Disclaimer: this story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoat Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Chapter 6: Things Fall Into Place
"No, no, yous must be focusing, Master Harry," Mystia said, pulling on her ears in desperation.
Harry could understand her frustration as well. She might have the permission to teach Harry how to pop consciously, but that didn't mean that it was easy to learn. He'd been following Mystia's instructions to the letter, yet he still wasn't able to move himself. The only time he managed to do so was in his sleep, when his emotions were high because of a nightmare. He wasn't even surprised any more when he woke up from a nightmare in Draco's bed, or on one memorable occasion in between Lucius and Narcissa. Merlin, but that had been embarrassing. Right now however, Harry would give anything to be embarrassed by popping somewhere unexpected, if only because that meant he'd popped!
"Focus on where yous wants to go, Master Harry," Mystia said, having calmed down a bit. "Then yous sees yourself there, and then you push."
Harry closed his eyes, imagined his room, and then imagined himself standing by the window. He waited until the picture was as clear as he could make it in his mind then pushed himself towards that location. He opened his eyes and groaned in dismay at seeing the bookshelves against the wall. He was still in the library. He sighed in disappointment and sat down before Mystia, who looked about as miserable as he felt.
"I'm never going to be able to do this," he said, as much to himself as to Mystia.
"But Master Harry must do this, Master Malfoy said so," Mystia wailed, tears in her large eyes.
"I know," Harry said. "But I'm doing exactly as you say; I picture myself in my room and push, but nothing happens."
Mystia's wailing stopped abruptly, and she began jumping up and down. Harry looked at her, wondering if he'd pushed her too far.
"Yous be doing it wrongs, Master Harry," Mystia said.
"But I did just as you said," Harry exclaimed.
"Wes not seeing place, Master Harry, we be seeing people," Mystia said.
Harry's eyes grew wide. Of course, people, that's why he always popped to Draco or Lucius or Narcissa's location. He always popped to people. Quickly he stood up and closed his eyes. He pictured Lucius, then pictured himself standing next to Lucius, and pushed. When he opened his eyes, he was in Lucius' office! The man hadn't noticed his arrival yet. Harry let out a whoop of joy that had Lucius looking up.
"I did it, I just popped here," Harry shouted, then hugged the man.
Lucius laughed and hugged him back.
"Well done Harry," Lucius said.
"I just figured out that you just have to pop to people, instead of places," Harry said.
"Well, that's good to know, we'll have to take that into account when we finally go after Voldemort," Lucius said. "However, keep practicing. We're not there yet."
"I know," Harry said, trying to be serious, but unable to stop grinning. "But this is good, right?"
"Yes, and I think this calls for a celebration," Lucius answered.
Harry grinned and ran out of Lucius' office to find Draco and Narcissa. Finally things were going his way, and he couldn't wait to celebrate it with his family.
Later that evening, Harry got out his lineage book. Since Christmas, he'd looked at it often. There was a chapter about his father that he'd read with great interest and a chapter on his grandfather James that had almost brought him to tears. Often he'd wished that his grandfather hadn't died, because he'd have been spared a lot of misery that way. But what he liked most about his Christmas present was looking at the Potter family tree; seeing the names of all those Potters, going back to nearly the year 1400, made him feel connected to the Wizarding World. He gently stroked the leather cover of the book, letting his fingers trail the golden embossed Potter crest. He opened the book to the first page and performed the spell that took a drop of his blood for the page.
"Show me my line," Harry said.
The by now familiar tree began to form on the page, beginning with his own name. He traced the Potter men with his eyes until Herbertus Potter, born 1407, deceased 1501. However, unlike other times, the tree drew itself further back in time. Names he'd never seen before showed themselves. Finally, it seemed the tree would go no further back. The last name drawn, what Draco had called the line founder, was Arthur Pendragon. Harry stared at the tree in surprise. Why was it showing this now? For a moment, Harry contemplated waking Draco to ask, but decided that it might as well wait until breakfast. With a sigh, he closed the lineage book and went to sleep.
The next morning, Harry asked about the extended tree he'd seen the night before.
"What did you ask the book to show you?" Lucius asked.
Harry frowned, what did Lucius mean with that?
"What I always ask, to show me my line," he answered.
"No you don't," Draco said. "You always ask for the Potter line."
"There's a difference?" Harry asked confused.
"When you ask for the Potter line, the book will show you the family tree up until the oldest male relative named Potter. When you ask for your line, it will show you the oldest magical male relative, whether his name was Potter or not," Lucius said.
Well, that explained a lot, Harry thought.
"So, who's your line founder?" Draco asked.
"Some guy named Arthur Pendragon," Harry said with a shrug.
The glass Narcissa had been holding in her hand shattered as it fell. Lucius almost choked on the bite of toast he had taken just before Harry spoke and Draco's mouth fell open.
"What?" Harry asked, apprehensive about their reactions.
"Oh, Merlin, that explains so much," Lucius choked out.
And apparently, it did. It appeared that his popping ability, his shielding ability, everything, came from Arthur Pendragon, who just happened to be Merlin's protégé. With the information the goblin's had given Harry, namely that he had just some kind of personal shield, and the knowledge that he was a descendant of Arthur Pendragon, they finally had the break they needed in figuring out how to deal with Voldemort. But, even with this break, it still took weeks of research and weeks of planning to come up with what Draco had dubbed "the perfect plan".
With the summer holidays only three days old, the plan was set to go into motion in a little over twenty-four hours. Severus Snape was all set up to be the focal point of Harry's popping ability, as he was currently at Voldemort's headquarters. Ron and Hermione were in guest rooms down the hall, supposedly to visit for a couple of days, but actually so Harry could take them, together with the Malfoys to Voldemort's headquarters. They would take out the Death Eaters there and provide backup while Harry went after Voldemort. Theoretically, Harry had a personal shield that could withstand the Killing Curse. The plan was to take out Voldemort with a predecessor of the Killing Curse, which wasn't illegal because its existence was almost completely forgotten. Lucius wasn't taking any chances on Harry being tried for using an Unforgivable after he'd dealt with Voldemort. Harry was inclined to agree on that point. He wasn't, however, satisfied with the rest of the plan, which was why he was dressed and ready to go now, while everyone else was still asleep. Harry pulled his Invisibility Cloak around him and was just about to pop to Snape's side, in hopes that the man would be alone in his bedroom, when Ron and Hermione quietly snuck into his room.
"Bollocks, we missed him," Ron said.
"Oh no," Hermione said, clearly distraught. "I told you we should've come here earlier. Now he'll be all alone."
"At least he'll have Snape," Ron said in what was obviously supposed to be a comforting tone of voice, but he failed to hide his own distress.
For a moment, Harry contemplated just popping away, leaving them behind, but the grim look on Ron's face and the shimmer of tears in Hermione's eyes made him slide his Cloak off.
"Never thought I'd hear you say that Ron," he said.
"Harry!" Hermione exclaimed in shock.
"We all grow up sometime," Ron said grinning, clearly relieved Harry was still there.
"We're going with you," Hermione said decisively.
"Of course you are," Harry said.
When he thought about it, it was only logical. The three of them had been through five years of adventures together, and they would make it through this last one together. Hermione, however, seemed not to have heard his acceptance, since she launched into a soft but determined spiel about why they should come with Harry. Ron and Harry shared an amused glance as Harry's answer suddenly seemed to register with Hermione. She stopped her diatribe with a surprised 'oh'. The three friends shared a laugh, and then sobered as Harry pulled out his wand.
"Let's end this tonight," Harry said.
The other two nodded and pulled out their own wands. Harry covered all three of them with the Invisibility Cloak. It was a tight fit, but in the end they managed. Harry took a deep breath, closed his eyes and focused on Snape. When he opened his eyes, all three of them were standing in a bedroom and Snape, who was in a nightshirt, was facing in their general direction, his wand at the ready. Quickly, Harry dropped the Invisibility Cloak and Snape relaxed slightly.
"What are you doing here?" Snape snapped.
"We're doing it now, instead of later today," Harry told him.
"What about the Malfoys?" Snape asked suspiciously.
"They're not coming," Harry said.
Before Snape could protest this or question him, Harry stepped away from his two friends and slipped the Cloak back on.
"I'll see the three of you later," Harry said and slipped out the door.
Treading softly but swiftly through the empty hallways, Harry tried to push his nerves aside by focusing on where to go next. He'd spent weeks studying the plans Snape had drawn of the headquarters, so he easily found his way to Voldemort's office. According to Snape, the man was there most of the time. Harry took one deep breath and pushed the door open. His scar, which had been tingling ever since he'd arrived here, gave a sharp stab of pain.
"Show yourself, Harry Potter," Voldemort said.
Harry felt a rush of relief as he saw Voldemort standing there behind his desk, wand out, facing towards the door. One way or another, this would end tonight. Harry closed his eyes, and pulled his personal shield forward, then dropped the Cloak.
"This ends tonight," he said.
"Yes, it does," Voldemort replied and shot out a Killing Curse.
Harry's heart leaped into his throat as the green light hit his shield. For a moment, all Harry could see was green, and then he felt a searing pain as the world went black.
When he opened his eyes again, he was looking at a ceiling that looked vaguely familiar. Narcissa's face floated into his field of vision. She was talking, but all Harry could hear was some garbled sounds. He was tired, so tired, so he let the darkness take over again.
When he awoke again, he found Draco sitting next to his own bed in Malfoy Manor.
"Hey, you're awake, how are you feeling?" Draco asked.
"Tired," Harry answered, his voice raspy. "What happened?"
"You went off alone, killed Voldemort and apparently survived the Killing Curse again," was his response.
Harry closed his eyes. Dead, Voldemort was dead, and he was finally free. He probably would've let the darkness carry him away again if Draco's pained voice hadn't reached him.
"Why didn't you wait for us? Didn't you trust us; trust me, to watch your back?"
With great effort, Harry pried his eyes open again and blindly reached for Draco with his hand. It was grasped in Draco's hand.
"No, couldn't take you with me. Couldn't risk it. Couldn't risk losing my family," Harry said.
He saw understanding and love on Draco's face, just before he drifted off again.
In the end, it took Harry three weeks to recover completely. A lot had happened in that time. Not only was Voldemort dead, but both he, Ron, Hermione and Severus Snape had received the Order of Merlin, First Class. Albus Dumbledore had died, going gently in his sleep. Harry still wasn't sure about how he felt about that, but he was glad the old man had died with the knowledge that Voldemort was defeated. As for Harry himself, he still wasn't completely sure what he was going to do with his life, just that he was going back to Hogwarts for his last year. Voldemort was dead, he had friends and a family, and life was good. That was enough for now.
A/N: Thanks to my beta Danii and Anita!