Harry Potter and the Defiance of the Hero

Chapter 30 - There Are Still No Happy Endings

'No one ever does live happily ever after,
but we leave the children to find that out for themselves.'

--Roland, The Last Gunslinger

Thoughts long forgotten swirled through Harry's mind as he fell to the stone floor in the Ways of Twilight, to the stone floor in the centre point of Creation. He remembered buying this diary he now held in his hands, along with Christmas presents for Ron and Hermione. An advanced Transfiguration book for Hermione, if he remembered correctly.

It had to be here for a reason, nothing happened without a reason. Not for him. He had to read it, that was the reason. What would it say? Did he dare flick through the pages? Would it tell him how his friends had died?

Harry did not know, wasn't sure he wanted to know, but with care he opened the journal, which groaned and ached as he did, dust raining off it in spades, looking for a date that held special significance.

March 20th, 1997

The page was blank, completely and utterly. Harry supposed it should be - Ginny would have been in no mood to write the day he was torn from the only universe that mattered. Slowly, with his old hands, Harry turned the page, and then the next one. His hands were shaking.

This page did have faint writing on it, written in a curly script he recalled was Ginny's.

You're gone.

It's been two days. Two long days of nothing but suffocating silence and regret. The castle is so quiet and the atmosphere so tense.

I miss you.

I don't know if you're coming back or if you're even alive, but I have to believe that you are. You survived the curse again Harry. You have done what no one in the history of our world has ever managed to do and, while the curse didn't kill you, you still may be dead.

Please don't be dead, Harry. Please.

I grew up on stories of your bravery, of your courage and defeat of You-Know-Who, of Voldemort. It was your mother's love that saved you that awful night so many years ago, your mother's love that first allowed you to challenge the power of evil and live. It wasn't of your own making that you had to face him, Fate decided that for you, but you faced it admirably and with more heart than anyone could ever hope to ask for.

I don't know why I'm writing this.

I love you, Harry. Isn't that enough? I fell in love with your legend, but over the years, you became more than The Boy Who Lived to me. You became just Harry. You were just Harry. Not the person the world sees, not the legend. But real and strong. I watched you struggle silently over the long years, one life altering trial to the next, and yet you still survived.

I saw the burden you carry grow until it seemed you were walking with a hunch. You were too young to carry that burden, to have the weight of the entire world placed unfairly upon your shoulders... but you faced it with the same will to survive and heroism as you showed in that clearing only two days ago. I realised that you were too young to carry it, but you were the only one with the strength and heart to do so.

I love you, Harry. But you're gone and I don't know if you're coming back.

Harry smiled and sighed, turning the page for the next entry. It held a newspaper clipping of the Daily Prophet, the first issue after he disappeared.

Harry Potter's Final Repose?

Written by Ian Lyterman

It seems the world once again owes its peace to a
boy only sixteen years of age. Forever the savior
and protector of the people, Harry Potter has once
again shown his great worth and fought the
Dark Lord in a duel that may have led to the young
hero's death.

Following the devastating events of March 20th,
the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft
and Wizardry has informed the
Prophet of Mr.
Potter's courageous and undeniable noble sacrifice.

Harry Potter. The world should be used to hearing that
name by now. A boy who has now twice survived the
Killing Curse, slain a basilisk, faced down Dementors
and dueled the Dark Lord. Whenever and wherever
extraordinary and dangerous events have taken place,
one found our hero.

But weep, for Harry Potter may have paid the ultimate
price for our protection. While hundreds of Aurors from
a handful of the world's Ministries battled the Dark Lord's
forces in the village of Hogsmeade, the real battle for our
very world took place in a far more sinister and hopeless place.

Harry Potter and the Dark Lord dueled almost to the death
in a hidden clearing within the Forbidden Forest as the Aurors
and Death Eaters clashed. Unbeknownst to them, had Harry
Potter lost that duel, they would all have perished and Hogwarts
castle would have fallen.

He Who Must Not Be Named summoned an ancient power
to devour Hogwarts and the surrounding area. Through his courage
and audacity, Harry Potter once again survived the Dark Lord's
Killing Curse and succeeded in ending the slaughter that day.
You-Know-Who retreated after Potter almost destroyed him.
The remaining Death Eaters fled as their master did. We are all
familiar with the battle of that day, what we did not know is why it

Before I write any further I think it should be appreciated that our
world possesses only a handful of extraordinary men and women.
Truly extraordinary people that rise above the rest of us and do what
is right for the world. We admire these people. We admire Harry
Potter. These people are so selfless, sometimes deadly, that there
are moments when our history, and our present, leaps forward into
the future on the backs of these amazing people.

Harry Potter sacrificed himself. He stepped into a void of darkness,
into the abyss created by the Dark Lord. He closed a magical portal
that had the force to rip away the foundations of Hogwarts castle. With
no thought to his own well being, he saved us all with one of the greatest
acts of heroism our world has ever known.

A world-wide search began today for Harry Potter, who has neither been
seen nor heard of since his disappearance. After beating back the most
evil Dark Lord to have ever existed, and saving the lives of over a thousand,
has Harry Potter finally succumbed? Was his sacrifice the ultimate one, or is he still
fighting out there? Somewhere between worlds and time is our savior still

The facts and magic say he isn't, but I believe that the amazing life
and story of Harry Potter will not end this way. A boy who was ruled
by prophecy, but rebelled against Fate, cannot be so easily defeated by
sacrifice or death.

Harry shook his head, reading the words now a century dead. So much had happened since this, he hadn't returned to the world like both Ginny and this reporter he hadn't known hoped. In the reporters case it had almost been a foregone conclusion - he was Harry Potter, and he would come back to fight the Dark Lord.

It hadn't happened, not in this nightmare reality - where anything and everything was possible. Hell, it would all be over soon.

Harry carefully turned the old pages over the next few hours or so, reading and absorbing every word Ginny wrote. She was constant in her belief, which she strengthened into truth, that he was alive somewhere, that he would come back. She had been half right, at least.

At this point Harry was grateful that he hadn't died lost somewhere, rotting in a ditch, and that he had made it to this point in his life, when he had a chance to fix it. He was anxious to do so, but first he would finish reading.

Ron and Hermione have gotten a lot closer since you disappeared, Harry. I think they need each other to hold on to now. Hermione's parents are coming to stay at the Burrow for Easter, and then Professor Dumbledore is going to increase the wards on their home.

You Know Who hasn't been heard from in weeks, which is a good thing I suppose, perhaps you killed him? We can only hope!

He turned the pages back and forth. It was an enchanted book and the pages were infinite.

You've been gone a few months and the Death Eater attacks have started up again. Just a few but they're getting more and more frequent. A lot of them leave your name written in the blood of the victims. I think Voldemort is calling you out, thinks maybe that we're hiding you. I wish we were.

Dad is working hard at the Ministry to build up the Auror numbers for the war everyone knows is starting up again. Many have fled the country but France has also stepped up its recruitment. The International Confederation is acting slowly, most nations still not wanting anything to do with dark wizards, but Dumbledore is doing his best. I think he really takes your absence hard, Harry. It shows, he looks ancient.

The pages got progressively darker from there and more than once Harry thought he could make out tear stains on the pages, from where the ink had run. He touched them and shuddered. The war did come back and for months both sides fought viciously in small skirmishes, neither side attacking openly like they had done in Hogsmeade.

Then, in one entry, Harry read the worst. Voldemort attacked the Ministry with five hundred Death Eaters. It had fallen and hundreds had died, including one or two Weasleys and most of the Order.

Ginny had written in the diary distraught and broken. Seeing the date as August 17th, 1997, Harry filed that away. He didn't think it would matter, but if he had knowledge beforehand of the Ministry attack then it could help when he returned.

Then the effects of his adventures through space began to appear in Ginny's diary. She wrote of strange weather and of unnatural occurrences happening all over the world. Earthquakes and massive storms across entire continents, weird black roses springing up everywhere and Voldemort increasing his war effort.

Eventually, and after many hours, the entries into the diary just stopped. On one page there was a brief paragraph from Ginny saying that Hogwarts was being fortified with magical wards against the weather, but it wasn't enough. And then nothing.

The date had been September 2nd, 1997, and he supposed that Ginny had died sometime after that. She had stopped writing for some reason, that must be it. Allarius had come to his world sometime after that day, whilst he was unconscious in another hospital wing on another world with Nundu poisoning.

Harry rose and dropped the diary, contemplating silently the information he had learned. Dates of attacks and where Voldemort would attack. It would be invaluable if, after he returned to his own world, his return was kept secret. No, he was thinking too far ahead. He was not home yet and he still had to get there, however he was supposed to do that.

Ten doors stood around Harry in this room that was probably pulled from his memories of the Department of Mysteries. The doors spun as he looked at them and Harry wondered which, if any, he was supposed to go through. Leaving it to fate, he limped over to the closest door. There was a single word written upon it:


That was all. Curious, Harry touched the word and was instantly standing in a library so huge and amazing that he fell to the floor in surprise, crying out at the amount of literature that suddenly surrounded him. Book shelves several hundred feet high surrounded him, trolleys filled with books and stacks laying haphazardly around were just everywhere. Billions, trillions, every book ever written in any subject across any world within any time period was there.

His first thought was that Hermione would love to be here, his second was that he hoped she never was - not if she had to follow the same road he had to get here.

Harry stood up and gazed with shining eyes at the repository of knowledge around him. He knew instinctively, without a doubt, that anything he ever wanted to know about anything and everything could be found in this room. He could learn secrets about magic, read life histories on any being that ever lived, learn about power and how to use it, how to govern and fight war. Anything - he could even find out how the Chudley Cannons did in the Quidditch league the year he left.

Thoughts and ideas swirled through his mind at the possibility, along with the knowledge that he had infinite time to explore this place. He wouldn't age, wouldn't need food or sleep in this place. It was like the blueprints for Existence, the skeleton the body was built around. Beyond belief - he was in the library of God, but that being Himself was nowhere to be found.

Still, anything he could want to learn would be here. And what did he want to learn? The secret to world peace, how to cure disease or famine? It didn't matter; he would spend some time here and see where it took him. Oh yes, he would have to. The possibilities to use this against Voldemort were too great to be ignored.

Harry disappeared into the stacks of books, and didn't come out for a very long time.

Stepping lightly back into the room with ten doors, Harry smiled as he stood before the Knowledge door. Time had no meaning here so he couldn't say how long he had spent in the Library, but it hadn't been mere hours or days. He knew things now, things no one anywhere in his world, or another world he had visited, knew. And in time he would put that to great use.

But enough was enough. He had seen now and done his fair share of life to know when it was time, even if time wasn't kept on a watch anymore. He had to get home, and that meant changing time. His thoughts had led him to this place and he had a suspicion on how to do what needed to be done. One of these doors would hold the word he needed.

In a clockwise direction, Harry began walking around the circular room, his boots tapping lightly on the stone. His head was bursting with the knowledge he knew and its uses. When he got back, however powerful Voldemort had become, it might not matter. Though if war had taught him anything, it was that even the best laid plans didn't last longer than the first five minutes of the battle.

The next door he came to said, Stars, so he walked past it. Not what he wanted, he didn't think, and a mystery. The next plain wooden door said, Life, again not what he wanted but it sparked his interest. What could it possibly hold? He moved on, not caring anymore. This was not the place for him anymore - he had to leave. He felt that strongly in his gut.

The next seven doors read as followed:








And then Harry stood before the Knowledge door again, utterly confused and without a clue as to which door would lead him home. He was supposed to be in control, to be able to do anything here, but he was without hope now... had it all been for naught? Where was the door that should say, Time?

He was suddenly very angry, and waves of power began to pulse around him. He was power, had a century of using and cultivating his strength and could topple worlds with a thought. Everything went hazy; the world seemed to scream before he put the power back on its leash. To destroy this place would mean the end of everything... he would have done Allarius' work for him.

But it wasn't fair. After so much time did it mean nothing that he couldn't change it. Where was the door that said Justice or Fairness. It didn't exist, never had.

That was when he turned away from the door of Knowledge and his eyes met with a final door that had appeared upon the ground where he had let fall Ginny's diary. It was another wooden door, suspended on nothing but air, but Harry knew these doors led on to the next place. Where he had to be next... it was not all for nothing.

He stepped over to it, expecting to see the word Time etched into it. He wasn't surprised when it didn't say time, but then nothing could surprise him anymore, but frowned at what it did say.

Upon this wooden door, within the centre of the room that led to all the building blocks of Existence, the heart of everything, Harry found a door that said, in clear blazing letters that were shining electric blue:


It was his name, it was his door. What did that mean? He didn't know, didn't particularly want to know. What would a door with his name written on it be doing here in the centre of the centre of Existence? He felt slightly queasy just thinking about it. He was connected to this somehow, to what needed to be done here. There were problems, and perhaps something that needed fixing. Was he being used by something higher than him to achieve something else's aims?

"I'm no one's pawn," he growled, and punched his name upon the door. It splintered, but not before it transported him to the beginning of a vast, high staircase that ascended up beyond his sight and reached towards a glowing light.

There were thousands of stairs, but, as Harry knew well, every journey began with but a single step, and that once he made the first step the rest would follow - however long it took. He could take the time to get there... patience was something life had taught him.

As he climbed the steps, he had the increasing feeling that this was what he was meant to do... and that he was being watched. A century of war had taught him to sense the feeling of another, but now he could feel nothing. And yet there was something watching him.

Bathed in light, Harry climbed the final few steps and stood upon a great cliff miles above a world that swirled and changed with a rainbow of colours, as if an artist painting it was doing so in layers. Harry thought, and instantly he knew his thought was correct, that he was seeing a world being born - one made from a choice of another world. It was incredible, a sight to remember.

Then there were the doors. Two of them, standing in the air again.

One said Time.

The other said...


Almost against his will - almost - Harry floated over to the door on the right, the Destiny door, and ran his hands along the smooth wood, careful not to touch the word that would open the door and reveal to him, without a doubt, the destiny of everything... the purpose of Existence.

For a long time in this life Harry had thought himself fearless, that he had seen and done enough to be completely unafraid of the unknown - of war and pain... and yet, here he was shaking uncontrollably before the ultimate Truth. He fell to his knees, fear coursing through his veins and wept.

He also felt a presence beyond this door... beyond the door... and knew that should he open it, he would go mad. Completely and without mercy his mind would destroy itself. Ethan had been silent for many weeks but Harry could still feel him in there, despite his best efforts to get him to talk, the teenager seemed unwilling. There was something wrong.

The door, now that he got a closer look at it, wasn't as smooth and as pure as he had first thought. It was cracked in parts, hairline cracks that were almost invisible. It also seemed, around the edges, that a poison was eating away the wood. It was spotted and flecked with wood rot. Something was destroying the door, and Harry instinctively knew that it was Evil, his Evil in the scar link and that which had spawned Allarius.

Through this door lay hope, salvation, truth and the force that had created the universe. To find it behind a door that held his own name worried Harry, why should he lead the way to the Truth? But it also led the way home. For now he could not worry about the poison eating its way through the door, that was for another time, he knew, when he returned to this place.

Where had that thought come from?

Harry cried out in anguish as he had that thought, but he knew, just like he knew instinctively what was right and what was wrong, that he would return to this spot. Maybe not in this life, and not for many years, but he would be back. It was his destiny. Whatever lay beyond this door... he would one day see. But for now, home would be enough.

Harry was still crying as he turned to face the second door, labelled Time, and pushed against the coarse wood with a blank mind. Shaking his head and wiping away the tears, he thought about what he wanted and the door fell away like a feather, revealing a world image that was familiar.

He thought of March 20th, 1997 - thought of the moment he had entered the first tear in reality, the one created by Voldemort, and there it was before him.

Standing in the Ways of Twilight, Harry looked through the door at the Forbidden Forest one hundred or so years ago. He saw himself, could almost reach through the door and touch himself, letting go of Ginny and turning towards the pulsing circle of light in the air.

Silently cursing that tear in reality, Harry knew that he had to catch himself just as he entered the circle... otherwise none of it would matter. He wouldn't know all of this and would never have left his own world to begin with. This way, he was outside of time when it was all returned to normal. He would be in the Boundary, and his mind would have time to adjust.

Still, Harry hesitated as he watched himself move slowly towards the gateway. This was him one hundred years ago, and Harry found himself sorry that the boy, who was him, was about to go through all of this life in an instant. He was about to destroy himself, and it could not be any other way.

He looked so... so young and innocent. Sixteen. He was sixteen there and barely alive. Blood ran down his arms from the sword wound in his shoulder. Voldemort had driven the sword of Gryffindor through his shoulder and he was magically exhausted. Despite that, the Harry he saw there had lived a normal life compared to what lay before him after he stepped into that break in reality.

It wasn't fair, but Harry had long since accepted that.

Maybe there was a God above, maybe there wasn't?! Perhaps life was what he made it, and the Universes, Existence, did what it could to survive - just like him. Harry had never been overly philosophical, but right now he wished he had an answer, the answer, that lay behind the door to his right. Behind Destiny.

Not yet, a voice whispered in his mind, and Harry felt calm flow through him at the sound of that voice. Not yet, Harry.


In death, was the voice's reply, and then it spoke no more.

Harry didn't have time to ponder that, as time was up. He controlled time now but it had run out, his other self that was visible through the doorway was about to step into the hole in reality, and start this madness all over again.

Not knowing what to expect, Harry, the old man, stepped through the doorway of Time and suddenly no longer had a body. He was floating, invisible and ethereal upon his own world again. Ginny stood looking at young Harry, himself, just now stepping into the darkness of the Boundary and could not see the floating, invisible old man that had just left the beginning of Creation.

To Harry the world was so fresh, so clean and so his that he almost forgot what he was doing. Outside of his body and floating in a different plain to himself, he glided across the air and towards his fast disappearing body before the hole in the sky. He floated above himself, and could hear thoughts in the air.

He heard himself thinking, I'll be back soon, Gin. Just wait, I don't know where I'm going but I won't be gone long.

Christ, it was an innocent thought. He was just a kid here, just a kid that was about to gain one hundred years of knowledge, and then some.

Harry reached out with his old hand, wrinkled and heavily scarred - there wasn't a part of him that wasn't - and gently touched the shoulder of his younger self. It was that simple, and in the end that hard.

Gasping, Harry felt his entire soul pulled forward and fused into the body of the boy, his body, just as he stepped over the horizon of the Boundary gateway, and disappeared into eternity.

Both Harry's screamed as they became one. It was an agonising, heart wrenching, soul destroying scream that would shatter the strongest person's spirit.

Swirling in the Stream now faster and faster, plunged in ice cold water as he swam the Boundary - or was forced through it - young Harry began to change. The fragile sanity he had developed over one hundred years broke completely and he drooled and screamed, unaware of anything.

His body changed as well. The open bleeding wound in his shoulder healed over with scar tissue as if it had been healed for one hundred years. Across his body one or two new scars appeared, but only one or two. His glasses fell off his face and for a moment his left eye flickered between dazzling emerald green and rough pale green before settling back to emerald. The glasses had become useless though. He could see perfectly without them.

The Boundary surged and threw him through space in this timeless infinite dark place and now sixteen year old Harry felt one hundred and seventeen years of atrocious memories. Harry screamed his throat raw as he remembered wars and battles, death and violence, life and splendour, beginning and end. He remembered himself doing all these things; he was himself doing all these things.

It was Harry, changed and looking like a battered sixteen year old, but it was Harry.

POTTER! Ethan Rafe roared in his mind. YOU CAN'T TAKE THIS! WE CAN'T TAKE THIS!

It was true, Harry couldn't. One hundred years of anything suddenly being dumped into your head wouldn't be easy to take, but Harry had some of the worst memories ever - and they shattered his mind.

Still unaware that he was hurtling across the Boundary towards the Guardian, he cried out for death, for it to end. Nothing in all his years had ever been this painful. It was beyond it all. He wept.

His ears were full of the sounds of battles that would now never be fought. He saw wars he had led and enemies he had destroyed that would never be. He had done it, that was his last thought before it all went dark and he fell into unconsciousness.

He had done it.

"Wake up, Harry," a voice said. "Wake up."

Harry moaned and his eyes flickered open and then closed again. His head hurt, his mind surging with memories that were his. He was sixteen again, his body was not overly scarred and he couldn't handle it. It was too much, he wanted to die now... but there was no death here.

A light floated before him in the darkness, a light of power and of understanding. It was the Guardian, but Harry only just remembered and grasped that memory.

"Gryffindor..." he moaned. "Guardian of... of Existence..."

"Yes, Harry?"

Tears streamed down Harry's cheeks and floated away in this place that held no gravity. He managed a few more words, "Kill me... please... please kill me..."

"Do not give up now," the light said. "You have done it, my boy. You have done what nothing on any level of Existence has ever done. You reached the Ways of Twilight - you saved Existence."

"Too hard..." he managed. "Want... want... death..."

"Not for you, Harry," the Guardian said. "I am sorry, Darkslayer, but it isn't over."

Harry saw the images of a thousand worlds flicker through his head uncontrollably. That was the worst part... he had absolutely no control whatsoever over his mind. He relived every moment of his quest in every instant and it hurt and pained him beyond belief. His face was twisted in constant agony.

He was still crying... so lost, so alone with nothing but his memories. It would have been merciful to kill him.

The Boundary lay outside of mortal time, so to Gryffindor it had been one hundred years since he had last seen Harry... and he knew now that if something wasn't done, the boy wouldn't survive long back in his own world, when he was sent there.

Unknowingly at the time, Gryffindor had sensed Harry's thoughts for a family and sent him on to that other world that was about to exist as a thriving life form once again. Neither of them could have anticipated the power and effect his link to Lord Voldemort would have had on Existence. Who could have? That it would eat through worlds and time to reach Harry was unthinkable, it shouldn't have happened.

And yet it had. The Guardian would give his existence to find out why it was allowed to happen as it did. Something higher had a hand in all of this, he was sure. But for what purpose? Gryffindor knew he would never understand the mind of a higher being, they saw things differently and on a greater scale. Strangely enough, so did Harry.

Maybe that was one of the reasons he had survived.

"You must live, Harry," the Guardian said, sighing. "You must. There is something great afoot and you must be alive to meet it."

Harry moaned and groaned, dry retching and choking. "Don't... care!"

The Guardian moved fast now, knowing what he had to do. He couldn't make anymore mistakes and something was telling him that Harry had to live. Around him millions of other mystic lights had appeared and they were watching Gryffindor silently.

The other Guardians from the far corners of Existence. They hadn't wanted the boy to live and had almost destroyed Gryffindor after he let him go one hundred years ago. None of them believed he would reach and use the Ways of Twilight, and yet here he was again a hero. They all respected him, would give their lives for him. The feeling was felt by billions of others from different aspects of existence that didn't use time.

Tendrils of light that could be called arms stretched from the Guardian's glowing form, and he swept them around Harry's tossing head. The boy was dying whether he wanted it or not, destroying himself with his own memories. After all that had happened, this was not how he would die.

The memories were killing him, as was everything else. Harry had tried to absorb it all too fast into his younger self and now his mind was falling apart. It would look like a battlefield, or the aftermath at least where only the carrion eaters were left circling the dead. Gryffindor would make him forget for a time... it was the only way.

So now, as we reach the end, Godric Gryffindor, Harry Potter's ancestor, stroked the hair back from his forehead and revealed the lightning bolt shaped scar. It was glowing faintly silver. Ignoring that, the light of his 'arm' fell through the boy's skin and grasped at his mind.

"You will forget it all, for a time, Harry," the Guardian said, his whole form shaking and sighing. It was how a Guardian wept. "But it will come back, and you will have to face it all again. Nothing can remain, I'm afraid, but we will trust in the kindness of our species, of humans, to take care of you until it does."

"What...?" Harry began, but then it didn't matter.

The Guardian placed a block in his mind, a block of considerable strength that would give his mind time to sort out every memory he possessed - make it easier to accept. Unfortunately, he would forget almost everything he knew. Who he was, what he was, and where he was going. With the memory block in place, Harry's face faded of pain and a look of intense relief passed over it before the confusion came.

"Where am I?" he asked himself out loud.

"With a friend," Gryffindor replied. "Now go home, Harry Potter. Whatever Destiny has in store for you I believe we have just reached the end of the beginning, and whatever put you through all of this can wait. It wasn't a happy ending, but that only means we are not finished yet."

"I... can't see you," Harry whispered. "Who are you?"

"Go now... go home."

Millions of lights vanished as one and Harry screamed anew, alone and afraid of what was happening. He was moving, moving fast, that much he could tell but it was dark - darker than dark. There wasn't a light anywhere anymore.

Who am I? Where am I going?

Then there was light, and his flying form raced up to meet it with a speed that was faster than anything he knew could exist. What happened? I feel... new.

He was scared, but for some reason that feeling felt foreign to him. He didn't get scared, did he? He didn't know.

Who am I?

Light filled his vision. It was everywhere, all around him and all through him. He got the sense that something important had just happened, and that he had been at the centre of it. An image, final and brief, shimmered through his mind's eye. He saw someone... an old man... falling from a horse in a field of white roses.

That was it. Wind rose in his ears and he spun so fast he had to close his eyes. When he opened them again, a world had sprung to life around him.

Home, he thought... but it was dark.

He was lying on his back in sand, and overhead storm clouds were just bursting. Harry gasped as water rushed up his legs and along his back. He raised his head and saw an ocean, dark in reflecting the storm clouds. He lay on his back on the shoreline, his jeans bloody and soaked in seawater. His shirt... it was black and torn. It was also matted with blood from some fight he couldn't remember.

The tide receded but another wave crashed and he shivered in the cold. Lightning forked across the sky and thunder rumbled. The wind whipped harsh grains of sand along the beach in sand storms. It was dark. Why couldn't it be light?

Exhaustion had swept over Harry now. He was lost again, but home - that was what he felt. He didn't know who he was, where he was or what he had done to get here... and it was dark. And getting darker, he realised. His eyes were closing against his will.

One moment the shining emerald green blazed as they reflected a fork of lightning in the sky, the next they were closed and Harry lost consciousness. He was mumbling, mumbling the last memory he could recall. It was strange that it wasn't an image, but the words to a song that escaped his lips...

"By the last breath of the fourth winds blow..." It was a dark song, and fairly fitting. Lightning tore asunder the heavens. "It's time to wield the blade..." Harry's mind and memory were through. It was done, that was what he thought now. It was done.

Where had he heard it? He didn't remember. It was as if he were tuned in badly to a radio station, and everything was hazy with static. Thoughts were gone, memory was over, and he spoke once more before drifting into blissful unconsciousness.

"You have been dying since the day you were born," he whispered. And finally, as thunder roared and lightning cackled, "On through the dead of night... with the four Horsemen ride, or choose your fate and die!"

On the last word, Harry's eyes flared open wide and lightning hit the ground a few feet away. It was over then. Defiance was done, and the hero was home. He fell into forgetfulness and it was a long time before he knew anymore.

Across the world, in Scotland, Hogwarts castle, Ginny Weasley awoke in the early morning from a nightmare that had had something to do with Harry... but she supposed that was to be expected. Harry had disappeared two days ago, and it hurt to even think that.

Nothing but pain and bitter anguish enveloped Ginny as she awoke. Though she kept her eyes closed, they could not stop the fresh flow of desperate tears. Everything that had happened over the past few days ran through her mind and she searched for some hope that would help her keep her sanity.

The nightmare had seemed so real... Harry alone on a dark beach somewhere. It couldn't be real though, Harry was somewhere else. Lost to time and space, if her translation of Voldemort's spell was accurate. Tempus ac Capacitas...

Sniffing, Ginny picked up her wand from the bedside table and summoned her quill and ink, along with her diary.

Everlasting Thoughts.

Turning to a clean page, she shakily wrote the date in the right hand corner, pushing a strand of auburn hair back behind her ear as she did. Biting her bottom lip, cheeks streaked with tears, she poised the quill on the page.

You're gone, she wrote, and I don't know if you're coming back.

No sooner had the Guardian sent Harry back to his own world, than Existence as a whole became twisted and warped as one hundred years of time and events across many plains of existence were changed and rewrote.

Anywhere that Harry had been on the mortal worlds twisted, all the worlds destroyed and lives lost were replaced and trillions upon trillions of creatures lived again. A great shuddering reverberated through the threads of reality as the fabric rewrote itself to suit Harry's choices...

Everything had changed. It was a new dawn on what had become a dark existence. Life had a chance, for a time... The War of Creation had fought its first battle, and Light, Harry, had won.

But at the Ways of Twilight, before a door marked, Destiny, a poison in the wood refused to be changed. It stayed... and the countdown to oblivion truly began.

Where was the Hero now?

The beginning had ended, one human's name reverberated down the Hall of Eternity, and the true fight was about to be set in motion. The destruction of Existence had been set back, but not stopped... Good was being consumed by Evil and it was only a matter of time...

The only hope lay with one of the mortal species of Existence, with humans. It lay on a world, in no way more significant than any other; it lay on a world with a boy who had lost his memory.

Redemption and salvation for everyone and everything rested on humans, and on their born leader, Harry James Potter.

The End of Part Two
The Hero Trilogy

A/N: Well, there we go, dear readers. Part Two of a story I wrote years ago. Took me awhile to get through it, but I'll start posting the last and final piece of this trilogy soon. Look out for Harry Potter and the Soul of the Hero, Part Three of the Hero Trilogy. Links in my profile to that, and all my other stories. All the best, thanks for reading, please review.

Was it as fun for you as it was for me?

--Captain Joe, 18/07/2008