Summary: The war lasted 1 year six months, ending with Harry defeating Voldemort. But for Harry James Potter, Chosen One and Savior, life can never be easy. Just when life can finally be lived, he is dieing. But he already knew that...AU!5!6!7! HPxCD
Inspired: Yellowcard - one year six months
AN: I was thinking about how Harry and Cedric (as a couple) was doomed from get go, even when they are head over heels in love. I was having a bad day and the song inspired me. So enjoy.
I'm falling into memories of you,
and things we used to to do.
And follow me there,
a beautiful somewhere.
A place that I can share with you.
Green eyes stared out the window in the Astronomy tower as the heavens cried. It was late, or earlier, which ever way you looked at it. The torches hid one Harry James Potter in the deep shadows they cast, allowing a temporary safe haven form the world. Soft foot steps shook Harry out of morbid thoughts as he grabbed his invisibility cloak and hid, watching the doorway intensely. When the familiar face of the true Hogwarts champion fell into his sight, Harry dropped the cloak.
"Harry," Cedric barely whispered as the younger emerald-eyed boy caught his eye. He swiftly crossed the room in long strides and enveloped him in hug. Pulling Harry in close, Cedric closed his eyes and inhaled his spicy scent. Nose buried in a mop of black hair, Cedric murmured quietly, "Are you alright love?"
Buried in strong arms, Harry shook his head, trying to forget the world for a few moments. "Ced," Harry's muffled voice drifted through the empty room, "I've got a bad feeling about tomorrow." Cedric tightened his hold on the emerald-eyed boy at his word, dropping a kiss on his head simultaneously.
"Don't worry about it. Everything will be fine," Cedric said in quiet, but confident, voice. Harry looked up at the 7th year Hufflepuff with questioning eyes.
"How do you know?" Harry asked in a small voice, "How can you be sure?" The nightmares plagued his mind. green light was the main feature.
"Simple," Cedric said, tightening his hold on the younger boy with one arm and the other hand cupped Harry's cheek. His thumb gentle wiped across pink lips. "I'm going to be there. I won't let anything happen because you know I love you. Now. Forever. Always."
And he bent down and kissed those tempting pink lips gently. Keeping it chaste, Cedric pulled away to see a sight that always made his heart beat just bit faster. Eyes closed, framed by long black lashes and a soft pink dusted across cheeks. Pink lips parted as a sigh passed through them. Emerald eyes fluttered open and stared into grey eyes, a small smile played on pink lips.
"And I love you. Now. Forever. Always."
Harry jolted awake, as the dream plagued his mind. That was the last memory of theirs. Harry closed his eyes and desperately pressed his hands to his eys, trying to remove the image of sincere grey eyes full of love. Sighing, he removed himself from the warmth of the bed and crossed the room to sit on the open window's ledge.
That memory from over a year ago still haunted him. They had been dating through his fourth year. Through that disastrous tournament. They had found love and swore they would be together.
"Now. Forever. Always." Harry said bitterly as he gazed out at the stars.
He had fallen desperately and hopelessly in love with Cedric Diggory.
The moon was full and Harry internally winced at the sight. it reminded him of Remus. Of the few people who he considered family. Not that he was alive. Emerald eyes dulled at the morbid thoughts. No, alot of people died during the Second War. Remus was one of them. Sirius was a another. The list went on and Harry memorised every name on it. He felt he had to. Everyday, he woke up and hoped no one died and when he went to bed he prayed that no one would die.
The war had been short but vicious. Voldemort had attack almost immediately, freeing all his followers from Azakaban. The Order had information and went to stop them. They told the Ministry, whom refused to believe that Voldemort was back, did nothing. Sirius died that night. Looking back, that was a turning point. Dumbledore finally told him about the prophecy. Harry left Hogwarts and trained like a madman with the order. Day and night he drove his body into the ground and collapsed a month later. During the treatment and check-up, Madam Pomphrey found what was making Harry so tired. A few more tests and Harry was diagnosed with brain cancer. His body was fighting the cancer but it was no avail. He was given two years and he swore he would take Voldemort down with him.
He drifted apart from everyone. He closed himself off and allowed no one in. Harry just didn't want to die in pain, emotional pain especially. Ron and Hermione had been pulled out of the war early by their parents. Everyone had agreed that war had no place for children, yet the masses were waiting for Harry to save them. Harry gave a bitter laugh as he remembered the hopeful faces he saw when he walked through Hogwarts, one of the few safe havens during the war, just before the Last Battle. They were looking at a child to protect them; to make the world right again.
Harry sighed as he cast Tempus, noting that it was a little after 3 in the morning. There was no way he was getting anymore sleep. Leaning against the wall, Harry looked out at the gardens at Potter Manor with a thoughtful smile. The war ended after one year and six months, give or take. But to him, it had been a life time. In the end, the Power had been Olde Magik. Magic that was passed down through pureblood families. Magic he learnt from the Potters and the Blacks. PureFyre. harry grinned at the memory when he roasted old Voldemort with PureFyre, wiping his magic, soul and very exsistence from the world. It was a dangerous and deadly spell, because it utterly removed the person from this world and the next. Voldemort would never find Heaven or Hell, he simply ceased to exist. And the rest, he left it to Dumbledore. He had walked away, telling the world he wanted nothing to do with them.
So now he was alone. Ron and Hermione were too young, too untouched to even hold a conversation with him. They had not participated through the war, they had wanted to but they had been kept at home: safe and sound. He, on the other hand, had fought. Fought with everything he had and what he never thought he had. Everyday was a battle, physical or mental. Living through the war was a dream. Something that was not guaranteed but a sweet promise of what could be. He had killed and almost been killed in return. He cut down adults and children alike to reach his goal. and he was dying. There was so little that he could talk to his two best friends about anymore. Homework? He had enough knowledge to gain a mastery in a number of fields. Quidditch? The adrenaline was no longer there and he would more likely attack someone out of instinct. Love? He had. Once. And he wouldn't now.
"I can't now," Harry whispered to himself as he eyed the rose garden in the center of the maze that lay in the middle of the larger garden. The green contrasted well with the vibrant, yet delicate, roses in the light of the faires and the pale moon. "I'm dying. In a month I will be hospitalised. I can barely do anything on my own as it is. Why would I chose to hurt someone by falling in love now of all times?"
Hermione and Ron would not understand. They would want him to fight. "There's nothing left to fight for," Harry whispered to himself as a pop echoed slightly behind him. Sighing, Harry turned to regard Kimi, his house elf. "I'm okay, Kimi. I just couldn't sleep."
Kimi nodded as she watched him with large blue eyes. She was dressed in the small Potter uniform. It was a black dress with an apron and the Potter shield embroidered on it. The elves had been ecstatic when they had gotten their uniforms after been told it was not Clothes. They were much neater and more comfortable than the dirty pillowcases they used to wear.
"Does Master Harry wish to walk the gardens? Kimi can arrange a breakfast picnic and Master Harry can watch the sunrise from Cherry Hill?" the small elf squeaked out.
Harry thought it over and smiled, "I would love that, Kimi. Thank you."
Cherry Hill was on the Eastern edge of the gardens. It was a small hill that had only Sakura trees. Cherry Blossoms, hence the name "Cherry Hill". His great-great-grandfather had married a pureblood witch of Japanese descent and created this part of the garden for her. He had loved her very much and wanted her to be comfortable despite being so far from her homeland.
Sitting on the blanket and wrapped in another, Harry watched the horizon lighten, indicating that the sun would soon rise. At the same time, he felt the loneliness suffocate him. But this was his choice. He asked to be left alone and warded the Manor so that no one could get in. The only beings he met were the Goblins to arrange his finances. Harry smirked at the though of the green warriors. They had helped him considerably during the war, for a price. afterwards, he had shocked them by getting quite a few restrictive laws against them removed and many more under review. He had earned their respect. And, they wouldn't bring down the wards around his homes for anyone who was willing to pay any price. That was perhaps the largest honour they had awarded to him.
Oh, Harry knew people tried to reach him. Newspapers and reporters. Ministry officials and international teams of Aurors. Even old friends like the Weasleys. But no one could gain access. How could he face the Weasleys. They lost Bill, Charlie and Percy to the war. And despite what they said, Harry could see it in Molly Weasley's eyes every time she saw him. The unasked question all the survivors wanted to ask him.
Why couldn't you have stopped the war before they killed our loved ones?
The rest of the Order left him alone, thinking he needed time to heal on his own. No one but Madam Pomphrey knew that he was dying. And she had taken a Healer's Oath not to disclose that information.
Harry felt a pang in his heart. The 'rest of the order' included one Cedric Amos Diggory. The same Cedric Diggory that Harry had commissioned the Goblins to ensure his safety. The one he still protected from afar. And one again Harry was hit with the bitter irony. During the war, Severus Snape had been killed protecting him from a curse cast by a traitor. The man who hated him, but loved his mother, died protecting her memory. He had only discovered at a later date that Snape had always watched out for Lily Evans from a distance, and with her death, he became Harry Potter's silent guardian. Harry, like Snape, had watched over Cedric from a distance. The clouds were now a pallet of colours. The sun's first rays were bouncing off the white fluff, [painting them pinks, yellows, oranges and reds. There were also touched of purple as the sky turned from a deep blue-black to a lighter baby blue.
Harry smiled at the sight, allowing the first rays to touch his face. "A new day," he said to himself, "one day closer to the end."
Much later that day, while Harry was reading an old muggle classic, Sprinkle popped into the library. "Master Harry," the small elf called. Harry, whom was lounging on a couch by a lit fire place. Looking up, Harry smiled, "Yes, Sprinkle?"
"Master Harry, there be a group of people trying to bash down the door and wards. They call themselves the Order of the Pheonix and they demand to see you. I is telling them that yous see no one but they will not leave. When Sprinkle try to make them leave a bad house elf is stopping Sprinkle. Kimi is stopping them now but they won't leave Master Harry. I is sorry!" Sprinkle ended with watery eyes.
Harry sat up and shook his head at the elf. "It's okay, Sprinkle. I admit I've been expecting them for awhile. I'm actually surprised that they waited this lone. The war did end a little over three months ago. Go and tell Kimi to escort them here and set up some chairs for our guests."
Sprinkle nodded but looked at Harry nerviously, "Master Harry is not well. Master Harry must not exert himself. If Master Harry wants it, Sprinkle and the rest of the elves will send them far, far away." Then she popped out.
Harry looked at the space the little elf had been standing and snorted. The little buggers would sent unwanted guests to Australia if they irritated him. Sighing, he pinched his nose. Wandlessly, Harry summoned a blanket as he muttered, "I'm going to have a migraine after this. Good thing I'm leaving in two weeks time."
As if on cue, the doors of the library opened to admit the entire order and, in the case of the Weasleys, their family. At the head, Dumbledore strode in with Moody. The shields around the books intenisfied as guests entered the room. All books could only be touched by a Potter, by marriage or blood.
The group gaped at the lavish library and Hermione had stars in her eyes. They shelves were hand carved with magical creatures that moved along the deep red wood. The large bay windows took up the entire left wall til the first floor, overseeing the intricate gardens of the manor. The library itself was three floors, with stairs leading upwards. Dotted inbetween were comfortable couches, study tables and chairs.
"And what do I owe this pleasure to?" Harry asked, he voice breaking the silence and causing many of the order members to pull out their wands and direct it at him.
Dumbledore put away his wand first before he smiled and approached the coach. A chair popped into existence when he was three feet away. Harry smirked at the subtle gesture of his house elves. "Harry, my boy? How are you doing?"
Harry raised an eyebrow at the old man. Sure, he respected him but the old grudge with what happened with Sirius was still there. Answering, Harry coolly said, "I'm as well as to be expected. And you didn't need to bring the entire order to try and break down my wards to find that out. I did ask to be left alone."
As Dumbledore sat down, the rest of the order moved to follow. From the back, there was a yelp of pain. The order whipped around again, wands ready. Harry rolled his eyes.
"That would be the Olde protections. No one but a Potter can touch any of these books. It is the Family Library afterall. I wouldn't suggest you try again," Harry said as the order turned to loo at him. He shrugged, "I learn alot of the pureblood traditions when researching the Olde Magik. Can't say I don't agree with most of it."
Hermione and Ron came to the front to join Harry on the couch, only to be stopped by two chairs appearing next to Dumbledore and a blue shield shimmering around the couch. Hermione was nursing her right hand. Harry rolled his eyes, "figures."
"Harry! We were so worried about you! We haven't spoken to you in ages and then you didn't come to Hogwarts last week for our last year!" Hermione said, wanting to come forward but eying the shield. Ron nodded alongside her, adding his "Yeah mate," while Dumbledore sat there with his eyes twinkling.
Ginny then decided to jump to the front, putting her two cents in ,"Harry! I was so worried! You didn't owl me. The war is finally over and we can go out! isn't that great?"
Harry sighed and pinched his nose as he felt a headache coming. "Again, I do believe I asked to be left alone. And, I already have my NEWTS and I could undertake several Mastery exams. Why would I want fo attend Hogwarts?" He then turned to Ginny and shook his head, "Ginny. I have never been interested in you. And I don't know who told you that I was. I made no such suggestion or promise. I know that you family sent a marriage contract to my parents when you were born. I found it in the pile for consideration. I'm sorry if it not being returned gave you the delusions but I have no intentions of dating or marrying you. I'm gay, Ginny and you know that after my fourth year."
Hermione looked hurt, Ginny started crying and Ron went red in the face. Before he could be stopped, he asked Harry coldly, "So that's it? You just cut off all the people who know you now that you're a Hero? We don't matter to you? You have everyone in the country, hell Europe, worried! No one has seen you! Get over it! It's been 3 months already! Now, you're just been an attention seeker!"
He tried to say more, but Dumbledore placed a hand on his arm and Molly Weasley shouted his name as she placitated Ginny. The group looked at Harry nervously as his face became colder and colder.
"So," Harry said in an icy voice that made most of the order wince, "after a year and a half of fighting. Of killing. I must just 'get over it'? I'm sorry but you're in no position to tell me what to do. You didn't fight. You didn't kill. You didn't have to walk into the last battle hoping you would see the next sunrise. I have done my duty. I have killed Voldemort. And all I ask is that you leave me alone. Perhaps it's time for you to grow up Ron."
"Harry," Dumbledore said in a dissappointed voice, "It's not healthy to live alone like this. Atlest at Hogwarts you can be normal. It will help you put the memories behind you. It's for the best you come back with us."
Harry laughed bitterly at that. "With all due respect, Headmaster but you have no say over my life as I'm no longer in you school and I am emancipated. I have been living for once."
Dumbledore looked taken aback but dropped his gaze after meeting Harry's emerald one. He internally winced as he remmebered at the mistaken choices he made for Harry in the name of the 'Greater Good'.
"So, you haven't been locked away for the last three months?" came a very familiar voice. Harry turned slowly to meet grey eyes and tousled brown-blond hair. Cedric.
Harry shook his head and smiled slightly as he remembered his 'vacations'. "No, I've traveled quite a bit. I went to Disneyland. I went to Japan. I visited a concentration camps in Germany and a political prison in South Africa. I went to Caribbean and I discovered I had a property in Australia. No, I didn't lock myself away in here. I used my time well, considering how little of it I have left."
Harry turned to stare out the window with a sad look in his eyes. The group frowned as his last statement. McGonagall opened her mouth to asked a question but was cut off by the flames of the fire place turning green. Out stepped a Goblin.
Grinning, Killaxe bared his teeth to the group of humans before turning to Lord Potter-Black. Bowing slightly, he said, "Greetings, Lord. may your fields be fertile and you caves golden."
Smiling, Harry said, "Greetings, Warrior Killaxe. May your weapon never break and your blow be true. What do I own this honour? Tea? Coffee? Ail? Something to eat?" Harry gestured to the single couch that appeared.
The goblin shook his head with a small smile, "No need, this is a shirt visit. I have news. The paper work done and everything is arranged. You leave in two weeks, and the doctor is ready to receive you. He is one of the bets in the world."
Harry nodded, and for the first time the humans in the room really looked at the boy-saviour. His hair was hanging limply and there were bruises under his eyes. He was thinner than he ever had been and, hidden under the blankets, he look fragile. Despite all of this, despite being tired, his eye still blazed.
"Thank you, Killaxe. Could you send the papers later to my office?" Harry asked pleasantly as he ignored the worried gazes of the order. In particular, one Madam Pomphrey.
The goblin nodded, "Take care Harry and if you ever need anything, don't hesitate. You are our favourite human. May your purse stay fill and the light never leave you eyes." He bowed as he strode to the fireplace.
"May your vaults overflow and your line never end," Harry replied before the Goblin flooed out of Potter Manor. There was a moment of silence before chaos erupted from the group, all demanding to know what is going on.
It was Dumbledore who sent a loud bang from his wand to gain order before turning to Harry. But before he could ask, Cedric blurted it out.
"Harry? What's going on? Why are you leaving and what's this about a doctor and hospitals?" came the worried voice.
Harry smiled and leaned back into the couch. He looked at the group, determinedly avoiding a grey gaze as he pondered how to go about this. Shrugging, he just said it, "I have terminal cancer. I have about two months left to live and I must be hospitalised in two weeks. I'm leaving to die in peace and way from Britain."
Hell erupted in the Family Library of Potter Manor. It was an hour later that the group sat in silence. Released form her vow, Madam Pomphrey helped explain what exactly happened as Harry sat there sipping a nice cup of tea.
By the end of it, Dumbledore coudn't look Harry in the eyes. Molly Weasley was in tears and his two friends were in shock. Most of the order didn't know how to react. When a house elf popped in and gave Harry pills, most of the group looked away and a few even winced. Sighing, Harry glanced at the time.
"It's late. Kimi will show you to the door. There will be a statement released to the press by the end of the week. I would appreciate it if no one leaked this information."
The group just sat there making Harry sigh in frustration. He was tired at these people just wouldn't leave. Kimi was standing there flexing her hand just waiting to send them 'far, far away'.
"Look," Harry snapped, causing the group to jump and look at him, "this changing nothing. Even if you had known during the war I would have still had to fight. I'm just dying now rather than three months ago. At least I had a chance to live my way and now I can be with my parents and Sirius and Remus. SO please leave, it's been a long day."
And with that, the group shuffled out. The only word being said was a quiet apology from Dumbledore. But Harry knew better. They would interfere and try to make him stay in the country. They would have him committed at St Mungos and try to cure him. Tell him that his duty to the public was not done. Harry sighed for the umpteenth time as he mentally changed his plans to leave at the end of the current week.
Looking up, Harry noted that all but one order member had left. Harry swallowed as he stared at the figure of one Cedric Diggory. Tiredly, he asked softly,"Yes?"
"Harry..." Cedric said as he watched the figure on the couch. he didn't know why he stayed behind. He didn't know what to say or how to react. All he knew that he couldn't leave.
Silence fell again as Cedric stood there. He didn't change much. He had gotten slightly taller and more muscular. His face had lost its baby fat and there was a look in his eyes. A look that spoke of war. But he was till Cedric and the emerald-eyed biy was till Harry.
"Harry," Cedric said softly, looking at the ground, "I just... I just needed to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry I left like that."
Silence fell again. Harry swallowed again as old memories filtered across his mind, "You broke my heart, you know. You were the one thing keeping me sane when everything was going to Hell and then you just walked out. That hurt alot," Harry replied softly as he turned into the fire.
"I guess I was scared. It was a known fact that you would be targeted. I was scared for my family and for you. But, I think most of all, I was scared to losing you. I was scared to getting hurt after being so deeply in love with you. Then there were rumors that you and Ginny had a marriage contract and I guess... I guess I just left.."
Harry didn't reply. He couldn't reply. What do you say to that when you knew you were dying? How do you say goodbye to someone you love who left you?
And Cedric just stood there awkwardly.
"You don't have to explain it to me, Cedric. I... I can understand. A part of me had wanted you as far away from me as possible." Harry said softly as he turned his gaze to meet Cedric's, "Did you know I prayed every morning and night. Every paper I looked in, I prayed that you were still alive? That no one I loved died?" Harry gave a bitter laugh and Cedric winced. "It doesn't even matter in the end. Just tell me this, Ced. Tell me if any of it was true? Or am I a fool to love you?"
"Harry," Cedric barely whispered he met the younger emerald-eyed boy's eyes. He swiftly crossed the room in long strides and knelt by the couch. Slowly he reached out to hesitantly touch Harry on the arm. Biting his lip, Cedric could faintly smell Harry's spicy scent, he murmured quietly, "All of it was true. If you doubt everything, please know that. I fell in love with you Harry. With your clumsy falls, shy smiles and endearing heart, I fell in love. Damnit, Harry. I broke my own heart when I walked away and I always reasoned that I would find you after the war. I would explain everything. That I wasn't strong enough to keep my promise of taking care of you, that I was too scared. I even wrote a letter everyday. Every damn day, Harry. I refused to send them and only to have them returned unopened. Every morning I looked at the paper in fear that you had been killed. I lost my dad in this war. My mother was so distraught she was committed. I lost her too in a way. I refused to lose you, so I joined the Order. It seemed like the only I could protect you, even just a little. Please, know that I love you Harry, no matter what. And for breaking you like that, I regret it everyday when I wake up alone. When I come home to an empty house. When I see the photo of us smiling together on my kitchen table. And every night when I go to bed praying your okay, that your happy and safe."
Cedric was in tears by then as he watched the slightly blurred figure in front of him. The room descended into silence. Harry began to shiver as he bowed his head. Cedric's gaze turned worried before Harry's hand covered his own. Raising his gaze, tear streaked emeralds pleaded with grey orbs, "Don't Cedric. Please just, don't."
"Oh, Harry" Cedric whispered as he moved to sit by the boy on the couch. "If you want me to leave I will. I just, I needed you to know that. I needed you to know that I love you. Now. Forver. Always."
"Please don't do this," Harry looked at him, begging. Tears were falling faster now as his one hand gripped Cedric's. "Don't make me regret my choice. Don't make me want to live when there is no chance of it. Don't give me that. Don't promise me that."
Harry looked away as he hiccupped quietly. In the silence, looking away from the one person he gave his heart to, Harry said quietly, "Leave, Ced. Know that I forgave you a week after you left and that I never stopped loving you even when I thought you no longer loved me. The memories I had of us kept me sane during the war. But, please. Just leave."
And Harry removed his hand as he turned away from Cedric completely. Cedric's heart broke and he blinked away the tears. Choking, Cedric nodded, "Of course." With that he stood and walked to the door, only momentarily pausing by a small table by the door. "I love you Harry. Now. Forever. Always. No matter what. Whether your by my side or not, does not matter." And he left with a small click as the door closed. It was only after that did Harry allow himself to breakdown utterly and completely. It was only then did Harry cry to his hearts content.
Two weeks later...
Harry was hidden in the Switzerland. He had left Britain only two days after the Order's impromptu visit and Cedric's confession. Their confession. Why was he in a magical hospital in this country? Because, this was the only country, with a magical hospital, in the world that allowed assisted suicide. Yes, he Harry J. Potter was about to off himself. The docter had hooked everything up and all Harry had to do was flip the switch and the potion cocktail would enter his bloodstream. He would fall asleep, never to wake again.
The nurse touched his shoulder and gave him a small smile. "Are you sure you want to do this, Mr Potter? It seems to me you have a reason to live..." she trailed off.
Harry smiled at her as he followed her gaze. It led to a stack of letters. Letters Cedric had written during the war and left behind for him to read. Every letter was filled with love, sorrow, fear and regret. A tear fell from emerald eyes, "I can't. It's terminal and there is no cure. I would rather live properly and die fully aware. Than die as a half vegetable and volatile. I can't think of what could have been. I can't..."
"Of course, Mr. Potter," the redhead said quietly as she stared at the stack. She had been his personal nurse in his private ward. They had talked the last two weeks and she learnt of his life. And of his love and the love that was returned in those letters.
"Mr Potter," she began to say as she turned around, "perhaps you would like him here..." Naira Heather stopped talking as she noticed the small smile on her patients face, his closed eyes and the flipped switch in his hand. His breathing evened out and then slowed.
Alone in a hospital in Switzerland, Lord Harry James Potter-Black, the boy-who-lived and Defeater-of-He-who-Must-Not-be-Named, committed assisted suicide. And he did it with a smile on his face.
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