A/N: Someone asked if Voldemort was possessing Quirrel… The way he killed him says it all. Harry's gift of love only works against Voldemort to begin with, or his Aunt would have been dead long ago if it was based on those that truly hated him. She would have withered when she first touched him. By the way, LeRoux is a French last name meaning, 'red haired'. Funny that Gregory LeRoux was from France.
Chapter 15: The Ending?
Ginny watched frantically as Harry fell backward. Whatever had come out of Quirrel had attacked him or something, she couldn't explain it. All her years of magic had not prepared her for what they had faced in this cave. She remembered being so scared when Harry had leapt at the man, and even more scared when whatever demon had been in him had attacked Harry, but nothing compared to watching his eyes glaze over and then close. Hermione had taken off to get the headmaster. She may not be as quick as Ginny was, but she was the only one who she could trust to know their way back. And she wasn't leaving Harry behind.
She felt tears fall as she cradled his heavy head in her lap. If she didn't care so much, she would kill him herself for doing this to her, as she had wanted to all year. Ever since she had met him on the train, he had been doing this to her. Did he understand how it tortured her when she saw him like this?
She watched as every once in awhile his face contorted and then eased. She could only think of taking his pain away. She wished she had the power, and then it hit her. She did have that kind of power. She slowly let Harry's head onto the ground, putting her cloak under his head to act as a pillow. She got up and walked to where Harry had dropped the bag they had brought, the bag that held the jar.
She took it out and gazed at it. It was beautiful polished black stone with small cuttings around the middle. She didn't know what it said, and knew that she could read it if she truly wanted to. The Jar gave her a great confidence, like it fit her much better than it could ever fit anybody else, even Harry. She gazed at the lettering as it slowly reformed before her eyes. 'Blood of my blood shall free the beast, and bring a great death upon the land. But the great death shall truly be the end of all evil.'
Ginny stared confusedly, "'The end of all evil', what could that possibly mean?"
"It is a prophecy dear girl."
Ginny turned sharply, wand pointed at the ready. She saw nobody behind her, and nobody to the sides. The halls were dark and she wished to see, so she could examine every crook and cranny. She was startled at the jar began to glow an eerily green color, illuminated the whole room. It was empty.
Ginny backed up slowly, "Sh-show yourself!"
"I am not to be seen by your eye young girl. You must look inward."
Ginny shook as she remembered the demon that had come out of Quirrel and gone towards Harry. Had she been possessed in her eagerness to aid Harry?
There was a strange, warm laughter. "Nonsense girl, that demon could not taint your pure heart. It fears the love it holds inside. Try your hand."
Ginny looked at her wand and then understood as her gaze went to her other hand, the hand that held the jar; the jar that held the ashes of arguably the most powerful dark wizard of all time, Blackthorn. That is what Hermione had told them, and her research was never wrong.
"What makes a man evil young Ginny?" The shell of Blackthorn said through her mind, "Is it the warring times that I grew up in, or is it that I conquered them all during my lifetime and brought peace?"
Ginny shuddered, not understanding why she didn't dare drop the jar and end this conversation. "But you are evil, you killed people."
The voice of Blackthorn scoffed, "Evil is as evil does young Ginevra" The spirit chuckled as she grimaced at her name. "Is the act of mercy an evil tool?"
Ginny stood confused as the Jar changed to red and Harry's eyes glowed. "What have you done to him!" she screamed, and not in her head. She grimaced as it reverberated around the cave, piercing her ears.
"I simply healed him. The damage the demon had done has been removed. Is this something an evil being would do?"
Ginny stood confused as she watched Harry sleep, face no longer contorting. He curled up and buried his face into her cloak and smiled as if smelling something pleasing.
"You see Ginevra; I am not all bad am I? I am just a man who wishes what every other does."
"And what would that be?" Ginny asked questioningly
"Freedom," Blackthorn answered simply.
"Never; I can't let you roam the Earth again, even if you did heal Harry." Ginny rationalized, clearly convinced.
"But I won't, don't you see? I died a very long time ago my child, I am merely trapped in this jar, ever conscious and never sleeping. Over a thousand years I have been in this state. I simply want to ashes spread on the grounds I once called home, the Castle that became Hogwarts."
Ginny's resolve floundered as he spoke. What he had described had to be true, as he had been talking to her at the very moment, but alive a lifetime ago. She stowed her wand and looked deep into the glowing jar, "What can I do?"
"Start by hiding me."
Draco Malfoy was not used to being turned down, and why would he be? He had never been told no by anybody but his great father. Hogwarts had been quite the experiment in his lifetime, and it had all started on the first day with the Boy Who Lived, Harry Potter.
Draco had offered his friendship at the very beginning to the boy, but he had arrogantly refused. Draco was so astounded that he had been truly vulgar to him during his first months of school. Then he took a step back and decided to act like the Slytherin he was and watch him. Examine the great Harry Potter and figure out what it had been that mad him refuse. How could he have the audacity, yet upon close examination it was obvious why. Harry Potter was a boy who went by his feelings of right and wrong, and somewhere along the way he had decided that Slytherin was bad. Maybe it was how Draco himself had treated him, but that was how he treated everybody.
That left him at Christmas, at home examining every aspect that made him Draco Malfoy. Damn Potter for making him think so much. It was a blessing at the same time; he had examined everything about his life and his system of beliefs. He had reorganized everything about him, all because of this silly half-blood. But as the year went on, it was clear that he and his best friend, the Weasley girl, were formidable in their own right. Even the Granger girl had a hint of promise in her. Of course it was very deep down; her smug attitude would definitely keep them apart for years to come.
Maybe Harry had rejected him because of his smug attitude, but why would he hang around the know it all if she had the same attitude. The only answer was that she wasn't a Slytherin, and he was. Maybe the Boy Who Lived was guilty of a little prejudice of his own. It had to be from the contempt that the Slytherin house had shown him all year. Maybe Draco would have to spend the next year reeducating Potter on what being a Slytherin truly meant.
Harry woke slowly, not sure where he was for a moment. One thing that was certain was that the room smelled quite good. As he sat up, that notion was dispelled; it was just a musty old cave. He heard loud voices and footsteps. He could pick out Ginny and Hermione chattering in the distance, and growing closer. He tried to stand but soon couldn't as he found himself enveloped in a tight hug by two ecstatic girls, both talking very loudly. Vague memories flouted back to him of the moment before his collapse. The pain he had felt through both the Cruciatous and the pain of touching that evil man. The man that held Voldemort on the back of his head. But he could not dwell on bad thoughts as he felt the outpouring of love from the girls hugging him. He turned his attention to his Head of House and the Headmaster standing before him, looking equally shocked.
"Miss Granger," McGonagall began, "From the way you described it, Mister Potter was badly hurt, not simply taking a nap out of bounds…" Her voice trailed off as she saw the body of Quirrel behind them. Her lips tightened as she accepted the grim story that Miss Granger had told her; though her story of Voldemort could simply be imagined.
"Mister Potter, if you will follow me back to the school, I believe we have a long talk ahead of us." Dumbledore said, staring down his spectacles, trying to solve the Potter Puzzle.
Harry sighed as Ginny closed the compartment door behind her. They had been in quite a bit of trouble over the last month they had been at school. McGonagall was so furious that she had to be talked down from suspension yet again. But they weren't so lucky; they had spent their last few weeks in a constant state of detention. Harry was almost feeling nostalgic of the freedom the train had offered, yet had a sense of despair at where the train was taking him.
He and Ginny had spoken extensively about it, and he felt a lot better at going 'home' than he would have. He sufficed himself to just enjoy the train ride back to civilization, and not wallow in his pity. The train ride back was filled with frank discussion and wizarding games. The only memorable event was a conversation started by Hermione.
"What I don't understand is what happened to that jar?" Hermione questioned them, as she had obviously said many times to herself. She turned to Ginny, "You said you left the cave to come look for us and the jar just wasn't there when we went back."
Ginny nodded uneasily, Harry noticed. He made note that Hermione obviously didn't. This was something he would have to talk to her about, but the conversation wasn't forgotten as the twins came in near the end. The conversation understandably did not get much more intelligent over the rest of the train ride. Harry had felt very close to the twins, especially after he had apologized for losing them the game and they had laughed in his face. Their love for their sister was greater than many relationships he had seen at Hogwarts so far.
Even Oliver had come around, he didn't apologize, but he did say that his decision was 'rash' and that Harry would be given the opportunity to try out next season. Harry didn't care so much, he knew he would either make it or not, and that his friends would think no different about him. Hermione might even be excited; he would have more time to study with her.
Their compartment even went and visited Percy's compartment, or 'pestering' as Percy said, but the look on his face said differently. Before Harry knew it, he was on the platform ready to go 'home'.
He saw the Dursley's waiting uncomfortably, shooting eyes at the 'un-normal' surrounding them. He turned ad Hermione gave him a huge hug, promised to write and ran off to catch the bus, her parents had been at some kind of conference and unable to pick them up. He shook Neville's hand and even gave Draco Malfoy a respectful nod from across the platform. The look on Draco's face confused him but nothing confused him more than Ginny's uneasy glance, "You'll write to me?"
Harry scoffed, "Of course."
Ginny looked down and nodded before rising up to quickly kiss him on the cheek before turning red and running to her brothers. Only one of her brothers had seen and he was giving him a very odd look. As if he didn't know if he should be angry or reverent of Harry. Harry smiled; this was Ginny's younger brother Ron. From the look on his face, the next year would be interesting.
Harry turned and walked towards his aunt and uncle before he felt a hand on his shoulder. "My God, you look so much like you father."
Harry turned sharply and looked upon the haggard man before him, "Do I know you sir?"
The man nodded vigorously, "Well of course you do. I was one of your Father's best friends. I have waited a very long time for this, to meet you in person that is. I know you don't really trust me yet, but I would like for us to get to know each other. Maybe I could write you this summer?"
Harry looked at his impatient relatives and he turned back to the man, I guess, but what are you named?"
The man smiled in relief, "Pettigrew, Peter Pettigrew"
Harry shook the man's hand and nodded, and then turned to follow his relatives away. Not knowing that his crazy summer would lead to an even crazier year, one that would shape his entire destiny.
A/N: Feel free to leave very long reviews; I may just respond if I like it enough. ;)