Title: Bounty Hunter II: Black and White
Author: Snippy of Snippy and Snarky
Pairing: H/D, Hr/SS, implied H/G (but not really)
Disclaimer: HP & Co NOT MINE – don't sue.
Synopsis: Note: Disregard sixth book as the first Bounty Hunter was written before it came out, and does not incorporate its plots and character arcs. The struggle between shades of grey is enough to tear a hero in two. . .
Rating: Mature, R, Adult – rated for language explicit sexual situations and violence – reader discretion is advised.
A/N's: Hey y'all, I'm back! Here's hoping the sequel turns out well. Let me know what you think. Also, this is an open call for betas – let me know if you're interested, and also if you'd be interested in looking at some completely original work. Peace, love and a couple of sarcastic snakes!
No, whether or not to lead them . . . .
Harry's dark words echoed in Draco's head as he stared around at his father's cronies. He opened his mouth to speak, his brain desperately searching for words to fit the situation – a sarcastic comment to buy him time, words of wisdom to impart – but he was came up blank a complete blank. He stood next to Harry, watching apprehensively the dark gleam in his green eyes, noticed his dirty, exhausted and bruised body, the way his soul felt, and had absolutely no idea what to say.
Suddenly, a loud roar akin to rolling thunder rumbled over the grounds. A shrieking wind shot out of the Forbidden Forest and a bolt of lightning ripped through the sky traveling down Harry's uplifted sword and encasing him in electric light. The hum of the power of the bolt vibrated along Draco's spine, raising his hair and warmly stroking his skin like a lover's caress. A deafening boom sounded, the earth shook.
Draco felt himself fly though the air. His mind no longer blank, he tried to call out for Harry. Through the haze, he thought he saw something being propelled towards the woods. Then he hit the ground, striking his head on a large rock and everything went black. His mind blank once more.
No, whether or not to lead them . . . .
Ginny, Hermione and Severus watched the defeat of the Dark Lord with something akin to awe, staring as the Death Eaters surrounded Harry and bowed.
"What are they doing?" Hermione whispered.
"Surrendering," Ginny guessed.
"Offering their allegiance," Severus corrected.
"How do we get him out of there?" Hermione asked.
"What – you're afraid they're going to hurt him?" Ginny scoffed.
"Well, what then? Do we just walk out there? Hi, Harry, how's it going? Who are your new friends?" Hermione stood, toppling the precarious pyramid they had formed to watch the fight.
"I'd hardly call a group of has-been Death Eater's Harry's new friends." Ginny frowned.
"Hello – sarcasm." Hermione sniffed.
"I wouldn't be so sure of that," Severus mused, righting himself and offering Ginny a hand up as well. That's when the ground started to shake. A fierce wind blew up behind them and cycloned towards Harry and Draco. The unlikely trio found themselves on the ground once more as lightning struck the Boy Who lived.
"What the hell was that?" Hermione pushed herself up off the ground once more. "Harry!"
The dark haired boy lay unconscious a few feet from them, the force of whatever supernatural explosion had struck him having deposited him within their reach.
Hermione quickly moved to kneel beside him, Ginny following quickly after and Severus standing aloofly at his feet.
"Harry? Harry, wake up!" Hermione gently grasped his shoulders and shook him.
"H-hermione? Is that you? What happened?" Harry's voice was dazed, his eyes barely cracking open.
"You won, Harry. You did it." Hermione hugged him close, Severus narrowing his eyes as he watched. "It's over. It's all over."
Harry almost smiled, then passed out once more.
"Let's take him inside." Severus scowled.
"What – into Hogwarts?" Ginny questioned.
"It's about time it's reclaimed, don't you think?" Hermione pointed out.
"What about the remaining Death Eaters?" Ginny turned to face the clearing once more. "Hey, where'd they go?"
"Somewhere else," Severus said grimly. He pulled out his wand and lifted Harry's body into the air to silently float behind them as they walked towards the castle.
All was eerily quiet and calm, but as they walked, Hermione couldn't shake the feeling that some kind of storm was brewing.
Hermione looked up as Harry stirred on the hospital bed, finally regaining consciousness. She leaned forward, gently clasping his clammy fingers in her own. "Hey there, Hero. How are you feeling?"
"Like I got hit by a tornado and landed on a tree."
"Yeah, that's pretty much what happened."
Harry sat up and looked around. He was in the medical wing at Hogwarts, a place that he had awoken in many times before. He half-expected Madame Pomfrey to walk through the door any minute and shoo Hermione back to Gryffindor Tower so that he could rest. But she was dead.
Harry hazily recalled Hermione's voice speaking to him as he fell into darkness. You won, Harry. You did it. It's over. He looked up questioningly into Hermione's deep brown eyes, she smiled and he knew it was true. It was over.
"How did I get here?'
"We brought you in from the woods."
"Severus, Ginny and I."
"And the Death Eaters?" Harry shifted the pillow behind him and leaned back. He felt ragged, bruised and exhausted. But he was alive. And he had Hermione back. And Voldemort was dead. That pretty much made it the best day of his life. "Draco?"
"Gone. Draco, too. We searched the grounds a few times, but there's no sign of them anywhere." Hermione sat back, now in full informer mode. "Severus is meeting with Dumbledore in his office. All of the remaining aurors and members of the Order are apparating in to pay their respects to you."
"I'm not dead."
"Hence the respect." Hermione laughed a little. "Ginny is helping plan a big party. It's sort of a 'Happy Birthday, Harry' slash 'Yay, Voldemort's dead' slash 'Re-opening of Hogwarts' extravaganza."
"Hogwarts is reopening?" Harry shook his head. "It all seems so impossible." He slumped back down in the bed and yawned.
"You should get some rest." Hermione gently brushed his black hair off his forehead. "You've had a – "
She stopped short, staring at him.
"What, what is it?"
"Harry – your, your scar!"
"What?" He reached up, his fingers automatically finding the patch on his forehead that had forever been marred by Voldemort's work.
Harry stood in Dumbledore's office, as he had so many times before, Fawkes cleaning his feathers and eyeing him.
"Mr. Potter, how are you?" Dumbledore's eyes twinkled at him. He sat behind his desk, looking as ancient as he always had, and completely unchanged by the war and its aftermath.
"Fine, sir." Harry settled himself into a chair. "A little worse for wear, maybe . . ."
"Have some tea, Harry." The older wizard waved his wand and a tea tray appeared on the desk before him. Harry looked at the tray but didn't reach for anything.
Without a word, Harry waved his hand over an empty cup and it filled with strong coffee. He lifted the warm mug into his hands and offered the older man a reluctant smile. Dumbledore hid his surprise. The Harry he had known would never have presumed such a move, would have taken what he was offered with sincere thanks
Dumbledore regarded the man before him. Harry still supported the bruising of one black eye, his skin yellow in places where other bruises had healed. But despite the vestiges of his injuries, he looked awake and alert. Capable. Gone was the awkward boy, shyly standing in front of the Headmaster's desk, eyes full of innocence, hope and gratitude. Here was perhaps the most powerful wizard on the planet, dangerous and dark in ways that were hidden on the surface. Confident and commanding, the way a true leader was meant to be.
"I have terrible news, Harry." Dumbledore's eyes were unreadable.
"It's not over. Not yet."
Harry gazed back at him, his facial expression blank, but Dumbledore noted the bleakness that had entered his eyes. The calm acceptance that it was never over, that the fight would go on and on forever until Harry himself ceased to exist.
"Harry, the Order and I have discovered another part to the prophecy. We were working on deciphering it when Severus gave us the news that Voldemort had been defeated."
"Harry, I trust you remember Tom Riddle's diary and the dark entity contained within?" Harry nodded. "The prophecy seems to refer to the existence of two powerful wizards vying for power. It is my belief that Voldemort was able to tap into your power and create a new body to exist in."
"Bloody hell." Harry shook his head.
"We think that's why your scar is gone. Harry, there's something else you should know as well."
Harry's questioning gaze seemed to pierce Dumbledore's heart. He continued softly, "Harry, the body he's in looks just like you. When you killed Voldemort, instead of becoming him as you feared–" Harry looked up sharply. The years had done nothing to take away the uncanny way Dumbledore would just know what was inside your head. "He became you."
"So where is he?" Harry's hands balled into fists.
"We don't know."
Harry came to in what appeared to be the Slytherin Common Room at Hogwarts. He was laid out on one of the black leather couches, before a roaring green fire in the fireplace. He lifted his head and shifted to a sitting position, fighting the wave of nausea and dizziness that threatened to consume him.
As he became more aware, Harry realized that his body was clean. He was dressed in his black dragonleather trousers and his green wool sweater was neatly folded on the glass and steel coffee-table before him. It appeared to be clean and repaired. His hand found the werewolf tooth necklace still around his neck and it calmed him. His brain flashed images of the final battle between Harry Potter and Voldemort, of being struck by lightning of flying through the air only to crash land dangerously close to his sword. What the hell was he doing here?
A tray appeared on the coffee table. Hot steaming black coffee, a fluffy golden pile of scrambled eggs and some toast. Cautiously, he took a sip of the coffee, the bitter brew clearing the rest of the fog from his brain and making his stomach rumble.
"Hello?" He called out. There was no answer. "Draco?" Nothing.
He looked around for his wand, but it was nowhere in sight. Shrugging his shoulders, he helped himself to the repast without the anti-poision spell he had intended to use. It was a good day to die when he woke up this morning planning to kill Voldemort, it was probably still one. And at least he had a last meal. He frowned, wondering if it was still the same day. His mind filled with questions.
How long had he been out? How had he gotten here? Had somebody bathed him? His mind immediately pictured Draco. This was the Slytherin Common Room after all, it seemed just the sort of place Draco would pick to get him cleaned up.
Finishing his meal, Harry stood up and stretched. He felt good. Really good. Strong, powerful and without the constant ache in his bones and muscles that he had become accustomed to. He smiled.
A knock sounded throughout the cavernous Common Room. Not at the door, more in the air. Harry lifted a brow, bemused. "Hello? Come in?"
"Mr, Potter, so good to see you back on your feet again."
Harry turned around, the smile melting away. "What are you doing here?" His mouth twisted in a wry expression. "Alive?"
There, on the top of the staircase, in all of his customary finery stood the last person Harry had ever expected to see. Lucius Malfoy.
"Why, I'm paying my respects to the new power in town." Lucius smiled that Malfoy smile that never reached his eyes. "Welcome to the top of the food chain, Harry. I think you're going to like it here."