Calai'di--So, I was on Gaia, and I found a thread called "Endings that would make EVERYONE mad" or, alternate ending to Deathly Hallows that you would have hated to see. A lot of the ideas were the-whole-thing-was-a-dream or Harry's-actually-insane. This was my idea. It ended up long enough to post as a fanfic...
Disclaimer: The first line is straight from Deathly Hallows. I have no claim over it or the HP universe...or this idea, really. It's been done before...
Warnings: eh, none, really. I don't even think you'll hate me for it.
"It's your one last chance," said Harry, "it's all you've got left...I've seen what you'll become otherwise...Be a man...try...try for some remorse."
Voldemort snorted. "Remorse? Look around you, Potter. Do you honestly believe these people deserve such a feeling?"
"We aren't talking about them."
"The people I've killed were no different. That's one thing I've never understood about you, Potter," Voledmort added with a sneer. "How can you stand to let these fools dictate your life? Your life has been nothing but wasted, and why? Because 'dear old Dumbledore' moulded you into the perfect pawn."
"Don't talk about Dumbledore like that!" Harry said, his hand clenching around Draco's wand.
Voldemort laughed softly, cold and cruel. "You know nothing of life, boy, because that fool wished it so. Look around you. They're all waiting for your divine move. If I chose to stop and not defend myself, do you think any of them would do anything?"
"I...I told them not to," Harry said. An odd feeling was starting to bubble up in his chest. Something like fear, he thought, but not for himself. It was fear that if he fell here and now, no one would take the chance to stop Voldemort. They would all give up.
Because Dumbledore had made him into such an icon.
Harry shook his head to get rid of those thoughts, annoyed at himself. How could he doubt Dumbledore? But the thought remained, whispering to him from the back of his mind.
Voldemort paused in his slow circling and dropped his arms, so his wand hung at his side. "Shall we see who is right?"
Harry stopped as well, staring at him. It would be so easy to finish Voldemort off now, unprotected as he was. Two little words and his mission would be over. It was so simple and so tempting.
But, whispered the little voice in his mind. But he wanted to know what would happen if he also gave up and refused to do anything. Or if he said that he didn't want to do this and could someone else kill the bastard?
He lowered his own wand. The gasps from the crowd were almost painful.
"I can't use the Killing Curse," he said loudly, deliberately. "Someone else will have to do it."
The silence was almost more painful to hear. He looked around, be no one would meet his eyes, and no one moved to help him. Even without looking, he knew Voldemort was smiling unpleasantly.
"You see, Potter?" came Voldemort's sibilant whisper and Harry was compelled to look at him again. The Dark Lord looked as though Dumbledore had just died. "They're all cowards. Not one of them would stand against me without you to lead them. Not one of them has the strength to oppose me like you do."
"What do you want from me?" Harry asked. He hated seeing that look on Voldemort's face. He hated even more the tense silence around them.
"I think you already know what I want," Voldemort answered.
And he did. It had been painfully clear since Voldemort had let his guard down. The Dark Lord would have killed him ages ago if he hadn't wanted it. Harry could only wonder what had put the idea into his head.
Harry glanced back at the Weasleys, who had lost so much; at Hermione, who looked as though she wanted to be looking at them but couldn't; at Neville, who was the only one of his friends who had no once looked away. Then he turned away, tucked Draco's wand into his pocket, and walked over to Voldemort.
"Harry, no!" Neville shouted. Harry heard him start to move; he turned and fixed a cold stare on the other Gryffindor. Neville stopped, looking too shocked to keep going.
Harry turned again and walked the rest of the way to Voldemort's side. The despair in the air was almost palpable. He found to his surprise that he almost enjoyed it.
"I won't be a Death Eater," he said. "I expect to be your equal."
"I wouldn't want anything less," Voldemort hissed. He held out an arm. Harry grabbed it without another glance back. He marvelled even as they Disapperated that he felt no pain in his scar.