Disclaimer: The Harry Potter franchise does not belong to me, but I can dream...
A/N: Hi there. Some of you may have heard and/or read this story before. It has been posted for about four years across the net, and can be found in full on my Yahoo! group, of which a link can be found in my author profile. This is the first story of a trilogy, which is basically complete, and I'm posting it here as I go back and edit each chapter for the numerous inaccuracies and horrendous spelling mistakes that slipped through the first time. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy.
Harry Potter and the Sword of the Hero
Everything must have a beginning
One fact, universally acknowledged, is that everything has an opposite. Opposites control everything, they can be found everywhere, and they cannot be changed. Nothing, absolutely nothing, exists without an opposite.
Every beginning has an end. Every life has a death. Up and down, religion and science, pleasure and pain, right and wrong. And, of course, the age old opposite... Good versus Evil.
For as long as there has been a good force in this world, there has been an opposite, evil force to keep things in balance. Evil has always existed. Throughout human history it has appeared many times, in many new forms. Beginning supposedly, with Heaven and Hell -salvation and damnation – all opposing forces. From there things got interesting.
The human race has always needed to fight a war. Whether it was with swords and bows, such as the Crusades. Or guns and bombs, such as a World War. Whoever fought in these wars, one side or another was considered to be good and the other was perceived as evil.
And this perception is more often than not decided by the victors.
In the Crusades, the majority of civilisation believed the side of good was represented by Christians, and their belief in the 'one true God' and that evil was represented by the Turks. You read this and you have to ask yourself a question: Did the Turks think themselves as evil? Who knows? Maybe they thought they were fighting justly, or that the Christians had wronged them and war was necessary. Depending on which way you look at it, evil could be either side – or not apparent at all.
World War II was another horrific period in human history and another story. Evil can be classified easily in this war. Its name was Hitler. A man who used the power of a nation to achieve his own personal aims. One of these aims being the eradication of an entire race of people. Under his rule, six million innocent Jewish people lost their lives. Unbelievable atrocities were committed during this period of human history. Though, as every evil must have an opposite, good was represented by the Allied nations. Good eventually prevailed in this war and Evil was gone, but at the cost of tens of millions of lives.
Hidden behind the wars of Muggles are the wars of wizards. Instead of swords they have wands and instead of guns they have magic. But just because this world is different, does not mean that it is exempt from the law of opposites. Good fights evil, even in this world. They have their wars, they have their losses and they have their heroes.
One such war has been fought for over a millennium. From the founding of a school and on until present day. This is not an ordinary fight, and it all began with two of the founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And this is where the story begins...
Stonehenge, July 31st 998 A.D.
The ground was soaked red with the blood of the dead. A cool breeze blew through the stones as the crescent moon swam sharply overhead. Nothing broke the immense silence that hung over the entire land. It was here; on opposite sides of the circle that two enemies prepared for a battle that would echo with the cry of legend for a thousand years.
Only one would be leaving Stonehenge alive.
"T'was foolish of you to come, Gryffindor. You have led many to their death."
"My brothers have died honourably fighting your servants, Slytherin. Though it is a pity I will be the only one returning." Gryffindor looked sadly at his fallen friends... so many dead.
Anger rippled across the face of Salazar Slytherin. "You know not of what you speak! My power far exceeds your own. I have created a curse that causes more pain than any other. It will be your end."
Gryffindor remained calm as Slytherin threatened him. "I fear no death."
Slytherin now smiled. "Very well, Godric. Then let us duel."
Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin raised their wands and bowed to each other. Once old friends, now mortal enemies. Godric tried to forget the times spent as friends and tried to think of the death that the man in front of him had caused. The countless torture of Muggles and Muggle-borns, all because of his prejudice over the purity of blood. This had to end now, and he was the only one powerful enough to do it on the face of the earth.
Slytherin was quick to get on the offensive. As soon as the bow was over he attacked. "AVADA KEDAVRA!"
Gryffindor jumped to the side and landed hard on his back, the curse hit the ancient stone behind him. Nothing happened to the stone, which was strange because that curse should have destroyed it. Gryffindor didn't have time to think about this though. Rising to his feet he counterattacked.
"Reducto." The ground around Slytherin exploded and sent him flying backwards. He landed on soft grass. The simplest of spells were more often than not the most effective.
"You will have to do better than that, old friend," baited Slytherin.
"Our friendship ended a long time ago, Salazar. The part of you I once called friend is dead," replied Gryffindor, a fierce light in his eyes.
The two of them circled each other. Gryffindor walked left, his eyes never leaving Slytherin, who walked right. "I'm afraid it has come to this, Gryffindor," he said taking careful aim with his wand. "CRUCIO!"
Gryffindor, not knowing this curse, didn't react at first. This moment of hesitation almost cost him everything. It was the curse Slytherin had created. The curse hit him square in the chest and he collapsed to the ground, the pain unbearable. His screams pierced the otherwise quiet countryside. They filled every hole, every hillside, and every field for miles around. "AA- ARRRGGHH!"
Slytherin kept his wand trained on Gryffindor and did not break the connection. He walked towards the man writhing in pain in the dirt and the mud. "I warned thee, Godric," he said, picking up Gryffindor's wand, never breaking the connection of the Cruciatus curse. "Now madness is your reward." Slytherin pointed Gryffindor's own wand at him. "CRUCIO!" he said once again, and another beam of intense red light hit Gryffindor.
The pain increased ten fold. A thousand fold – blinding white hot knives tore away the world.
Gryffindor no longer felt alive. His very soul was burning. No one had ever felt this much pain. Every second felt like an eternity. In fact, he wasn't even sure how much time had passed. It was becoming too much, the pain was taking him. He could feel his mind closing itself down. It would not be long now, he thought. And then suddenly, as quickly as it had come, the pain stopped.
Gryffindor looked up from the ground where he lay, wondering what could have stopped Slytherin. He saw it instantly. Slytherin had been knocked back against the centre altar in the middle of the stone circle. Gryffindor was momentarily confused, but then he saw something that made his heart rise.
Across the glade, lying on the ground with one arm raised was his best friend, William. Despite a massive wound that was bleeding freely down through his flame red hair and onto his face, he had cursed Slytherin and stopped the pain. But his happiness was short lived. Slytherin was on his feet again. Godric was still too weak from the curse to stop him. Slytherin raised his wand and pointed it at William.
Gryffindor watched helplessly as the speeding green light enveloped his friend. When it had cleared William wasn't moving – the curse had done its job, as it always would. A apocalyptic rage tore away all but Godric Gryffindor's basic instincts. He stood up now, all pain forgotten. Slytherin had turned and was once again smiling, both wands pointed at Gryffindor.
"Your friend has just delayed the pain, Godric."
Slytherin tried to laugh, but it fell dead on his lips when he saw the look on Gryffindor's face. For a moment it had scared him. A look of pure anger and hate. It was extremely powerful. When Gryffindor spoke his voice was even, cold. "I am going to kill you."
Slytherin did laugh this time. "Not in this life, Godric. Goodbye. AVADA-"
Gryffindor was faster. Without a wand he raised both his hands and shouted, "EXPELLIARMUS!" Simplest spells are always the best.
Twin jets of crimson light burst from his two hands and covered the distance between the two men swiftly. His own wand flew through the air and he caught it deftly in his right hand. Slytherin however, had been thrown roughly back against the altar. Gryffindor gave him a moment to get up. "This ends now, Salazar. Enough have died."
Then Godric raised his wand, as did Slytherin. And in unison they shouted, "AVADA KEDAVRA!"
Two jets of equal emerald-green light burned within the sanctity of Stonehenge. They rocketed towards each other and met in midair. Suddenly Gryffindor felt his wand begin to vibrate. His hand seized up around it and it was impossible to let it go. He noticed that the green light of the curses had turned a deep gold that now connected the two wands. He could tell that Slytherin was experiencing the same thing.
Gryffindor felt his feet leave the ground. They were raised together, above the ancient stone circle, the bodies of the dead beneath them. It became harder now to hold onto the wand, and amazingly a thousand new golden arcs issued out of the tip of his wand and trapped him and Slytherin in a cage of bright, golden light. And then, a wondrous sound filled the air. It was a sound that Gryffindor always loved to hear. The sound of Phoenix song.
He did not know why, but when he saw golden beads of light on the thread connecting the wands he knew that he needed to force them up into Salazar's wand. His wand shook violently and the wood became immensely hot as he tried to do this. He forced all his will into getting the bead into Slytherin's wand. Inch, by slow inch it grew closer. And then it connected. He heard screams of pain issue forth from Slytherin's wand. And then a grey, foggy mist began to fall out of the wooden shaft. As it fell it began to take shape. A head, shoulders, torso... and finally legs. It was William.
The ghost of William circled the dome and came to rest by Gryffindor. When he spoke his voice was like an echo, as if he was shouting at him from across a lake. "When I tell you, Godric, break the connection. I will give you the time needed to defeat him." Gryffindor nodded. He did not know what was happening, but William he trusted with his life. "Ready, my friend... NOW!"
Gryffindor wrenched his wand upwards and forced the thread to break. Instantly the golden cage vanished and Slytherin and Godric fell to the ground. William hadn't vanished. He was obscuring Slytherin's view. Once back on his feet Gryffindor pointed his wand at Salazar. Do it now, he told himself. He could already see the foggy form of William fading as the magic died. In a few seconds it would be gone. Just do it.
He couldn't do it. Not like this. He watched as William disappeared and Slytherin rose to his feet, wand at the ready. "A fool not to finish me, Gryffindor." There was a wary disbelief in Salazar's tone, a note of uncertainty.
Gryffindor spoke quietly, sadly. "A fool maybe, but an honourable fool. I would not slay you unfairly."
"That will be your last mistake," spat Slytherin. "AVADA-"
Gryffindor had anticipated this move and was faster. "Expelliarmus," he said softly, but quickly. No need for complex and wondrous spells, no need at all. This was far too dirty work for great magic. Salazar's wand flew through the air and into Gryffindor's free hand. Slytherin managed to stay on his feet, but he was now wandless. He looked his enemy in the eye.
"Will you do the honourable thing now, old friend? Or will thee cut me down where I stand... defenceless."
Gryffindor did not say anything for a moment. And then suddenly he threw both his wand and Slytherin's to the ground. "One last fight, Slytherin." And with that, he raised his left arm and in the blink of an eye, a sword appeared in his hand. Slytherin knew this blade, it was Gryffindor's family sword. Slytherin had one to match. He cast aside his robes and pulled his own blade from its sheath.
A moment fell in absolute silence. Neither of them even breathed. And then suddenly, at exactly the same moment, both men ran towards each other, swords raised, justice in one pair of eyes and murder in another. They met in the middle. Metal clanged against metal in an explosion of golden and emerald sparks as the two of them dealt crashing blows with their swords.
Gryffindor swung his sword up above his head and brought it crashing down; Slytherin instantly reacted and raised his sword. Godric's blade hit Salazar's. More sparks, enough to set the world on fire. This was the real magic right here.
Gryffindor jumped back, as Slytherin swung his sword across his chest. An inch closer and Gryffindor would have lost this fight. Quick to recover, Godric brought his sword underneath Slytherin's and sliced the back of his leg and right up across his knee.
"AA-!" cried Slytherin. His leg gave way beneath him. He was now kneeling on one knee. Gryffindor saw his chance and didn't hesitate. With one quick swing he bought his sword across Slytherin's neck. "What now, old friend?"
The words made Gryffindor hesitate, to pause, damn it all. Slytherin looked Gryffindor directly in the eye. Gryffindor returned his gaze. The two men, the two scholars and one time friends stared without blinking. Godric's sword rested against Salazar's neck. One move from Gryffindor and it was all over. Then after a moment, Gryffindor came to his decision, and with the weight of the dead burdened upon his shoulders, he spoke.
"This has to be done," he whispered.
Slytherin needed to stall for time. Slowly, carefully, he brought his hand over his boot and grasped the handle of a small dagger sheathed inside it. "You do what you have to, Godric," he said. "And I'll do what I have to..." And with that, Slytherin quickly brought the dagger up from his boot and swung it mercilessly upwards across Gryffindor's face. The small blade connected and cut a vicious gash from Godric's lower right cheek, and up and across the bridge of his nose.
Gryffindor fell back in pain and surprise. Blood fell down his face and onto his robes. He could taste it, as the blade had cut right through his cheek and scraped his gums within his mouth. He felt angry with himself for once again hesitating when he had the chance to end it. Slytherin had seen his chance and took it.
"It appears the last stroke is mine..." smiled Slytherin, who was once again on his feet, sword in hand.
Gryffindor looked into the face of his enemy. There was no mercy there. He watched as Salazar raised his sword up above his head, with the tip of the blade pointing down, in line with his heart. Gryffindor thought fast; what to do? He realised he still held his own blade in his hand, but could he act fast enough? Only one way to find out…
Slytherin looked at the bloody mess of Gryffindor with disgust. He would kill him now. Without hesitation, Slytherin brought his sword down with a tremendous force. It was going to stab Godric through the chest, he was almost...
Gryffindor saw the blade fall towards him. He didn't breathe until the last possible moment. And then, as the tip was mere inches away from him. He rolled to the side and quickly brought his sword arm up and stabbed Slytherin directly through his chest. He saw the face of his enemy widen in surprise… and then fear.
Slytherin, now impaled on Gryffindor's sword, let fall his own weapon. He felt the cold steel of the sword run through his body and out of his back. He looked at Gryffindor, to his left, and saw the sadness in his eyes. With what little strength he had left, Slytherin spoke. "Well, my old friend. It has come thus… to this."
Gryffindor didn't say anything. Even when Slytherin smiled. "This is not the end, Gryffindor. It may be my end, but not this war's end. My descendants will finish what I've started. This world will be purged of the Muggle scum yet. The war has only just begun." And then he laughed. For a man so near death, Gryffindor was astonished he could do this. "It will never be over, Gryffindor – remember that."
After a moment of that laughter Slytherin coughed – a frothy mess of his life's blood. Gryffindor felt that what Salazar had just said was probably the truth. It would happen. So before he spoke Gryffindor made a choice that would one day end the world.
"This war has just begun, Slytherin. And as long as one of your descendants strives to kill all those who are innocent, I promise thee that one of mine will be there to stop him." Gryffindors face became hard, serious. The warrior not the scholar. "For however long this war lasts, I take a magical oath now on my very blood. I swear that those who follow in my bloodline will be protectors of the innocent. Sworn to fight your line and those that serve it. Until the ending of the world if needs be."
Slytherin stopped smiling and his eyes became glazed over. With his final breath he spoke one last time. "So be it, old friend." And as Gryffindor watched his eyes stopped moving and the ragged, laboured breaths rattling in his chest ceased. He was dead. It was over for now, but the war was just beginning.
As Gryffindor walked away he shed a tear for those who were lost, and for those who would be lost in the future. He knew that Evil would return… that it would never be over.
The war raged on in many new forms over the centuries, one dark wizard replacing another. Someone from Gryffindor's line was always ready to fight the evil. And eventually, after several centuries war, Slytherin's line was believed to have died out. The last fight between the names of Gryffindor and Slytherin was believed to have taken place in 1467.
Believing the task completed, the descendant of Godric Gryffindor did not teach his son of the oath taken by his ancestor. And over time it was forgotten by the family. But not by magic. The oath was not fulfilled, and for five hundred years the magic of the oath slept. Until, in the twentieth century, evil returned. Once again the descendant of Slytherin was striving to destroy the innocent of this world. This new evil was far stronger than any that had gone before it. Hundreds died by the wand of Lord Voldemort, a direct descendant of Salazar Slytherin.
Gryffindor's descendant, Godric Gryffindor's heir, was lost. The oath had been forgotten by all. But a magical oath does not need to be remembered for it to exist. The oath lived on in every descendant of Gryffindor, waiting for the evil it knew would return. Now, as Voldemort's reign of terror continued, the oath tried to get itself remembered, by anyone. The magic in the oath gave a prophecy to one Sibyll Trelawney:
'The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies ...'
This prophecy was heard by the current headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He set about to unravel it and came up with two names. Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom. Both fit the prophecy.
The Dark Lord Voldemort heard also of this prophecy, but not it all. He too discovered a name to match what he knew. He marked Harry Potter as his equal, and met what many believed to be his downfall at the hands of a baby on Halloween night, 1981.
The magical oath set down by Gryffindor almost a thousand years ago had once again set Slytherin against Gryffindor. Voldemort was defeated for a time. And for thirteen years peace once again held throughout the world. But Voldemort did not rest. He was returned to his body, as Harry Potter, now a student of Hogwarts, watched helplessly in 1995.
Harry Potter did not know he had been marked by Voldemort since birth, he did not know of the magical oath taken by Gryffindor, and he did not know of the Prophecy. As he returned once again to Hogwarts for his fifth year, Voldemort lay heavily on his mind. Nothing had been heard of the Dark Lord since his rebirth, and most people didn't believe or didn't want to believe that he had returned.
And finally, at the end of his fifth year, Voldemort was seen alive and the truth was out. Though it had cost Harry the life of someone he held dear.
And now, as the war once again escalates, the oath of Gryffindor is called upon again. As the final battle between good and evil, Gryffindor and Slytherin, rests on the shoulders of Harry Potter.
A/N: Thanks for reading, please review and join the Yahoo group - link in my profile. For anyone new to this story it is already finished and can be found in full on the Yahoo group. I'm posting it back here as I go through from the beginning and re-edit each chapter for any painfully obvious mistakes.
All the best,