Hi everyone :)
It's the last chapter! (sobs) Oh how I hate last chapters, always so bitter-sweet.
I'll talk more at the bottom. For now, let's just read, yes?
Although, in the past, Harry had feared the rising and setting of the sun for whatever reason, he could confidently say that the sunset before him was easily the most frightening he had yet faced. Standing in the conservatory, staring out at the world ahead of him, as the sky rapidly turned from light blue to a darker blue, he could honestly say that he was completely terrified. That night was a turning point. It would either all begin or it would all end. There was no third option.
Arms suddenly came around the teenager's waist and he didn't hesitate to bring his hands up to rest on them. They gave him a gentle squeeze just before lips came down to rest on top of his head. "Scared, Pup?" Fenrir's rough voice rumbled into the thick strands of dark hair.
"Yeah." Harry admitted without hesitation. "Are you nervous?"
"Be lying if I said I wasn't." Fenrir replied quietly. "But it's a good nervous, it'll keep me on my toes, and I know in the end it's gonna turn out all right. Nothing will happen, I ain't gonna let it."
"Have you taken the potion yet?"
"Yeah, just now."
"Are you sure it's the right thing to do?"
"Yeah. I know I don't have many smarts but I'm gonna need all I can get for this. Fighting humans ain't the same as fighting animals, ya gotta be smart with humans. Plus, gotta keep in my right mind just in case you don't get out of the room in time; there'd be nothing to stop me from going for you now."
Harry turned around in Fenrir's arms then and pinned a very serious look on the man. "I promise I won't do anything stupid." He said with a lot of confidence, perhaps more than he actually felt.
"Good." The Alpha rumbled before leaning down and pecking a kiss to the boy's lips. "Means I won't have to do anything stupid either."
The cracks that sounded were numerous and all seemed to come in a very short space of time, making it impossible to count how many had rung out into the night. Then there was nothing but silence though, nothing to betray the presence of anyone other than those who were within the house. When one of the front doors began to push open, even that was silent, but then the sound of something metal hitting against something hard rang out like a thunder-clap, and the thump of the body hitting the floor shattered the atmosphere and suddenly the world was filled with noise again.
Harry dropped the saucepan he had used to club the entering Death Eater and quickly scurried further into the house in order to get his advantage of surprise back. As he dashed through the sitting room and into the dining room, he heard a howl coming from outside before the cries of several men rang out. Obviously Remus had sprung into action quickly. Hopefully he'd be mistaken for Fenrir. If not then at least he would cause more than a few problems for the large number of Death Eaters who were now crawling all over the manor.
"Are you all right?" The voice of Sirius suddenly demanded mere seconds before two hands grabbed the teenager's face in order to hold him in place.
"I'm fine Sirius, they hadn't even registered I was there before I made a dash for it," Harry assured as he gently removed his godfather's hands from his face. "You're ready in here, right?"
"Yep, plenty ready." Sirius confirmed with a confident grin.
"Okay, I'm gonna double back now then and linger around the staircase." Harry turned to go then but hesitated for a moment, turning his body back around to look at the other wizard. "Sirius, be careful, yeah?"
The man was still grinning as he turned his head to look over his shoulder to Harry. "Do I look like the sort of person who takes stupid risks?" He asked playfully.
Harry didn't really find that comment particularly amusing but he offered a small smile nonetheless before he turned and hurried on into the kitchen. He could only hope that Sirius was going to take the fighting seriously and his light comments and attitude were simply for Harry's sake. The teenager would've felt far more at ease is his godfather had acted more seriously but he supposed he could appreciate Sirius's efforts.
Entering the kitchen, Harry's initial intention was to simply run straight through. However, he found that he couldn't help but take a quick look out of the window to see what was happening outside. He was actually glad to have taken the chance at what he saw. The many pits he had spent his time digging had paid off as a lot of Death Eaters were occupied trying to get out of them. Also, judging by the number of apparently unconscious Death Eaters, more than a few had come across the small booby traps of gloom spores that Harry had set in random places; it made all the times he had been knocked out well worth it.
It was reassuring to see everything going apparently well and Harry found it quite entertaining to watch as well. He spent far too much time simply standing by the window and watching the chaos outside and he lost track of that time as well. Even more time may have even passed if not for the fact a sound and a movement in the corner of his eyes caught his attention. Harry quickly turned towards the door that led in from the conservatory and bit his tongue to stop himself from gasping in horror at the sight of Lucius Malfoy standing just in the open doorway with his wand pointed right at the teenager.
"Mr Potter," the man's voice greeted him coolly and if the hair hadn't already given him away the voice certainly did.
"Mr Malfoy." Harry returned warily.
"I suppose you aren't surprised to see me," Lucius guessed as he removed his mask to reveal his face. "No doubt many have warned you of my alliances."
"A few have." The teenager admitted as he carefully edged closer to the kitchen counter closest to him; if he could just get to the jar of...
A shot of light suddenly whizzed past Harry, barely missing him, and the boy flinched away with a small gasp. He very quickly looked back to the Death Eater in front of him though, not willing to allow the man out of his sight for more than a few seconds.
"Planning on hitting me over the head with a pot as well?" The Malfoy sneered. "Not that you'd get close enough to try but I'd rather not take that risk."
"No, I know something like that wouldn't work on you," Harry agreed before quickly lurching to the side and successfully seizing the small glass jar he had originally been aiming for.
Whether it was because his reaction was slow or because he failed to identify the glass jar and its contents as a threat, Lucius was very sluggish in raising his wand and aiming again. The teenager had ample time to aim and throw the jar so that it shattered on the floor just at Lucius's feet. The sparkling green dust inside the jar immediately flew out, to the sides and floating up. Not a moment later and the Malfoy's eyes rolled into the back of his head and he collapsed into a useless heap.
Harry lingered for a moment, partly to make sure the Death Eater really was unconscious but also to allow the floating gloom spores time to thin out to a harmless degree. Only when the sparkling dust was no longer visible did the teenager scurry forward, towards the collapsed body.
"Good night Mr Malfoy." Harry mumbled as he stepped over the man's unconscious form and ran off back towards the entrance foyer.
He burst through the doors into the foyer without hesitation, only thinking that perhaps it would have been safer to go in more slowly after he was through them. Very luckily, there was no one in the area and Harry relaxed as quickly as he had tensed up. He wasted no more time and resumed his running in the direction of the stairs. Going up them might mean he was trapping himself but it was part of the over-all plan so even though his instincts and common sense screamed at him to choose a better path, the teenager ignored them both and began to climb the staircase. He had only moved up the first three steps, however, before the front doors flew open with a bang that caused him to whip around and look in surprise.
Harry couldn't help but pause a little longer and gasp in fear at the sight of the man who was the Dark Lord entering the front doors. Voldemort was definitely an intimidating sight in person and the teenager froze for a moment. However, when his green eyes met with the crimson of Voldemort's, he managed to snap himself out of his dangerous state and immediately felt the need to flee. He still had enough of a hold on his common sense to remember the plan and so he scrambled up the stairs somewhat desperately, knowing that Voldemort would follow. Indeed, the boy had barely reached the top when he heard footsteps come after him.
Panting a little, more from fear than from any physical exersion, Harry scurried down the length of the corridor, counting the doors as he passed them. All the while, footsteps behind him continued. When Harry reached the fifth door on the left, he practically yanked the door off of its hinges and all but threw himself in the room before slamming the door shut behind himself. He immediately backed away from it, not daring to turn his eyes away from the only thing that was hiding him from Voldemort, moving closer to the window behind. There was nothing then and he had to wait for the moment to arrive when he would be found.
When Harry's back pressed against the wall just beside the only window in the room, he spared a quick glance over to the wardrobe on his far left before quickly returning his gaze to the door ahead of him again. After another moment of staring warily at the door, he then glanced to his right to look out of the window, down to the manor's grounds below.
Directly in his line of sight was the hole he had dug but a few days ago. It had apparently worked quite well as there were two or three Death Eaters stuck down it and unable to get out. Or perhaps they were able to get out and they were simply choosing not to due to the fact Remus was hunting their comrades in that immediate area at that moment in time. It was just then, in fact, that Remus came bounding into sight, snapping at the heels of four frantic Death Eaters.
The sound of the door opening had Harry's attention immediately and his head spun back to look in front of himself frantically. However, it proved to be an anti-climax as it was only Severus who he saw poke the top half of his body around the door, though only his head and neck were visible, the rest hidden underneath Harry's invisibility cloak.
"He's coming," Severus warned in an almost silent whisper. "I'll be in the room opposite; don't hesitate to scream if you need me."
Harry only had time to nod once before Severus had disappeared just as quickly as he had appeared. The teenager sucked in a deep, soothing breath and steeled his shoulders. The moment was coming and as much as he was dreading it, he also just wanted it all to be over. He planted his feet to the ground more firmly and set his expression into one of reluctant anxiety; there was no point in letting Voldemort catch wind of the plan by acting confident or even just calm. Not that Harry was calm, quite the opposite, but he felt that he could've put forward a mirage of calm had the situation called for it.
The next time the door opened, it was the one Harry recognised from the brief and unsettling sights out of the corner of his eyes, it was the one who had once had a piece of his soul housed inside the teenager, it was the one who had killed his parents and changed his life to an unimaginable degree. Of course Harry would never give up the life he had with Fenrir but he had often found himself wondering what life may have turned out like if Voldemort had never existed, if he had never swept in dishing out Killing curses like Christmas presents.
"So, Harry Potter," the man murmured in a voice that disturbingly resembled a hiss more than anything else as he closed the door behind himself. "After all these years, we come face to face again, only this time there is no Mudblooded mother to shield you."
"I'd rather be shielded by someone than kill a harmless baby to save myself." Harry muttered in reply.
"What noble sentimentality," Voldemort sneered, obviously not intending that to be taken as a compliment. "I'm surprised you were able to hold on to such morality having spent so long in the company of an animal. Fenrir Greyback has never had a problem with mutilating children, in fact I believe he often enjoyed it immensely."
"Are you trying to shock me? I know about Fenrir's past. It doesn't bother me."
"Then perhaps you're not quite so moral after all, but, I feel, you may still be too weak; can you bring yourself to kill me?"
"I don't have to kill you." The teenager said simply.
A nasty snicker left Voldemort at that. "Do you expect to be saved?" He asked mockingly. "Even if Greyback were to return, he would have all of my Death Eaters to get through before he even came close to us. There is no one to save you. Perhaps you should've stayed with your pet." The man sneered as he lifted his wand and pointed it at the teenager.
"Oh, but I did." Harry corrected innocently.
Not a moment later, a loud thump suddenly came from inside the wardrobe on the left side of the room. Harry was prepared for it but Voldemort wasn't and the teenager took full advantage of his enemy's momentary lack of concentration. He rushed at the Dark Lord and seized his wand from him before red eyes could turn away from the wardrobe. The very second the wand was in the teenager's hand, the doors of the wardrobe shattered completely and the massive form that was Fenrir in his wolf state came leaping out into the room, landing with a heavy thud and immediately focussing on Voldemort.
Harry swiftly snapped the Dark Lord's wand over his right knee, breaking it in two, but he kept the pieces with him instead of throwing them away from himself. Other than the low, constant growling coming from Fenrir, the room was silent and so Harry's footsteps as he moved to the door were heard clearly. Voldemort's gaze flickered onto the teenager for a mere second before Fenrir's growls rose in volume and forced the Dark Lord to return his gaze to him.
Arriving at the door, Harry reached for the door-knob but then paused when it was in his grip. He turned an almost sad look back to the room, to the figure of the most evil wizard of their time standing completely frozen and at the mercy of the most sadistic and ruthless werewolf of their time. Even if Voldemort had still had his wand, there was no doubt how the confrontation would end; Harry would be the last person to see the Dark Lord Voldemort alive and breathing, perhaps even to see him in one whole piece depending just how thorough a job Fenrir decided to do.
"Goodbye Tom." Harry murmured before quickly opening the door and slipping from the room, slamming it shut behind himself. No sooner than he was out of the room than a wand was being pointed over his shoulder and the voice of Severus speaking a spell to lock the door came.
The muffled sounds of spintering wood, vicious animal snarls, and terrified, pained screams began to filter out from inside the room but neither Harry nor Severus made any sign of leaving. They simply stood there, Severus a sturdy presence behind Harry's back, and stared at the door behind which was no doubt a horrific sight. It was only when all noise from inside the room had ceased that the two slowly turned and walked away, leaving the werewolf to enjoy its kill.
Despite the fact none of them had gone to bed, morning officially arrived for those inside Aberwyst Manor when the sun started to rise. It was then that Harry discreetly left his friends and made his way up the stairs. He kept going until he reached the room in which he had locked Voldemort the night before and, aware of the fact the locking charm on it had been temporary, reached out to twist the doorknob. A moment of hesitation later, to prepare himself for what was on the other side, Harry carefully pushed the door open and stepped inside.
The overwhelming scent of blood was what immediately occured to the teenager. Then, his eyes caught up with his nose and he saw that almost the entire room was painted red with blood, a lot of which appeared to still be wet. Next to be noticed was the ruined furniture; either Voldemort had put up a very good fight or Fenrir had simply done an over-the-top job. Speaking of the Alpha, he was the one who Harry noticed next. Fenrir was sitting on the floor against the far wall, just underneath the window and was lazily licking the blood clean from the skin he could reach. Judging from the fact that there was absolutely no damage on the werewolf's body, the teenager assumed that none of the blood was actually Fenrir's.
It was then that Harry had to pause and actually look around. He couldn't see Voldemort's body anywhere. Lots of blood but no body. At first, his stomach got rather queasy as he wondered if perhaps Fenrir had eaten the Dark Lord's body, but he swallowed back his nausea and told himself that even if the man had done that, there would've been bones. There were no bones, there wasn't anything but blood.
Green eyes flickered onto Fenrir and the man's dark eyes returned the gaze for a moment before they flickered to the left. Harry cautiously pushed the door behind him shut and then very slowly took a few steps forwards, his head facing forward but his eyes turning to look to the left hand side of the room. From his previous angle, the bed in the centre of the room had obscured the sight of anything there might be there to see. As Harry moved further into the room, however, his angle of sight changed and, gradually, what could only be described as a bloody and meaty mess could be seen just on the other side of the bed. It was more than enough for the teenager's vegetarian sensibility and he froze and immediately looked away at the first sight of the mess that was the earthly remains of the Dark Lord Voldemort.
However, despite how distasteful Harry was of further staring at the corpse, now that he had seen it, reality seemed to be catching up to him. His eyes widened a little and he turned a hopeful look onto Fenrir. "It's over?" He whispered as though he hardly dared to believe the words were true.
"Yeah, it's over." Fenrir confirmed.
A small, breathless smile gradually spread across the teenager's face before he gave a small laugh and bounced over to his Alpha. Then, heedless of the blood and the gore, he threw himself down onto his knees and into Fenrir's arms. He was caught easily and squeezed tightly, a nose coming to nuzzle at his neck. Harry buried his hands in Fenrir's hair and clung on with all his strength, happiness and relief stealing his words completely. No words were really necessary though, they both knew how things were now; they were finally completely free again.
No more than thirty minutes later, the five males were all gathered in the manor's kitchen. While Severus made tea, both Fenrir and Remus were using the kitchen sink to clean off the blood that had accumilated on them over the night. Meanwhile, Sirius and Harry sat at the kitchen table together, the adult fiddling with a deep wound on his right arm he had aquired during the Death Eater invasion and the teenager slumped down on the table-top and half asleep.
"Why don't you go to bed, Harry?" Sirius suggested to him, giving the boy a gentle nudge with his foot as he spoke.
"I can't sleep when the living room's full of Death Eaters, even if they are all restrained." Harry mumbled as he lifted his heavy head and rested his chin in his left palm.
"We're here to look after you." His godfather pointed out.
The teenager shook his head though and gave a sleepy blink. "I know, but I'd still rather wait until the house is empty again. How long before the Aurors arrive?"
"We called as soon as we knew for certain that Voldemort was dead but no one answered so we left a message. Can't be long until they get here now; even if the night-shifters have dozed off, the day shift starts at six." Sirius explained.
Harry gave a small hum and a nod. He then made himself sit up a little straighter and offered his godfather a smile. "Thanks again for last night, Sirius. And I'm really sorry you got hurt."
"Can't be helped," Sirius assured cheerfully. "Besides, I was in the thick of it; would've been pretty miraculous if I hadn't got myself hurt in some way."
"But you didn't have to be there..."
"Of course I did." Sirius quickly interrupted halfway through his godson's sentence. "I know I haven't really shown it properly in the past but I do love you a great deal, Harry. Perhaps being in Azkaban for so long did screw me up, I don't know, but it's no excuse for how I've behaved in the past. It was all done out of love though, as was last night. So don't apologise for it; it isn't your fault."
Harry offered a genuingly touched smile at that and he leaned forward to give his godfather a hug. For all that Sirius had done, for all the trouble he had caused and all the mistakes he had made, the man loved Harry, the boy could see that now. And, although it had taken him some months, Harry felt like he could finally say he loved his godfather in return. Sirius wasn't perfect but Fenrir was as far from perfect as possible and yet Harry adored the Alpha.
Almost as though summoned by Harry's thoughts, Fenrir trudged over to them then. He tapped the teenager on the head as he gave a grunted order of, "Up, Pup."
Sirius immediately shot the Alpha a poisonous glare even as Harry got to his feet and moved away from the chair without complaint. "There's a seat right next to you, why can't you sit there?" He challenged the werewolf angrily.
Fenrir didn't bother to react to that question. Instead, he sat himself down on the vacated seat before promptly seizing Harry's wrist and tugging the boy over. When the teenager was close enough, Fenrir dragged him onto his lap and then promptly wrapped his arms around the thin waist, clutching the slight form to him completely. Only then did he bother to acknowledge Sirius and then it was only an annoyed but pointed look, one that said that Sirius really should've understood the situation better than he apparently did.
To Sirius's credit, he did look somewhat sheepish and apologetic for the hostile reaction but that was mainly directed at Harry rather than Fenrir. Harry gave a vague wave of his hand to show that he wasn't bothered or offended as he snuggled back against Fenrir's chest, turning his head to muffle a yawn against the man's left shoulder.
A calm quiet covered the room then, the only sounds disrupting the silence being splash of water as Remus finished cleaning himself up and the whistle of the kettle as it finally boiled. No one seemed at all eager to speak and they were all happy to simply relax after the night that felt to have dragged on for too long. Although none of them were actually looking forward to the arrival of the Aurors, they all realised that it was something they were going to have to deal with before any could actually sleep. After all, the stunned and restrained Death Eaters were still confined to the dining and living rooms and they needed to be removed from the manor completely before it would be safe for them to shut their eyes and lose themselves in sleep.
It was just as Severus was bringing the pot full of freshly brewed tea over to the table and Remus sat down beside Sirius that the sound of the fire place flaring to life on the other side of the room had the five males pausing. They all glanced over to the fire place to see Tonks come stumbling out first, closely followed by Kingsley. There was no one else however which the five men found odd.
"It's just you two?" Sirius asked before anyone else could.
"You need more?" Tonks queried curiously as Kingsley moved over to the shut double doors that led into the dining room.
"Well, yeah. Dozen or so would be best I should think."
"What in Merlin's name happened here?" Kingsley suddenly gasped, sounding half horrified and half delighted, no doubt by the sight of the numerous Death Eaters incapacitated in the dining room.
"Got some visitors last night." Fenrir grunted vaguely. "Voldemort's upstairs...What's left of him anyway."
"What's left...You're telling me he's dead!" Kingsley cried as he turned to look at the werewolf, now nothing but astonished disbelief in his voice.
"Do you think we'd still be alive if he wasn't?" Harry asked idly.
Kingsley continued to look a little lost for a moment then before he looked around at the other men. "Who...?" He left the question hanging but it was obvious what he was asking.
"Me." Fenrir grunted before a cruel sneer spread across his lips. "Why else would there only be pieces of him left?"
The male Auror asked no more questions before he hurried out of the room, apparently not caring to ask exactly which room Voldemort's body was in. The other occupants in the kitchen watched him go before turning their attention to Tonks upon hearing her give a sigh.
"I better pop back and get more Aurors then," she revealed before entering the fire place again and leaving.
Fenrir gave a disgruntled grunt. "Bloody wizards," he grunted. "Have to make a big deal out of everything."
It was completely over. The captured Death Eaters had been taken away, statements had been provided, and everyone who didn't live in Aberwyst manor had gone to their respective homes. Only Harry and Fenrir remained and that was how they liked it. They lay together in the manor's conservatory, the teenager sprawled out on top of the adult as always. Neither spoke, but the quiet was relaxed and light. They just lay together, enjoying the peace and the knowledge that they had not a trouble in the world anymore.
"Fenrir?" Harry murmured eventually.
"Do you remember the day we met?"
"You clubbed me with a branch; yeah, I remember." Fenrir grunted tiredly.
"I was frightened of you that day," the teenager murmured, choosing to ignore hs mate's comment. "I was frightened for myself and I was frightened for Isaac. But now, looking back, I can't remember why I was so scared. It didn't last long; I liked you right away."
"I liked you too, Pup."
"Don't lie," Harry chided lightly. "Those first few weeks I bugged the hell out of you, I know I did."
"Maybe a little, but you know me, if you'd been too annoying I wouldn't have let you tag along." Fenrir shifted a little then, tightening his hold on the body on top of him in order to drag the slight form a little higher up so they were face to face. "At the time I just figured what I felt was because of our wolves; pack instinct and all that. Looking back though, I don't think it was all to do with that. Felt good to have some company again, and it felt good to be an Alpha again, to have someone to look after."
"Do you think you'll ever want a new pack?" The teenager questioned, turning his head so his lips brushed lightly against the adult's neck.
"Honestly? No, I can't see it happening." The Alpha admitted grudgingly. "I ain't getting any younger and it wouldn't be long before ambitious bastards started to challenge me. I'd destroy every single one of course, but that ain't the life for me anymore. I like how things are now; just you and me, safe in a place that just ours, with infrequent visits from various people to keep you occupied while I'm off by myself. I don't need a pack to pander to me and who need protecting, I just need you."
"My, my, Mr Greyback, you are getting soft in your old age." Harry teased though it was softened by the affectionate kisses he pressed to the werewolf's neck.
"Only with you, Pup," Fenrir grunted as he brought up a heavy hand to hold the side of the boy's head. "Love ya."
"I love you too." Harry whispered happily, pressing one last kiss to his lover's neck before settling down and contenting himself with holding and being held in return.
End of Sacrifice.
Although it kinda bugs me that the story ended on an odd number, I have to admit that I quite like this ending. I don't think it ends too abruptly and neither does it drag on for too long. So I'm satisfied and I hope you all are too :)
So, what comes next from me? Well, it's the moment you've all been waiting for, the announcement of the vote winner for the next pairing. It was close, oh so very close, there was only one vote in it (so if you had an opinion and didn't vote you've got no right to complain XD) but in the end, winning 32 to 31 was...The Harry/Harry! So, my next story will be of the Harry/Harry variety (though the way it's shaping up at the moment, there'll be major hints of Sev/Harry and Fenrir/Harry in it as well XD).
Hopefully I'll see all/most of you for the next story (not sure when I'll start posting but it'll probably have the title of Grim Fairytales and Beautiful Lies). If not, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading and enjoying and if you reviewed then you get extra thanks. Everyone take care of yourselves and I hope to see you all again very soon :)
Many hugs and much love