Disclaimer: Just a little one-shot set at the end of 'Deathly Hallows'; I think it goes without saying that I own nothing you recognise

Feedback: If you want; this little one-shot just came to my head at one point and I thought I'd write it down for the heck of it

Eternity Begins

"So it all comes down to this, doesn't it?" Harry whispered, twitching the wand in his hand. "Does the wand in your hand know its last master was Disarmed? Because if it does… I am the true master of the Elder Wand."

NO! Voldemort yelled in his mind, staring in rage at the young man who dared to claim possession of what was rightfully his.

He would not- he could not- believe that he had come so far just to encounter one final hurdle.

The wand did not know that its master was disarmed-

Its master was not disarmed; Severus Snape had slain Dumbledore, and he had slain Severus!

Harry was simply attempting to prevent him from attacking by making him doubt his powers; the wand would work for him against Potter…

Then the sunlight struck their faces, and both wizards lashed out as though on some signal.

"Avada Kedavra!"

"Expelliarmus!"

The resulting explosion as the two spells met between the combatants was like a cannon blast… Voldemort felt the Elder Wand being ripped from his fingers… he was overwhelmed by a momentary feeling of what he vaguely recalled was known as déjà-vu as his mind briefly flashed back to the memory of what had taken place when he had first attempted to kill Harry Potter...


Then the hall around him had vanished to be replaced by a vast, blank sight spread out before him. For a moment, the man who had once been Tom Riddle stared around himself in confusion, trying to process what had just happened…

Then pain struck him on all sides, seemingly compressing him down before he could even try to fight back, leaving him cowering on the floor, screaming and whimpering as the agony surrounding him; it felt as though his entire body had been stripped of its skin and protection at a moment's notice…

NO! Voldemort tried to roar, fighting the pain that consumed him in a desperate attempt to stand, ignoring the lies that his eyes must have been feeding him as he took in the sight of his twisted, distorted skin. I will not give in… I am Lord Voldemort! I am the greatest wizard of all! I-

"Have failed," a calm voice said from above him.

Voldemort's eyes widened in rage and horror.

DUMBLEDORE! he tried to roar, only for his vocal chords to fail utterly to respond to his yell; it was as though they could no longer do anything other than whimper and cry about the fate of the rest of him. Straining his head, he vaguely managed to register the sky-blue-robed form of Albus Dumbledore, his old teacher crouching down to look almost pityingly at him, but he could do nothing more; it was even a strain just to see a vague outline, never mind anything more detailed, which rendered the possibility of a physical attack totally out of the question...

"Tom…" Dumbledore sighed, shaking his head as he looked pitying at Voldemort. "I prayed that it would not come to this… but, even to the end, your fate is your own."

SILENCE! Voldemort tried to yell, his voice once again frustrating his efforts as it continued to whimper.

"I will be silent," Dumbledore said, as he stood up and looked down at the withered thing that had once been Tom Marvolo Riddle, "but only because talk to you would be pointless; you cannot talk to me, and I can say nothing to help you, even if we could think of anything worthwhile to say to each other."

Shaking his head regretfully, he turned around and walked away, pausing only briefly to apparently look back at Voldemort before he totally faded into the background due to his twisted vision.

"You brought this upon yourself, Tom," he said, a solemn tone in his voice. "Reflect upon that."

Even as Dumbledore faded from view, Voldemort still strained to stand, willing himself to get back to his feet, to confront his old teacher once again, to re-assert his superiority over that old fool, to return to Hogwarts to vanquish Harry once and for all…

But the pain…

The blinding, horrifying, all-consuming pain

He could barely even whimper without something hurting somewhere; simply trying to stand made him ache all over again.

It was all over.

His quest to purge the wizarding world had failed.

His attempt to acquire immortality had been cut short, thanks to nothing more than a boy who did not know when to accept that he had lost.

He could now do nothing but scream as the pain he felt increased with every slight moment he tried to make, leaving him with nothing but fresh agony as he struggled to do something, anything, other than lie on the ground as an agonised mess.

A new beginning for Tom Riddle had ended.

His new ending had only just begun…