Leap of Faith by aprilmoon92

Summary: The previous few months flash through Harry's mind as he lies on the battlefield in a dream state with Ginny by his side. What will it take to overcome the darkness? (One-off)
Rating: R FPRIVATE "TYPEPICT;ALThalf-star"
Categories: Post-HBP
Characters: None
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2006.03.15
Updated: 2006.03.15

Leap of Faith by aprilmoon92

Chapter 1: TrustAuthor's Notes:

Disclaimer: This is JKR's world, I'm just messing with it.
A/N: This is the first fanfic I've ever written. Please read and review, I really appreciate it. If you don't know what the latin words I used mean, refer to the bottom of the text for loose translations. I know it may not be very good, but wth, enjoy :)
A/NEditing: Sorry, just changed, I typed that wrongly, Fleur is Bill's wife not Percy's I guess too much typing makes my mind groggy.

"Harry..." she whispered hoarsely. Her shirt was a mass of scarlet as blood flowed freely down her front. Harry was unable to speak. His eyes were empty, his mind still trapped in the spell that had ensnared him when Voldemort had been killed. Emotion overwhelmed her as her mind caught up with the events of the night. She leaned down and stared into his eyes, they had begun to glaze over.

"No..." a single tear slid down her freckled nose and hung at its tip for a tantalizing moment before plunging down onto his closing eyes.

Harry reached down into the recesses of his trunk and closed his hand around a smooth bead-like object. Glancing around to make sure neither Ron nor Hermione was observing, he gently lifted the Amacal from his trunk. Moving slowly so as to not attract attention, he casually pocketed the love stone. With a flick of his wand, the rest of his things flew pell-mell into his trunk.

"Harry, hurry up. We're going to be late for dinner," Hermione suddenly said. Looking up shamefaced, Harry thought he had been caught. Without an indication of whether she had seen what he had taken out, she swept down the stairs with Ron in her wake. Harry sighed; he knew that they did not want to miss this. The trio had not been home for such a long time. It seemed years, yet it had only been several months since they had left Hogwarts.

In that time, much had happened. Harry closed his eyes and images immediately flashed before his eyes. Dumbledore's body suspended in mid-air just before it had swept over the edge beyond the wall of the tower. Dumbledore's funeral. The blazing look in Ginny's eyes when he had told her that they had to break up and the silent sobs which had racked her body after. Three teenagers sitting in the Black library intently researching on Dark Magic. The gleam in Hermione's eyes as three stood with their wands outstretched, blasting Nagini into oblivion with a roguishly crafted void spell.

A particularly special memory finally surfaced.

Death Eaters had finally ambushed the trio as they left number 12, Grimmauld Place with Regulus' stolen locket in hand. Harry stood slightly apart from the group, dueling any Death Eaters who approached as he defended the locket. Ron was surrounded by a ring of young Death Eaters and Hermione dueled Lucius Malfoy nearby. Suddenly, Hermione let out a piercing scream as Malfoy managed to hex her with a Cruciatus curse. With a mighty shout, Ron launched himself bodily at Draco, breaking the circle. With another bestial roar, Ron swept both hands before him, moving his wand in a series of complex jabs he had never before been able to master.

With a deafening burst of flames, the Death Eaters were either instantaneously incinerated or charred beyond recognition. Ron raised his wand, holding it squarely at Malfoy's chest as the tip of Lucius' own wand was held to a struggling Hermione's head. Fire blazed in his eyes as he stood facing the Death Eater. In a sudden move, Lucius thrust Hermione forward, causing Ron to attempt to catch her. With a slash of his wand, Malfoy nonverbally threw Ron back, disarming him. Ron staggered to his feet, his wand a clear five feet away as Malfoy leveled his wand at Ron after binding Hermione.

Harry forced the rest of the Death Eaters to disapparate as he send a slicing wave of concentrated magic towards them. Before he could make a move towards Hermione, he watched the events seemed to unfold in slow-motion.

"Falarica!" Lucius shouted. A spear of ghostly-green magic emerged from his wand and zoomed towards Ron. Ron's eyes seem to glaze over and Harry thought that at this point he had seen a scarlet thread span the distance between his two friends. Less than a moment later, the thread was gone and the fire blazed in Ron's eyes stronger than before. His empty hands rose, fingers forward, on their own accord. The spear of magic neared its target.

"Dissolutio," Ron said in barely a whisper. Time froze as a mass of destructive Chaos gathered between his wandless hands and suddenly sped away from him. With a massive burst of light and Thaumagical energy, the Chaos passed though Malfoy's magic missile, ripping it to shreds. Unhindered, it hurtled recklessly towards the Death Eater who was rooted to the spot in fear. The orb passed harmlessly through Hermione's body, slamming into Lucius' body with implosive force. There was sudden silence and all that remained of Lucius Malfoy drifted away on the wind.

Ron's face was all but a mask of horror. He leapt towards Hermione's limp form, desperately holding her head to his chest. Harry smiled as he watched Hermione give one adoring look at Ronald, and kissed him passionately for the first time. Scarlet fire roared around them and when it had gone, Harry could see a mass of red threads binding his friends together eternally.

Harry sighed again as the memories swirled around him again. He forced his eyes open, wiping a stray tear from the corner of his left eye. This was the first time they had been back to the Burrow since Dumbledore's Death. They had been unable to keep to the promise of returning for Bill's wedding, having been hard at work finding each Horcrux and researching the complex methods needed to destroy each one safely.

He was nervous to be back. He had not seen the people he loved for such a long time and their reunion with Molly Weasley earlier that day had been a touching event. He remembered vividly the faces of all the Weasleys, each and every one inexplicably etched in his mind. He closed his eyes again, remembering all those who had not made it.

His heart stirred as he remembered the scarred face of the devoted and skilled ex-auror Alastor "Mad-eye" Moody, he had been tortured to death by Lord Voldemort himself. Kingsley Shacklebolt had been murdered trying to defend the Prime Minister. Dedalus Diggle and Victor Krum had been killed at the hands of Death Eaters after they had slaughtered Fenrir Greyback and a den of werewolves. Dean Thomas, Colin Creevy, Ernie Macmillan, Cho Chang, Filch and several others had been killed defending Hogsmeade.

All those people had died fighting a battle. A battle with a single purpose. To defeat the darkest wizard that had ever lived to save all the people of the earth. Harry was the only one who could ever achieve this and he had to fight for the cause. For the ones who had died fighting, for the safety of his friends and to avenge his parents. Harry knew he would fight. He knew that he would never rest until either he lay stone cold or Voldemort was vanquished.

Feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders, Harry slowly shut the lid of his trunk. The click of the lock echoed around the empty room with a certain finality to it. With a last heavy sigh, Harry stood up, waved his wand and vanished their trunks. With a glance around the room, Harry turned and descended the stairs.

Warmth filled his heart as he looked around the table at the joyous faces of his adoptive family. Everyone's plates were full and their eyes laughing as they each savored the brief escape from the harsh reality outside. Ron and Hermione sat side by side, just enjoying each other's company. Harry continued to eat as his eyes drifted across, observing the faces of his loved ones.

Molly Weasley had thinned considerably with worry, yet still presented the warmth of a caring and understanding mother. Harry was pleased to note that her culinary skills had not been blunted by time. Arthur Weasley sat at the head of the table, his eyes now hard but still warm of nature. Becoming head of the Muggle-Magical Protection Department had boded well for him. Fred and George had matured greatly, their faces weathered but their eyes still held the spark of mischief. Each now wore the dark dragon skin cloak of a Auror Researcher. Percy had finally reconciled with his family and now sat at his old place along the table, wearing a loving smile as he chatted with his mother. He sported the dark green suits of head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation. Charlie had changed little save for the new worry lines on his forehead, perhaps he looked a bit more rugged. He laughed as he spoke of his exploits with the Romanian dragons to his father. Harry's eyes drifted further and landed on Bill who was now the leader of the Gringott's Defense Force. He looked much older and careworn, yet he still laughed openly at his wife's jokes.


Ginny was another story entirely. Harry was lost for words. She had not changed entirely, no, everything Harry remembered was still there, just better. He remembered the girl he had left behind. His most personal sacrifice in the entire battle. How he had loved to hear her laugh, to feel the silky smoothness of her passionately crimson hair, to smell the vague flowery scent of her shampoo coupled with the heady smell of herself. Harry simply sat there observing the flowing locks he had known only months previously, the luscious lips which beckoned invitingly, and the most entrancing feature of Ginny. Her dark brown eyes shone in the candlelight, accenting the gentle curves of her cheeks as they led flowingly to her firm chin.

She suddenly turned towards him. As her eyes met his, an almost tangible force linked them for a moment. She studied him with longing in her eyes; hurt returning as she remembered their breakup for his foolishly noble reasons. The penetrating stare of his emerald eyes held her before her gazed roamed around his face, remembering the times she had spent gently caressing him as they simply enjoyed the presence of the other. His jet black hair was as tangled but was longer than she remembered. His face was finely chiseled, only marred by the lightning bolt scar which graced his forehead.

They simply gazed at each other, reintroducing themselves to the loves of their lives. Bill had long ago stopped talking, clearly realizing why she had stopped abruptly. Wordlessly, they welcomed each other back into their lives, seeing the hurt and pain of the other. He slowly lost himself in her deep brown eyes, and she his green eyes as they silently reached an understanding.

"Mom, Harry and I need to talk," Ginny said, her eyes still locked with his. They quietly stood up, walking in the direction of the field, hand in hand.

"Ginny, I..." Harry began, stopping suddenly as Ginny buried her head in his chest. A tingle ran up his spine and the monster in his chest raised its head hopefully. She leaned against him, sobbing silently into his robes. Harry wrapped his arms around her shoulders, lowered his head, breathing in the scent of her hair as she collected herself. She looked up at him with tear-stained eyes. Harry admired the freckles on her flawless pale skin as she finally calmed down.

"I've been so worried," the pain and hurt in her eyes spoke volumes as warm guilt welled up in his chest, "Harry..." A shudder racked her body. Understanding, he lifted her chin and stared deeply into her eyes, clearly saying that he was here now, and that was all that mattered. Harry breathed out gently and lowered his head to the tear-stained face of his love. The kiss was short but electric. Their lips molded around each other as they reacquainted themselves and both were locked in a firm embrace.

Harry withdrew, and lifted a hand to gently caress her face. Ginny's body felt right against him, her gentle curves fitting perfectly against his muscular build. He lowered his head again, gently trailing kisses from her ear down the nape for her neck to her bare shoulders. Her breathing quickened as he gently nibbled her ear lobe. Knowing that she would soon be lost, Ginny quickly grasped Harry's shoulders and held him at an arm's length. He looked down at her questioningly, his faced flushed with the attraction he felt to her.

"Harry, take me back, please. Both of us know that your noble reasons were no reasons at all. Leaving me won't protect me, Harry. I will follow you and I will fight, maybe not with my wand or with my hands, but I will always be by your side," Ginny's eyes were hard and her face set, as she waited for Harry's response.

"I know, love. I have seen in the past months what few others have ever seen, and I have finally understood Dumbledore's words. Love is indeed extremely powerful, in every way, in every facet of life" Harry murmured, "In the past few months, the hope of reuniting with you has been the only force keeping me fighting. I have seen so much Death, so much destruction..." Ginny's hand sympathetically squeezed his and she drew him back towards her. She gazed in wonder at the boy who had captured her heart, feeling her chest swell with emotion as she watched a tear leak out from his eye.

"Don't cry, Love," Ginny whispered. She raised her head, meeting his soft lips with her own. Their noses brushed and she closed her eyes, enjoying the tender kiss they shared. His tongue ran lightly over her full lips, gently prying her lips apart, she immediately responded, exploring the cavern of his mouth lovingly. Sudden warmth ran through each of their bodies. A gentle hum was emitted from the Amacal in his pocket. Ginny broke the kiss, glancing down at his robes. Harry reached in and withdrew the now glowing stone, holding it against Ginny's palm; she slowly clasped her fingers around his.

"It's an Amacal or love stone. It will bind us together, protecting both of us with love magic," Harry muttered. Ginny followed the movement of his arm, staring at the swirling surface of the gem. Beneath the coils of intermingling magic, she saw what looked like an image of Harry emerge. She turned her gaze to Harry, breathing in deeply. She entwined her fingers more securely with his and nodded once. Harry took out his wand and placed it on the surface of the stone.

"Animus copula" he said in a firm voice. A rope of pink fire emerged from his wand, winding itself from the gem down Ginny's fingers and fraying into thousands of threads which wrapped themselves around her. Looking at her pointedly, Harry withdrew his wand. Ginny placed the tip of her own wand on the surface, feeling surprised as sudden heat sped through it. She repeated the incantation and watched as another rope wound itself into Harry's body. Hands still clasped, he leaned forward, sealing the spell with a passionate kiss on her lips. The threads glowed with sudden intensity, turning a brilliant white before fading.

Ginny looked up at the love of her life as he transfigured the stone, adding a chain. He slipped his arms around her neck, fastening the clasp. His heartbeat quickened with the skin to skin contact, his hands lingering on the softness of her neck. Unable to contain her emotions anymore, Ginny threw herself against him with a gut wrenching embrace, passion in both their eyes as they kissed each other senseless. It lasted for days and months, years and centuries, in their private world. Neither wanting to break apart, they stumbled blindly to a spot near the edge of the forest. His deftly unfastened her robe, slipping his hands along her shoulders till it fell to the ground.

"I love you." he whispered.

A shudder ran though the rock around them. The trio was thrown back suddenly as a wave of force emanated from the fissure in the earth. An eerie green glow began emerge, causing the nearby plants to take on a ghostly sheen. Harry glanced towards Ron and Hermione. They crouched just behind him, having just recovered from the shock. Ron's hand was wrapped protectively around Hermione's waist and his wand was up, conjuring the shield which she had dropped due to the shock.

Hermione nodded a fraction and silently handed him a vial of sapphire-tinged potion. Harry's hands clasped the fragile vial of moonlight and he curled his fingers around it. The light which shone from within caused his fingers to glow. With his other dragon skin glove-clad hand, he carefully popped the stopper from the neck of the vial of captured moonlight and a cloud of frost was immediately released. He gingerly raised the vial to his lips, and with a deep breath, tipped the contents into his mouth. An icy chill spread from his mouth, seemingly freezing his body within moments. Hermione's eyes held concern as she watched, terrified, as Harry began to emit Thaumagical waves.

His eyelids slid up, revealing eyes which were now a chilling aquamarine. From the extremities of his body, a layer of frost slowly began to form a crust. Time seemed frozen as a sudden flash of moonlight burst forth from his chest. When Ron and Hermione's vision had finally returned to normal, their mouths fell open, unnerved by the sight before them. Harry's body had become ethereal, his flesh was a translucent blue mist and only the scarlet of his blood stood in stark contrast to the rest of his form. Giving them a last nod, Harry turned, his wand clutched firmly in his grip.

As he approached the crater, an unearthly wail reverberated around the valley. Without a backward glance, Harry dived headfirst into the crater. His world became a mass of black. He felt each and every one of the cells in his body gather a mind of its own and spread apart in what seemed like an eternity. Slowly, he felt himself materialize at the other end of the portal. His gaze swept the area and immediately fell on a roughly hewn pedestal in the rock.

"Acclaro," he muttered. A thin web of green colored veins seemed to descend onto every surface. His eyes widened slightly as he saw the runes of a Manticore embedded in the shields. With a sweep of his wand, he conjured a set of glowing beads in the air. With a sudden jab, he sent the orbs of magic hurtling towards the web.

"Protego!" he quickly shouted as a wall of searing mist burst from the shields. Harry felt as if a hand was pinning him to the wall... he had mistakenly chosen to use a shield charm which was far too weak. As his shield began to waver, he desperately thrust out a hand palm first. A gong-like sound rang out suddenly as a tangible blast of force was released. A net of brilliant white threads surrounded Harry as the defensive trap slowly began to fade. Thanking the stars that Ginny and himself had used the love stone, Harry cautiously raised his wand once more, seeking to find out what damage his spell had wrought.

As he observed the webs, he noticed that only the most basic of the defenses had been breached. Remembering Hermione's words about that vulnerability of spell webs to age, he raised his arm almost tentatively. He swept his free hand in an arc and slashed twice with his wand to form the glowing spell form of an Iam Rune. Harry focused his mind on the webs and watched in fascination as the majority of the webs crumbled at the accelerated aging. Only the manticore rune remained in the spell web. Harry grimaced as he went through his nonexistent options.

"Accio Cup" he said wry grin. As he had expected, nothing happened. Next he tried a pilfering charm Furor and the destruction hex Dissolutio. The effects were conspicuous only in their absence.

"Remember, speed is the greatest factor you can use to defeat a Manticore," Ginny quickly told him through their mental link. Harry's heart warmed to know that no harm would come to her as she sat in the new Order Headquarters with a pile of books for company, "Thanks, Gin.". He took one nervous step towards the pedestal. Noting the fact that he was still alive, Harry continued on, he walked for what seemed like hours, although he knew that it was merely a spell. As the thought crossed his mind, his journey came to an abrupt end. Hufflepuff's cup stood proudly upon the stone shelf, surrounded by the fading lines of the spell web.

Harry raised his wand and mentally prepared himself. Reaching cautiously out, he attempted to withdraw the cup from beneath the spell web. With a "bampf" of expanding air, Harry was thrown back against the wall of the now small chamber. A menacing growl emerged from the gloom. Harry's Quidditch reflexes saved him as he quickly leapt to one side. The spot where he had previously been was now a mass of rubble, a massive manticore stood in its place. Harry saw the large frame of a lion with a hideous human head and a curved scorpion's tail. In the blink of an eye, he apparated to the other end of the room in a swirl of his robes. He had sensed more than seen the muscles of its tail coiling.

"Stupefy!" Harry flicked his wand once and jumped quickly before he was caught between the jaws of the monster. He shot spell after spell at it, attempting to stun, bind and hex the creature as he dodged left and right to avoid its fangs, claws and sting. Noticing the futility of his plight, he tried to understand Ginny's words in a different way. In a flash of inspiration, Harry stood still against the wall. The manticore lunged towards him, its sting racing towards him. He leapt.

"Sectumsempra!" Harry made a slashing motion at the Manticore's back, causing a deep gash to appear. Remembering Draco's spell from the dueling club, Harry smiled.

"Everte Statum!" Harry shouted in mid-air, his wand pointing at the open wound. With a flash and a bang, the spell tore the wound open even wider. Refusing to waste time, Harry shot off another string of spells into the Manticore. The monster gave a feral scream and concentrating its pain into one last attack. Its tail lashed forwards, catching Harry in the chest. Harry's eyes widened, but he managed to finish the job.

"Adoran!" he screamed as pain began to cloud his thoughts. A concentrated inferno blasted out of his wand, charring the Manticore and incinerating its insides. Harry gasped as he crashed onto the floor. He looked down and smiled, Hermione's Moonbeam potion had worked. He felt like he could kiss her, then he imagined what Ron would do and left a mental note to himself to just thank her. Even as he watched, the mist began to join back together, stopping the bleeding. A few drops of deadly poison dripped through the ghostly flesh and onto the ground where they burned deep holes in the solid rock.

He was exhausted. Staggering towards the platform, he grasped the handle of the cup, feeling the magic surge through his ethereal body. He reached into his pocket and grasped a locket with Ginny's photo in it. He waited until he felt the familiar tug behind his navel and then, he was gone.

"So, Dumbledore destroyed the Ring, you destroyed the Dairy, we obliterated Nagini, we dropped the locket into a volcano and we just exorcised the cup, what's left?" Hermione said with a questioning look in her eye. The four of them had searched continuously through the Hogwarts library, the Black library and had finally resorted to searching Dumbledore's pensive. Still, they had not found a clue, although they had discovered several useful spells.

"I was wondering," the trio turned to look at Ginny expectantly, "what if... what if the Dark Mark is a Horcrux? Have you ever wondered why its the symbol of the Death Eaters? Especially since...well I was doing a little research and I found out that Morsmordre actually loosely translates to take a bite out of Death..."

"Ginny! You're brilliant! Why didn't we see it before? Take a bite out of Death? Its so obvious, Voldemort used it to take away some of the threat of dying! The Dark Mark must be a Horcrux," Harry leaned over and kissed her soft lips in thanks. Inadvertently, their tongues snaked together, each trying to enter the other's mouth. Getting lost in the passion of the moment, he wrapped his arms around her and trailed kisses down her chin, to the vee of her blouse. Ron cleared his throat. They immediately released each other, returning to their original positions, but not before Ginny whispered a promise of more later that night into Harry's ear.

"There's only one problem, if every time they say the incantation a Mark appears, how will we know which is the real Horcrux?" Hermione continued oblivious to what had just occurred, "well, I guess it must be the one Voldemort himself conjures." They all laughed as Hermione answered her own question yet again. She glared at them and the teens fell silent. Unable to resist, Ron shot a smirk over the table to his girlfriend. Without looking up from her frenzied search for a page of exorcism spells, Hermione raised her wand and nonverbally sent a body bind jinx towards Ron, sending Harry and Ginny into fits of laughter.

Suddenly, Professor Lupin flooed into the room. His face was gaunt and fear clearly showed in his eyes. His robes were torn and singed, most likely from narrowly dodging curses. His wand was in his hand and a deep cut ran from his elbow to the wrist of his left arm. The mood in the room immediately became one of near panic as they took in his appearance. The four were already standing, wands at the ready, waiting for Lupin to tell them what had happened.

"A large band of Death Eaters have attacked Hogwarts itself. We are not sure how they managed it, but they got past all the wards," Lupin's tone changed to one of undisguised fear," I think Voldermort is there in person..." Without another word, the four teens left Professor Lupin to recover, each grabbed a handful of floo powder and in a burst of emerald flames, joined the last battle against the Dark Lord.

"Falarica!" Harry shouted, blasting a Death Eater in front of him. Harry saw the clean hole through the man's chest caused by his hex just before the corpse fell limply onto the ground. Harry's robes were torn and his arms were bloodied from jumping onto the rough stone to dodge curses for the past twenty minutes. Older students and members of the Order of the Phoenix were scattered throughout the battleground, trying to take as many Death Eaters down as possible. Curses were thick in the air, those which missed their targets scoring deep gashes in the flagstones or blasting holes in the surroundings.

Seeing Neville and Luna surrounded by a half circle of Death Eaters, Harry motioned them down and sent a scything blade of magic towards them. There was a sickeningly wet sound as the decapitated heads of the Death Eaters fell to the ground. He ran to the pair, and pulled them behind a piece of broken wall. Quickly checking for major wounds, Harry asked Luna where the main breach was. Hearing her reply, he gritted his teeth and sprinted off before she was done. Harry ran desperately, firing off curses at the Death Eaters he passed. He entered the Entrance Hall and sped up the marble staircase and into a passage hidden behind a suit of armor.

The astronomy tower brought horrible memories streaming back into his mind. Again and again Dumbledore's body fell over the side only to reappear the next second in a never-ending loop. A high-pitched scream brought Harry back to reality. Three Death Eaters faced the wall with a bloodied Tonks leaning against it. One of the figures was not wearing a mask, her haughty features would have been beautiful had they not been marred by the cruel smirk plastered on her face.

"Crucio!" Bellatrix Lestrange shouted with sadistic pleasure. Tonks' body sunk into convulsions once more, her screams echoing through the passageway. Unable to take it anymore, Harry raised his wand and dashed towards the Death Eaters.

"Adoran!" Harry roared causing a blast of fire to char two of the Death Eaters. Unfortunately, Bellatrix had managed to conjure a shield and immediately apparated away. Stunned, Harry was unable to figure out how she had managed to overcome the anti-apparation charm placed on the castle.

"Cru.." Bellatrix's spell was cut off abruptly as she was hit by a spell. Harry turned around and saw her getting up a few feet away, but she was not facing him. Instead, Neville stood at the corner of the wall, eyes blazing. Bellatrix lunged at him, firing hexes indiscriminately after him. Harry spun around again, wand at the ready as he heard the sound of running feet from the direction of the astronomy tower. Professor McGonagall sped around the corner, a rain of curses just behind her. Harry was about to speak to her when a beam of red hit her in the back, her face was contorted in pain as she fell forward, but Harry saw that she was merely stunned. He waved his wand and revived her just as Snape rounded the corner. His face automatically curled into a sneer as he raised his wand and shot a curse at Harry.

"Contego!" Harry conjured a shimmering white shield with a flick of his wand. He grinned; he had not been idle these past few months. Snape's curse hit the shield and rebounded in a burst of red sparks. Seeing this, Snape twirled his wand in a complex Rune and destroyed Harry's shield with a flash of light. Harry ducked the killing curse that sped above his head even before the smoke cleared, chuckling to himself that some people never changed. He straightened and sent a barrage of magic missiles into the smoke, knowing that there was probably no chance that Snape would fall for such a simple trick. As expected, Harry heard a faint 'pop' a few metres behind him, and countered the curse Snape tried to fire even before it left the tip of his wand. In a swirl of robes, Harry disapparated. Snape spun around, expecting to see Potter behind him. His eyes never stopped as he scanned the corridor. With a irritated wave of his wand, Snape cleared the remaining wisps of smoke and turned to stalk off.

"Dissolutio," a disembodied voice spoke clearly behind him. Before Snape could turn, he felt the Chaos orb slam him off his feet and he knew no more. Harry watched as the last of Snape's remains was consumed by the spell before lifting the invisibility charm. Feeling at least partially satisfied, Harry quickly trotted down the hall to the astronomy tower. Before he could climb the ladder, however, a small hand clutched his arm. He recognized her touch and spun around, kissing her tenderly and thanking the heavens that she was alive. Ginny leaned against him, a wound in her side bleeding profusely.

"Integro," Harry muttered, sealing the gash quickly. He hugged her tighter as his emotions caught up with his actions. Tears flowed freely down his cheeks as he breathed in the comforting smell of Ginny. Pulling back, he looked into her eyes with a cold sadness. He had seen many of his friends and allies hit by curses. Understanding, Ginny pulled him close to whisper.

"Most of the Death Eaters have been killed, but half of the Order is also down. Flitwick was killed by a stray curse that missed Bill and I saw Neville standing over a woman's body just now," she spoke into his chest, breathing in the musky odour of his sweat, "you have to end it, Harry, too many people are dead." Harry breathed in deeply and began climbing the stairs with Ginny in his wake. Suddenly, she reached out and turned him around.

"I...just wanted you to know that I love you, Harry. I love you very much," Tears streamed down Ginny's cheeks, but her eyes held her customary blazing look. Overcome by emotion and unable to speak, Harry merely nodded curtly and continued the ascent into the tower.

In contrast with the dark, a pale green light emanated from the alcove set facing the northern wall. Harry wasn't scared. He was terrified. He was sure he was about to meet Voldemort. The man who had murdered thousands of wizards, the man who had hoodwinked some of the best and brightest into joining him, the man responsible for the death of the greatest wizard who ever lived. The man who had made him an orphan. The man he would tonight kill or be killed by. As a rush of hate surged through him, he felt Ginny trying to calm him through the Amacal. The stupidest way one could attack was through anger. It was a death wish.

Nearing the alcove, Harry conjured a mystical shield around Ginny and himself. Her wand was also at the ready, her face tense with anticipation. "We leap around on the count of three..." he thought. Nodding her affirmation, Ginny moved closer to him, watching as his fingers rose. One. "I love you too, Ginny." Two. The Amacal felt warm against her skin.

Three. They leapt around, wands raised and spells on the tips of their tongues. It was empty.

"Impedimenta!" a cold voice screeched. Caught unawares, Harry and Ginny were flung to either side of the alcove as the beam of green light hit the shield from behind. Quick to recover, Harry leapt to his feet, wand at the ready. There was no one in sight. Frustrated, he conjured the shield again and turned to Ginny.

She wasn't there.

Ginny's unmistakable scream pierced the relative silence of the astronomy tower. Harry immediately ran to the place where the sound had come from only to see a flash of light coming from behind. He quickly apparated, attempting to catch Voldemort. Again he was thwarted.

"You're going to have to try harder than that, Harry..." Voldemort's cold voice cut the air. Clearing his mind, Harry tried to look for Ginny using the Amacal, a hum vibrated throughout his head and he thought he heard Ginny faintly shouting his name. Suddenly, he could see the white threads binding himself to Ginny. There was a bang and a flash of light by the stairs, but he ignored the diversion and leapt over the edge of the tower without any hesitation.

"Help!" Ginny's mind voice sounded hurt. Harry plummeted towards the ground, his mind free of every thought save killing Voldemort and getting Ginny back. The wind blew through his robes, chilling him to the bone and the ground seemed to be welcoming him at an alarmingly fast rate. He saw glowing streaks flying across the now shadow-clad grounds as the last of the Death Eaters battled. After what seemed like ages of falling, Harry finally waved his wand, and muttered an incantation.

"Arresto momentum."

His descent slowed to a gentle drift as he floated the last few feet to the ground. Landing on his feet, he took off along the thickening treads which connected him to Ginny. He sped along after Voldemort, who appeared to be heading for the Entrance Hall. Harry's footsteps changed as his feet impacted against the clay tiles, sending distorted echoes through the darkest corners of the Entrance Hall. Harry saw a disillusioned shape running towards the Great Hall and fired a hex towards it. Without bothering to use his wand, Voldemort countered the spell and continued running.

"Bombarda!" he hissed, blasting the enormous doors apart without stopping. Voldemort reached the High Table on the dais and turned around to face the approaching figure of Harry. Removing the disillusionment charm, he released Ginny's limp body which crumpled to the floor. Harry's eyes blazed, his wand raised defiantly up, drawing the spell sign for a Macto Rune, the Rune of Punishment. Before he could draw the last stroke, however, Voldemort lowered his wand to Ginny's limp form. Harry stopped cold in his tracks. The message in his sunken eyes was clear, one move and you will never see her alive again. Harry lowered his wand in defeat. His eyes were hard as he stared at the other wizard. Voldemort looked just as he had remembered from that night nearly two years ago. His pale, fetid skin was stretched tightly across his snake-like face. His eyes were glowing red and his nose and mouth were curled in thin sneers. His fragile-looking hand deftly held the twin of Harry's wand with a practiced ease. His smile was that of a predator, the cold smile of a lying snake. Harry knew what was going to happen. He quickly slashed the last stroke in the spell sign just as a green beam hit Ginny in the chest.

"Arghh!" Voldemort screeched as his was slammed back against the High Table with the force of four decades of sin concentrated in a single brilliant smite. Knowing he was not yet victorious, Harry once again raised his wand and leveled it at Voldemort. The anger in his soul combined with the pure love for Ginny in his heart as he concentrated on reviving her. His face paled. The threads connecting them were already a pale shade of grey and were darkening quickly. He knew that he would have to act quickly to stop her from fading. Knowing there was only one thing left to do, he jogged to her cold body and lowered his want to the Amacal. A thick gold beam sped down from the tip of his wand and wound itself around the existing threads.

"Animus Defluo," he said with love clearly in his voice. He gasped and fell to his knees. He felt the lifeblood passing through the bond and out of his body. His strength left him slowly until he finally pulled his wand away. He smiled as he felt Ginny's presence returning to his mind. Her eyes shot open.

"Harry! Watch out!" Ginny screamed in her mind. Harry seemed to turn in slow motion as Voldemort's Killing Curse neared his back.

"Contego!" Ginny yelled in his mind before realizing that her wand was meters away. Just as the curse collided with Harry, a golden web of light expanded rapidly from the Amacal, enveloping him just as the curse exploded in a shower of sparks and rebounded onto the High Table. An enormous explosion caused the whole Hall to shudder. Harry was bodily hurled against the hard stone despite the shield and his spectacles shattered upon impact. His wand was released and flew a few feet as his hand was crushed against the stone blocks. His vision was dark and his head spun uncontrollably as he watched the thin silhouette of Voldemort walking towards him. Voldemort held him against the wall with a flick of his wand, smothering his body with a blanket of magic.

"So ends the great Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived. Injured and without a friend to help him. With his foolish nobility. You will die at my hand just as I would have killed you sixteen long years ago," Voldemort spat the words as if they would contaminate his pure blood, "now let us let everyone know. MORSMORDRE!" An emerald skull composed of stars burst forth from his wand and expanded upwards rapidly, passing through the enchanted ceiling. A serpent coiled its way out of the jaws and bared its fangs. Voldemort raised his wand and pointed it directly to Harry's chest. He opened his mouth to speak the curse but his eyes widened in shock as someone else spoke first.

"ACCLARO ANIMA!" Ginny screamed into the night. A scarlet blast in the shape of a Phoenix issued from her wand and sped towards the Dark Mark. Voldemort could only watch in horror as the Phoenix plowed through the Skull, sending it bursting into millions of indistinct grey clouds as it forced the Mark to reveal its soul. Voldemort screamed in pain and anger as he watched his last Horcrux shatter before his very eyes. The pressure on Harry was suddenly released as Voldemort spun around.

"AVADA KEDAVRA!" he roared, sending a ball of blinding green light at Ginny. "NO!" Harry mind screamed. Jumping up, he flung out both his arms, sweeping one in a wide arc and stabbing the other through as he completed the Vita Rune. A ball of white light burst forth from the ropes which bound him to Ginny and rapidly expanded into a crimson wall. A deafening boom shook the foundations of Hogwarts as the spells collided. A brilliantly silver mist exploded from the wall, as the curse was nullified by the pure love magic it emitted.

When the mist had cleared, Harry spied Voldemort fleeing from the Hall. Suddenly, screams filled the air. The indistinct clouds formed when Ginny had exorcised the Dark Mark now spiraled downwards, taking on the shape of the souls they had once been in life. The dark wizard stopped and screeched in terror. Looking up at the enchanted ceiling, he raised his wand in both hands and conjured a shield from Dark magic.

"CADUCAS CONTEGO!" he hissed. A pale grey globe expanded from the tip of his wand. His hands shook in terror as he watched every single victim he had ever murdered rushing towards him. The third implosion of the night shook the Hall as the souls exploded against the shield. Voldemort's knuckles were white as he desperately tried to hold his ground. The shield wavered and broke, causing the souls to release a triumphant scream. Voldemort was lifted off his feet as soul after soul burst through his body, giving him pain as he felt the emotions of every victim. He released an inhuman wail as the last one finally exited his body. The Dark Lord fell onto his knees, hands slack at his sides, wand pointing uselessly at the floor. For once, his eyes showed fear as Harry walked towards him from the dais.

"There are some people, Tom, who never learn. Fifty years passed and yet till this day you have not learnt that there are worse things than Death. Look at yourself. Now you repent, because the ultimate torture, Riddle, is lacking life itself. No, it is not the same as Death. It is what you are doing. Living an empty lie. We who love are gracious. I grant you this, Tom Marvolo Riddle, the gift of Death," Harry started softly as Voldemort was forced to stare deeper and deeper into his eyes, reliving every single moment of the mockery of life.

"Inanis Anima," Harry said just above a whisper. An arc of darkness streaked from Harry's wand towards Voldemort. Tom Riddle was blasted into the air, emitting a soft glow as his soul was ripped brutally from his body. The corpse was suspended in mid-air for a moment, before imploding in a Nova of darkness. Harry could do little as the wave roared towards him, clouding his senses and drowning him in the darkness. The last thing he saw before his world turned pitch black was the bright glow of the Amacal around Ginny's neck...

Ginny gasped as the nova disappeared. She had watched on as the wave consumed Harry, depositing him lifelessly on the great stone blocks of the Great Hall. Clutching the the glowing Amacal to her chest, Ginny ran desperately to his body.

"Harry..." she whispered hoarsely. Her shirt was a mass of scarlet as blood flowed freely down her front from the wounds where the splinters of the High Table had embedded themselves in her flesh. Harry was unable to speak. His eyes were empty, his mind still trapped in the spell that had ensnared him when Voldemort had been killed. Emotion overwhelmed her as her mind caught up with the events of the night. Ginny shuddered as she glanced outside to the battlefield in the distance. Bodies of friend and foe alike lay prone upon the ground. Only a few were left standing, all of them of the Order. She leaned down and stared into his eyes, they had begun to glaze over.

"No..." a single tear slid down her freckled nose and hung at its tip for a tantalizing moment before plunging down onto his closing eyes. The Amacal was heavy in her hand. Moving in a trance-like manner, Ginny raised her hands behind her neck and unfastened the love stone from her neck. Gathering the stone and its chain in her palm, she wrapped her small hand around Harry's large one.

"Harry, I love you," Ginny's heart filled with warmth and the gem began to glow crimson. Feeling the heat against her palm, Ginny suddenly felt and urge to kiss Harry once more. With her free hand she gently stroked his hair. She lowered her tear-stained face to his and ran her lips lightly over his. Moving deeper into kiss, she molded herself against his body; she couldn't help but notice that she fit perfectly against him. There was a sudden burst of scarlet light.

Harry lay upon the cold grass. He opened his eyes and stared up at a night sky devoid of stars. A tiny sliver of the moon rested upon the crest of a nearby hill. Feeling oddly disoriented, Harry stumbled through the landscape of his mind.

Trekking slowly but surely, he cautiously made his way past glowing vaults of knowledge, jungles of experiences and clouds of memories. Tears came to his eyes as he realized he could understand nothing.

"Harry, I love you..." a familiar voice suddenly broke through the darkness of his mind. Feeling suddenly more energetic, Harry began to jog towards the waxing moon. Past rivers and trenches, deserts and moors, he ran till his legs were sore. Finally, he reached the base of the hill. The white light was even more pronounced now, casting the smallest blades of grass the grandest of shadows. When he reached the top of the hill, what he saw was not a moon, but an opening doorway housing a brilliant light.

"Harry! Come on! Just come over!" the voice he now recognized as Ginny's echoed strangely across the short distance. He tentatively stepped forward and nearly lost his balance. When moments before they had been separated by mere meters, his love was now a canyon apart. The angelic shape of his Ginny was silhouetted against the brilliant light, beckoning for him to come.

"Its not real, Harry! Its just your mind playing tricks! Please, come back before you lose yourself!" Ginny pleaded with hurt in her voice. Harry stood rooted to the spot, eyes roaming down the gigantic wall of the chasm. Suddenly fearing that this was all a dream, Harry looked sharply and shook his head.

"No, Harry! Please, just come home to me. Why won't you trust me? You entrusted your life to a blasted wand, to a vial of untested potion and even to a bloody stone. Why won't you just trust me?" a touch of sadness and desperation had entered her voice, tears streamed freely down her cheeks. Harry could not bear to see her like that, he made up his mind. He could never harm the woman he loved like that. No matter how small the chance that this was truly the Ginny he cared for, he could not risk it. He could not risk hurting her.

Mentally preparing himself, Harry moved a few steps back, ran up and leapt with all his might. His foot caught onto the edge of the others side and then he was slipping down and spinning. His eyes closed on their own accord, Harry no longer being able to control them. There was a sudden burst of scarlet light.

Harry sat up abruptly. Ginny's head was still buried in his shoulder. He felt the coldness of the stone beneath him and inhaled deeply her addictive scent. He noticed a faint glow fading which had appeared to have been a nimbus around them. His connection with her allowed him to also notice that neither of them felt pain any longer, either physically or emotionally. All their hurts had been healed when he had successfully made the Leap of Faith. Her eyes opened.

Ginny stared into his emerald eyes.

Harry stared into her hazel ones.

She looked up and was rewarded by a passionate kiss, releasing both their emotions which had built up steadily throughout the night. She curled her arms around his chest and held him tighter. The Amacal slid slowly out of her grasp as they expressed their love for each other. It landed on the floor and shattered in a shower of gem fragments. They both turned and smiled. It was no longer needed.

They were already one.

List of Latin Translations:

Adoran- flame

Inanis- void

Acclaro anima- reveal soul

Desino- to desist

Animus copula- heart bond

Falarica- missile

Dissolutio- destruction

Furor- steal

Integro- to heal

Contego- shield

Caducus- devoted to death

Vita- life

Iam- of furture time

Macto- to smite, to punish

Defluo- gift from heaven

Inanis anima- void your soul

Copyright © Geoffrey Lim 2006

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.

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