baby, whom he had thought could be killed so easily, would soon pose the only true threat in his quest of immortality. His talent, though impressive on some levels, was not unusual or unheard of. It was true that he had escaped from Voldemort's clutches many times – but it seemed to be largely due to luck. At least that's what Harry believed.
Voldemort always knew differently. Luck had nothing to do with it. The boy was skilled beyond his own recognition, a fact that perhaps only Albus Dumbledore realized. Dumbledore had directed Harry, prepared him for what was to come. Harry had looked up to him as a grandfather, Voldemort knew, but now he was gone. And he relished that fact. Because now, thought the Dark Lord savagely, you are unprotected...you are finally mine...you cannot again get away...
Voldemort never regarded anyone as an equal. He had feared Dumbledore, as he feared other powerful entities, because it was foolhardy not to. Fear was what kept you alive, what kept you in a position of power. He had feared Dumbledore, yes, but not much else – above all, he feared that his followers would recognize that he was no better than the individuals he led them to prey upon. He was a half-blood, a filthy half blood. He had tried to delete his past, tried to erase all connections to the previous life he had led. He had murdered all of the remaining Riddles, re-created himself to a near inhuman state, but the fear never left him.
No, fear wasn't new. What was new was the respect. He hadn't respected anyone for the majority of his life, never even acknowledged the feeling. He had loathed his parents, feared Dumbledore, and admired those in any position of authority. The respect came six years ago, the very moment that the diminutive, eleven-year old Harry Potter had thwarted him the first time. He had shown more bravery than most of the full grown wizards, even Aurors, had ever displayed in the face of mortal peril. And he had been victorious since then, time after time. But the respect, if possible, had simply motivated him more to kill this boy, the boy who by all means should not be living. It frustrated him that, with all of the power he possessed, he was still connected to any human emotion. The boy had to die, must die, for Voldemort to rule the wizarding world.
Harry Potter was in pain, intense, excruciating pain. He lay in a heap, crumpled near Voldemort's feet, on the very grounds that he had once happily roamed as a Hogwarts student with Ron and Hermione. It wasn't the pain that bothered him. He was accustomed to pain, having experienced it constantly for years. He had been injured more than anyone he knew, in some of the strangest ways possible. He had been pierced by the fang of a basilisk, lost all of the bones in his arm after breaking it, fallen fifty feet off his broomstick, been hit by Bludgers, been cut by a dragon tail, attacked by Grindylows in the school's lake, been gouged by a Bowtruckle, had his leg mangled by an Acromantula, been swiped with a knife to gather blood for Voldemort's resurrection, and had even felt the force of the Cruciatus Curse. The pain that surpassed all pain (at least until this moment, thought Harry grimly) had been the unbearable burning of his scar whenever Voldemort was near. He shuddered as he remembered the first time Voldemort touched him, in that cemetery three years ago. He would never forget that pain.
No, pain was expected, even anticipated, by the young hero. That wasn't what was torturing him. What was torturing him was the fact that his friends, his best friends, were witness to his suffering. To his surprise, Ron and Hermione had insisted upon going with him to destroy the Horcruxes. Harry was deeply grateful, because he knew that he would have not had the courage to do it alone. He would have never asked them himself, never willingly put them in danger, but they couldn't be convinced otherwise. They had supported him through everything, and they would support him to the end. Harry had made one final trip to the Dursley's, and then had stayed briefly at the Burrow for Bill and Fleur's wedding. And then he had set off, Ron and Hermione following behind.
Ginny had pleaded, begged Harry to come along, but Mrs. Weasley wouldn't budge. The girl was technically underage, and the protective mother in Mrs. Weasley held onto that fact, using it to her full advantage. She could do nothing to stop Ron (besides sobbing desperately into his shoulder) as he was now seventeen, but her sweet baby girl, her only daughter, would not be allowed to walk into danger – at least not while she was still breathing.
Harry would have never allowed her to anyway. He loved Ginny, and although their romance had been short-lived, the death of Dumbledore had made him understand the extent of the peril she would be in if their relationship continued. Voldemort had preyed upon her in his second year, just because she was his best friend's sister – he shuddered at the thought of what he would have done if he found out they were dating. No, she would have to stay.
The Horcruxes had been successfully destroyed over the course of a year, with only a few minor bumps. Harry was feeling confident, even happy with the accomplishment. He had skipped his seventh year at Hogwarts, but decided to return before the closing of the year upon the completion of his goal. He would have to deal with Voldemort later.
Later never came. As he approached the doors to the Great Hall, walking the open fields and chatting animatedly with Ron and Hermione, he felt the familiar blinding pain in his scar – along with the sudden realization that Voldemort knew what he had done. He knew, and he was incredibly angry. He no longer cared for remaining conspicuous. He wanted Harry dead. With Dumbledore gone, the prospect of ambushing the boy at Hogwarts suddenly became much more reachable.
Harry spun around and faced the Forbidden Forrest, the direction in which he knew Voldemort would be coming. You couldn't Apparate or Disapparate within Hogwarts grounds, thanks to the powerful magic placed upon the area centuries ago by the magical school's original founders. Even Voldemort couldn't break the extensive network of charms. This fact made the ambush of the Potter boy much more difficult, but definitely not impossible.
Sure enough, Voldemort's red, snakelike eyes became instantly visible as Harry quietly uttered "Lumos", and peered behind the trees.
Voldemort walked slowly out of the woods, causing Harry to drop to his knees from pain. The Dark Lord laughed, amused at the extent of the control he had already exercised over the boy.
"What's the problem, my dear Harry? Is my mere presence enough to bring you to your knees? Or have you finally begun to show respect?"
Harry grimaced, and, using every ounce of strength in his body, stood up. "I only give respect to those who deserve it," he said through clenched teeth.
Voldemort smiled, a horrible, nauseating sneer that caused Harry's stomach to churn. "And I suppose your dear godfather Sirius would have fallen under that category, would he not?"
"Yes," said Harry unflinchingly.
"Hmmm...well, we can't have that, now can we? No, I think you need to learn to respect those in positions of power. Blood traitors should be killed, not revered. Oh, wait, I think that was already taken care of, was it not? I recall that my loyal servant Bellatrix is to thank for that."
"Yes, she bloody well is," retorted Harry, "and I pity her. Killing her own cousin, to serve you? You ruined her life, poisoned her mind, convinced her into thinking you were better than her. 'Blood traitor', is that the expression you used? You're a half-blood. Under your guidelines, she should have killed you and worshipped Sirius. He was a pureblood."
"You will not talk to me that way!" roared Voldemort, no longer willing to humor the boy. Harry had touched a nerve. "I was planning to kill you here, to let you die a hero's valiant death, but that prospect no longer satisfies me. The public needs to become witness to your downfall, witness to your cowardice and to my greatness...yes, I think I'll move the location of our little duel here to, say, the Quidditch pitch? I'm sure that will draw a crowd. Stupefy!"
Harry fell like a stone, out cold, onto the soft earth. Hermione screamed and clutched Ron, whose eyes were wide with terror. It was only then that Voldemort seemed to notice them.
"And who do we have here?" he sneered. "The Weasley and the Mudblood...whatever pathetic excuses for wizards you may be, I won't kill you. It is much, much worse to watch the death of a friend...at least that's what I've heard. I, myself, have never cared whether anyone lived or died – it is pointless in my opinion to forge such meaningless connections. Imperio!" He repeated the curse twice, for each Ron and Hermione.
As their eyes glazed over, dumb smiled appearing on their faces, Voldemort silently thought of the command he wanted them to obey. You will follow me to the field, sit in the stands, and watch Harry here die – along with the rest of the school.
Voldemort walked to the center of the Quidditch pitch, held his wand in the air, and cried "Morsmordre!", producing the Dark Mark in the sky for all to see. Screams were suddenly audible from the grounds. He performed a complicated wave that seemed to pull the surrounding students and teachers from the grounds and the castle, filing them all into an immense line moving to the stands. They were somehow forced to sit – the intricate spell – likely of Voldemort's own creation, robbed them of free will. The seats quickly filled with sobbing, terrified individuals, trying and failing to break free of their invisible prison. He then pressed his wand to his throat, muttering Sonorous – the same voice-magnifying incantation that Fudge had utilized to narrate the Quidditch World Cup.
"STOP SCREAMING!" he roared. "You have nothing to fear...I am no longer interested in taking petty, meaningless lives such as yours. I am here simply for the long-awaited murder of your dear student Harry Potter. Yes, tonight is the night he will die, and you will all bear witness."
"We will never bear witness to that," said a single, lone voice, "Harry Potter is not dying tonight."
"Ah, Minerva McGonagall," replied Voldemort, (for that's who the voice had belonged to), "I always thought that you were at least smart enough to accept the inevitable, to give in to powers far greater than your own. You always bowed down to Dumbledore, did you not? At least then you recognized superiority when you saw it. Well, superiority at least to you...I don't mean to flatter the fool-"
"-You will stop right there, Thomas Marvolo Riddle," cut in the newly instated headmistress. Voldemort flinched at the sound of the name. "You know as well as I that Dumbledore was a far greater wizard than you will ever be. He surely gained more followers, if that's how you gauge power. Everyone is aware that he was the only one you ever feared. You fled from contact with him, from any duel or confrontation-"
"He is dead now, Minerva," spat Voldemort. "There is no use placing him on a pedestal. He was weak, he was blind sighted by the betrayal of one that he once considered a friend. A better wizard would have seen that coming. I was sure, all these years, that such a supposed genius would instantly see through the thin guise that Severus hid behind. Dumbledore was too trusting, too willing to accept the good in people – even if it didn't exist. I will never make that mistake, and that is what makes me truly superior."
Professor McGonagall said nothing, but gave Voldemort a glaring, defiant stare that clearly expressed her emotions.
"I am quickly growing tired of these long speeches, Minerva. It seems you cannot be convinced by my eloquent words of Harry's impending death...maybe that will change when I show you the position he is currently in." With that, he raised Harry's unconscious form with his wand, causing McGonagall to gasp and many of the entrapped students and teachers to scream. Hermione was sobbing uncontrollably onto Ron's shoulder, trying to avert her eyes, while Ron simply stared wordlessly and with wide eyes at the scene unfolding before them.
"As you can see," continued Voldemort, "he is completely at my mercy. I have simply stunned him, so he isn't yet dead. No, I plan to torture him before that. It should be quite a show! Now, you must all be silenced. I really won't appreciate distractions while killing the boy. SILENCIO!"
The mouths of the onlookers continued to open into screams, but no sound was uttered.
"That's better," said Voldemort, satisfied. "Let the show begin!" He walked over to Harry, now lying on the soft sand of the Quidditch field. "Ennervate," he muttered.
Harry opened his startlingly green eyes, instantly greeted with the blinding pain in his scar. He stood slowly, gawking at the sight that was presented before him. What must have been every student and teacher at Hogwarts were sitting in the stands. It was evident that many were crying – some out of terror, some out of frustration, and some out of sadness, but the pitch was completely quiet. He scanned the crowd for Ron and Hermione, and found them almost instantly. They were seated in the front row, looking completely petrified. Harry gave them what he hoped was a comforting glance, along with a sad smile. He was ready to accept his fate, but he had planned to do it alone – not in front of all of Hogwarts. It would be torture for them.
"I see you've noticed that we now have an audience," began Voldemort. "They are being held here against their will, and are currently unable to move or to communicate, which means," added Voldemort snidely, "that they can do nothing to save you. I'm not in the mood for your annoyingly pompous comments, so I think I'll just start now. CRUCIO!"
Harry fell to the ground, screaming. White-hot knives were being plunged into his skin, his head was splitting open, he felt for sure he was going to die...and then it was over. He clutched his scar, for the pain had magnified tenfold in the past few minutes. He tried climbing to his feet, but stumbled clumsily and fell over again. Voldemort laughed, clearly amused.
"Why, the fun's hardly started, dear boy," he sneered. "I have many more things in store for you."
It's all over Harry...you're going to die tonight...I've always been stronger, more powerful...I've been playing with you, dear boy, all these years...there is nothing you can do now...
An hour had passed since the torture begun, but Harry had not been the only victim. Somehow, he had managed to successfully administer the Cruciatus Curse on the unsuspecting Voldemort. Although he had not screamed in agony as was planned, the pain the curse had caused was evident on his gaunt face. Unfortunately for Harry, this accomplishment only caused the torture to worsen. Out of anger immediately following Harry's attack, Voldemort hit Harry with a curse very similar to Sectumsempra – different only in that Harry did not pass out, as Malfoy had. This made it all the worse. Blood poured from the wound opened in his chest, as well as from his mouth and nose. Harry blocked out the pain, and forced himself to stand and face his nemesis.
Momentarily, Voldemort looked shocked that Harry was still willing to stand and fight. He quickly hid his surprise, however, and continued his usual taunting.
"You know, I assume, that you shall soon bleed to death, Harry. There is no counter-curse for it, either – I made sure of that. I'd say you have no more than five minutes. You'd better say goodbye to your friends, Potter."
Harry knew that his chance had come. This was the moment he had waited all those years for, the moment in which he must kill Voldemort. The only way he could do that, he knew, was to catch him unawares. He made himself fall over, moaning and clutching his chest. Voldemort must believe he had no strength left for his plan to work.
The Dark Lord strode over to where Harry lay, smiling cruelly. "I see that I've already defeated you...the Boy Who Lived, the famous Harry Potter. I must admit, you put up an admirable fight...but no one, of course, can defeat me. I'll think I'll just stand here and watch you die. Personally, I hope it takes a while. You deserve the pain, you deserve to die."
Harry had stealthily picked up his wand and hidden it beneath his robes, unnoticed by Voldemort, as he was talking. "I don't, but YOU DO!" he pulled the wand with a practiced hand, and summoned up all the anger and loathing he felt towards the man who stood before him. "AVADA KEDAVRA!"
Green light erupted from his wand tip, hitting Voldemort squarely in the chest. He fell over onto the sand, his red eyes open wide and his mouth agape to form a gasp that was never released from his lips. Instantly, the enchantment holding the onlookers of the battle in their seats was broken. People rushed out of the stands, making to view the recently fallen Dark Lord, but were stopped instantly by the booming voice of Professor McGonagall.
"STAY BACK! KEEP THE AREA CLEAR!" Ron and Hermione looked aghast at the concept. Ginny had come running up to them, her face white and tear-stained. Ron hugged her fiercely.
McGonagall walked over to the trio. "You three may enter, but no more students." she gave them a teary glance as they instantly rushed past her to Harry.
Madame Pomfrey was already tending to their friend, muttering to herself.
"Madame Pomfrey?" said Hermione tentatively. "How is he? will he be okay? V-Voldemort said there was no counter-curse..."
"I'm afraid he was right," sighed the Hogwarts healer. "I've never seen wounds like these, nothing I do seems to have any affect. I fear he doesn't have much time left, and he can't be moved. I would say your goodbyes."
The three friends were all sobbing uncontrollably as they approached Harry's battered form. He was covered in blood, his eyes barely remaining open.
Ron knelt beside the best friend he ever had. "You're a hero, mate," he choked out. "I'll never forget you. You've saved all of us."
Hermione spoke next. "Oh, Harry...you were so brave...it's finally over, isn't it? I just wish you had an opportunity to actually be happy, without Voldemort. You DESERVED that..." she broke off, now unable to talk. Ron put an arm around her shoulder, letting her lean into him. He kissed the top of her head.
Ginny crawled over to the boy she loved, smoothing back his matted hair and kissing him gently on the lips. "I don't know how I'll live without you, Harry."
Harry coughed violently, causing more blood to erupt from his mouth. "I l-l-love a-a-all...o-o-of...y-you," he croaked. He took one final chest-rattling breath, and he was gone. His green eyes still stared towards the sky-towards his parents, Sirius, and Dumbledore.
It was the end. The end of a duel, the end of a war, the end of a love, and the end of an invaluable life. Though the wizarding world had been saved, it would never be the same.
OMG! This story took forever to write – It was supposed to be a short Onehot! I hope you liked it. Please review!