As the battle between the Death Eater with their foreign allies and the Order of the Phoenix aided by Aurors from the Ministry of Magic drew to a close those left on the battlefield could not help but turn their attention to the epic duel that was going on nearby between the Dark Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter. Despite the Daily Prophet's insistence that Harry Potter could and would defeat You-Know-Who very few people thought that prediction could possibly come true in the near future. And yet there Harry Potter was, a young man only fifteen years old, going toe to toe with the most powerful dark wizard in recorded history and actually doing well.
Everyone nearby could feel the powerful magic pulsing through the air, due not just to the ritual but to Voldemort and Harry as well. The skies had ominously become covered in dark clouds, blocking out the sun on what would have otherwise been a bright winter day. On the Quidditch pitch the two foes continued to assault each other with magic far more powerful than the others on the battlefield could ever hope to wield. The spectators stood in awe as spells quickly passed between the two and the ground shook with their power. At one point a massive tree, probably hundreds of years old, came to life and seemed to run towards Lord Voldemort but was then consumed by a blast of fiend fire. Hurricane force winds and rain suddenly appeared over them as Harry Potter attempted to extinguish the fire. When he was finally able to the wind and rain disappeared as quickly as it had come.
No one dared try to join the battle because they knew that they would only get in the way, and likely die because of it. The future of the wizarding world was being decided right in front of them, and yet there was absolutely nothing they could do about it.
Inside the castle Professor Dumbledore had decided to move all of the students from their dorms into the Great Hall so that, if necessary, he could begin portkeying them out at once. Food and drinks were served by nervous house elves, but nearly everyone was too concerned about what was going on outside to have much of an appetite.
Word had quickly spread that Harry Potter and You-Know-Who were fighting on the Quidditch pitch and although they could not see it from the Great Hall they could hear the occasional booms of some powerful new spell being used and feel the ground tremble at its strength. The students dealt with this tense situation in a variety of ways. Some cried while their classmates attempted to comfort them, others tried pretending that nothing out of the ordinary was going on, and a few foolish young men boasted about how they wished they were out there too. In the end they were forced to sit and wait for the end of the battle to come and for their fates to be decided.
The fight between Harry and Voldemort raged on, but both knew that there was very little time left until the power built up by the ritual must be released. Although they were both putting all of the power they had into their spells neither was able to seize the upper hand, they were truly evenly matched.
The ground at Harry's feet exploded in a massive wave of power that he was only just barely able to shield against. Even so the blast knocked him to the ground and gave Voldemort a few seconds to start a more powerful spell. As soon as Harry saw Voldemort's movements he knew that the Dark Lord was casting the meteor spell he had used just months ago, and as predicted he saw the first one appear in the sky on its way towards him.
Knowing that the spell wouldn't be nearly as effective if Voldemort couldn't aim, Harry thought he knew a way to slow Voldemort down. He began running away from where he was standing in order to avoid the massive flaming rock headed towards him, but as he did he fired a spell just over Voldemort's head. Voldemort, thinking Harry has simply missed, made no effort to shield against it and glanced at it in an attempt to determine what it had been. Just as his eyes focused on the bright yellow spell it suddenly became far brighter than anything he had ever seen before. The painful light temporarily blinded him and gave Harry the chance to recover and attack again.
Voldemort sensed the spell coming towards him even though he could not see it and reacted purely on instinct. He raised his hand and wandlessly cast the strongest shield he could manage, but even as he did he knew it would not be enough considering his wandless shields had never been as strong as those cast with a wand. Harry's spell burned through the shield and completely destroyed Voldemort's hand and wrist, leaving only a bloody stump behind. The Dark Lord howled in pain before attacking his enemy again.
Still blinded, Voldemort's aim was ruined and he was only able to guess the general area that Harry was in. He, of course, knew this and chose a spell that did not need to be extremely accurate. A strange black sphere leapt from the end of Voldemort's wand and suddenly came to a stop mere feet from where Harry was standing. At first it did nothing, but then Harry began to feel an odd pull as if everything was being sucked towards the growing black sphere.
As the seconds passed the force became stronger and stronger. Harry could see that the grass underneath the sphere had begun to be pulled out of the ground and into the darkness. It reminded him of a TV show he had once seen Dudley watching in which a space ship was pulled into a black hole, only this one was much smaller. Harry could feel himself losing his footing and being pulled towards the spell but nothing he did was able to dampen the spells power. It quickly became clear to him that if he couldn't stop the spell itself then stopping its caster might be his best option, but he would need something strong enough to resist the pull of this dark spell. Only one spell came to mind Harry cast it, hoping it would work.
"Expecto Patronum!" he yelled and the ghostly stag leapt from his wand and began charging at Voldemort, unaffected by the influence of Voldemort's spell. When the Dark Lord saw Harry's spell he almost laughed, thinking that even though he might be evil he wasn't a Dementor so what could a Patronus do to him? He was very surprised therefore when then stag rammed him in the stomach and knocked him to the ground before attempting to gore him. Harry's Patronus was, of course, far more powerful than a normal one and capable of things others were not.
Voldemort was forced to end the black hole spell to deal with the enraged Patronus. Slowly the stag was surrounded by a dark, oily substance that began to form a sphere around it. When it was completely covered the sphere imploded and vanished from existence, taking the Patronus with it. With his focus on that, Voldemort momentarily took his eyes off of Harry and allowed his rival to position himself for another attack.
When Voldemort looked back in Harry's direction he saw a flat, swirling disk of energy approaching him. The Dark Lord quickly conjured a stone wall to block it but the disk sliced cleanly through it and continued its path toward him. Voldemort was forced to throw himself to the ground in order to avoid the attack, a tactic he hated because he thought it showed weakness.
"Damn you, Potter." Voldemort said as he stood back up. In his anger he began gathering his magical power for one last deadly blast that, he hoped, would be enough to wipe Harry Potter off of the face of the Earth. As he readied his wand to cast the spell Voldemort saw that Potter was smiling and immediately knew something was wrong.
The glowing magical disk had been completely under Harry's control the entire time and had not simply flown off into the distance as Voldemort believed. Second after passing Voldemort it began to slow before completely changing directions and heading right back to its previous target who was now completely unaware.
Voldemort hurriedly raised the strongest shield he could manage, but it was not strong enough to stop Harry's attack. The magical disk struck him in both legs above the knees and completely severed them from the rest of his body. Screaming in shock and pain, what was left of Voldemort fell to the ground. He grabbed for his legs, hoping he could reattach them and continue the fight, only to see them burst in to flames and turn into two piles of ash.
"No!" he screamed as he looked back to Harry, who had cast the spell. "This isn't over!"
"It is, Riddle." Harry disagreed. "You've barely got the strength to keep yourself alive any more, and certainly not enough to be a challenge to me. Your reign of terror is over."
"It will never be over!" Voldemort protested. "I am immortal!"
"This is for my parents, and for Remus, and for everyone else you've hurt." Harry said, raising his wand at the defeated Dark Lord. The tip of his wand glowed bright white for a moment and then it flashed and a beam of pure magical energy leapt from his wand and struck Lord Voldemort in the chest. He screamed in pain and terror, but then the blast cut a hole straight through his torso and the Dark Lord fell silent and still. Voldemort had finally been defeated.
Immediately Harry heard cheers break out all around him. He looked away from Voldemort's corpse to see dozens of Aurors, professors, and members of the Order of the Phoenix celebrating the death of Voldemort. With the battle over they began running towards Harry to congratulate him.
"STOP!" Harry yelled with such power and authority that no one dared disobey him. Voldemort may be finished, he knew, but the danger was not over yet. He looked towards the cauldron where Voldemort had performed the ritual and saw that it was now covered in a dark red glow signifying it had finally reached full power. Harry raced towards it, knowing there was very little time to stop a portal from opening or the whole thing from exploding.
As Harry neared the cauldron he could feel the incredible amount of magical power at his fingertips, awaiting his command. With his blood fueling the ritual the power seemed to recognize him and was his to use. The journal they had read did not have clear instructions on how to end the ritual and so Harry was forced to simply do what he thought would work. With all of his concentration Harry attempted to force the power to disperse, but that seemed to be one of the few things it was not willing to do.
With his time running short, Harry did the only thing he could think to do: he forced the power into his own body in the hopes that there it would diffuse or take only his life if it exploded. Harry fell to his knees in agony as the magic assaulted his body looking for some way to escape. Even so he was sure his decision was the correct one because he knew the pain he was feeling indicated the power was being released over time and not all at once, he just hoped the process wouldn't kill him. The pain this created was far worse than the Cruciatus curse ever could be, Harry thought as he struggled to end the ritual safely. Even inside the castle, the students in the Great Hall could clearly hear his screams.
The sight of Harry in so much pain caused Daphne to climb down from the castle walls and rush towards him in the hopes that she could do something to make it stop, but as she got closer to him an unseen force prevented her from getting any closer. Tears streamed down her eyes as she was forced to watch the man she loved endure pain so excruciating she did not even want to attempt to imagine what it must be like.
Suddenly Daphne was knocked off her feet by the force of an explosion coming from where Harry was. She scrambled back to her feet and found that the force which had been keeping her away from Harry was now gone. As she ran towards the spot where she had last seen him worries about whether or not he would still be alive flooded her mind. Finally she saw him, bloody and bruised but in one piece, lying unmoving on the ground. Daphne dropped to her knees next to him and began searching for some sign that he was still alive.
Harry's skin was cold to the touch and he seemed to be completely unresponsive, both signs that greatly worried her. Finally she placed her hand on his chest and was able to feel the gentle rise and fall of Harry breathing. Daphne sighed in relief, Harry was alive after all!
Inside the castle Dumbledore had felt the magical energy that had been gathering for the past hour suddenly disappear. Somehow, Harry had done it. Hogwarts, and all inside it, were safe and the portal Voldemort hoped to open had never materialized. Stretching out with his magical senses, Dumbledore attempted to check on Harry.
'There he is,' Dumbledore thought. 'Exhausted and in pain, but alive none the less.' The Headmaster then began to search for Voldemort's presence, but was unable to find any sign of it. Dumbledore frowned, immediately realizing that something was wrong. He couldn't find Voldemort, and yet the anti-apparition and portkey wards that the Dark Lord had cast and bound to his own life force were still functioning. It could only mean one thing...
Somehow, Voldemort was still alive.
His eyes slowly opened as he attempted to regain control of his senses and remaining limbs. Were he any normal mortal he would be dead, Voldemort knew, but he had not lied when he told his Death Eaters that he had gone farther down the path towards immortality than any other wizard. There were more ways than just Horcruxes to extend life. Even so he was weak and vulnerable, a situation that must be rectified. He found, much to his dismay, that he did not have the strength to apparate away.
Voldemort turned his head towards where he expected Potter to be and saw that somehow he had indeed been able to end the ritual without destroying Hogwarts. He growled angrily as he thought about all he had lost that day and vowed he would take everything from Potter that he could. And he knew just how to start.
The only whole limb Voldemort had was his right arm, but luckily for him that was also his wand arm. Using it he struggled to prop himself up so he could get a better view of the situation. Finally, after much effort, he was able to and saw that the irritating boy had been injured by the ritual and was still lying on the ground.
Daphne meanwhile continued to sob over Harry who had still not regained consciousness. She worried that the stress of what he had been through was more than he could handle and that he might not ever wake up.
"Potter!" Voldemort called, unaware that Harry was unconscious. "I told you this wasn't over!"
Daphne gasped in terror as she turned and saw Voldemort pulling himself towards her with his one good arm. Even in this state he was terrifying. His blood red eyes seemed to glow with his hatred of Harry. The Dark Lord's body however was a twisted and destroyed mess. It didn't seem possible that he could still be alive and yet somehow he was.
"Leave him alone!" Daphne yelled, pulling out her own wand and pointing it towards Voldemort.
"You're the girl he loves, aren't you? Good, that will make killing you so much better for me!" Voldemort laughed. "Avada Kedavra!"
Daphne was shocked that Voldemort still had the power to cast the spell, but he did as evidenced by the deadly green spell flying towards her. Before she could even react Daphne felt an arm circling her waist and pulling her to the ground. The killing curse missed by mere inches as she fell down on top of Harry who was now awake and smiling at her.
"Harry!" Daphne said happily. "You're alive!"
"Of course I am." Harry assured her. "Just one second, ok?"
Harry slowly pulled himself to his feet and faced Voldemort once again. The Dark Lord's body had been torn to pieces, and yet still the magic found a way to keep him going. Harry was surprised, but knew that Voldemort would do anything to avoid death. This was just evidence of something new he had tried.
"I thought I killed you." Harry said calmly. "I'll get it right this time."
"And I told you I am immortal." Voldemort sneered. "You will..."
Harry didn't give him a chance to finish his taunt, instead choosing to send a powerful cutting curse at Voldemort's neck which severed his head from the rest of his body. The head rolled to the ground and made strange gurgling noises before finally going quiet while his torso slumped to the ground. Voldemort's wand, which had caused so much pain and death over the years, rolled out of his hand and to Harry's feet. Harry picked it up and examined it before putting it in his pocket and looking back towards Daphne.
"It's finally over." Daphne said, walking up to stand next to Harry.
"Well... better safe than sorry, right?" Harry said before firing spell after destructive spell at what was left of Voldemort's head and body. By the time he was done there was nothing left that even resembled a human body part. Voldemort was finally gone forever.
With his foe vanquished Harry turned towards Daphne and kissed her before picking her up and twirling her around in circles as he celebrated the end of the war. After many years and countless deaths Voldemort was finally dead and gone. The wizarding world was once again safe.
As they celebrated their allies began rushing towards them and in the front of that group were Sirius Black and Daniel Greengrass. As they reached Harry and Daphne they both wrapped their arms around the young couple. Sirius could not help but laugh happily as he realized the war was finally over and he could live in peace once again. He had lost decades of his life to fighting and imprisonment because of this war, but now that was all behind him thanks to his extraordinary godson.
"Sirius!" Harry said happily, returning his godfather's hug. "Is everyone ok?"
"The Order only lost a few people as far as I know." Sirius replied. "Sturgis Podmore, Elphias Doge, and Mundungus Fletcher who was cursed in the back trying to run away. A couple others were injured, but nothing life threatening. The Aurors suffered pretty heavy losses, but everyone else is alive thanks to you."
"It wasn't just me." Harry said humbly. "I couldn't have done any of this without you guys helping me."
"You should be proud of yourself Harry." Daniel Greengrass said. "You've given our world something it has wanted for many years: peace and hope for a better future. Thank you, Harry."
"Harry!" an excited voice called out from the edge of the crowd. Harry and the others turned to see Hermione and Neville pushing their way past people on their way to Harry and Daphne. He couldn't help but smile at the fact that they were also holding hands. Ecstatic to see each other alive and well, the group hugged and congratulated each other.
"You did it, Harry!" Hermione gushed. "I knew you could!" Harry merely shrugged and grinned, thinking that honestly even he wasn't sure he could beat Voldemort.
"Harry..." Daphne said quietly from her spot next to him. "What happens now?"
"I have a feeling the Ministry will be chasing down what's left of the Death Eaters for years, but other than that the war should be over. Things can go back to normal." Harry replied. "I'm free, Daphne. There's no more prophecy hanging over my head, I can do whatever I want with my life. To be honest, I have no idea what's going to happen. And that's a great feeling. We can make the future whatever we want it to be."
"Together?" Daphne asked.
"Absolutely." Harry answered with a nod, hugging her a little tighter. "It got us this far, didn't it?"
They laughed and continued celebrating with all of the others. Victory parties broke out all over Great Britain as people realized the war which had consumed their world for decades had finally come to a close. Tomorrow the Obliviators would have the difficult task of cleaning up after the more enthusiastic celebrators, but for now their world cared for nothing more than enjoying their newfound freedom.
The party at Hogwarts was the largest of them all, no surprise considering that heroes of the war were all there eating, drinking, and generally having the time of their lives. And at the middle of it all was Harry, surrounded by friends and family, enjoying the best day of his life.
The celebrations continued in all parts of the castle, even in the Headmaster's office where Professor Dumbledore and Professor Snape were sharing some of the finest firewhiskey in the world. Compared to what was going on elsewhere their celebration was quiet and subdued, even though they had been fighting in the war longer than almost anyone else. Their bottle of firewhiskey was nearly half empty, as they had been toasting various things for more than an hour.
"To you Severus." Dumbledore said with his glass raised. "And to the end of your life as a spy."
"Indeed." Snape agreed. "And to the fallen."
"It's over, old friend." Dumbledore said. "And yet I sense something still troubles you."
"It's Potter, of course." Snape replied. "No one so young has ever wielded so much power. And if your findings are correct there may be no limit to what he is capable of. At fifteen he is already more powerful than you or the Dark Lord, where will he be in five years? Yes Albus, that does make me nervous."
"He is a good man, Severus. And a good leader." Dumbledore reminded him. "With Harry around our world will be safe from threats like Tom Riddle."
"And how long will he be around?" Snape continued. "With what he will one day be capable of there is really no telling. Did you speak to him?"
"Yes, I did." Dumbledore nodded. "He said he is going to keep training and growing stronger, just in case the world is ever again in such danger." Dumbledore did not mention that as the new master of the Elder Wand Harry had access to even more power than his friend and colleague believed; best not to further upset the paranoid potions master.
"Of course he did." Snape replied. He then filled both of their glasses again and lifted his into the air. "Well, in that case, here's to Harry Potter. May he always be as good and just as he is now."
"To Harry." Dumbledore nodded before finishing his drink. "Believe me Severus, the only people with anything to fear are the evil ones that would threaten and harm others for their own gain. Woe unto them if they ever incur the wrath of Harry Potter."
After over a year of writing and about 280,000 words the story is finally at an end. No, you don't get an ending that explicitly spells out everything that is going to happen to the characters for the rest of their lives. That's never been my style, but you do get enough to make your own conclusions about what will happen to them. Some have suggested a sequel, and while this certainly leaves that possibility open I don't know that I will ever attempt to write something this massive again. Additionally one of the hardest parts to write of this story was a battle between two superpowers that would come off as believable and a good representation of what they were capable of, and if it was hard to write battles for Harry now it will be even more difficult if we assume he gets even more powerful.
If you've still got questions about the story I will be around and happy to answer them. In fact I will probably post an addition to this story in a week or so addressing all the questions that are asked, so come up with some good ones!
Thank you all again for continuing with this story, your reviews and encouragement made it all worth it. You guys are the best and it has been my honor entertaining you.
Wishing you all the best,