Disclaimer: It all belongs to JK Rowling. And that bit further down? That's a quote from Order of the Phoenix.
A/N: Probably the longest oneshot I've ever written. And the first I've actually cried while I wrote. Although that may be because I was listening to Adiemus by Enya and remembering the last few episodes of Wolf's Rain...
But this story definately set me off.
I have seen many things in my life.
It is no wonder, as I have lived for over a century and a half. Many times this didn't bother me, nor did I acknowledge it, but a few times - especially since he came into Hogwarts - I have felt my age, crushing me like the weight of the world.
There have been highlights, of course. Seeing children as babies, then watching as pride as they grew and started making names for themselves. And I have spent many happy times with my family.
But good cannot exist without bad.
Deaths, too many to name, I have seen. Some extremely dear, some faceless strangers. I have seen them waste away in hospital beds, or die in the swathe of destruction Grindelwald and Voldemort both left behind. I have watched the light fade from there eyes, felt their skin grow cool. When my wife and my mother died, I felt like there was no death that could hurt so much.
I was wrong.
It has been how many years? Ten? Twenty? A side-effect of old age, unfortunately. Too much time your mind has to remember and it has to let some things go over time.
Well, I may not remember the time, nor the date - although that should be easy to find. It was the biggest story and the journalists were rabid at the time. But I shall forever remember the events.
Somehow he had escaped the tight security around Hogwarts and had gone after Voldemort. Terrified for his safety, myself and the Order had followed as soon as we had found his whereabouts. We arrived just in time to find Voldemort and him dueling fiercely, while the Death Eaters watched.
Some of the Order began Stunning the Death Eaters, but I don't remember that part. I remember watching Voldemort and him dueling and feeling terrified.
Now, earlier that year, Miss Granger had come to me with concerns about him. She reported he wasn't eating well and spent a lot of his time reading. However, she admitted she was pleased he was getting his homework done early and well. Briefly I reassured her and she left, satisfied in my abilities. Oh, foolish child...
But when Harry performed his next spell, it all became clear for me. Harry hadn't been studying for homework. He had finished his homework, yes, to avoid Miss Granger's shrewd eyes and mind. Instead, he had been tirelessly searching for a spell, anything to finish Voldemort.
He found it.
The curse Harry performed was an ancient one, most commonly used to detect infidelity. Borderline illegal.
Under my horrified gaze, he linked his soul with Voldemort, who was deliriously happy. Until Harry turned his wand on himself. Voldemort actually froze and frowned in confusion. Voldemort didn't understand.
I remember screaming no!. I remember Harry saying quietly, "I have to do this."
"What is the fool boy doing now?"
Two soft thuds.
Oh, excuse me. Memory problems. Now, where was I? Oh yes.
They both fell. I was the only witness - the battle between the Order and the Death Eaters had spread over the large area.
Voldemort died instantly. It was too great a mercy for him, but when is life ever fair?
What happened next is a bit vague - you'll have to excuse me. I don't remember how, but I ended up cradling Harry as he gasped for breath and blood from his scar trickled down his pale face.
"Can I go home now?" he had whispered.
And it pained me, for I knew he wasn't referring to Hogwarts. He was referring to death.
Oh, I wanted to be selfish. I wanted to make him stay with us, just for a few more years. But that wasn't fair on Harry - he had come into this life, suffered and wanted it to end. Wanted happiness.
Slowly my hand began inching to my wand.
"Yes, Harry," I remember saying softly. "Yes, Harry. It's time for you to go home."
And my hand had found my wand. Carefully I began to move it.
Harry had smiled at me, a beautiful smile. "Thank you. Are you going to take me home?"
Such a child-like voice.
"Yes, Harry. If that's want you want."
"Yes," Harry had murmured. His head fell sideways on my arm and he gazed across at Voldemort's corpse. Quickly I turned it into my robes. No one should die looking at something like that.
"Tell everyone I'm sorry," Harry had suddenly burst out. "Tell them I love them."
"I will, Harry," I had promised. "They shall know."
Wand in position, held in a suddenly shaking grip.
"They're coming for me," Harry mumbled. "I know it."
Yes, Lily and James. Come for your son. I know you have both longed for and hated this moment.
"Just think of them," I had soothed. I was stalling and I knew it.
And over Harry's head I had seen them. Lily and James, looking like they had before their deaths. James was holding Lily tightly and they were both crying. Spirits weren't uncommon. Many had seen them while their comrade died in their arms. I had never seen spirits before. It seemed that night was one of firsts.
"They're here, Harry," I had told him. "Are you ready?"
Tears were beginning to well up in my eyes and blind me. There was a sudden rush of refusal. How easy it would be to put my wand away and take Harry to Pompfrey...But I had to do this. Harry deserved it. I had to keep Harry's happiness in mind, like I never done before.
With the thought of Harry's happiness in mind, I calmed slightly. That was good; I had to mean it.
I had choked it out, desperately trying to mean it. And it worked. I no longer felt the rise and fell of Harry chest, or heard his choking breathing.
I remember looking down and trying to wipe the tears out of my eyes. As my vision became clear, I saw Harry's face.
He had died smiling.
Then I remember looking up and starting. Lily and James were still there. They smiled tearfully at me before disappearing.
The next few weeks were a blur. There is a vague memory of someone - I think it may have been Alastor - shaking my shoulder and then seeing Harry. I remember returning to my office sometime that night and sitting there until dawn, listening to Fawkes alternate between mournful keens and hauntingly beautiful song.
In the weeks to follow there were numerous parties. None of them, I attended. The thought made me sick. A young boy I don't care! I've had enough, I've seen enough, I want out, I want it to end, I don't care any more! was dead. He would never walk among us, never marry and have children, never slip peacefully into death while sleeping at a ripe old age. He had sacrificed himself for us.
When Fudge requested to have Harry buried in a public funeral, I stood firm against him. Eventually we agreed on a public memorial service but a private funeral. I never went to the memorial. It was just like the parties in a way. A bunch of people speaking about a boy they never cared to know.
The funeral, I made sure to attend. And private it was. Myself, Remus Lupin, the entire Weasley family, Neville Longbottom and his grandmother, Miss Lovegood and her father, Miss Granger and her parents, and Nymphadora Tonks.
The service, I remember nothing off except looking at Miss Lovegood sobbing and thinking that Harry's death had made her seem more human she ever could wish to be. Or not wish - Miss Lovegood is content being different. I admire her for that, and to an extent, I think Harry did too.
And then the years slipped by. Every pleasure I experienced was fleeting, every sorrow was too memorable. People moved on with life, the world now at peace. No one forgot Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived.
No one remembered Harry.
I am perhaps the only one now.
As I sit here writing this, I am vowing to give this to Harry's old friends. My time is coming and I don't want Harry Potter to be forgotten, to become just another name in a history textbook.
But more importantly, I must remind his friends to tell their children about Harry. Not Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived. Just Harry, the boy who loved Quidditch and his owl over anything and everyone else, who had a tendency to leave homework to the last minute. Who infuriated Severus like no one ever had before, who somehow managed to win the heart of the wizard considered the most powerful in the world.
A few more days should suffice. Enough to make copies of this and hand to his friends, along with instructions on what to do with it. Then I shall go to sleep one night and wake up in the land of the dead. I will be able to shake Lily and James' hands, talk with Sirius Black, listen to Alastor again, listen to Minerva scold, and yes watch Harry.
Watch Harry laugh and frolic like he should, like the child he never got to be.
Yes, a few more days sounds reasonable.
Oh, hell, I finished writing this unable to see the keyboard because of my tears. Well, I do hope you enjoyed this and I hope it wasn't too bad. Please feel free to give me your opinion, I'm interested to see what other people think.