The room fell into complete silence. Kai heard nothing except the sound of his own strained breathing as he panted on his hands and knees.

"You did it, you glorious bastard!" a familiar face kneeled down next to him. Anaconda looked down on his apprentice with appreciation.

"How? But the prophecy…" Kai started slightly at hearing the voice of the headmaster. Kai smirked to himself, knowing that the prophecy had indeed been fulfilled. Not that Albus Dumbledore needed to know that. He could ponder the mystery for the rest of his damned life for all Kai cared.

Severus rushed into the room as Con helped Kai to his feet. "I had not pegged you as an idiot Boudreau," he growled as he looked Kai over and started pulling potions out of his belt. "I swear to Merlin if you ever run off like that again I'll have you scrubbing cauldrons in my classroom until you turn 30, you hear me!"

The assassin-turned-professor smiled wearily at his friend, accepting some of the potions. He could not believe how exhausted he felt.

"Has the fortress been secured? How is Tonks?" He looked for his lover.

"She's fine. She was just drugged. Arthur has already portkeyed her to St. Mungos to get checked over by their dark magic team."

"Then let's clear out of this gods-forsaken place."

Severus swooped in under the shoulder of his friend, taking the exhausted mage from Anaconda, "I'll take him back to Hogwarts for medical care. I expect your team will do a thorough job of destroying this place and its magics."

"And I trust you will take good care of our friend," Con spared a fond glance for his once apprentice before turning to take charge of the Rikers squad nearby.

When the pair landed in the infirmary, Kai was barely conscious, adrenaline wearing off. A fourth year student squeaked from a bed near the window, "Professor Boudreau??!"

He imagined the sight of a professor shirtless drenched in blood would be somewhat shocking. His eyes glazed over the still body of Draco Malfoy bound to one of the beds near him.

Severus dragged Kai to an empty bed and closed the curtains around him, leaving him in the privacy of a silencing charm. Finally free of responsibility, Kai gave in to the pull of sleep.

Outside the curtain Severus looked to the fourth year, "There was an attack, but he will be fine, child. Where is Madame Pomphrey?"

"I'm here Severus," a chipper voice came from behind him. "Dear heavens, you're covered in blood!"

He gently took her arm and brought her inside the curtains. "Poppy, the Dark Lord has been defeated. Kai destroyed him."

Her eyes widened comically large. "He is truly gone?"

"Yes. I know that you and Kai do not get along, but please help him recover. He's lost a lot of blood and looks fairly beaten up. No need to worry about his magic this time."

Her eyes glanced over the body of the young assassin. It's true that the two of them had failed to patch up their relationship after their initial meeting, but it didn't mean she didn't recognize the kind of person the young man was.

"Goodness he looks so young sleeping," she sighed as she moved to the head of the bed and started casting diagnostics.

"I have no idea how old he is, perhaps 20? He holds a great deal of maturity for one so young," Severus replied as Dumbledore peaked his head through the curtains.

"That's a good question, Poppy, why don't you ask your diagnostics?" Dumbledore suggested. Neither Severus nor Poppy saw the look of focused curiosity in the headmaster's eyes.

"Well that's a shock, Albus, the spells say he's only 17 years old! He could be a seventh year student here!"

Severus startle. Only 17? With the power and knowledge the man wielded? Merlin.

In his own thoughts Severus didn't see the body bind coming. He was suddenly frozen in place, watching the headmaster approach his friend.

"The prophecy stated that only one of two children could defeat the dark lord. One is Neville Longbottom. The other is Harry Potter. Neville is currently locked in the Gryffindor dorm with the rest of the students. That leaves one option."

"Albus you can't be serious. Don't pay attention to prophecies made by that foolish woman. It could have been any child. Perhaps Kai too was born at the end of July, just in another part of the world," Poppy looked crossly at him over the diagnostic displays her spells had shown. She hadn't yet noticed that Severus had been frozen.

Severus growled internally at the madness. What was wrong with Albus, couldn't he see there was no way that he was…

If Severus wasn't already frozen he would have. He remembered how many times Kai had reminded him of his former best friend. Her green eyes shone out of his face. A young man, abused, that had grown into power that few had seen before.

"Can you not see Lily in him Poppy? Their eyes are even that same incredible green. I'm not sure how I didn't see it before."

Albus waved his wand over Kai's forehead and frowned, "No scar, even hidden under glamors." He continued his search for dark magic until his want lit up over Kai's thigh.

A quick scissor charm and his pant leg was gone, revealing a muscular leg marred with numerous scars. One of those scars was a jagged lightning bolt about 4 inches long.

"That's it. That's the curse scar the boy received from the killing curse. It's him!"

"Albus what are you doing? Severus please," Poppy noticed now that Severus was frozen and quickly released him. "Albus stop this foolishness."

"Headmaster please step away from him," Severus growled, his wand trained on his employer.

"Don't you see Severus? The prophecy has come true! Voldemort has truly been defeated. Our Harry has come back to us!"

The potion master twirled his wand threateningly, "I do not care if the boy is Merlin reborn - if you do not step away from my friend right now Albus you will be in the next bed over."

In that moment Kai's eyes opened groggily, "Why is everyone yelling around me?"

"Harry!" Albus shouted, "I am so happy to have you back."

Kai's eyes went huge and he sat up faster than he should. The vertigo made him grimace and a hand from Severus was all that kept him from tipping back over. Green eyes flashed down to his leg where the curse scar was bare for all to see.

"No privacy even for your allies Dumbledore?" the assassin's voice was quiet and serious.

"You knew!" the aged wizard pressed. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I had no desire to be your golden boy, headmaster, or your puppet. I targeted Riddle of my own volition, from my own experiences, not because of some half baked prophecy."

It had been a long time since Severus had heard his friend's voice so hard.

"Does Gryffindor also know? He aggressively questioned me about my search for you when we first met."

"Gryffindor and I visited the goblins at the same time to have our heritage tested. We agreed to keep both secrets until a time we wanted them revealed."

"But so many of the people love you, grieve for you!"

"They grieve for the image of a hero. A hero that was abandoned to nothing but hell and forgotten about. Don't think that I don't understand your role in my childhood headmaster. A role you had no right to play."

"Sirius and Remus...your father's friends…"

"Already know."

"But I…." the headmaster sputtered in frustration.

"It is my wish, Albus, that this information not be revealed to anyone that I do not personally choose." Kai's voice grew harder still, "I have suffered for your mistakes and have raised myself above and beyond them. I have fought your war and won it. Leave me in peace."

Kai glanced at Severus with a look of sadness, "If you reveal my identity to the British wizarding world I will disappear from it. I wish to be left alone to do my work and live my life."

The headmaster sighed in regret, "Harry I truly apologise for my part in…"

"Do not apologise to me and disrespect my wishes in the same breath, headmaster. That is not my name, nor will it ever be. I will take a secrecy oath from you on this matter."

Fawkes burst into the room above Kai's head, landing gently on his bare shoulder. His song washed over everyone and Albus could hear the bird's wishes in the melody.

"You too Fawkes?" he asked his familiar.

The bird chirped quietly before laying his head on Kai's.

The oath took seconds but felt like it took years of stress off of Kai's shoulders. He felt like perhaps he could have a life that was both here and with his Riker family.

Albus looked hard at Kai for a moment. "What will you do now?"

"Well right at this moment I'm trying to recover from killing a dark lord after escaping a dark ritual meant to kill me," he replied blandly. "After that, I'm looking forward to returning to my Riker duties and research."

"You won't consider staying until the end of the year?"

"No. The purpose I served here is completed. If you want to continue the course I will leave all of my notes for a competent instructor. Black might well do." Kai shrugged, "I do not live a life of leisure headmaster, I have duties and responsibilities to my people and my research."

--

Kai surveyed the room of requirement one last time, dreaming of how he could replicate such a thing at Riker. He had already called and bid farewell to the portrait of Gryffindor, explaining his success with freeing himself from the power dagger.

As he was turning to leave, a knock sounded on the door. The warder considered ignoring it, but everyone knew that if the door was there he was inside.

Draco Malfoy was not the person he expected to see on the other side. He looked pale with deep circles under his eyes like he hadn't slept in days.

"May I speak with you?" his voice was quiet.

Concerned, Kai let the seventh year inside. "Of course Draco."

Green eyes met silver when the door closed. "I'm not sorry that Lucius Malfoy has passed but I am sorry you no longer have your father."

"That man lost his right to call me his son when he let Avery put the imperius on me. He made me try and hurt you and Auror Tonks. Made me almost…" he trailed off, struggling to keep his composure. "I'm happy he's dead."

"Draco it's okay to grieve. Even if it is grieving the loss of an idea or dream of a relationship that could have been."

"Please," silver eyes gleamed, "I do not deserve your kindness. I…figured you'd be leaving and I wanted to apologise."

Kai looked at the man sadly, pulling him onto a couch that the room provided behind them.

"From what I heard, you were incredibly brave. You stood up to very powerful men in a very dangerous situation. You need not apologize for taking a stand for what you believe in."

The blond's shoulders relaxed slightly as he gazed off into the distance. "It all just seemed so clear to me in that moment…how extreme their position was, how it solved nothing and hurt us all."

"You started to see a vision of a better future and realized that your father wasn't a part of it."

"I…" Gray eyes looked up started. "Yes, I guess that is it."

"You now have the power and money to start to make that vision a reality."

Draco nooded, "I've got a plan. I've even recruited Granger's help Merlin save me."

--

Kai sat at the kitchen table in his London flat, revelling in drinking a cup of coffee in his own home. 'It's the little things sometimes that bring the most happiness.'

At that moment Tonks apparated into the front entryway.

'Speaking of happiness,' he smiled at her openly. "Morning love, this is a surprise."

"Surprises? It was me who was surprised by this!" She slapped a newspaper down in front of him.

Harry Potter returns, sacrifices himself to defeat Riddle!

He'd had a bit of a hard time convincing Dumbledore to submit that angle, but it wasn't really false now was it?

"This article claims that Harry Potter was kidnapped by the dark lord in order to complete a ritual that only his greatest enemy could fulfil. Then the Order came to the rescue and helped destroy the organisation. The dark lord was stopped but Potter did not survive."

She glared at him, "How did you get Albus to agree to this?"

Kai took a deep breath, having already made this decision, "Because in many many ways it is true."

She scoffed at him, "That's bull…" she made eye contact with him and stopped. "Kai…are you…are you serious?"

He sat back in his chair, running his hands through his long black hair.

"Your family that isn't family…it's the Durselys. Letters unanswered because you were accepted to Riker a year before. Lily Potter's green eyes." Her faced showed her shock. "Does Albus know???"

"He figured it out after it was all over." The warder's face flashed an annoyed look. "I think the prophecy made him suspicious and he knew exactly how to confirm it."

She collapsed down on his couch, "That's not at all what I expected to hear when I came here."

Kai slid onto the couch beside her, "I'd considered keeping it from you but…you mean a lot to me Chami and I understand that for this to work I need to actually let you in."

She leaned over and kissed him gently, "Nothing would make me happier than you trusting me to help you carry your burdens love."

"With you, they are far less Chami."

--

Well that's it! There is no more. Does…does this mean I get to mark this story as complete after over a decade and a half??? O.o

When I started this story I was in first year of my first degree. I then got a second degree, taught, moved to the private sector, and now run the business I got my first job at. THAT is the time scale this was written on.

Thanks to all of you that have kept coming back - kept checking in. For the 11,000 of you that have had this story on follow the 10,000 of you on favourite. Those numbers have never ceased to blow my mind. Inspired me to come back and reread the story every few years and feel inspired to add more.

Maybe someday I'll feel like making another one but for now this is it for me.

With love,

DB aka Natty