A/N: In the deep recesses of my mind, an idea has been festering and fermenting for practically the entire past year. And then it exploded, forcing me to start typing it out. Normally I despise crossovers since they are very difficult to make believable or entertaining in a more sophisticated manner, but my Muse would not be appeased until I tried it. The result is this pile of slimy drivel you're currently peering at. Cheers!
Disclaimer: Tetsuya Nomura owns Final Fantasy and J.K. Rowling owns Harry Potter. I am making no profit from this.
Ginny was laughing at him, he knew, and so resolutely refused to look at her sitting on the aisle across from his, no matter how pretty she no doubt looked in the soft purple dress Fleur had picked for her. Hermione was sitting next to her talking in low tones to Viktor Krum, who had turned up at the last minute just when they believed he wouldn't be coming to the wedding at all. The old chemistry between the two brunettes seemed to be rekindled, and Ron was tense at his side.
The long skirts of his disguise were heavy and entirely too thick for a summer wedding, but Mrs. Weasley had insisted that the old aunt he was Polyjuiced as had a notorious tendency towards getting chills (which was actually the whole reason she couldn't attend), and wearing something thinner would bring down immediate suspicion upon him.
So he was resigned to sweating like a pig in mid-August, wedged between his smirking best friend Ron and some perverted old man, a great-uncle presumably, who was getting a little too friendly.
A wrinkled hand snuck onto his thigh for the fifth time and he smacked it away without bothering to glare at him. Freddy, as he had introduced himself, ought to know by now that he wasn't open to advances, but he was rather persistent. The music started up, and a quick glance showed him that Hermione and Ginny had disappeared to get into the procession that should start coming down the aisle right about…now.
The flower girl was dressed in a mass of blue frills that made his eyes water, and moving somewhat clumsily down the middle of the aisle, carelessly tossing rose petals from side to side. Most of the landed on guests rather than the carpet, but the cooing females didn't seem to notice. Fiddling with his too-tight lacy gloves, Harry silently tapped his foot. This was his first wedding, and he decided that he didn't much like them.
Fleur looked lovely, and she and Bill practically glowed as they said their vows. The kiss made Mrs. Weasley burst into tears, and Mr. Weasley put his arm around her comfortingly. It was all very…awkward.
He smacked Freddy's hand when it began rubbing high on his thigh. The man had to be over 200 years old, and he was still acting like this!
"It is disgraceful!" Viktor hissed again, expression furious. Luna's father continued swaying absently to the music, his pendant, which was apparently Grindelwald's version of the Dark Mark, swinging with his movements.
Harry had never given much thought to the Dark Lord Dumbledore was responsible for killing, but now he was finding his interest piqued. Asking Viktor to elaborate, however, launched the older man into a long diatribe that included his own grandmother's victimization and the deaths of quite a few older cousins that he had never met consequently.
By the time he finished explaining the horrors of the Dark Lord who had preceded Voldemort, they were already putting away the decorations and the remaining guests were a small pack of drunken young people laughing loudly and making crude jokes. The bride and her bridegroom were safely at their Honeymoon destination, and Harry began to feel quite peaceful. The sky was a perfect shade of purple, with pinpricks of stars breaking through its inky depths and the crescent moon shone down upon the stacks of clean dishes. He smiled softly at Viktor, swept up in the majesty of the evening, and the Bulgarian's breath caught.
Three minutes later Harry found himself crushed against the other Seeker's chest when he had innocently entered the pantry to put some dishes away. Their mouths had also somehow become connected, and he was first too disoriented to pull away, and then he started to enjoy himself too much to even bother.
"Should we be doing this in here?" He whispered when they pulled apart, resting his hands on his chest nervously.
"No one will look for us here, but if this isn't comfortable for you we can continue in the woods or by the pond." Viktor bent his head and kissed the side of Harry's neck gently, running a hand through his hair to help him relax.
"The woods sound nice. Do you know any bug-repelling charms?"
"Yeah…" He flicked his wand and Harry smiled shakily. He was resolutely refusing to think about Ginny and their kind-of-not-really relationship. He'd been frustrated for weeks, and Viktor probably just wanted release of some kind or maybe just the company.
Opening the door to the pantry slowly to see if anybody was waiting around, Harry found the house to be shockingly empty and eerily silent.
"What is it?"
"Everyone seems to be gone. Maybe they went to bed?" He whispered back, opening the door all the way and moving silently through the dark kitchen with Viktor close behind him, his fingers sometimes brushing against his lower back. It felt nice and made him shiver a little bit, but he wasn't adverse to the sensation.
However, he felt strangely tense and on edge. Looking sharply around when he heard a floorboard creak, he opened the door with one hand while flicking his wand into his other. Just as they were about to exit the house, a shadowy person in a black cloak and a Death Eater's mask came darting out of the shadows and yelled, "Stupefy!"
He dodged, and it splintered into the door. Mrs. Weasley wouldn't be happy about that since she'd just bought it. He'd have to remember to pay for it later.
Stunning the Death Eater a few minutes later when Viktor distracted him, he disarmed him and searched the house for more of the black-cloaked minions of the Dark Lord. He found four, and grew increasingly worried as to the whereabouts of the Weasley Family and Hermione. Why didn't they hear the fighting?
Viktor was starting to get tired when they ran into a second passel of Death Eaters outside, and Harry could sympathize. The training Mad-Eye Moody had been giving him hadn't prepared him for taking on large numbers of wizards with only one person to assist him, not that Viktor's fighting skills were in any way inferior.
They heard something move around upstairs, exchanged a look, and Viktor jerked his head for Harry to go investigate while he held off the Death Eaters still swarming from in the door and out of the chimney. Their sheer numbers made Harry want to throw up. Didn't they understand that the man they served was a maniac, a half-regurgitated reject of the afterlife, not quite immortal, not entirely mortal either?
He avoided the steps that would betray his presence, noticing with trepidation that the door to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley's bedroom was open and the room had been ransacked. When had this happened? He and Viktor couldn't have been in the cupboard for that long, even though they had been the only sober people working since everyone else had gone home or was sleeping. It was the bathroom on the third floor that gave him pause, and a thick taste of bile in his throat. He gasped when he realized what he was seeing.
There was something red on the floor, and his breath stopped almost altogether. Ginny was sprawled on her front, her hair a red banner matching almost perfectly the pool of glimmering liquid surrounding her like a halo. She was dressed in the pajamas Hermione had given her for Christmas, and the shirt was half-burned to reveal a deep hole almost completely through her body, obviously made with some kind of blasting-skewering spell combination. Unable to take the sight of her blood any longer, he bent and vomited, the acidic liquid leaving his mouth urging him to empty his stomach completely.
"Harry, what has happened?" Viktor's voice broke across his hearing range, and he choked, the reality that Ginny would never smile at him or tease him about being a 'geek' ever again, never have children, never grow old and have sagging breasts hitting him full blast. He sobbed, but managed to recover himself.
Maybe some people were still alive, on the upper levels, and in need of medical attention.
"Oh." Viktor gagged when he saw the mess that had once been the Weasley's only daughter, hurrying to catch up with Harry. He had a strong feeling that Harry shouldn't be alone right now.
The next floor revealed Ron's body twisted at an odd angle beside Mr. Weasley's, both obviously taken by surprise. Harry resolutely continued on, his surroundings started to blur as he drifted into shock. The girl he thought he would end up marrying one way or another was dead, his best friend was dead, and they were under attack!
The entire house suddenly shook on his foundations, and Viktor smelled smoke.
"Harry, I smell fire!"
He didn't answer; too busy staring in utter relief at Hermione's sleeping body. He chose to ignore why she was in Charlie's room.
She sat straight up when he repeated her name, shaking her shoulder.
"What's going on?"
"We're being attacked, and-"
"The house is on fire!" Viktor cut in, handing Hermione a sweater and her wand.
"Thanks, Viktor. And Harry, if the house is on fire, why are you still in here? Let's get everyone else out-"
"Everyone else is dead."
The lower levels were filled with smoke, and Harry jiggled the handle of the door, trying to get out. The metal of the knob was hot and burned his skin slightly, but he was too interested in why no unlocking charms would open the door. Suddenly a laughing face with two bright red eyes set in reptilian skin and a wide slit of a mouth filled with sharp-looking teeth filled the window of the door.
He jumped back, startled, and then growled. Voldemort continued to laugh, the high-pitched sound sending electric shocks up and down his spine. He shuddered, raising his wand and uttering a smashing charm that broke the window. Some of the fragments hit the Dark Lord, and he squealed in pain. Using it as leverage, he beat the door down and tackled the man who had both directly and indirectly killed so many people he cared about. They hit the burning grass hard, and rolled a little ways, throwing punches rather than spells.
And so it was that the most powerful Dark Lord recorded was beaten to death with a rock in the hands of a distraught sixteen-year-old.
The funeral services were quiet, sobs punctuating the chaplain's eulogies from the congregation. Harry was unable to cry, though, and merely wrapped an arm around Hermione absently, not noticing her soaking his shoulder. He felt numb, like he was about to wake up and find out that it had all been a sick joke of some kind.
He had known that this was a serious war and that people would die, but he had never thought that it would be people he knew and cared about. Other people always seemed to be the types to lose loved ones, not him. It had happened so damned fast, too. In the blink of an eye, Hermione was all he had left. Even Remus' little son Teddy had been murdered in his mother's cold arms, his hair a faded green.
When the service ended, he filed slowly past the rows of gleaming coffins, feeling only the faint draft in the cavernous chapel, unused since the Middle Ages but now the only building large enough to house a mass funeral.
His collar was too tight.
"So you'll be staying with Viktor?"
"Yeah. He is being really sweet about the whole thing, and since his team is traveling to Australia, where my parents are, it all fits together."
"I hope you have a lot of fun. Don't forget to write me, okay?" He hugged her tight, smiling when they pulled apart. She dithered a moment longer until he started sniggering at her nervousness, making her play-growl and activate her Portkey. She vanished with a 'pop', and his smile faded to the blank expression he wore most often these days. He was living in Sirius' old house, on his own despite being underage. He wouldn't be left alone for very long, he knew, since the Ministry was obsessed with him living the last year of being a minor under the roof of some well-meaning foster family, preferably Muggle.
Slowly walking towards the steps, feeling a little hungry and in the mood for a sandwich, he was suddenly hit with a dizzy spell. He wobbled, hand seeking the wall for support. He missed, and stumbled, his own pant-legs tripping him. He was dangerously close to the stairs now, his head hanging over the edge of letting the blood flow to his head.
He lay there for a few minutes, fighting the black hovering at the edges of his vision but losing the battle by a long shot.
When he came to, he was sprawled up to his mid-back over the precipice of the stairs, and his head felt like it weighed fifty tons.
"Ugh." His groan echoed in the empty 'Noble House of Black', and the portrait of Sirius' mother began chuckling darkly at him.
"Shut up!" He mumbled, straining his muscles and managing to slither away from the stairs. Standing shakily, holding onto the banister, he stumbled and moaned with the throbbing in his head. Maybe that hadn't been such a good idea and-
He toppled down the stairs, vision splitting in half, one side showing endless snow and high walls arching around him and the other the yellowed wallpaper and buthered House Elf heads in rows along the shelves. His eyes slipped closed, and his body slumped at the foot of the stairs, neck and spine twisted into impossible angles.
'Boy Who Lived Found Dead!
Yesterday, when Ministry representative for Child Services Marjorie Pliff paid a visit to the home of Harry Potter to give him the good news that a foster family had been found for him, she discovered the young hero with a broken neck and spine at the foot of his stairs. According to investigating Aurors, he must have lost his grip on the banister and consequently had a rather nasty tumble.
Funeral services are being planned, and plans made to dedicate a day of silence to him annually for his bravery.'
Hermione shakily set the Daily Prophet down, not being able to bear the small picture of Harry spread out on a morgue examining table, lifeless and with those ugly bruises all over his neck from where he'd twisted it.
Viktor comfortingly wrapped an arm around her, seeming more moved by the fallen hero's death than she had expected. They were the last remnants of the battle, now, and had become pretty close because of it. There were still a lot of things about him, personal things, that she didn't know.
"What?" Hermione sat up on the sofa, putting her marker in her notations for her book on rare spell combinations that she'd been writing for the past two months.
"This morning, just as they were going to embalm his body, they found it missing!" Viktor was out of breath with excitement and shoved the new copy of the paper into her hands impatiently when she blinked at him.
Scanning the article, she found that his body was indeed missing. All that had been left was his spectacles.
End chapter one
I know this is new, but things get interesting, I swear! Also, the HPverse will be referenced very little in the next chapter, since the focus is on FF7. Comments and suggestions welcome.